Tennis can be kinda intimidating when you are getting into it and especially for me when I heard people using different shot names got very confused as to what they meant. 

The most confusing of all was the topspin, as all the other shots are somewhat easier to comprehend for the common man, Topspin naa nobody has heard of it until you get to the tennis court and then you can’t even hit it correctly for the first year or something.

But believe it or not, topspin is probably the most important thing in tennis when it comes to actually playing good. It provides you with the control required to win points off of difficult situations. It is the most important thing if you want to learn how to keep the ball inside the court at all times.

I’m going to go over some of the reasons why it is important, why most pros use it, how can you go from a beginner to someone who is a master of the topspin in as little time as possible, and maybe give a few racquet recommendations that will help accelerate the process.

Tennis is a journey of constant learning, and topspin gets your foot in the door of becoming a good player. The next time you get to the tennis court, you can impress all your tennis friends with the new technique you’ve been practicing.


Why Do Pro Players Use it


The most essential skill in the tennis court has to be the topspin. A lot of players swear by it. All the pro players pretty much use topspin to keep themselves inside the match at all times.

Let’s take an example of one of the greatest players in the world Rafael Nadal, I am an avid Nadal fan as most of my blog posts are centered around him. 

When Nadal was starting his pro career, all he had in his arsenal was the topspin, and many of his opponents used to complain that we have to win the point three times in the same point if we ever want to win from Nadal

Great all-around coverage and the ability to hit the ball with extreme amounts of topspin got Nadal to where he is at the moment. 

Since tennis has evolved into a very power focussed sport, the balls have gotten lighter, and the overall play has shifted to keeping the ball in the court for as long as you possibly can, the topspin shot has become even more important.

Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are extremely good baseline players all of them have pretty much one thing in common i.e. they hit the ball with extreme amounts of spin. 

You can just compare the numbers  with some of the older greats of tennis

Pete Sampras: 1,800 RPM (Average)

Andre Agassi: 1,800 RPM (Average)

Roger Federer: 2,700 RPM (Average)

Rafael Nadal: 3,200 rpm (Average) – peaked at 5000 RPM

Novak Djokovic: Averaged at 2,700 RPM

As you can clearly see that the pace and dynamic of the game have changed drastically over the last 19-20 years of tennis, Topspin gives Nadal and many other pro players the following advantages:

    • Heavy spin brings the ball down into the court
      Since the ball is hit with a slight upward motion, the ball gets immense spin going up and then the air pushes down on it because of the downward trajectory of the spin.
      There are times when you think that the ball might be going out, but because it is hit with topspin it lands inside the court very comfortably.
    • Keeps the ball out of the opponent’s strike zone when hit deep
      The ball will always bounce higher and will have a lot of speed when it bounces on the opponent’s side of the court making it not only harder to hit but also makes it difficult to judge the actual speed of the ball. I have faced this problem with a lot of heavy topspin hitters.
      It looks as if the ball is coming at a slow pace, you get ready and then the ball just hits the accelerate button out of nowhere and it just gives you no time to get into position.
    • The higher net clearance that reduces errors
      Another big advantage; as clearing the net can be hard at times for flat hitters or people who are new to the game, they either hit the ball into the net or hit it a million miles out of the court and then they have to do the walk of shame to bring the ball back.

      Topspin gives you more control over the ball because when you hit the ball it will go higher compared to a flat normal ball and it will clear the net easily compared to the flat ball.

      You can always guarantee that you will never hit the net except in certain circumstances. You will see Nadal or even intermediate club players, they can clear the net way better than the beginners that may struggle with hitting the ball consistently.
    • Heavy topspin = heavy ball for the opponent
      Heavy ball for the opponent basically means that the ball has extreme amounts of spin and if your opponent has to make the return, they will have to use more power and force to return the ball compared to a ball that was flat and had little to no topspin.
    • Gives you time for recovery
      This is something really important when you hit a flat ball back to your opponent, it gets to them pretty fast and then they can hit the shot back to you and if you were in a difficult position when you made the return, it is going to be really hard for you to make the return back.
      This is where the magic of Topspin comes in. Since the trajectory of the ball is higher compared to the flat ball, it will give you some time to position yourself back to the center of the court and you’ll be ready to make the return when the ball comes back to you.
      This is one of the secret weapons of Rafael Nadal and he has used it countless times to come out of sticky situations with flat hitting players.



How To Hit The Topspin Yourself

Hitting the ball with topspin requires some time and practice, you have to completely change your understanding of tennis (if you are a beginner) because now this involves some laws of physics that you have to master, naa I’m just kidding of course. 

It can be a little daunting at first to try and learn how to hit the ball with topspin, but I guarantee you that if you start learning the core concepts of the forehand you are well on your way to hitting the ball with some very good topspin. 

Since this is something better explained with a video. You can watch this, I love the guys at essential tennis. They make some great enjoyable content and you can follow along to their tutorials very easily


What Kind of a tennis racquet should you be looking into

This is a bit of a difficult question to answer, as most coaches and players will tell you that topspin is easy with any kind of racquet. And I do agree with them to a certain extent, but I will say that it is the 21st century and things in tennis have changed quite a bit over the past decade and a half.

It can’t be simply because the players have gotten better, the equipment might have gotten better as well. I do have a few racquets in mind that I have found to be very good in terms of giving you the stepping stones to good topspin forehands and backhands and they are both from Babolat.

My recommendations are from Amazon so you can look at the prices, see if you like the look of these racquets or what no but they are extremely beginner-friendly racquets and I have featured them in my best tennis racquet for topspin post as well

Babolat Pure Aero

Babolat Pure Drive


Hope you enjoyed learning about topspin, you can check out a detailed lesson I have done for the tennis forehand by clicking here. If you are interested in learning more about racquets and the ones that  I recommend you can check them out here


Have fun playing tennis and see you on the tennis courts.