Buggy Whip Shot in Tennis

buggy whip tennis

Have you watched any of Rafael Nadal’s buggy whip forehand before? How cool are them?

“I want to imitate him”, someone says’.

Do you share the same curiosity?

Would you like to try it yourself and stun your opponent in the next game?

Then if you do so, read this article and be the star at the next game.

I will discuss what buggy whip forehand is, how to do the shot, injury concern.

And of course, you’ll see how Rafael Nadal does this shot step by step, so you can try to imitate him.

What is the buggy whip shot tennis?

The buggy whip shot is a forehand shot hit in the same way you hit the forehand however the movement of your hand doesn’t finish on the opposite upper shoulder but goes vertical as Nadal sets the example on this.

The opponent that pushes you to use this shot is the one that doesn’t give power to the ball and used slice to slow down the ball and make it very low bouncing.

In these situations, the player can go under the ball and generate power with the buggy whip shot as you don’t have to finish over the opposite shoulder (the movement would be difficult to complete) but you can easily do it vertically.

The buggy whip forehand grip

For the buggy whip forehand the grip choice can be between Eastern and semi-Western.

In the first case a lot of legends of tennis such as Pete Sampras and Roger Federer set the example. So is still possible to use the buggy whip forehand on the run however it is the way it finishes that changes slightly between the Eastern and Western forehand.

With the Eastern forehand grip when you run over the ball the strings of your racquet will face towards the side while with the semi-Western forehand grip the strings will face up.

How to hit a buggy whip a forehand

The most important thing to remember when doing the buggy whip forehand is that you are trying to use the momentum of your arm to create energy and power.

Since you are on the run during this shot, you won’t be able to use the torso energy for the shot, mostly relying on your arm.

The fundamental in the shot is that you still brush up the back of the ball so you can create enough spin to make your opponent in a difficult position to return your buggy whip.

Below the order you should follow in the preparation and execution:

  1. Hit it in an open stance
  2. Make contact between your lead foot and back foot, trying as much to be a little bit late in the hit
  3. Aim to start your racquet in its normal, high position
  4. Swing up at the ball
  5. Past your opposite ear
  6. Finish over your playing shoulder, not the opposite as in the normal forehead

Nadal’s buggy whip shot analysis

The Nadal’s buggy whip shot is one of the best in the circuit and it’s a very powerful arm for him to use. We try to analyze how he does and when he uses it.

Rafael Nadal, one of the best tennis players in the history of sport, winner of 22 Grand Slams uses this technique to generate as much spin as possible from his shot.

His buggy whip shot is a system of defensive play developed during the years. He applied it against players who tend to play slides and slow shots without giving power to the balls. Nadal by doing this is giving the ball a lot of power and return it with a fast movement of:

  • Reach the ball with a bit of delay and keep the racquet below the ball level
  • Make contact with the ball and focus on reaching the maximum speed in the movement low to high with his swing
  • Limit the space to accelerate and swing over his head

Buggy Whip Forehand Injury Concerns

There are some concerns on the potential injury in this shot.

First, you shall consider how trained these athletes muscle is. You can’t simply go the court and try this shot as it’s not as easy as a normal forehand, but it takes a lot of strength on your legs and knees.

Start to do it in slow motion as the shoulder this way isn’t as much affected. In juniors and seniors not enough trained the buggy whip forehand can cause serious injuries on the shoulder and even wrist if not trained.

So, do your warm-up and start with the slow motion movements for the arm and legs before moving to the full buggy whip forehand.

Wrap up

To sum up the buggy whip shot is used when you want to produce maximum speed while using minimum movement. It is used to create top spin and make it difficult to return for the opponent.

The shot, in order to be to be successful has to be prepared and executed several times in order to make sure your technique is perfect.

The best players to take examples from for the buggy whip shot are Dominique Thiem and Rafael Nadal. They use it more often than other players in the circuit but also most effectively.

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