Windshield Wiper Forehand

windshield wiper forehand tennis

The windshield wiper forehand is one shot that amateur players try a lot during their matches as it’s one of the simplest shots in tennis. The technique is very important to complete this shot. Below we try to explain the technique to allow you to practice it.

In this technique, your balance, the movement of the shoulder, and the rotation of your body are the elements to be followed to achieve a great windshield wiper forehand.


The two techniques differ mainly in shoulder movement. Going into details the windshield wiper forehand allows you to decelerate.

Doing a classic forehand, the racquet gets over your shoulder, gets behind it, and hit so you can decelerate without needing any further movements as the racquet is over your shoulder when the shot movements end.

Instead, during a windshield wiper forehand, the racquet hits the ball, and you must continue the rotation as you follow through and the racquet ends on the side and not above your shoulder as in the previous technique.

Alternatively, as Nadal does all the time, when you hit the forehand, the racquet follows through and goes above your head instead of finishing on your side. This movement allows you to have more time and more space to decelerate. In addition to this, your footwork will also benefit.


This shot as it’s like the standard forehand does not differ in terms of grip aside from the swing and follow-through in terms of mechanics. For beginners, the rule is to use the Eastern forehand grip. For semi-professionals and pro-level players, this is not used anymore as they prefer the Semi-Western one.


The windshield wiper technique always begins with your shoulders and feet facing the net. All the preparation continues with a timely step when your opponent is about to hit, this allows you to move with anticipation. Then you must pivot your outside foot (predominant foot depending on if you are right or left-handed) and move your weight accordingly together. With this movement the hips are open, and you are allowed to make the move easier. Then you’ll have to follow these steps:

  • Extend your non-racquet arm at shoulder level
  • Make it parallel with the baseline or the net
  • Adjust the balance of your body to make the right evaluation of where the ball of the opponent will bounce

If you find yourself in the wrong position, remember to take some small steps but keep yourself in a sideways position.

To recap you’ll have to:

  1. Rotate your shoulder
  2. Lead with your elbow
  3. Hit the ball at the last moment using the elbow to generate speed
  4. Follow through after the hit
  5. Finish always low


Doing this technique can affect your elbow and might create some pain. You should avoid continuing playing when the elbow pain reaches this level and try some exercises to reinforce it.

In the video above you find the exercises to strengthen your elbow tendinous and your shoulder. Doing a lot of dumbbell exercises for your wrist and arm can be a useful way to strengthen your muscle and avoid inelastic tendons and ligaments. Build strength, especially on the hand can be a method to avoid further pain and annoying feeling of stiffness in your arm movement, which causes pain to your elbow.


He does. The main players using this technique are Andy Roddick (an ex-player now retired a few years ago), Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. The curiosity is that watching Federer and Nadal you can compare the left- and right-handed styles using the same technique.


In the Atp tour, there are still some players then prefer not to use the windshield wiper forehand technique, the top 10, well-known are the following:

– Daniil Medvedev

– Stefanos Tsitsipas

– Yannick Sinner


The technique of the windshield wiper forehand is one of the most common alternatives to the flat forehand hence it would be a great idea to learn it. It’s not so simple to learn, however when properly learned (if you don’t have issues with your elbow) it can be a good method of hitting some winning forehands without extending the rally with your opponent into an extra waste of energies.

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