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View Full Version : One-Handed or Two-Handed Backhand?


Dangus
05-22-2007, 04:09 PM
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2007/05/lets_talk_backh.html

"Not long ago, Ivan Lendl remarked that if he were developing his game today, he would have adopted the two-handed backhand. This is a strange confession to make, given Lendl's superior record. But he reasoned that in today's game of powerful racquets and booming serves, the extra "solidity" (my word) offered by the two-hander helps any returner make forceful, aggressive returns. If the early portion of the Open era belonged to the servers, the latter certainly belongs to the returners.

Lendl's comment further underscores the idea that two-handers have shaped the game, because it implies that the two-handed backhand has enabled returners to diminish the traditional advantage on which the entire game and scoring system is based: you are supposed to hold serve, because initiating a point with a powerful statement (the serve), and one which is entirely under your control, is a clear advantage; the way to win at tennis is to hold your own serve and get a break against your opponent's serve somewhere along the way. That's still true, but much less so than before."

What kind of backhand do you use? I use a two-handed backhand because it just felt more natural to me.

jasoncho92
05-22-2007, 04:19 PM
I use one handed because i hated the feel of the two hander

andymac1
05-22-2007, 04:27 PM
I chose two hander, but I switch to the one hander if I'm trying to hit a low ball at a person at the net.

Voltron
05-22-2007, 04:44 PM
I use a one handed backhand.

dave333
05-22-2007, 04:45 PM
I use a hander. I wasn't strong enough at 12 to with a 1hb. At 14 I still do, but w/ a broken wrist, I use a 1hb drive that I have practiced w/

thejackal
05-22-2007, 04:51 PM
one-hander. my left-handed 2hbh is pretty decent though. if i had to switch sides overnight it'd be a weapon.

Tour 90
05-22-2007, 05:06 PM
recently switched to one handed

tenniskid3119
05-22-2007, 05:16 PM
i hit a 2 hander because its more consistent, but when I really focus I can hit a pretty good one-hander. but only when I'm rallying or just messing around, never in a match unless I cant get to it

andymac1
05-22-2007, 06:06 PM
i hit a 2 hander because its more consistent, but when I really focus I can hit a pretty good one-hander. but only when I'm rallying or just messing around, never in a match unless I cant get to it

Same goes for me.

Ripper
05-22-2007, 06:23 PM
Real men hit their backhands with 1 hand... Everytime I see a guy hitting 2 hand backhands, I can't help thinking he's a wimp :p

PS: Sorry Safin :-o

tennis_hand
05-22-2007, 07:31 PM
u gotta admit that in novice to intermediate tournaments, most winners are 2handers. The weaknesses in these levels are mainly on the backhands, and 2handers have the upper side in the consistency department.

z-money
05-22-2007, 07:40 PM
i love to hit a one, but everyone in the world tells me my two is better because it is stronger(a weapon) but i dont care i still dabble because i love the stroke it looks so cool

jasoncho92
05-22-2007, 07:42 PM
The chicks think you are a little girl if you do a two hander as well ;)

FedUp
05-22-2007, 08:08 PM
i love to hit a one, but everyone in the world tells me my two is better because it is stronger(a weapon) but i dont care i still dabble because i love the stroke it looks so cool

I totally agree...I think that the one hander is an awesome stroke but, unfortunately, I can't hit it worth sh**t. I'm a two hander.

FedUp
05-22-2007, 08:09 PM
The chicks think you are a little girl if you do a two hander as well ;)

So that's what chicks think of Marat Safin.

staedtler
05-22-2007, 08:19 PM
I'm a one hander. I use to be a 2 hander. It wasn't the most consistent, most likely due to lazy footwork. So a coach suggested to me to switch to a 1 hander so that I'm forced to be more prepared and quicker with my footwork. With some time and work, I got my 1 hander to be way more consistent than my 2 hander ever was, and my footwork is much much better since the switch. Although my 1 hander does have a little less power than my 2 hander, but I'm developing that. Im quite thankful of that coach, even though he is a 1hbh elitist.

Mad iX
05-22-2007, 08:26 PM
Primarily 1hbh. I do have a 2hbh which allows me to hit the ball later so I use it mainly for defensive shots.

Voltron
05-22-2007, 08:48 PM
Real men hit their backhands with 1 hand... Everytime I see a guy hitting 2 hand backhands, I can't help thinking he's a wimp :p

PS: Sorry Safin :-o
That's the way to say it! I bet you won't believe that I serve and volley a bit too, and I'm a junior. I think I'm perhaps the only junior in my area that actually S/Vs at all.

X-LiMitEd
05-22-2007, 11:53 PM
I use 2 handed BH. I've tried 1 handed BH, it's good but I couldn't control it. With my 2 handed BH I feel I have more control.

Noir
05-23-2007, 05:41 AM
I use a 2hbh because I'm a lot more consistent with it right now. But I'm gradually trying to get a feel for a 1hbh as well.

arnz
05-23-2007, 06:05 AM
2hbh. Experimented with one but just couldnt get the handle on it, maybe because of the long whippy stroke, the timing and preparation just has to be right

Caswell
05-23-2007, 06:52 AM
I was taught as a junior with a two-hander, but despite years of drills it never became grooved like my other shots. If I didn't hit every single day my backhand suffered.

I didn't have that problem with a one-hander, so I made the switch in my mid-teens. It's not a dominant shot for me, but it's grooved well enough that I could still hit it after dropping the sport for nine years.

lawrence
05-23-2007, 06:55 AM
2hbh is way more consistent for me but it feels like i cant put the ball away like i can with my 1hbh

Pete Semper
05-23-2007, 07:02 AM
recently switched to one handed

Same here...My 2 handed lacked of feelings. My one handed brings me more precison and security for all my shots.

aznobct
05-23-2007, 08:09 AM
i'm thinking about switching to a one handed bh soon.....

I actually feel like i can hit with much more pace and spin with the one hander because its a more free stroke (well...other hand doesn't restrict movement), kinda like a forehand. jw.. does anybody else feel this way too?

Linkkokiri
05-23-2007, 08:30 AM
I'm astonished to see so many one-handers!?

I use a two-handed backhand. I actually love the looks of 1HBH (especially Federer's ^^). But my backhand is pretty good so I'm sticking with it!

Indrid Cold
05-23-2007, 11:25 AM
One hander and its my best shot. Every time I mess around and try to hit a 2 hander it either goes strait into the net or way out.

JRstriker12
05-23-2007, 11:36 AM
I play with a one hander, because that's what I learned when I started to play tennis. It's definitely my weaker side, but I am fairly consistent with it.

Recently, I've dabbled with trying to switch to a two hander, but it does not seem to work for me. I am jealous because one of my buddies has a killer 2 hander. He hits mad winners off that side from all over the court.

On Tennis World, quoted in the first post, Pete Bodo says that the modern 2-hander is basically a left handed forehand with an extra hand in there for support.

This makes me think that people who have good coordination in their off hand - closer to ambidextrous - probably gravitate to the 2-hander. Whereas people like me, who can't do too much with their "off" hand and are really one-side dominant, probably prefer the one-hander. What do you think?

JRstriker12
05-23-2007, 11:37 AM
One more thing - a few days after I tried to switch to the 2-hander, I got a killer pain in my left forearm. That put me off the 2-hander for good.

iplaybetter
05-23-2007, 11:49 AM
I could never get the second hand to feel natural

pmata814
05-23-2007, 12:03 PM
I had to switch to the one-handed bh because of back problems.

Golden Retriever
05-23-2007, 12:12 PM
I have not seen a two-hander who can't hit with at least some consistency. That is to say the worst 2handers are quite a bit better than the worst 1handers. On the other hand, the best 1handers maybe equal or ever so slightly better than the best good 2handers. So on average the 2HBH is better. Of course thats just the backhand drive/topspin which is only a small part of the entire arsenal so you probably can't even notice that it is better. Just watch Fernando G, he practically uses his 1HBH just for returning serves and he still wins hitting only inside-out forehands.

By the way, I use the, surprise, 2HBH.

Linkkokiri
05-23-2007, 02:14 PM
On Tennis World, quoted in the first post, Pete Bodo says that the modern 2-hander is basically a left handed forehand with an extra hand in there for support.

This makes me think that people who have good coordination in their off hand - closer to ambidextrous - probably gravitate to the 2-hander. Whereas people like me, who can't do too much with their "off" hand and are really one-side dominant, probably prefer the one-hander. What do you think?

You know what, I'm a real dummy with my left (non-dominant) hand. I cant do ANYTHING without the help of my other hand. Sometimes I even feel like I'm kinda ********.... (maybe I am! :confused: ) And as I already said I hit a two-hander and I'm real comfortable with it.

In D Zone
05-23-2007, 02:27 PM
Playing One Hand BH. I am able to hit top spin and flat. I'm working on to improve by backhand -going down the line and hitting from deuce cross to the ad side. I finally master how to hit a mean slice down the line that spins out to the sides.
Love the versatility of 1 BH.

Brian_C
05-23-2007, 02:42 PM
i use 2h but occasionally switch to 1h

Voltron
05-23-2007, 03:01 PM
I use 2 handed BH. I've tried 1 handed BH, it's good but I couldn't control it. With my 2 handed BH I feel I have more control.
Why do all n00bs use weird fonts/colours?

Telley1
05-23-2007, 03:20 PM
I generally play with the 2hbh, but I can hit the 1hbh. When I was 7-8 starting out, I was taught the 1hbh but I wasn't strong enough. The 1hbh feels awesome, but I lack the consistency.

The_1337
05-23-2007, 04:23 PM
i use 2hbh all the time, but i can kind of hit 1h without any control.

zzzbrianxxx
05-23-2007, 04:51 PM
i hit a 2 hander because its more consistent, but when I really focus I can hit a pretty good one-hander. but only when I'm rallying or just messing around, never in a match unless I cant get to it

ditto


10 character rule....

Bodacious DVT
05-23-2007, 04:53 PM
i use a two-hander, but ive started experimenting with a one-hander. i sorta like it but its not reliable yet

topspin73212
05-23-2007, 04:56 PM
I had a 2HB for about 17 years.....but I have always wanted a 1HB. It feels like you are able to swing away. With the 2 hander, I felt like my wrists were "tied together"

recently switched to a 1 hander and I have more control.

AngeloDS
05-23-2007, 06:01 PM
I use a one handed backhand; I started off with the one handed backhand slice =).

However, I really admire some peoples two handed backhands. Some look incredibly beautiful and smooth; my Chinese doubles partner had one of the best and strongest two handed backhands. So smooth and fluid.

Silent
05-23-2007, 06:23 PM
I use a 1hbh. I feel like in a phone booth when using the 2hbh (I can't use it actually).

Dangus
05-24-2007, 07:36 AM
I thought more people would've had a 2hbh.

origmarm
05-24-2007, 07:46 AM
10 character rule....

?? 10 character rule?

I use a 1hbh as its what I was taught (very few male 2hbh back in the day or was is it just my misconception?)
Tried a 2hbh at one point but just can't get to grips with it. I feel that the 1hbh definitely gives me more mobility and angles, could be in my head though, power and stability was never an issue. I feel very cramped if I try a 2hbh

soyizgood
05-24-2007, 09:21 AM
Going by this site, it seems 55-60% of folks use 1HBH. I think it's the other way around for non-TW folks.

2HBH has done more to get players to stick with tennis. As a kid, I gave up playing because I couldn't hit anything 1HBH.

A 2HBH can be gripped in many more ways than a 1HBH. It's also a higher pct. shot and can adjust to various bounces and spins better. 1HBH is a finesse stroke. Only Federer and Gasquet make 1HBH look manly. Even then, 2HBH players give Federer the most problems on tour.

Americanfan411
05-24-2007, 05:26 PM
http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2007/05/lets_talk_backh.html

"Not long ago, Ivan Lendl remarked that if he were developing his game today, he would have adopted the two-handed backhand. This is a strange confession to make, given Lendl's superior record. But he reasoned that in today's game of powerful racquets and booming serves, the extra "solidity" (my word) offered by the two-hander helps any returner make forceful, aggressive returns. If the early portion of the Open era belonged to the servers, the latter certainly belongs to the returners.

Lendl's comment further underscores the idea that two-handers have shaped the game, because it implies that the two-handed backhand has enabled returners to diminish the traditional advantage on which the entire game and scoring system is based: you are supposed to hold serve, because initiating a point with a powerful statement (the serve), and one which is entirely under your control, is a clear advantage; the way to win at tennis is to hold your own serve and get a break against your opponent's serve somewhere along the way. That's still true, but much less so than before."

What kind of backhand do you use? I use a two-handed backhand because it just felt more natural to me.

One handed has more options

Dangus
05-24-2007, 06:54 PM
One handed has more options

Please explain.

Dink
05-24-2007, 07:02 PM
Why do I play w/ a 1HB? My motto is "Do it with style or don't bother doing it at all."

gocard
05-24-2007, 10:22 PM
I really like the simple, fluid motion of the one hand backhand!

soyizgood
05-25-2007, 07:35 AM
I love these 1HBH v 2HBH debates. Always hear new arguments for justifying one over the other.

Keep up the good work. :) Oh, and 2HBH RULES!

Dink
05-25-2007, 01:50 PM
Oh, and 2HBH RULES!

http://edberg.free.fr/photos/tennis/04_edberg_revers_pile_impact.jpg
(Free-flowing, silky, yes, let's admit it, quite sexy)


http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200603/r74268_208291.jpg
(Cramped, mechanical, appalling)

soyizgood
05-25-2007, 07:14 PM
The chicks think you are a little girl if you do a two hander as well ;)

Tell that to Safin and Nadal

NamRanger
05-26-2007, 06:52 AM
Tell that to Safin and Nadal


Nadal plays like a sissy, and Safin is just an anomly.

croatian sensation
05-26-2007, 09:40 AM
The chicks think you are a little girl if you do a two hander as well ;)

No we don't. :) But well, yea, the 1h looks cooler.

On topic...2h here, but I guess the question doesn't make much sense for me, since I'm a woman.

oscar_2424
05-26-2007, 09:42 AM
1hbh, 2hand sucks.

croatian sensation
05-26-2007, 09:50 AM
1hbh, 2hand sucks.

Um..I think you should have modeled yours after Ljubicic :-) He has a good 1hbh.

BreakPoint
05-26-2007, 09:58 AM
"Two-handed backhands are for girlymen" - Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger ;) LOL

ps60
05-26-2007, 10:14 AM
i tried the 2h, can't play consistently with power. and difficult to hit DtLine.

Love to use 1H, very flexible. would use 2 if the ball comes very close to my feet like a half volley.

I love Safin's BH (and FH too).
just watch a very short clip of Fed beating Nadal in Roman ??? and i think the difference is the BH quality. Also the ease and coverage of 1HBH gives it an advantage over a long match.

lethalfang
05-26-2007, 10:40 AM
I use 2-hander on groundstrokes.
From time to time, I would hit a 1-hander for fun. What I like about a 1-hander is that it indeed feels more fluidic when I hit it right, but the long backswing required causes me to be late on the ball too often. Also, I find the 1-hander not as good as the 2-hander in making defensive shots, i.e. returning heavy shots from the opponents, not to mention high balls.
I do have a 1-hander slice, and I'm a decent volleyer. I'm a all-court player who, depending on my opponent, would finish points at the net 1/4 to 1/3 of the time.

Boja
05-26-2007, 03:34 PM
Two handed but I sometimes wish I had a one hander. It's a much freer swing, but I don't want to switch in case it messes me up.

Jyles
05-26-2007, 09:02 PM
I myself use both, 1 hand and 2 hand, depends on the situation and return, cant control 1 handers aswell so sometimes i use a backhand to control the ball into a specific spot, other times i use 1 handers cause im forced or i just need to return it.

FuriousYellow
05-27-2007, 05:21 PM
^My friend uses both as well. Her form on 2HBH is excellent, but she gets a little lazy with her footwork sometimes and will use a 1HBH which looks awkward but works for her.

I use a 1HBH, but not because it's manly or cool looking. I wanted to learn 2HBH because, like Lendl, I saw a lot of advantages to it but the motion just felt unnatural to me.