Garbine Muguruza has effortless power, particularly with her forehand. The two-time Grand Slam champion's signature shot is emblematic of a trend in the women’s game: swing elements and technique—as well as the resulting velocities—are becoming more like those seen in the men’s game.
The shot starts with her grip. Muguruza has an extreme semi-western grip, with her hand mostly under the handle. It’s close to the grip used by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Like most men’s players, Muguruza also keeps her racquet mainly on her right side during the backswing.
Muguruza rapidly turns her racquet over in the forward swing with a windshield-wiper motion. Her racquet tip points at the right sideline at contact, and rotates 180 degrees to point at the left sideline a fraction of a second later.
In the modern game, players turn their bodies sideways as a unit, with both hands on the racquet, and keep the start of the backswing low. Muguruza’s shoulders turn almost 90 degrees away from the net before her hands start to separate. Her opposite hand is on the throat of the frame, and the racquet hand is at mid-torso level. This setup is a good way for players—men or women—to generate more power.