Rafael Nadal Buggy Whip Tennis Forehand


Do you struggle to hit winners with your forehand down the line forehand?. In this article, I’m going to reveal a unique trick that Rafael Nadal uses on his buggy whip tennis forehand.  This is the exact shot he employs to devastate his opponents on the red clay and hard courts. In fact, I believe his buggy whip forehand is probably one of the best shots in the sport.

Most of you may be swinging normally and finishing either across the body or over the shoulder, which is fine. When you’re on top of the baseline and swing fast with high racquet head acceleration, turning the hand is usually the best finish. However, using the buggy whip finish on your forehand can give you the edge against your opponents when aiming down the line.

I like to teach the buggy whip tennis forehand for a couple of reasons. I think that it gives you an extra element of disguise to surprise your opponent.  Most importantly, it can help you to dramatically improve your tennis game and take it to the next level. Now, let me explain how you can start hitting amazing down the line winners with the buggy whip tennis forehand.

Are you ready? Let’s get into it.

Buggy Whip Tennis Forehand Finish

Buggy Whip Forehand Finish

Imagine that you’re on a crosscourt rally, and it’s time to hit a forehand down the line. I encourage you to use the buggy whip forehand finish and the open stance footwork pattern. It’s going to be really tricky for your opponent to anticipate this change of direction at the last minute.

When executing this shot, remember to drive out through the ball first before coming back with your hand. I recommend finishing with your hand above the forehead to keep your racquet head facing towards the back fence. Those are two nice little cues that can help you master the buggy whip finish on your tennis forehand.

Buggy Whip Tennis Forehand Footwork

Tenis Forehand Open-Stance Footwork

Once you get the hang of it, you can relax your arm and let your hand go a little bit more. This is what I call “The lasso buggy whip finish”. I suggest you simply focus on extending out towards the target. Moreover, I want you to avoid finishing on the same side of your shoulder too fast. Why? Because  it can cause a shoulder injury along the way and we want to prevent that.

On the footwork, you’ll simply come out of the split step, use a crossover step, and load the outside leg. Then, you’re going to be shuffling your feet and keeping them in a neutral position as you hit the ball. Additionally, you’ll need to have your chest and shoulders facing the direction where you want to hit the ball. Likewise, concentrate on finishing in a wide and athletic base to push off the ground and recover.

Aim To The Right Target

Tennis Strategy Tip

It’s really important to go for safe targets and practice the footwork and forehand technique continuously. You want to aim just past the service line and hit the ball through a lane. Now, this is a pretty advanced tennis tip to help you with your down the line forehand. But, if you have been struggling with it, consider trying it.

You’re going to clear the net, have more consistency and spin when you need it, and hit amazing down the line forehand winners. This buggy whip forehand technique can be a secret weapon in your game to have more fun on the court. It will help you to completely dominate your opponents from the baseline and play more like the pro tennis players.

I hope  you enjoyed today’s article and discover something new that can accelerate your tennis learning.



By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution.

Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.

P.S. – Ready to take it to the next level with your tennis? Click here to get a free tennis course inside the Tennis Evolution App. Learn the exact step-by-step system that has transformed the games of thousands of players worldwide.


  1. Lyn

    Good tip presentation — clearly stated, succinct and to the point: the what, how and why (disguises where you’re going). Thanks.

  2. Lynn Miller

    Usually, the finishing shot is make while not too far behind the baseline and preferably inside the baseline. Are you suggesting for most people who are not Nadal, that this shot can be hit well from behind the baseline? I’m more of a slicer and dicer 4.5 level senior, but would love to develop a shot like this!

    Lynn M.

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Hi Lynn,

      You should hit this shot low over the net when on or inside the baseline. That’s when you take offensive. But when you are behind the baseline, you have to play it higher over the net with more spin.

  3. Noushin

    Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience and knowledge!

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