I never really understood the importance of the follow through in a tennis swing. Once the racquet and the ball make contact, how much difference can it possibly make if the racquet ends up in a different place at the end of the swing?
The answer is, it can make all the difference in the world.
If you stop your racquet as, or shortly after the contact point, the racquet actually slows down as it is meeting the ball. Also, a lower follow through is likely to level out the overall swing and result in minimal spin and less lift on the ball. Both of these things can result in many more errors.
My recommendation is to get the opposite hand to end up as close to the shoulder as possible (right hand to left shoulder, left hand to right shoulder) on all of your groundstrokes and approach shots. With a one-handed backhand, try to get the follow through close to the two o'clock position. This will give you good racquet head speed and a consistent path from behind the ball through the point of contact. Using the identical swing repeatedly by moving the racquet to the same follow through point is one of the biggest factors in hitting the ball consistently.
Focus on the follow through for solid ball striking and better results in your matches.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-300-7323