Too often I see players using a topspin-oriented swing to hit a low approach shot off the forehand side. By low I mean approximately a foot or lower from the court surface. An approach shot is one in which you hit a ball on your way into the net and is usually played somewhere between the baseline and service line to about midway between the service line and net. The topspin approach is fine on higher bounces or even somewhat lower bounces as long as you’re further back, but when the ball is low and more towards the forecourt I think the smarter play is to switch to your volley grip and flatten the shot out. It’s simpler to execute and if done well it’s less likely to arc up allowing your opponent to catch up to it and either pass or lob effectively. When the approach stays low and flat it gets to its destination more rapidly, reducing your opponent’s time and options. Also be sure to allow enough room laterally between you and the ball so as to make your swing a comfortable one.

Take a look at the video below to see an example.