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View Full Version : How do you hit a two handed backhand on high balls?


SB2G
02-19-2004, 08:16 PM
Hello, I'm a novice player looking to get better and one thing I cannot get the hang of is when I have a high ball off the bounce come to my backhand. I feel as if my left hand (righthander) is restricting me from getting my racquet up to where the ball bounces, causing me to hit some really ugly looking shots that sometimes don't go very far. I'm a fairly short player (5'6) so could that be some of the cause to my troubles of hitting the higher balls?

I'm just looking for tips on better techniques on hitting these high bouncing balls on my backhand side.

Eric Matuszewski
02-19-2004, 08:56 PM
Watch some footage of Ferrero, notice he starts with his left hand relatively high (you can start the hand at face level).

Analysing video is probably the best and chepest thing a novice can do to figure out technique. (I know some teaching pros are gonna slam me for this one by saying pro technique is not applicable to the general public, but it's better than "good enough" technique that these same teaching pro's charge you for.)

Here is the golden tip for backhands (people pay alot of money for this one because it works):
1) start with the left arm high and nearly in full extension before your leg drive/hip turn.

I've got 5 year old kids crushing balls up at head level with this technique.

A lot of Biomechanics goes into this technique that I don't feel like explaining here. Just go try it and thank me later.

SB2G
02-19-2004, 09:01 PM
you wouldn't happen to know of any website that has videos to check out? Or just do a search on google?

Eric Matuszewski
02-20-2004, 04:50 AM
Tennisone.com has clips of about 20 current top pros and some "Legends". Multiple camera angles for each shot. It's clearly the single best resource for helping you improve your game (they are not paying me to say this). First month membership is free.

You said you were a novice...you will waste way more money in your tennis lifetime on stuff that will get you no results. Watching these clips is the most worhwile investment you can make for your tennis. There are no clips of Ferrero but Agassi on occassion gets his hands pretty high so you can get an idea from him. Also use your VCR when the French happens.

I took myself from not knowing anything about tennis to winning a Junior College regional championship in 3 years by modeling pro strokes. A good ball machine is a wise investment as well (you don't have to depend on finding good hitting partners everytime you want to work on something). No reason to stay a "novice". How old are you?

SB2G
02-20-2004, 09:12 AM
I'm 21 years old, thanks for the info

I usually go out and hit with my best friend because he was ranked #1 in our high school, so he's pretty experienced . We both want to enter a intramural tournament at the University of Texas, so I've been trying to improve on certain things in my game. I know I probably won't get far in the tourney, but I just want it for the experience mainly.

spinbalz
02-20-2004, 07:15 PM
The best is to keep hitting in your comfort strike zone, for exemple, when you have to face a high ball, you can take it earlier, before it jumps to high, if you take the ball early, no need to swing very fast and hard to produce an efficient shot, it's more a matter of timing. If you don't feel good enough to take those high balls early, just practice, you'll improve your timing, and will feel more and more confident at it.

Mahboob Khan
02-20-2004, 08:08 PM
May be because your left hand is in a continental grip position which is restricting its rising to hit high balls. Adjust your left hand to either Eastern forehand or semi-western forehand grip. Please confirm if this is the case!

Bungalo Bill
02-21-2004, 02:18 AM
#1. Make sure your getting a good shoulder turn. Make sure your not starring at the ball with your eyes while your shoulders are square to the net and you "think" your getting your racquet back.

The shoulders and your wrists lay the racquet back for the twohander on the backswing.

One of the most common things that happens on a twohander with novice players is, the contribution from the dominant arm is too strong in the stroke. This will definetly hamper the smooth feeling you should have.

There are two pivot points for the twohanded backhand that I tend to watch for. One is the pivot point from the front/lead or dominant arm elbow (you will see this less from a twohander that uses a bottom hand eastern backhand as the arm is straighter) when the racquet comes around and the other is from the bottom hand once the racquet nearly reaches the contact point. The bottom hand acts as a pivot as the non-dominant arm pushes the racquet through the impact zone.

On a twohanded backhand try pivoting from your elbow while pushing the racquet with your non-dominant arm forward and up into the ball.

Also, Mahboob is correct, you must be in a recommended top hand grip grip like the Eastern forehand or the SW. These grips allow you to have a good pushing motion with your non-dominant arm.

Watching pro films is a great thing. However, some pros have great strokes but not great "learning" or duplicatable technique. If I were you I would stick to Agassi's strokes. His are very simple strokes to duplicate and practice. You also need to know what to look for. Watch his footwork getting to position. Note the pattern (which foot moved first and why) then notice the shoulder turn (how much and how soon), then look at the stroke both backswing and forward swing seperately. Notice the pivot points and how high he takes his racquet back.

The twohander is a "kind of" signature stroke meaning that the stroke can look quite differently amongst players and have unique quirks. So you have to be careful on this one that your not trying to duplicate movements your body can not achieve or doesn't like. Use the pros as a model but make sure you put YOU in the stoke as well.

iambt21
07-13-2007, 01:27 PM
for the higher 2 hander. you may want to shift your grip back a bit towards a heavy backhand eastern grip with the no left hand at full western grip.(assuming your right handed).

Keep your arms loser than normal, and swing quick , but not hard.

Thomas Bird-Itch
07-13-2007, 01:54 PM
SB2G, I'm short too, so I know how often this can happen. What helps me is to quickly move forward and take the ball on the rise. If I wait too long, I move back (notice if my opponent is approaching) and either drive it as usual or hit a lob. I take the racquet back higher for higher shots. You can still put a little spin on the ball, but it's going to be a flatter swing.

Also, if you have good timing and coordination, you can use a scissors kick, a la Safin or Ferrero, to actually get your whole body higher. The timing is harder, but usually these balls are moving a little slower.

RRR
07-13-2007, 06:15 PM
HIGH backhand is slightly difficult, whether single handed or double handed.

one way....right arm fully stetched, left arm bent at backswing racket head at waist level, and then like a 2h bh smash, follow through with racket head going down. this gives a flatter faster ball. this uses the leverage of the two hands at the racket and is somewhat a "wristy" shot). Body leans towards net. both feet on ground.

the most common - "the flying walenda" both feet off the ground with slight scissor kick with and standard flat backhand stroke. like safin and ferrero.


Both require practice because if the stroke is weak or the shot is short. it s good bye.

or learn a one handed high backhand - offensive lob. not too hign. this stroke is less tiring than the flying walenda..

its always better to have variations on the high backhand so as to keep the other guy guessing. it is when he gives you a ball to the high back hand that they usually rush the net since they expect a weak return..

AceofBase
07-13-2007, 07:32 PM
Easy just hold the racket high but below the ball and follow though, but you got to be more patient cause you dont have the long range as of a one handed so keep your eye on the ball too just as you were to volley. I use a two handed on both hands to drive volley just on a drive volley and on high ball only and its killer . Put this way if you really good with eye sight and a really good volley skill than i think with a two handed backhand will fit with you! Im a 4.5 player and can play different stlye.

Bodacious DVT
07-13-2007, 07:35 PM
Heres a section from TENNIS magazine showing how Jelena Jankovic hits a shoulder-high 2HBH

http://tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/backhand/backhand.aspx?id=64266

you're welcome.

ChocolatePie
07-13-2007, 07:48 PM
Why was a 3 year old thread suddenly brought back?

Bodacious DVT
07-13-2007, 07:53 PM
Why was a 3 year old thread suddenly brought back?

holy crap i just noticed that. daaannngg
hopefully the OP has it down by now!

Hot Sauce
07-13-2007, 08:30 PM
I do the jumping backhand for high balls.