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View Full Version : Going back to a 2 handed backhand


oneguy21
01-01-2009, 04:34 PM
Today at my tournament, I played a guy who hits with a lot of topspin and so his balls bounced really high. It was extremely difficult to control those balls with my one hander- simply impossible. And of course I lost my first set 6-3 due to that. But within the match I started using my two hander which I abandoned about a month ago and this helped me handle my opponent's crazy high bouncing balls with relative ease. Although I lost, I made the match competitive even extending the match to a super tiebreak (played in lieu of third set). Well anyway, after careful consideration I've decided to go back to a 2 hander. For me a one handed backhand is too difficult to execute consistently.

Ballinbob
01-01-2009, 04:40 PM
Today at my tournament, I played a guy who hits with a lot of topspin and so his balls bounced really high. It was extremely difficult to control those balls with my one hander- simply impossible. And of course I lost my first set 6-3 due to that. But within the match I started using my two hander which I abandoned about a month ago and this helped me handle my opponent's crazy high bouncing balls with relative ease. Although I lost, I made the match competitive even extending the match to a super tiebreak (played in lieu of third set). Well anyway, after careful consideration I've decided to go back to a 2 hander. For me a one handed backhand is too difficult to execute consistently.

No your not, I won't let you. Did it ever occur to you to slice these high balls back or take it early? If he's hitting with alot topspin then the shot isn't coming that fast at you so would have plenty time to set up for a good slice or a topspin backhand. My backhand is inconsistent (long backswing) especially against flat hitters who hit fast so I can't set up but against a topspin player I take my time setting up and try and rip it. Cmon dude you can get it, do you seriously expect results this quickly? It took me a year to make the switch and my backhand is still inconsistent! I can hit some flashy shots with it here and there but point is is that this backhand takes alot of work.

Keep practicing!!

Mick
01-01-2009, 04:45 PM
that's a big switch because don't you have to swing at the ball with a different arm when changing from a 1hbh to a 2hbh ?

i hit with a 1hbh so i swing with my right arm but if i were to hit with a 2hbh, i think i would have to swing with my left arm.

Djokovicfan4life
01-01-2009, 04:48 PM
that's a big switch because don't you have to swing at the ball with a different arm when changing from a 1hbh to a 2hbh ?

i hit with a 1hbh so i swing with my right arm but if i were to hit with a 2hbh, i think i would have to swing with my left arm.

In his original post he said that he left the two handed backhand a month ago. In that case his two hander would still be much more developed than his one hander at this point. A good backhand is not developed in a mere month.

LeeD
01-01-2009, 04:54 PM
Not that I was ever better than solid B (maybe 4.5) ever, but it took me much longer than a full season of competition to get over the 2 hander, and always still think I should hit that side's topspin lob and varied groundies even 25 years later.
And losing the 2 hander (by choice), everyone started to serve and pick on my backhand, which used to be something to be somewhat avoided.
Seems some OK players still play OK with a 2 hander.
It works great in high level doubles.
Maybe not so great with old, injured, debilitated 60 year olds who try to play with sub 40's mostly.

Djokovicfan4life
01-01-2009, 04:57 PM
Not that I was ever better than solid B (maybe 4.5) ever, but it took me much longer than a full season of competition to get over the 2 hander, and always still think I should hit that side's topspin lob and varied groundies even 25 years later.
And losing the 2 hander (by choice), everyone started to serve and pick on my backhand, which used to be something to be somewhat avoided.
Seems some OK players still play OK with a 2 hander.
It works great in high level doubles.
Maybe not so great with old, injured, debilitated 60 year olds who try to play with sub 40's mostly.

The reason they started picking on it is because it was a new technique that was not fully developed. About two years or so ago I switched to a semi western forehand grip (used to be eastern) and a one handed backhand. It wasn't easy, to say the least.

Ballinbob
01-01-2009, 05:07 PM
The reason they started picking on it is because it was a new technique that was not fully developed. About two years or so ago I switched to a semi western forehand grip (used to be eastern) and a one handed backhand. It wasn't easy, to say the least.

Of course its not easy. You have to work really hard at everything to get where you want and this doesn't apply only to tennis. Its been a year since I switched and mine still isn't even close to where i want it.

You can't seriously expect to have a good 1hbh after a month though man...you just cant. Your setting unrealistic goals for yourself if thats honestly what you think

LeeD
01-01-2009, 05:16 PM
Fully developed.....
At my average level, it would have taken me about 2 full seasons of competitions, maybe 8 tournaments a year, + practice 3 days a week, to catch up on the old 2 hander.
Wid dat, I mostly hit sharp angled crosscourt topspin shots, low inside out sidespun down the lines, could return almost any serve that side (including some PRO levels), had a great 2 handed low volley, could hit hard backhand overheads, could hit running topspin lobs, and that side was maybe a full level above my cont side of eastern forehand.
I'm left handed, had a big serve.
Giving up the 2 hander, to teach at GGatePark SF, killed my competitive tennis, since teaching requires you to feed basically medium speed flat balls to your students.
Sometimes what you have to give up just HAUNTS the daylight out of you.
Just why oh why did GuilermoVilas have to come onto the scene?

Mick
01-01-2009, 05:22 PM
Just why oh why did GuilermoVilas have to come onto the scene?

you could have compromised and played with a semi-one handed backhand (or semi-two handed backhand) like borg did :)

Mick
01-01-2009, 05:28 PM
A good backhand is not developed in a mere month.
especially when facing a good player :)
people may think they have a good backhand but when they face a good player, he would take it apart.

LeeD
01-01-2009, 05:42 PM
I always had a sliced defensive one handed backhand...it's what I first learned to play with.
But have you ever HIT with Vilas? I didn't, but have hit with some top 10 pros who used one handers. Nothing like that feeling of controlled RIP when that shot is hit correctly.
Tanner''s was flatter and harder.
Stockton's was almost hit has hard, but not the depth.
Ramirez's was mostly sliced with some sidespin for pace.
Cahill of course used a two hander.
Lutz mainly whacked heck out of the ball, but to keep a rally going, used heavy slice.
But VILAS's backhand was the prototypical first generation driven topspin consistent one handedbackhand.
Too bad Vilas was like 6' and 190 lbs, build like a gorilla with huge arms and strong torso.
I was built like a damselfly.
Bummer for me.

oneguy21
01-01-2009, 05:50 PM
I feel like it's best thing to do. With a 2hb, I get more spin, depth, and consistency. I don't want to waste too much time working on a shot that can be broken down easily with high balls. It was nice experimenting with a one hander, but I know it's not for me. Btw, I'm still keeping my one handed slice - it's one of my best shots.

fuzz nation
01-01-2009, 06:15 PM
The slice backhand ought to accompany a two handed topspin bh for most competent players or else they're at a bit of a disadvantage - at least as I see it. If the 2hbh makes more sense for you, use it. If you can really whack a 1hbh when you have time to set it up, keep learning it so that you can use it on "special occasions". No reason that you can't make use of all three in the proper situations.

shell
01-01-2009, 07:40 PM
The slice backhand ought to accompany a two handed topspin bh for most competent players or else they're at a bit of a disadvantage - at least as I see it. If the 2hbh makes more sense for you, use it. If you can really whack a 1hbh when you have time to set it up, keep learning it so that you can use it on "special occasions". No reason that you can't make use of all three in the proper situations.

Totally agree here. The experiment with the one hander will only do you good, as you can always call it into play as needed. Keep what works best for you, but alway hone that 1 hand slice. You will use it every day, every match. The better it is will possibly be the difference in a close match. Some 2 handers have crap one hand slices. Others, you would not know that a 2 hander was their prefered backhand. Those players are dangerous.

TLD
01-02-2009, 06:15 AM
So high balls are forcing you to abandon the one hander? It seems like you're giving up too quickly. I'd stick with he one hander and practice hitting high balls if I were you. Just my humble opinion.

Cnote
01-02-2009, 06:51 AM
I agree with DF4L in that you only changed to a 1HBH about a month ago! I don't think that you can expect it to stand up in stiff competition so early. I am a proponent of the 1HBH but IMHO yiou should stay with your @HBH for competition for a awhile until practice improves your 1HBH.

mikeler
01-02-2009, 07:34 AM
I have a friend who does the switch to a 1 hander about once a year. He tries it out for a month, takes a few beatings, then reverts back to the 2 hander. You will need at least 6 months or more to develop a 1 hander that is at least as good as your 2 hander. It all depends on what your long term goals are for your game. I used to hate high topspin balls to my 1 handed backhand, but now that is one of my favorite shots to hit.

Mick
01-02-2009, 07:42 AM
there are three kinds of tennis players in this world:
those who have a 2hbh
those who have a 1hbh
those who have no bh :)

Kevo
01-02-2009, 08:13 AM
Anything armpit level or below I can attack with my 1HBH most of the time. Anything over shoulder high, I tend to slice or lob. If I am getting beat down with high balls on the backhand side, then I will move in and take them early. The only time I really think a two handed backhand might be superior to a 1 hander is return of serve. It can be a bit more challenging to control tough serves to the backhand with one hand instead of two.

However, for play during the point, it's probably a wash or slight advantage to the 1 hander because of better versatility. In any case, being uncomfortable with your backhand in a match is the worst scenario since it will be an obvious point of attack for your opponent.

So if you want to switch from either to the other for a valid reason, I think that it could help your game. You just have to really work on it in practice and only try it in a match when you feel ready.

A lot of people switch to the 1 hander just because it looks good, and that's OK too, just don't be surprised if your game takes a turn for the worse and you have to work real hard to improve from where you were.

sureshs
01-02-2009, 10:36 AM
Today at my tournament, I played a guy who hits with a lot of topspin and so his balls bounced really high. It was extremely difficult to control those balls with my one hander- simply impossible. And of course I lost my first set 6-3 due to that. But within the match I started using my two hander which I abandoned about a month ago and this helped me handle my opponent's crazy high bouncing balls with relative ease. Although I lost, I made the match competitive even extending the match to a super tiebreak (played in lieu of third set). Well anyway, after careful consideration I've decided to go back to a 2 hander. For me a one handed backhand is too difficult to execute consistently.

Most pros agree

oneguy21
01-03-2009, 12:45 PM
Alright I've decided to keep it. After hitting my 2hb today, it felt very unnatural and stiff.

Ballinbob
01-03-2009, 12:48 PM
Alright I've decided to keep it. After hitting my 2hb today, it felt very unnatural and stiff.

Make up your mind lol!

LeeD
01-03-2009, 04:07 PM
Yeah, best to decide now and don't fudge.
So #2 hits one handed. Doesn't #'s 1 and 3 hit two handed?
If you're a big strong gorilla, a onehander will save you one step each direction.
If you're normal built, a two hander can give you more power when you're not set up perfectly, and using both shoulders should allow for more consistency.
Go either way, but decide before you get to 4.0.
If you go two hander, you'll still hit one hand backhand slices.

LeeD
01-03-2009, 04:16 PM
BallingBob.....
I just came down from the RoseGarden courts after 4 doubles sets (low 4.0).
But....
I got to hit with two Girls 18's who just got here from the Nationals in Arizona.
They're pretty good. One is 6' tall, the younger, and her older sister maybe 5'10" and FAST.
The younger played older than her division.
Both crushed forehands, covered alley to alley, volleyed like 4.5 mens, but served like spin 65's mostly, but could flatten out to maybe 85 or so barely one bouncing against the backwall.
I laughed at their serves, as did their Dad, a strapping 6'5"er.
Once they timed into my first serves, they could return it mostly.
But I can't hit with them tomorrow because I gotta open this sailing club 9-5.
Not that I'm into hitting with girls, but they were consistent and entered in like 4 Satelite tournaments next year.
Never got their name, 'cause I don't really care.

oneguy21
01-03-2009, 04:19 PM
Yeah, best to decide now and don't fudge.
So #2 hits one handed. Doesn't #'s 1 and 3 hit two handed?
If you're a big strong gorilla, a onehander will save you one step each direction.
If you're normal built, a two hander can give you more power when you're not set up perfectly, and using both shoulders should allow for more consistency.
Go either way, but decide before you get to 4.0.
If you go two hander, you'll still hit one hand backhand slices.

What makes you think I'm not a 4.0 (my coach told me I am)? I've finally decided to stay with a 1hb. I can hit it with good depth and spin, and I can even hit pretty good passing shots when it's necesary. It's just the high balls that are difficult for me, but I'll keep working on it. If I get a high ball, I think what I'll do is either hit it on the rise, or back up and wait for it to come back down from its peak. Also, I can always slice it.

LeeD
01-03-2009, 04:26 PM
Don't matter what some coach says....
You ARE 4.0 when you go consistently at least 3 rounds in at least 4 tournaments.
Until then, you can be anywhere between 2-5, I don't care, but you are NOT 4.0.
You get the 4.0 rating when you prove yourself in organized tournaments.
So my serve looks and goes maybe 5.5. Don't mean I'm close.
A coach's job is to stroke your ego so he has a job next year.
If you let it get to your head that you're 4.0, then you should be losing almost every round because 70% of balls will be hit to your undecided backhand.

oneguy21
01-03-2009, 04:37 PM
Don't matter what some coach says....
You ARE 4.0 when you go consistently at least 3 rounds in at least 4 tournaments.
Until then, you can be anywhere between 2-5, I don't care, but you are NOT 4.0.
You get the 4.0 rating when you prove yourself in organized tournaments.
So my serve looks and goes maybe 5.5. Don't mean I'm close.
A coach's job is to stroke your ego so he has a job next year.
If you let it get to your head that you're 4.0, then you should be losing almost every round because 70% of balls will be hit to your undecided backhand.

Are you blind? I just said I'm staying with a one-handed backhand. Don't just assume my one hander is a weakness. It's actually a strong shot. Also, how the heck would you know that I'm NOT a 4.0? Have you seen me play? I just started playing tournaments but I'm a junior so I don't play in events based on my nrtp level. I feel like owning you with a video of my hitting.

LeeD
01-03-2009, 04:45 PM
Me suspects you have never played in a tournament as high as 4.0.
Lots of players THINK they're good, so start with 4.0 and 4.5.
In reality, we shall see.
I'm not the one changing my mind whether to go one or two handed.
OTOH, I did change from 2 to one, and it basically killed my competitive tennis career.
Along with motocross.
You coach says you're 4.0. Now did he mean you're good enough for 4.0 or did you actually go mid rounds in multiple 4.0 tournaments?
I don't care if you hit like Federer. If you haven't played TOURNAMENTS, you are not 4.0, probably one half level less.
We're not talking about me here, we're trying to make YOU a better player.
What I throw in about myself is NOT to impress you, but for a little background since most of you doubt my opinions.

Mick
01-03-2009, 04:54 PM
by definition, a 4.0 has dependable forehand and backhand.

but we don't know how dependable your backhand is based upon the posts that you have made on this thread.

oneguy21
01-03-2009, 05:06 PM
Me suspects you have never played in a tournament as high as 4.0.
Lots of players THINK they're good, so start with 4.0 and 4.5.
In reality, we shall see.
I'm not the one changing my mind whether to go one or two handed.
OTOH, I did change from 2 to one, and it basically killed my competitive tennis career.
Along with motocross.
You coach says you're 4.0. Now did he mean you're good enough for 4.0 or did you actually go mid rounds in multiple 4.0 tournaments?
I don't care if you hit like Federer. If you haven't played TOURNAMENTS, you are not 4.0, probably one half level less.
We're not talking about me here, we're trying to make YOU a better player.
What I throw in about myself is NOT to impress you, but for a little background since most of you doubt my opinions.

First off I'M STAYING WITH A ONE-HANDED BACKHAND! You got that bud? Stop saying I'm hesitant about my backhand, ok!?! Secondly, I never said I hit like Federer..noooo! Thirdly, I'm 16..you got that? I can't play in nrtp level tournaments b/c I'm a junior :shock:.

Ballinbob
01-03-2009, 05:08 PM
Thirdly, I'm 16..you got that? I can't play in nrtp level tournaments b/c I'm a junior :shock:.

Yeah people need to get this. I'm 15 and when people ask me NTRP im like "um, i dont know but prob around 3.5, I cant even play in NTRP tournaments". I play in USTA 16 and under leagues, not NTRP.

LeeD
01-03-2009, 05:27 PM
But you can state your Junior ranking for the state and your age group, can't you.
In the old daze, Juniors quite often entered adult tournaments. Maybe not now.
So how can you guys claim any rating if you don't state your tournament results in Junior?
And if you don't have a Junior rating, then you haven't played a real match.

mikeler
01-03-2009, 05:37 PM
Try this on those high backhands. Imagine using a western grip on your forehand and then use that same grip and the same side of the racket to hit the high backhand. You have to use a combination of sidespin and topspin. It takes a lot of practice to get the hang of it.

LeeD
01-03-2009, 05:41 PM
That's a very effective return on a high ball hit to a one hander's backhand.
It's actually tougher than you think, after your initial success, the server mixes in some lower slower slices to make you hit into the net.
Margin for error is low, but it's been a successful forceful return for lots of players.

autumn_leaf
01-03-2009, 06:14 PM
Today at my tournament, I played a guy who hits with a lot of topspin and so his balls bounced really high. It was extremely difficult to control those balls with my one hander- simply impossible. And of course I lost my first set 6-3 due to that. But within the match I started using my two hander which I abandoned about a month ago and this helped me handle my opponent's crazy high bouncing balls with relative ease. Although I lost, I made the match competitive even extending the match to a super tiebreak (played in lieu of third set). Well anyway, after careful consideration I've decided to go back to a 2 hander. For me a one handed backhand is too difficult to execute consistently.

i don't see why people always think it has to be one or the other. i dislike slicing back on a high bouncing ball so i use a 2hbh for that and a 1hbh for most other shots besides lobs to my bh side.

taking high ball with a 1hbh is harder that's why people either slice it back or take it on the rise.

shell
01-03-2009, 07:25 PM
What is all this talk about 4.0 vs. junior tournaments? A junior should never even be worried about NTRP level, because they don't play that.

U14 or U16 tournament results should be the gauge here.

Bob needs to work alot before he is tournament ready. But he knows that. the other poster, having seen his vid, is tournament ready, but will need to work very hard to push forward. I don't care who serves harder. You can't hide your weaknesses for long.

Am I totally missing something here?

mikeler
01-03-2009, 07:37 PM
I started out with a 2 hander for a few years, so I can hit either backhand. There have been a number of other posts about using both a 1 hander and a 2 hander regularly. The extra thinking involved of trying to decide which to hit in each situation just did not work for my game.

mikeler
01-03-2009, 07:40 PM
I'm a 5.0 and was probably a 4.5 back in my junior days. I used to get my *** kicked by the top Central Florida juniors growing up. Ironic that the thing I had the most trouble with back then was the heavy topspin to my backhand! It's just a growing pain with the 1 hander, eventually you get strong enough and get the timing down to hit topspin off that high ball.

LeeD
01-04-2009, 10:22 AM
Sure, even at 5.0 level, I got my butt kicked by a Boys18.
Of course, he was also top 3 in the nation, #1 in NorCal, and following year qualified for at least half the PRO tournaments he entered.
OTOH, not all Boys18 are as proficient.