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Tennis Footwork Tips On The Approach Shots

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

In this video lesson, I am going to share very useful tennis footwork tips when it comes to the approach shots.

If you want to move efficiently for your forehand, double backhand and backhand slice approach shots, your footwork is super important. So, watch this video lesson and learn how the pros execute their footwork to attack the sitter or short ball.

Great Tennis Footwork Tips For Efficiency In Approach Shots

What are the common problems?

One of the most common problems for tennis players is when they see a sitter or short ball they tend to stop and hit.

They then need to generate the momentum to move up to the net. This kind of movement is completely inefficient. This is because when you stop and then advance forward, you incur more time and this gives your opponent time to hit a passing shot against you.

In this lesson, I will share two types of tennis footwork that you can use to gain momentum and move forward to the net efficiently.

The Hopping Step For Forehand Approach Shot.

The first footwork is called the ‘Hopping Step.’ This step is more for forehand approach shots or double backhand approach shots.

This is how you execute the hopping step. When you see a short ball coming near the service line, you move up and go into a neutral stance as shown in the image below. Then you hop in with the front leg as you contact the ball.

This hopping step will give you momentum to move forward after you contact the ball.

The Hopping Step For 2 Handed Backhand Approach Shot.

The hopping step is also used for two-handed backhand approach shot. When you see a short ball coming towards your backhand, go into a neutral stance first.

Then, prepare your weight to lean on the front leg. Thus, as you prepare to contact a ball, you do a hopping step as shown in the image below.

After you have contacted a ball this step will give you a momentum to move forward to the next.

The Carioca Step.

The next footwork is the carioca step. This step is very useful when you want to do a backhand slice approach shot. As you encounter a short ball to your backhand side, one good tactic to use is to slice the ball and charge to the net. A well executed slice will make the ball stay low. You opponent will need to hit the ball up and this gives you the opportunity to poach the next ball.

As you go to your backhand slice and your body should turn towards the side fence. When you prepare to contact the ball, your right leg (for lefties like me) should move back and your other leg should open up and then you continue to move.

If you are a right-handed player, then you can do this step vice-versa.

Take note that you have to maintain your hip position facing the side fence. If you turn towards the net too early, it may cause over-rotation and your backhand slice becomes an error.


I have shared two types of tennis footwork with you –

1. The Hopping step is great for the forehand approach or two-handed backhand approach shots.

2. The Carioca step is suitable for backhand slice approach shots.

Go ahead and try out these tennis footwork and let me know in the comment box how these helped you.

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