Why Do Tennis Players Spin Their Rackets?

You’ve often heard that tennis players spin their rackets during the tennis game. It’s for a purpose and not for fun.

Read on to know why tennis players spin their rackets while on the tennis game. 

During the tennis game, the tennis ball is hit by a racket. Spinning the racket usually affect the trajectory and bounce of the tennis ball.

As seen in the image below, hitting the tennis ball with a spin – either topspin or underspin – affects the trajectory of the ball differently from when the ball is hit without a spin (flat shots).

In a nutshell, tennis players spin their rackets to influence their shot – the trajectory and bounce of the tennis ball.

Basically, there are three common shots (ways of hitting a tennis ball) in the tennis game. These are flat shots (no spin), topspin shots, and sliced shots (underspin or backspin).

The type of shot given to thetennis ball willnot only affect its trajectory in the air but also how it bounces. Of all the spins, the topspin is the commonest.

In the tennis game, as well as all other ball sports, topspin is a property of a ball that rotates forwards as it is moving.

Applying a topspin on a tennis ballpropelling through the air impacts a downward force that causes the tennis ball to drop, due to its interaction with the air. Slice is the opposite of Topspin.

Tennis players, as well as table tennis players, spin their racket to create a topspin shot as either a “safe shot” or rally ball. A topspin shot can also be used to construct a point.

For instance, a tennis player may hit three topspin shots crosscourt and then hit a flat or a slice on the fourth shot to set himself/herself up to win the point.

A tennis player can generate a topspin shot by hitting the tennis ball with an up-and-forward swing, with the racquet facing below the direction it is moving.

In the tennis game, because the net is set in the middle of the court, a tennis player can increase his/her consistency by using topspin. Topspin also givestennis players a greater margin of error.

For example, since topspin brings the tennis ball down to the ground quicker, a player can hit the tennis ball higher over the net, therefore, increasing the margin of error.

Topspinning may help a tennis player to hit the ball directly to the opponent’s feet, or in lobbing an opponent who is waiting at the net. Topspinningis very effective on hard surfaces. This is because topspinning causes the tennis ball to spin forward and descend toward the ground quicker.So the ball can be hit with more force compared to other types of shots.

On most tennis court surfaces, applying a spin makes the tennis ball bounce higher. Hence, spinning, especially the topspin, is often used on clayey surfaces or “soft” court surfaces that naturally have a higher bounce to make it harder for the opponent to hitthe tennis ball.

Topspin Shot

To hit a tennis ball with a topspin shot, the tennis player must rotate (spin) the head of the racket over the top of the tennis ball as he/she hits the ball. This hitapplies a rotating force around the center of the tennis ball, causing the ball to rotate with a forward spin during its flight.

Hitting a tennis ball with topspin causes a Magnus force to be exerted on the ball, which is perpendicular to the velocity of the ball in the downward direction.

Since an additional downward force is exerted on the ball, a tennis player can hit the tennis ball with greater speed and have the ball land in the court if he/she hit the ball with a topspin shot.

More so, when a tennis ball is hit with a topspin shot, it can be hit higher above the net. This results in a higher bounce for the ball and makes the shot more difficult to return.

Slice (Underspin or Backspin)

As stated above, this is the opposite of the topspin shot and follows the opposite technique. To apply an underspin or backspin shot to a tennis ball, the tennis player must slanthis racket back and slide it underneath the tennis ball when hitting it.

This exerts a rotating force around the center of the ball that causes it to rotate with a backward spin in the air.

Hitting a tennis ball with an underspin causes a Magnus force to be exerted on the ball, which is perpendicular to the velocity of the ball in the upward direction.

Sincean additional upward force is exerted on the ball, thetennis ball will float through the air during its flight. With a slice shot, the player must hit the tennis ball low over the net and at a relatively low speedto keep the ball from leaving the bounds of the tennis court.

This results in a lower bounce for the tennis ball. Slice enables a tennis player to hit the tennis ball to the precise location in the opponent’s court.

For a player to survive in the modern tennis game, he/she needs a good amount of spin on shots. Hitting the tennis ball with flat shots won’t take the player so far. However, adding some topspin on groundstrokes would keep the game going tougher.

Now it’s evident that it is necessary and extremely importantfor tennis players that want to play a challenging tennis game to spin their rackets. However, some rackets help players to create more spins than others. Here are some of the best tennis rackets for spin available on the market right now:

Babolat Pure Aero


  • Balance: 4pts HL
  • Head size: 100sq. in
  • Length: 27in
  • Stiffness: 69
  • String Pattern: 16×19
  • Strung weight: 11.3oz about 320g
  • Swingweight: 327g

This is an official racket endorsed by Rafael Nadal.Since Nadal is known to hit shots with lots of topspin, Babolat Pure Aero is extremely spin-friendly. This racket comes with FSI spin technology for an effective spinning.

It is very lightweight and can be easily whipped around for an additional spin. Though this racket gives the best overall spin in the tennis game, it is not the most arm-friendly racket you’ll find on the market.

Babolat Pure Drive


  • Balance: 4pts HL
  • Head size: 100sq. in
  • Length: 27in
  • Stiffness: 72
  • String pattern: 16×19
  • Strung weight: 11.1oz about 314g
  • Swingweight: 308

While the Babolat Pure Aero is better at providing spin, the Babolat Pure Drive is the more powerful of the two rackets and is a little bit easier to play with for beginner tennis players.

For beginners, this racket is a better option, but for players that consider themselves an intermediate or advanced player, then there are better options for you like the Pure Aero.

The head size gives players a lot of space to work with when trying to spin the tennis ball during long rallies. This racket comes with a perfect combo of power and speed but it’s a bit stiff.

Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP


  • Head Size: 100sq. in
  • Length: 27in
  • Strung weight: 11oz about 312g
  • Swingweight: 320
  • String Pattern: 16×20
  • Balance: 3pts HL
  • Stiffness: 62

This racket has an increased spin area for players to see a difference when they hit the tennis ball from all angles on the court. Developing spin is much easier with this racket and tennis players will surely feel comfortable using this racket when they hitshots with a lot of spins.

Players can also take a full swing on balls with angles that are conducive to spin. This enables players to increase their RPM on the tennis ball.Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP is a fast racket to whip around for spin and the head is round enough to create a bigger sweet spot and spin window.

Wilson Ultra 100 Countervail


  • Head Size: 100sq. in
  • Length: 27in
  • Strung weight: 11.2oz about 317g
  • Swingweight: 320
  • String Pattern: 16×19
  • Balance: 4pts HL
  • Stiffness: 74

Wilson Ultra 100 has a unique build that makes it great for developing spin. It is very easy to use for beginners and offers more comfort. This racket fits many different tennis game styles and the string pattern naturally enhances topspin.


From this post, you have seen that spinning rackets is necessary and extremely important for a tennis player.

Tennis players spin their rackets to improve their games. If you haven’t been making the most of a spin, it’s time to start using spin effectively.