How to Hit a Side Spin Ground Stroke

How the ball spins when you hit it can affect a large part of your—and your opponent's—game. 

There are different types of spins and several ways to use them to your advantage. Your opponent might have trouble returning high bouncing balls. Or maybe they struggle to hit balls that only bounce a few inches off the ground. You can also hit a ball so that it bounces sideways, jamming or stretching out your opponent while they try to hit their return.

Most people associate side spin with the slice serve or the kick serve. These are serves that bounce low or high as well as left and right depending how the player hits it. Another effective shot is the "side spin" ground stroke.

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Side spin can cause the ball to either bounce away from or at your opponent. It's generated when you hit the ball with a slight left to right or right to left motion within a typical slice ground stroke. The more extreme (from one side to the other) you swing the racquet, the more spin you will generate on the ball.

The result of this motion will create an effect that will cause the ball to move in the opposite direction than the swing.

For example, if you swing from left to right, the ball will spin to your left. Once the ball is hit with side spin it will start to move to one side as it crosses the net. When the ball hits the ground it will bounce sideways in a more extreme manner depending on how much spin you placed on it.

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Side spin is generated by brushing the ball from one side to another with the face of your racquet. The "side-to-side" motion is key.

This doesn't mean you will hit the ball and it will shoot off directly to the court next to you. You still swing in the forward motion as you typically do. But you want to add a little left-to-right or right-to-left motion in the swing.

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About the Author

Scott Baker

Scott Baker is a singles and doubles expert based in central Ohio. To learn more from Scott, visit
Scott Baker is a singles and doubles expert based in central Ohio. To learn more from Scott, visit

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