It’s key to elevating your game, says pro player Michael Russell.

HARNESS THE RACKET’S POWER

Use a “continental” grip: hold the racket like an axe, with the face in line with your forearm. Move the heel of your hand to the base of the grip, with your pinkie on the bottom of the handle.

ALIGN YOUR BODY

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your dominant foot parallel to the baseline and your other foot angled 45 degrees toward the line. Place slightly more weight on your dominant foot.

DON’T OVERTOSS

To create forward momen¬tum, toss the ball to an apex 15 to 20 centimeters in front of you, and half a meter higher than where your racket would strike it. Don’t throw higher and try to hit it on the way down.