Tennis terminology and the various strokes can get confusing for a beginner. There are so many terms, definitions, rules, and shots that if you haven’t grown up playing or watching the sport it can all feel a little overwhelming.
All games of tennis consist of six basic strokes: the serve, forehand groundstroke, backhand groundstroke, forehand volley, backhand volley, and the overhead smash.
So what is a serve? A serve in tennis is the stroke used to start every point in a match. It is the only stroke in tennis that a player has complete control over and is therefore one of the most important shots in the game.
What is a groundstroke in tennis? A groundstroke is a forehand or backhand stroke that is hit after the ball has bounced once on the court. It is one of the core fundamental shots in tennis and is normally played from the back of the court during a baseline rally.
A tennis forehand is one of the two types of groundstrokes. It refers to a shot performed from the baseline with the racket held in your dominant hand.
A backhand in tennis is the other of the two types of groundstroke. It can be a one-handed and/or two-handed stroke.
So what is a volley in tennis? A volley stroke is where the ball is hit out of the air before it bounces on the court. The term “volley” encompasses both the forehand volley and backhand volley.
What is an overhead smash? In tennis an overhead smash is a stroke where the player contacts the ball with the racquet above his or her head using a serve-like motion.