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View Full Version : Big topspin with 1HBH???


NickH87
01-01-2010, 11:31 AM
Okay so here the breakdown...I play club tennis for my school, Im about 3.5 self rated and play with eastern forehand and 1hbh. I recently improved my topspin forehand greatly to the point where I can control it and hit some decent angles. When I play people at my level, we all know that most points are won from errors, so the topspin is a safe shot, but my backhand is really flat. Its a great shot when its on, but consistency is a factor which is why I wanted to start incorporating more top spin than my ball bashing. Any tips, I know most will say hit up rather than through, but when I try it it seems like there is no pace and its just a loopy shot rather than compared to the forehand which penetrates the court and lands close to the baseline and bounces high.

Storm_Kyori
01-01-2010, 11:41 AM
I think you can probably hit a good tsbh, if you just play with you grip a little. I also hit my 1hbh quite flat. as you said, when i hit that sweetspot, it's beastly. Other wise it's way long or I hit the tape all day. You might be able to get away with the a relatively same swing and just tweak that grip a little.

SplitStepper
01-01-2010, 11:48 AM
nothing wrong with a loopy shot at the right time. also, don't be afraid to use the slice on the bh. most great one handers utilize the slice quite often. as far as increasing power on your TSBH, get a HUGE shoulder turn and prepare EARLY.

tribunal4555
01-01-2010, 11:50 AM
Okay so here the breakdown...I play club tennis for my school, Im about 3.5 self rated and play with eastern forehand and 1hbh. I recently improved my topspin forehand greatly to the point where I can control it and hit some decent angles. When I play people at my level, we all know that most points are won from errors, so the topspin is a safe shot, but my backhand is really flat. Its a great shot when its on, but consistency is a factor which is why I wanted to start incorporating more top spin than my ball bashing. Any tips, I know most will say hit up rather than through, but when I try it it seems like there is no pace and its just a loopy shot rather than compared to the forehand which penetrates the court and lands close to the baseline and bounces high.

Hmm. Perhaps you are swinging too steeply. That's also my main gripe with early teaching of windshield wiper technique on the forehand- many players don't learn to swing through the ball and end up hitting short, loopy balls that are preyed on all day by their opponents.

In any case, instead of focusing on swinging up, try dropping your racquet a foot or two underneath the incoming ball. Then, focus on making clean contact, while making sure your racquet face does not open up. If you do this, you might be able to get a feel for topspin on your backhand.

Keep working at it and you'll get there!

Geezer Guy
01-01-2010, 03:56 PM
I hit my 1hbh with an eastern grip and get a fair amount of topspin. You seem to recognize that more tennis points end in errors than winners. So, the key with your backhand is to have a safe, consistent backhand that you can get in, and that isn't too attackable. You want to hit most of your backhands crosscourt and fairly deep. Keep the ball in play, and wait for your opening. If you get a short ball to your backhand side, look to step around it and hit a forehand either inside out or down the line.

NickH87
01-02-2010, 09:21 AM
nothing wrong with a loopy shot at the right time. also, don't be afraid to use the slice on the bh. most great one handers utilize the slice quite often. as far as increasing power on your TSBH, get a HUGE shoulder turn and prepare EARLY.

Yeah I love the slice, low, medium, high, theres no slice I cant hit lol. I just hate that its winter and I cant go outside and practice right now...I have to wait 3 months :evil:.

darthpwner
01-02-2010, 09:57 AM
You can hit big topspin if you use an extreme semiwestern backhand grip like Guga or Henin and swing sharply vertically. Personally, I find that the eastern backhand grip generates a lot of spin though. I use an eastern forehand for my forehand and an eastern backhand for my 1 handed backhand and it seems like I generate more topspin off my backhand wing. I shank more on that side and have less penetration though:(

gzhpcu
01-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Try pointing the racket butt towards the ball, pronating your forearm, dropping the racket head, then supinating on impact, hitting from low to high and across, with a high follow through.

TennisNinja
01-02-2010, 12:41 PM
When I had a problem with my BH with it being too flat, or too much spin, my coach set out a line of balls on the ground and had me "hit through them", then pull up. So you get that extension through the ball, and when you brush up at the same time you get lots of spin.

VaBeachTennis
01-02-2010, 06:47 PM
Okay so here the breakdown...I play club tennis for my school, Im about 3.5 self rated and play with eastern forehand and 1hbh. I recently improved my topspin forehand greatly to the point where I can control it and hit some decent angles. When I play people at my level, we all know that most points are won from errors, so the topspin is a safe shot, but my backhand is really flat. Its a great shot when its on, but consistency is a factor which is why I wanted to start incorporating more top spin than my ball bashing. Any tips, I know most will say hit up rather than through, but when I try it it seems like there is no pace and its just a loopy shot rather than compared to the forehand which penetrates the court and lands close to the baseline and bounces high.

Have you tried this swing path/angle?
For a lefty 1HBH this........... \

For a righty 1HBH this......... /

If you are hitting them "loopy and shallow" your swing path/angle may be this....... |

If you are hitting them relatively flat your angle/swing path may be this............ ---

You really just have to experiment with the above swing paths and see what works for you. Good luck!

paulfreda
01-04-2010, 04:06 AM
1/ Closed stance .... shoulders/hips pointing to left net post. This insures the frame will move thru and not across the ball.
2/ SW or W grip...... this allows swinging sharply low to high without flying the ball due to the closed face.
3/ Swing sharply low to high
4/ Here is the extra secret ...... pre supinate your forearm as much as possible [turn Clockwise] . This allows a forearm pronation rotation on the forward swing in to the ball like a gear turning the ball with forward rotation. Combining this with the low to high motion will produce massive topspin.

This [especially #4] requires some practice for sure.

JMHO

gzhpcu
01-04-2010, 04:40 AM
4/ Here is the extra secret ...... pre supinate your forearm as much as possible [turn Clockwise] . This allows a forearm pronation rotation on the forward swing in to the ball like a gear turning the ball with forward rotation. Combining this with the low to high motion will produce massive topspin.

What you describe is valid for the forehand, not the backhand. On the backhand, everything is just the opposite: you supinate on impact, because the forearm is moving clockwise. Prior to impact, you pre-pronate to get more supination when hitting...

paulfreda
01-04-2010, 08:10 AM
What you describe is valid for the forehand, not the backhand. On the backhand, everything is just the opposite: you supinate on impact, because the forearm is moving clockwise. Prior to impact, you pre-pronate to get more supination when hitting...

True it is more common on the FH, but the fact that it is less common on the BH is why you see so few good topspin BHs.

But have you tried what I described ?
You can supinate or pronate thru the ball on all shots; BH, FH, Serve or Volley.

I learned this from the #4 Mexican junior many years ago whose BH would knock my racquet from my hand.
He was kind enough to show me what he was doing to make that ball jump off the court.
He also used his wrist in addition to his forearm, but I did not want to complicate the matter by mentioning this.

gzhpcu
01-04-2010, 09:11 AM
True it is more common on the FH, but the fact that it is less common on the BH is why you see so few good topspin BHs.

But have you tried what I described ?
You can supinate or pronate thru the ball on all shots; BH, FH, Serve or Volley.

I learned this from the #4 Mexican junior many years ago whose BH would knock my racquet from my hand.
He was kind enough to show me what he was doing to make that ball jump off the court.
He also used his wrist in addition to his forearm, but I did not want to complicate the matter by mentioning this.
I think we still are misunderstanding each other. I am just saying that you can not pronate when hitting a backhand, you have to supinate. On the forehand and serve, you pronate. Just look at your forearm. On the backhand, the forearm has to rotate clockwise = supination. On the forehand and the serve it has to rotate counterclockwise = pronation.

To achieve more pronation on a shot, you supinate during the preparation. To achieve more supination on a shot, you pronate during the preparation.

paulfreda
01-05-2010, 12:47 AM
I am just saying that you can not pronate when hitting a backhand, you have to supinate.
I admit it is unusual, but one can certainly pronate in to a BH.
In fact the more toward a Continental grip you are the more you must pronate to keep it in court.
You can also pronate from a SW grip which I do all the time.
This is what the Mexican fellow taught me.


On the forehand and serve, you pronate.
Pronate ONLY ?
Not true IMO. One can serve or hit a FH while suppinating.
Hitting a WW FH you pronate, true.
But hitting from a closed face to square you are suppinating.


On the backhand, the forearm has to rotate clockwise = supination. On the forehand and the serve it has to rotate counterclockwise = pronation.
......... "has to rotate clockwise"
Sorry, we'll just have to agree to disagree here.
My service repetoire includes pronation and suppination motions.
Lots of WTA pros suppinate rather than pronate.
Many start with the face closed, open it to the sky and come over the ball rotating the arm CW.


To achieve more pronation on a shot, you supinate during the preparation. To achieve more supination on a shot, you pronate during the preparation.
Yes, exactly. This is what gives the additional spin.
It is a bit like the high takeback that lets gravity provide head speed.

gzhpcu
01-05-2010, 04:53 AM
I admit it is unusual, but one can certainly pronate in to a BH.
In fact the more toward a Continental grip you are the more you must pronate to keep it in court.
You can also pronate from a SW grip which I do all the time.
This is what the Mexican fellow taught me.

Maybe part of our misunderstanding is due to the fact that I was referring to topspin on the backhand. Seems to me that pronation on the backhand results in slice.

Pronate ONLY ?
Not true IMO. One can serve or hit a FH while suppinating.
Hitting a WW FH you pronate, true.
But hitting from a closed face to square you are suppinating.

Yes you can supinate on a forehand or serve, but on the serve, it is then a reverse spin serve and on the forehand you are slicing the ball.

......... "has to rotate clockwise"
Sorry, we'll just have to agree to disagree here.
My service repetoire includes pronation and suppination motions.
Lots of WTA pros suppinate rather than pronate.
Many start with the face closed, open it to the sky and come over the ball rotating the arm CW.

What I see is supination during the racket drop phase, pronation during the impact phase.

NickH87
01-05-2010, 09:37 AM
Maybe part of our misunderstanding is due to the fact that I was referring to topspin on the backhand. Seems to me that pronation on the backhand results in slice.

Yes you can supinate on a forehand or serve, but on the serve, it is then a reverse spin serve and on the forehand you are slicing the ball.

What I see is supination during the racket drop phase, pronation during the impact phase.

Thats what I got out of it...but thanks for the advice guys....Im keeping this bookmarked and when it gets warm out or if I get a 7 day pass to a club, I will try it out.

athiker
01-05-2010, 12:07 PM
Any tips, I know most will say hit up rather than through, but when I try it it seems like there is no pace and its just a loopy shot rather than compared to the forehand which penetrates the court and lands close to the baseline and bounces high.

When I read this a couple things came to mind. Are you still transferring your weight into your right leg (if a right hander)? Are you still taking a full back swing with racquet head high? Even though you will start with the head high, you will obviously drop it as your begin you swing, but the high start should give you momentum and power. I say "still" b/c if you have a solid flat 1hbh you probably do these things, but may be thinking about the "brush up" so much you are neglecting these things.

As mentioned, even though you are "brushing up" to impart spin, you still need to hit through the ball. One thing to try is to focus on hitting the "southern hemisphere"...bottom of the ball, but still hit through the ball. This may mentally allow you to still hit with power but give some topspin as well.

Finally, are you subconsciously not generating enough racquet head speed? If you are trying to hit the same depth as a flat 1hbh but with more topspin you will need to swing a bit faster as some of the energy is going into the spin. Alternatively, you can think of it as the topspin brings the ball down sooner, so you need to hit harder and still through the ball to get it deep. The same swing speed might have sent your flatter bh too deep, so mentally you will need to adjust.

I'm no expert, but your comments sounded just like what I was doing on my forehand for a while last year. I was trying so hard to get more topspin, I lost all my power. Forward power still requires the racquet to move from back to forward, its just the path it takes from back to forward that varies. YMMV

mikeler
01-05-2010, 12:32 PM
I have not read through the responses, so I apologize if I'm repeating something. I can get a lot of topspin or flatten the ball out with this grip (semiwestern I think). It is hard to find pics on the internet from this angle. Give it a try and see if it works. Just realize that you have to hit the ball pretty far out in front of you, so if you are late to the ball you'll have to slice it or block it back with a different grip.

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad128/mikeler1/a7505406.jpg

paulfreda
01-05-2010, 05:04 PM
Maybe part of our misunderstanding is due to the fact that I was referring to topspin on the backhand. Seems to me that pronation on the backhand results in slice.

Yes you can supinate on a forehand or serve, but on the serve, it is then a reverse spin serve and on the forehand you are slicing the ball.

What I see is supination during the racket drop phase, pronation during the impact phase.

I can understand all your points.

The only way I can easily get us over this misunderstanding is to be on court and show you what I'm talking about. It is unconventional on the BH. But you should have seen how this kid could make the ball jump off the court. Have never seen it since.

To the OP, this is really quite advanced and you should probably disregard these ideas of mine given that you have so little court access due to weather and limited court time.

gzhpcu
01-05-2010, 11:26 PM
The only way I can easily get us over this misunderstanding is to be on court and show you what I'm talking about. It is unconventional on the BH. But you should have seen how this kid could make the ball jump off the court. Have never seen it since.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, would you have any photos or videos demonstrating your point?

athiker
01-06-2010, 08:30 AM
1/ Closed stance .... shoulders/hips pointing to left net post. This insures the frame will move thru and not across the ball.
2/ SW or W grip...... this allows swinging sharply low to high without flying the ball due to the closed face.
3/ Swing sharply low to high
4/ Here is the extra secret ...... pre supinate your forearm as much as possible [turn Clockwise] . This allows a forearm pronation rotation on the forward swing in to the ball like a gear turning the ball with forward rotation. Combining this with the low to high motion will produce massive topspin.

This [especially #4] requires some practice for sure.

JMHO

I'll take a stab at wading into this. I've never heard of doing #4 before either but it brought a thought to mind if I'm imagining it correctly. In my "family room test" (too cold outside here right now to try on the court), if I grip with a SW grip, supinate my forearm and bring the racket back then the non-hitting string-bed face is actually facing forward. As I drop and go into my forward swing I need to pronate to bring the hitting string-bed face around. This results in the racket face spending some time parallel to the ground with the leading racket edge slicing forward like a knife blade.

This reminded me of the serve motion, where the edge of the racket head is slicing upwards towards the ball before pronation brings the string-bed face around to strike the ball. I may be jumping to a big conclusion here, but am wondering if this backhand style is simply to get racket head speed up higher to strike the ball harder by slicing the racket head edge through the air as part of the forward stroke.

The swing path from low to high seems to me is what gives the ball topspin at impact no matter how one gets the racket face open at impact. As long as the string-bed is flat or a bit closed at impact and the string-bed is rising it will impart topspin.

So even with this method of supinating the forearm on the forward stroke, the racket face is open (or closed a bit) and rising at contact....the rising at contact being the important part for topspin. Racket head speed upward and high speed being important for max topspin and racket head speed forward and high speed being important for max power.

Off hand it would seem to involve quite a bit of extra timing over the traditional 1hbh stroke...as paulfreda said, maybe not the first thing one should try to get a more consistent powerful stroke. I have enough timing issues to keep me busy for a while myself! Thoughts?

paulfreda
01-07-2010, 12:57 AM
I'll take a stab at wading into this.

Athiker ....... your analysis is outstanding.

Yes you have the idea.
Clearly this is not for beginners.
In fact the full technique involves folding the wrist too and this can only be done on a slow moving ball where there is time to wind up and uncoil in to the shot. It helps to feel/imagine that you are pulling up abruptly too.

LeeD
01-07-2010, 09:20 AM
Is that something like the hitting side of the racket faces up at the peak of backswing, then at the end of followthru, the hitting side almost faces down onto the ground?
Fed and Clint seem to do this on their 1hbh drives.
I don't, thus have a 1hbh that looks like Mac's, but is 3 levels lower.. :oops:

charliefedererer
01-07-2010, 11:46 AM
Yeah I love the slice, low, medium, high, theres no slice I cant hit lol. I just hate that its winter and I cant go outside and practice right now...I have to wait 3 months :evil:.

Don't wait 3 months!!!

If you have a picture in your mind what to do, find any space you can swing your racquet and "shadow" the practice swing.

If there is still doubt about what to do, watch Will Hamilton's videos on the 1HBH, and then shadow the backhand. http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/backhand/

Really practice on holding on to the racquet with both hands, getting it WAYYY back on the backswing, and lowering the racquet enough to get that low to high swing pattern. Get some elastic tubing and build up your triceps with the exercise that mimics the shot. Do your pushups. Get some dumbells. www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf

Find a wall and hit a bunch of backhands so you won't drive your friends with your initial inconsistancy even before the weather really warms. You can work out your optimum contact point in front and to the side, and develop hand/eye coordination even if the wall won't give you depth control practice.

charliefedererer
01-07-2010, 01:22 PM
Here is a 6 minute very slow motion analysis of the Federer backhand: http://www.youtube.com/user/xstf#p/a/u/2/vq3Pi1KIkT8

He makes it look simple and reproducible.

With plenty of practice, so can you.

Well, okay I lied.

With a lot of practice, maybe so can you.