Tennis elbow develops due to slapping the ball, which is when your wrist snaps through contact on groundstrokes. It’s most common on forehands. When the wrist snaps, the weight of the racket stretches the tendon that spans from your wrist all the way up to the top of the elbow (exactly where tennis elbow develops).
Slapping on forehands is the direct cause of tennis elbow, which is why you won’t hear of any professional tennis players having tennis elbow. They wouldn’t be professional tennis players if they were slapping the ball. It’s a mistake that limits your ability to control the shot. It affects accuracy, power, spin, the works.
Rather than slap, professionals “swing” the racket. A swing consists of down and up motion in the forward swing. The downward motion and upward motion happen in one motion after you start the forward swing.
By doing this, the weight of the racket drops and then rises through the forward swing. Now, because of the upward motion and momentum in the racket through contact, the wrist doesn’t break. The weight of the racket now doesn’t stretch the tendon in your forearm/elbow, and you will not put stress on the tendon moving from the wrist up to the elbow.
Proper tennis technique is easy, smooth, and particularly painless. To develop your forehand in a way that prevents any further aggravation of your tennis elbow, read the “How Do I Put Topspin on the Ball” blog post. Getting topspin and preventing tennis elbow require the same “swing” motion.