Buggy Whip, Mis-hit, Shank

You just received a shot that is in the perfect position to be put away. So what do you do? You wind up and are ready to kill it, but instead of taking advantage of the easy shot, you hit it wide or into the net. Sound familiar?

I have done it more times than I can count, and I am sure that if you have ever played tennis so have you. While they may not do it often, the pros also hit the ball badly from time to time.

So what do you call a ball that you meant to hit in but went three courts down instead? Here are a few terms used for balls that are hit badly:

  • Buggy whip – a forehand hit with a follow-through that does not go across the body and finish on the opposite side, but rather goes from low to high and finishes on the same side (similar to the driver of a horse drawn carriage whipping a horse).
  • Mis-hit – a stroke in which the racket fails to make contact with the ball in the “sweetspot” area of the strings.
  • Shank – a significantly misdirected shot, the result of hitting the ball in an unintentional manner, typically with the frame of the racket. Such shots typically go very high in the air, go into the stands or an adjacent court, and/or land far outside the lines. However, it is possible to hit a shank that lands validly in the court.

Like I said, the pros do it too so take a look at this video and you will feel much better about any buggy whip, mis-hit or shank you have ever hit.


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