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Freestyle
01-05-2010, 05:23 PM
Hi all.

I know there's been a lot of posts like this lately, but I hope this one will help address my particular case. I'm having trouble waffling between a one hander and a two hander. I actually have the fundamentals of both pretty much down; my problem is that I can't make up my mind to stick with one. It's setting me back because it makes my backhand a lot weaker than my forehand, and I slice back a lot in matches. At my current level, that's holding up okay, but not for long, I'm sure (I have a good slice for my level- low, skidding, consistent, not a floater).

So here's my game plan, founded on three principles. I keep things simple- simple strokes, straightforward footwork. I work on my conditioning. Finally, I attack the conditioning of my opponent. By conditioning, I mean mental and physical. Sometimes, I'll serve and volley. Others, I'll stay back at or slightly inside the baseline and direct points. If my opponent tries to move me around, no problem- that's why I work on my own conditioning. I'll just hit some safe angles and force him to move as well.

My one hander is more of a flatter stroke than my two hander, which has better disguise as well. But my one hander is also faster and more versatile- I can generate angles easier. I hit more on the flatter side, but with plenty of topspin to keep the ball in the court- just not junkball-like. My balls land closer to the baseline than the service line due to having less topspin than my contemporaries, whose balls land just past or halfway between the service line and the baseline.

So what do you think I should do?

Blake0
01-05-2010, 05:39 PM
Which pro's and con's do you want with a backhand. They're 2 different backhands with different pro's and con's. You can choose the 1hbh, that you can hit more angles with, or you can choose the 2hbh which tends to be more solid (consistent and deep). Whichever you choose, these are the basic strengths of the backhands. you can obviously work on hitting angles if you choose a 2hbh, or work on getting your 1hbh more stable. Also consider which backhand you like to hit more, and what your game is based around.

Usually, being consistent and solid is more important, so i'd recommend the 2hbh, but it's your choice, i ended up choosing a 1hbh (mainly because i can't hit 2hbhs).

Freestyle
01-06-2010, 01:30 PM
Hi Blake. Thanks for responding. Here are the three things I'm looking for in a backhand:

3. Be able to run my opponent around with heavy shots, so I can attack his conditioning, a la my game plan.
2. Be a simple, reliable stroke.
1. Be able to be learned (serviceably) in about four-five months (school tennis season starts, and this is the one thing that's holding me back), considering I have lessons for one and a half hours every Friday and matches every other week for two hours on Saturday or Sunday.

So based on this, what would you say?

Thanks!

Freestyle
01-06-2010, 01:35 PM
Hi Blake. Thanks for responding. Here are the three things I'm looking for in a backhand:

3. Be able to run my opponent around with heavy shots, so I can attack his conditioning, a la my game plan.
2. Be a simple, reliable stroke.
1. Be able to be learned (serviceably) in about four-five months (school tennis season starts, and this is the one thing that's holding me back), considering I have lessons for one and a half hours every Friday and matches every other week for two hours on Saturday or Sunday.

So based on this, what would you say?

Thanks!

One more thing I forgot: This shot has to be consistent. When I say reliable, I mean consistent. As in, preventing people from attacking it, because at my (low) level, people try to pick on backhands, and part of attacking (mental) conditioning is taking away people's favorite shots. Which is also why (on an unrelated note) I work on my service return a lot.

SuperFly
01-06-2010, 01:46 PM
One more thing I forgot: This shot has to be consistent. When I say reliable, I mean consistent. As in, preventing people from attacking it, because at my (low) level, people try to pick on backhands, and part of attacking (mental) conditioning is taking away people's favorite shots. Which is also why (on an unrelated note) I work on my service return a lot.

I would say go with the 2 handed-backhand. The extra hand makes the shot feel more stable which leads to some more consistency. But make sure you have solid form on the strokes (a good tip is to keep your head up.) Watch some slow-mo videos of Nalbandian's backhand, it's textbook. It's also a better shot for the return IMO.

Vyse
01-06-2010, 01:50 PM
You mention all these good things about your one hander but next to nothing about what you do good with your two hander. Sounds to me like you want to go with your one hander. Stick with that then and don't look back.

nhat8121
01-06-2010, 02:27 PM
2handed backhand is the way to go. there's no real advantage of one over the other, just hard work. though, I don't see many 1handed backhand lobs...weird.

Freestyle
01-06-2010, 03:10 PM
You mention all these good things about your one hander but next to nothing about what you do good with your two hander. Sounds to me like you want to go with your one hander. Stick with that then and don't look back.

Sorry not to mention what I do with my two hander. With it, my bread-and-butter shot is up the line. I hit it w/ more topspin than my one hander. It's harder to generate angles, but easier on the run, and has more room for error.

SuperFly
01-06-2010, 03:37 PM
Sorry not to mention what I do with my two hander. With it, my bread-and-butter shot is up the line. I hit it w/ more topspin than my one hander. It's harder to generate angles, but easier on the run, and has more room for error.

Yeah, it sounds to me like you just want a backhand that won't lose matches for you. The 2-hander is usually more consistent but there's more power to be found using a one-hander.

Blake0
01-06-2010, 04:01 PM
Hi Blake. Thanks for responding. Here are the three things I'm looking for in a backhand:

3. Be able to run my opponent around with heavy shots, so I can attack his conditioning, a la my game plan.
2. Be a simple, reliable stroke.
1. Be able to be learned (serviceably) in about four-five months (school tennis season starts, and this is the one thing that's holding me back), considering I have lessons for one and a half hours every Friday and matches every other week for two hours on Saturday or Sunday.

So based on this, what would you say?

Thanks!

I'd say 2hbh. It's usually easier to learn, more consistent, more forgiving timing, and is a pretty simple shot.

1hbh on the other hand take longer to lear, requires good technique, less forgiving timing, and is a pretty simple shot.

Heres a good video to get you started, a couple fundamentals most pro's use in 2hbhs.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=xstf#p/u/1/2PvSJP7CRZM

papa
01-06-2010, 04:05 PM
2handed backhand is the way to go. there's no real advantage of one over the other, just hard work. though, I don't see many 1handed backhand lobs...weird.

Really!! Actually, a 1 handed backhand lob is must shot at higher levels. The mechanics of the shot are fairly straight forward and its an easy shot to master. Although others will probably differ, the 2HBH lob isn't as versatile although it has its place especially when your looking for a lot of topspin.

papa
01-06-2010, 04:09 PM
I like a 2HBH for most of the reasons outlined above. However, its important to have a slice drive and lob also - both seem to work better for most players using one hand. I don't like the idea of switching back and forth on "regular" backhand shots.

Freestyle
01-06-2010, 05:04 PM
Personally, I've always found the two hander lob to be easier to pull off for me.

Thanks for the video Blake. Right now I'm leaning towards two hands. My next court time is on Friday, so I have all of tomorrow to mull it over. Whatever I decide, though, I'm not looking back!

More opinions welcome.

fruitytennis1
01-06-2010, 05:37 PM
1hbh requires some conditioning and better technique.

Freestyle
01-07-2010, 01:05 PM
One last question: I hear people talking about being "natural" one or two handers. How do you know? Neither stroke seems constricting to me.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 01:12 PM
There must be one that you're using predominantly over the other. Just go with whichever one feels better, or whichever is more successful during a match.

Both backhands have its own pros and cons. The top 10 ranked tennis players in the world don't all have just one type of backhand. So no worries, there is no wrong choice between the two.

user92626
01-07-2010, 01:14 PM
One last question: I hear people talking about being "natural" one or two handers. How do you know? Neither stroke seems constricting to me.

I can't tell which stroke is natural or not. As a matter of fact all of my strokes seem to require a lot of work for me.

Before I had any sort of BH, I was tempted to learn the one-hander cuz it looked beautiful. Unfortunately, 08 was a bad year for Fed, the best one-hander. So, I jumped on the Nadal & Djokovic wagons and picked up the 2handers, and never looked back :) (well, sort of, a while ago I realized I could hit with a powerless 1hbh out of sheer handiness and stroke knowledge).

smoothtennis
01-08-2010, 11:07 AM
You know, both of the backhand techniques can be simplified into a very reliable shot. In both cases, both 1H and 2H takebacks can be simplified - and not using extreme grips, getting to the ball well and balance, both can be very solid.

What you tend to see with unrelaible backhands, given that you are using the right grips and footwork, is trying to do too much and overworking the shot. Shot tolerance is another huge factor at lower levels. Guys think they can hit their A+ backahand off a angled power shot, or a hard paced driving ball. They can't.

Your best consitency will come when you consistently get to the ball well, and understand if you are on defense, neutral, or offense. You do NOT need to hit a big heavy shot every time.

The One Hander will offer you more opportunity to cover the court well - over the course of three sets, you will run quite a bit less using the one hander.