The tennis forehand can be broken down into 4 major parts. Please refer to Rafael Nadal’s forehand photo sequence number as you go through the 4 steps of the forehand.
Shoulder Turn (Sequence 1)
Transfer weight to your outside foot (if you are right handed to your right foot) and turn your shoulders. Because of turning your shoulders, the racket comes back. The non playing arm is on the racket for support.
Take Racket Back (Sequence 2)
Take the racket all the way back with the hitting arm while extending the non hitting arm across the body in line with the baseline. Extending the non hitting arm aids in judging the oncoming ball and stay balanced.
Swing To Contact (Sequence 3)
If the ball is away from you, bring your front foot forward (for right handed players the left foot). This is the neutral stance. If the ball is close to you, you do not have to bring your front foot forward. This is the open stance. Now three things happen at the same time. 1) Transfer your weight to your front foot. 2) Rotate your body towards the net. 3) Drop racket and swing forward towards the contact point a little in front of your body.
Follow Through (Sequence 4-6)
Extend the racket in the direction of the ball. Then bring the racket across your body. As you bring your racket across your body turn your wrist as if you are going to check your wrist watch. Remember to continue your body rotation from the above step. Finish the swing with your racket pointing backwards above your shoulder.
Remember that when hitting a tennis forehand after the racket is released from the non playing hand the racket head continues to accelerate until the swing is complete. The racket head never stands still.
Rafael Nadal's Forehand In Slow Motion
A Tribute To Roger Federer's Forehand ... Arguably The Best Forehand Ever In Tennis