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View Full Version : Two be, or one to be?


ace_pace
01-24-2012, 01:49 AM
Sorry for the lame title.

If you haven't guessed what this thread is about its about one hand backhands vs. two hand backhands.

I know this has been talked about soooooo many times but I need your guys help. I am finally happy with my forehand, so now I need to hone my backhand. Im not sure which one to use, I have decent experience in both. Just assume I am equally confident with both.

However nows the time I choose which one to use forever. If you must know I dont really have a solid strategy when I come into play (I know I should) but what im aiming to be is an all court player with a touch of baseline bashing.

Im so torn between the two because I really like the one hand backhand aesthetically, and its ability to hide where you're aiming at, as well as improve volleys and slice in general but I feel less confident with it when Im pressed into hard or quick situations like serve returns and hitting on the rise. It also doesnt help knowing that even the great Federer has trouble when people hit to it with high spinny balls. I learned my two hander first before the one handed backhand. To be honest I havent really given the one hand backhand as much practice and use as my two hander but I think my experience in tennis in general helped make me learn it fairly quickly.

I find the two hander easier to hit with, but I sort of dont like it aesthetically. I know tennis isnt driven by look and flair alone. Also it feels like im gimping myself in terms of power, the one hander feels much more powerful in general.

Im not sure which one to use, I mean to me, it almost feels like one hand backhand is inferior to two hand backhand. I dont want people to pick on it like Nadal does to Fed :mad:

dominikk1985
01-24-2012, 01:55 AM
stay with what you learned as a kid. if you have not learned it as a kid it doesn't really matter:)

spaceman_spiff
01-24-2012, 03:00 AM
The return is the 2nd most important shot in tennis, so use the backhand that you return with best.

zcarzach
01-24-2012, 05:52 AM
The return is the 2nd most important shot in tennis, so use the backhand that you return with best.

Woohoo! So, for me, thats the lunging, diving, praying "Dear God let me hit this "down-the-T flat serve" so that it just touches the frame and dribbles off the net cord for a cheap winner!" That's the only backhand I seem to hit winners with off the serve. Otherwise, I try to hit a deep slice.

In all sincerity, the above advice is good. Thats why I hit one-handed slice 90% of the time, although I'm trying to work in more topspin 1 handers during rallies. I've been drilling that shot extensively and it is starting to pay off. So, whatever you choose, just practice it and you'll be confident.

thug the bunny
01-24-2012, 12:07 PM
I learned the 2HBH because I could never master a hard TS 1HBH. However, still use my 1HBH maybe 30% of the time for flat, slice, skidders, and drops. I really like having both of them in my bag, keeps your opp off balance.

Dj uses both..

LeeD
01-24-2012, 12:43 PM
You need both, if you're gonna go 2hbh. 1 for hitting out (confident), one for more defensive shots, usually slice.
For 1hbh, you need both for 4.5+, but can get by just fine with a low sliced 1hbh up to 4.5 levels.
Should you wear a visor or a hat?
Serve from a wide position or just off the center hash?
Glasses or contacts?

BevelDevil
01-24-2012, 01:28 PM
Ace_pace,

What 1hbh grip do you currently use? If you use an Eastern (index knuckle on top bevel, "1"), you should experiment hitting with an Extreme Eastern (index knuckle on the corner between the top bevel "1" and the next bevel back, "8"). The Extreme Eastern addresses most the criticisms of the conventional eastern.

Also, just out of curiosity, what forehand grip do you use?

larry10s
01-24-2012, 03:48 PM
Sorry for the lame title.

If you haven't guessed what this thread is about its about one hand backhands vs. two hand backhands.

I know this has been talked about soooooo many times but I need your guys help. I am finally happy with my forehand, so now I need to hone my backhand. Im not sure which one to use, I have decent experience in both. Just assume I am equally confident with both.

However nows the time I choose which one to use forever. If you must know I dont really have a solid strategy when I come into play (I know I should) but what im aiming to be is an all court player with a touch of baseline bashing.

Im so torn between the two because I really like the one hand backhand aesthetically, and its ability to hide where you're aiming at, as well as improve volleys and slice in general but I feel less confident with it when Im pressed into hard or quick situations like serve returns and hitting on the rise. It also doesnt help knowing that even the great Federer has trouble when people hit to it with high spinny balls. I learned my two hander first before the one handed backhand. To be honest I havent really given the one hand backhand as much practice and use as my two hander but I think my experience in tennis in general helped make me learn it fairly quickly.

I find the two hander easier to hit with, but I sort of dont like it aesthetically. I know tennis isnt driven by look and flair alone. Also it feels like im gimping myself in terms of power, the one hander feels much more powerful in general.

Im not sure which one to use, I mean to me, it almost feels like one hand backhand is inferior to two hand backhand. I dont want people to pick on it like Nadal does to Fed :mad:

i havent read the other responces
sorry
here is my 67 cents worth
you dont get scored on aesthetics
learn the two hander well
it will help with return of serve and high balls
BUT i repeat BUT

learn the slice well
thats what they say the 2 handers arent so good at or the volley
learn those well
look at tsonga who when stretched will play a one handed back hand
so you can use both but the default should be the 2 hander
look at djokavic
2 hander but slices VERY well
and volleys well

im a one hand bh player and 58 years old
if i had it to do over again id be a 2 hander
with a great slice and backhand volley

jmho
icbw

LeeD
01-24-2012, 03:59 PM
I"m a 2 weeks from 63 player.
Used 2hbh flat/sidespin from tennis year one thru 4. Quit tennis for 10 years, have never gone back to 2hbh.
A solid highball slice can take the place of a 2hbh, for levels below 5.5.

ace_pace
01-24-2012, 05:08 PM
You need both, if you're gonna go 2hbh. 1 for hitting out (confident), one for more defensive shots, usually slice.
For 1hbh, you need both for 4.5+, but can get by just fine with a low sliced 1hbh up to 4.5 levels.
Should you wear a visor or a hat?
Serve from a wide position or just off the center hash?
Glasses or contacts?

I should have said at the start that I have a left handed forehand, but I'm naturally right handed. When I meant by having trouble with serve returns I meant whenever the ball comes very quickly to you and you have to run a bit to get to it, so for me usually at the deuce side of the court. I have 20/20 vision.

ace_pace
01-24-2012, 05:08 PM
Ace_pace,

What 1hbh grip do you currently use? If you use an Eastern (index knuckle on top bevel, "1"), you should experiment hitting with an Extreme Eastern (index knuckle on the corner between the top bevel "1" and the next bevel back, "8"). The Extreme Eastern addresses most the criticisms of the conventional eastern.

Also, just out of curiosity, what forehand grip do you use?

I use a semi-western forehand grip. I have a left handed forehand, but Im naturally right handed.

pvaudio
01-24-2012, 05:47 PM
I just this evening returned to the 2HBH having been taught 2H, then switched to 1H in high school. After 45 minutes, the stroke was more solid than my 1H that I'd been working on for years.

BevelDevil
01-24-2012, 06:11 PM
I use a semi-western forehand grip. I have a left handed forehand, but Im naturally right handed.

But what grip do you use on your 1h backhand?

spaceman_spiff
01-25-2012, 01:52 AM
I should have said at the start that I have a left handed forehand, but I'm naturally right handed. When I meant by having trouble with serve returns I meant whenever the ball comes very quickly to you and you have to run a bit to get to it, so for me usually at the deuce side of the court. I have 20/20 vision.

I use a semi-western forehand grip. I have a left handed forehand, but Im naturally right handed.

If you play leftie but are naturally right handed, that's even more reason to use a 2HBH. Take advantage of that natural coordination with your right hand.

It doesn't matter which player looks better. The only thing that matters is which one wins the last point of the match.

Chyeaah
01-25-2012, 02:28 AM
2HBH Topspin 1 handed backhand slice.

Recently changed to 2HBH because It helps my right arm not tire itsself out so fast and it will always provide more pace and it easier to hit a ball when your off balance and your feet are in the wrong place. You have to straight arm a 1HBH or else it falls apart and if your footwork is not good your 1HBH will always fall apart.

ace_pace
01-26-2012, 01:26 PM
But what grip do you use on your 1h backhand?

OH LOL.

It depends on the opponent. If the opponent is moonballing my backhand then I use the semi western-ish grip (i.e. henin's). If the player is anything else I use extreme eastern backhand grip. Overall though i use that semi western grip moe which may be one reason why my backhand isnt so great.

fuzz nation
01-26-2012, 02:26 PM
There are way too many stories out there where players tried one sort of backhand for the longest time and just couldn't make it work. All that I can say with that in mind is that we all have a stronger aptitude for one style of backhand or the other.

Work it out for yourself and practice, practice, practice.

No matter which style of topspin stroke you go with, you've also got to learn a solid slice. I even believe that a forehand slice should be in everyone's toolbox, but opinions vary. The good news in general is that you don't have to worry about playing at the Rafa-Fed level. Just build yourself some solid, consistent strokes.

One more consideration: Since your backhand results sound sort of similar to mine, I don't see why you have to choose. My one-hander is my rally stroke and I get much better consistency, accuracy, and power with it, no contest. Since it takes an extra fraction of a second to setup though, the two-hander can bail me out when I need to fight a ball off or when I need to take a quick swipe at a return of a hot serve.

This isn't the most popular idea on the block, but I see no harm with it as long as the options don't cause confusion. I've found that for me, the two styles are significantly different. Even if you like the one-hander for its aesthetics more than its function, it's your stroke either way. If you take greater pride in building a graceful one-hander, that can actually motivate you toward better development. Start running around your forehand on the practice grinder to hit more backhands with a leap of faith. It won't be a liability for long if you decide to embrace it, no matter what.

BevelDevil
01-27-2012, 10:08 AM
OH LOL.

It depends on the opponent. If the opponent is moonballing my backhand then I use the semi western-ish grip (i.e. henin's). If the player is anything else I use extreme eastern backhand grip. Overall though i use that semi western grip moe which may be one reason why my backhand isnt so great.


We should clarify definitions. Henin's grip is best described as "extreme eastern", where she puts her index knuckle on the corner formed by the top bevel and the next bevel behind it (i.e., her knuck is on bevels 8/1).

I highly recommend this grip. You should have no problems hitting high spinny balls with this grip. If you do, it's a matter of practice.

I do not recommend putting your knuckle completely on bevel 8 (the back diagnal slant). This is way too extreme and I don't know any pro who does this.

I also think the Eastern grip (top bevel) is too weak for most players, especially if they are short.

So use the right grip and stick to it. (Also be careful that bh grip terminology isn't standardized like it is on the fh side... Henin's grip has been called both the extreme eastern and the semi-western).

Also, here is the single most useful video I've found on the 1hbh on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqBEErW0vTA

watch it, and get your takeback and step timing down.

sunof tennis
01-27-2012, 12:27 PM
If you play leftie but are naturally right handed, that's even more reason to use a 2HBH. Take advantage of that natural coordination with your right hand.

It doesn't matter which player looks better. The only thing that matters is which one wins the last point of the match.

I completely agree. Played in a mixed double league with my wife couple of weeks ago. Saw a guy plaing right handed hit a ball with his left hand and the later tried to hit a one handed backhand with his right hand. Turns out he is basically left handed. So after a couple of pointers, I had him hitting a two handed backhand very well.

ace_pace
01-27-2012, 04:42 PM
We should clarify definitions. Henin's grip is best described as "extreme eastern", where she puts her index knuckle on the corner formed by the top bevel and the next bevel behind it (i.e., her knuck is on bevels 8/1).

I highly recommend this grip. You should have no problems hitting high spinny balls with this grip. If you do, it's a matter of practice.

I do not recommend putting your knuckle completely on bevel 8 (the back diagnal slant). This is way too extreme and I don't know any pro who does this.

I also think the Eastern grip (top bevel) is too weak for most players, especially if they are short.

So use the right grip and stick to it. (Also be careful that bh grip terminology isn't standardized like it is on the fh side... Henin's grip has been called both the extreme eastern and the semi-western).

Also, here is the single most useful video I've found on the 1hbh on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqBEErW0vTA

watch it, and get your takeback and step timing down.

Oh okay :D thanks for the help. I'll try use that grip from now on give it a go. also thatnks for the helpful video.

Cnote
01-27-2012, 05:16 PM
Always an interesting topic. I recently decided to change to a 2HBH because the benefits outweighed the risks. The return of serve and improved ability to hit down the line is better with the 2HBH than with the 1HBH for me, as well as the overall control. I was taught to use the 1HBH in the past but for me personally I like the 2 hander better. People tell me that my 1HBH "looks better" but I'm winning more with the 2HBH. Just my 2 cents.

pvaudio
01-30-2012, 11:27 AM
^^^ Spot on why I switched. "Your BH looks so nice!" vs. shaking hands with a smile on your face. I'll take the latter.

Geology_Rocks!
01-31-2012, 05:28 PM
I'm having similar problem...

Been playing for about two years now mostly with the 1HB. I must say I like it, I can hit winners with it and if my feet are quick enough high balls are not a big deal. The ugly part is the ROS and the consistency.

Sometimes I play a little with the 2HB and can't stop wondering if it would be a easier way.

Timbo's hopeless slice
01-31-2012, 05:32 PM
What was the question? (sorry)

I use both as I am finding the 2HBH useful on return of serve in my declining years. I still relish the feeling of a single handed TS winner up the line, but sometimes a doublehanded hack is all I can manage these days as I don't get to the ball as fast as I used to and the stability of the 2HBH is what I need under pressure...