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Back corners

Published: 18 Mar 2006 - 00:45 by SamBWFC

Updated: 06 Jul 2014 - 00:43

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This is a part of my game I'd love to, and need to, improve. I find it really difficult getting the ball out of the back corners using a straight drive, especially on my backhand. I see professionals, and people in my University team retreiving it at ease, but I usually end up playing a trickle boast or hitting the back wall with my racket. Any tips on how to stop doing this?

Will I need to open my racket face to get more height on the ball, and concentrate on this more than on power? And one final question, how do I practice on my own getting out the back corners? Thanks.

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From marcfnb - 10 Apr 2014 - 08:51

From rippa rit - 12 Dec 2006 - 13:23

Sam - I guess you did go through the article and revise the back corner links.  Yes, this photo and diagram is basically talking about a forehand from the back corner.
The same applies to the backhand, though it is more difficult to get your shoulder/swing around behind the ball, especially if you do not flex your hips as you drop your shoulder, and also flex your knees a bit like a rag doll, to enable you to get your swing around, then down under the ball, whilst still having enough racket/arm control, to be able to hit the ball with a full swing.

It is imperative to -
  • Keep out of the corner
  • Turn bringing your body around to face the back wall, particularly you shoulder.
  • Flex your hips and knees (like a bit of a dip down movement you see on psalive videos)
  • Wait for the ball to come out, and let it drop very low, if required (to give sufficient room for your swing).
Check these points:
  • That you have gone to the back corner with a long stride giving you a low center of gravity.
  • That your elbow is bent and the racket sort of wrapped around your body to get the maximum backswing to enable you to get under the ball, and also get a good swing.
  • That your right shoulder is dipped down, and your hips flexed.
  • That you are taking your time, and waiting for the ball to rebound off the back wall giving you plenty of room to swing.
A bit of ghosting will help get the movement fluent too.
Try it.!

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From SamBWFC - 12 Dec 2006 - 10:40

Just thought I'd dig this topic back up again.


I'm doing quite well with the back corner backhands now, but one problem I keep experiencing is hitting the back wall with my racket before I hit the ball. What do I need to do here to prevent this? I am hitting the ball after my racket has hit the back wall but it is always a poor shot, as my swing is interrupted.


I'm rejoining my old club while I'm back from University over Christmas so I want to get this right and really impress the coaches next week! :D

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From rippa rit - 23 Mar 2006 - 07:11   -   Updated: 23 Mar 2006 - 14:38

Good work Sam
Here is our Strokes/Movement link.
My tips below refer to keeping the drive straight.
  • In that link there are several photos of racket swinging and backswing technique.
  • To help keep yourself away from the ball (see the photo of backswing preparation where the racket is well in position while the player is moving into position) by moving with the racket head, which is already in the backswing preparation position, somewhere near the ball pathway and that should help keep the required distance from the ball.
  • For shots that are within .5m from the side wall your racket head, in the swing, must be at right angles to the side wall for the ball to go off straight towards the front wall target.
  • As Ray said, keep the wrist firm, which then should control the racket head.
  • It is the racket head angle that gives the direction, and the racket face that gives the trajectory of the ball.
  • As you swing through to the front wall target (provided you know where you are aiming?), keep the swing running parallel to the side wall as far as you can.
Once you can figure this out your practice will be more meaningful.
Totally confused now?

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From raystrach - 23 Mar 2006 - 00:35

no worries sam

it's great to hear that you are making progress. yes, there are a lot of skills for just one shot, but tis is one of  the most difficult shots and the skills will transfer into other areas of your game - keep at it!!

as far as getting the drive straight and not skewing off the side wall,
  •  make sure you swing through to the target point on the front wall in your follow through.(with an open racket face)
  • keep your wrist firm

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From SamBWFC - 23 Mar 2006 - 00:27

Had my training session yesterday, didn't really have the opportunity to practice the shot in matches because none came up, although I was first down the courts so I was practicing them on my own. What I found was, I kept getting far too close to the ball, which didn't allow me to swing properly, I'll practice standing further away next time.

The other problem was I kept hitting the side wall before the front wall first. It wasn't exactly a boast, but it prevented me getting length on the shot. How do I get round this?

I printed off all the bullet points from this forum and took them to training with me last night. There are a lot of skills to learn for just one shot, so I decided to split them up, e.g. turn body and face back wall with one shot, and then practice open racket face and getting underneath the ball on the other.

However, I did see that my back corner shots were improving, and I'm going to go for a solo session in a couple of days so I can constantly improve each skill together. I'll keep practising! Thanks a lot for all the advice again, it's been well appreciated.

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From SamBWFC - 19 Mar 2006 - 03:20

Thanks a lot for the info, I'll give it a try at my next training session and let you know how I get on. Thanks again!

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From raystrach - 18 Mar 2006 - 13:49

hi sam

have a good read of the article "back corner pain relief rita linked to in the previous reply. i hopeit is not too confusing.

in my coaching, even with some quite competant players, is that they tend to "back up" to the back wall...
  • you MUST stay away from the back wall
  • usually you wll need to be at an angle to the back wall (but still facing slightly toward it
  • you backswing needs to be high - not too far behind
  • use an open face racket technique
let us know how you go - don't b afraid to ask for clarification if you can't quite understand what we are on about.

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From rippa rit - 18 Mar 2006 - 07:37   -   Updated: 18 Mar 2006 - 07:50

Sam - welcome to the forum.  Mind you back corners have been a popular topic in the past and Slavi has followed it from day one, so is familiar with the procedures. 
Here is the link to "Back Corner Pain Relief" where Ray has put in diagrams to help track the sequence of movement.  Remember a few things about movement -
  • keep away from the ball (as Slavi describes)
  • turn your body (as JJSooty mentioned)
  • keep out of the corner to allow enough room to lunge and to swing under the ball
  • in fact after leaving the T (after deciding if the ball can be intercepted or not) then realising it is not possible to volley, turn at about level with the service box and face the back wall, then lunge, low backswing, well balanced, wait etc.
Once you have given all of these ideas a practice of course we want to know how it went?
P.S  Definitely do not follow the ball by backpedalling.

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From JJSOOTY - 18 Mar 2006 - 07:18

What I find is that as the ball flies into the back corner its easy to back into the back wall while watching it.  Instead of doing this, turn your body so that your in the correct position for the drive.  I usually try to get my body either parallel to, or on a slight tangent if it doesnt bounce as much, to the back wall.  It gives you space to swing without hitting the wall and plenty of time to get back to the T. 

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From drop-shot - 18 Mar 2006 - 02:42   -   Updated: 18 Mar 2006 - 02:42

Hey Sam,
I am sure you will find more detailed answer in the topic that we have discussed months ago, Rita or Ray will find the link for you but  I can tell you what helps me to hit the straight drive whrn the ball is close to the corner in the back of the court:

  • Shorten the grip for a while;
  • go really down behind the ball;
  • your body position is to be exactly the same as for the boast;
  • wait a lot, longer than usually you wait to hit the bast; it looks a bit like you are running away from the ball;
  • keep the distance, racket, racket and half to the ball;
  • remember to keep the racket face open;
  • finish your swing properly after hitting the ball; remember about lifting the balance from the back leg to the front leg;
And now it's your call or we wait for more info from Rita/Ray

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