W ether you are a great or not great tennis player, tennis strokes, if they are well executed, have undeniable similarities.
Since I hit this overhead in 1974 at the Oslo Open I can positively say that Roger Federer copied my overhead style! (Big green)
The jumped tennis overhead smash, is a very difficult stroke that few master due to the complexity of the co-ordinations involved, timing and the necessary athletic prowess.
Nowadays tennis players go so seldom to the net that the Nr. 1 in the world Novak Djokovic can not hit a decent overhead smash unless it is offered to him like a Aunt Jemima pancake on a platter!
Of all things that the tennis jumped overhead smash requests, getting up into the air and execute the “ciseau” or chisel leg movement is a must. Here are some examples from the past of players who could truly execute the jumped overhead smash to perfection:
Jean Borotra in the 1920’s already demonstrated that show boating has been always part of tennis and when Pete Sampras ‘introduced’ the ‘Slam Dunk’ overhead smash to tennis, he was almost 83 years too late!
Even women players were capable hitting the overhead smash! Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen was a French tennis player who won 31 Championship titles between 1914 and 1926.
Henry Christian ‘Harry’ Hopman CBE (12 August 1906 – 27 December 1985) was a world-acclaimed Australian tennis player and coach.
‘The best tennis coach ever to walk on planet earth! ‘Harry’s’ passion for the game was so great that I am willing to bet he is coaching Angels in Heaven!’ Sérgio Cruz
Roy Stanley Emerson (born 3 November 1936) is an Australian former World No. 1 tennis player who won 12 Grand Slam tournament singles titles and 16 Grand Slam tournament men’s doubles titles. He is the only male player to have won singles and doubles titles at all four Grand Slam events.
Now, there you have it! For a top class tennis jumped overhead smash, you must get up into the air, stay Airborne, use the pronation to smack the tennis ball with total abandonment to corners and angles (if you can do it like Borotra did, do it right to the service box corners!). Remember though, you will need to get ‘way up there’ to do that!