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travlerajm
09-13-2006, 08:34 PM
I just discovered an interesting stat:

I found that ATP pros with 1-handed backhands use racquets with an average weight of 12.8 ounces, while pros with 2-handed backhands have an average racquet weight of 12.4 oz. This is a huge difference!

I used Jura's data, and converted to strung specs. Also, my data is incomplete, as I only used the players on the list who I had seen play and whom I knew for sure what type of backhand they used (30 total players, 15 in each category). If someone is willing to do the research we can get a more complete dataset. Edit: I now have the whole list included thanks to Fitzroy - see posts below.

My question is... why?

My first thought is that a 1hb depends more on the inertia in the racquet for stability, while a 2hb is naturally more stable, so it is easier to return a heavy incoming shot with a lighter racquet.

FitzRoy
09-13-2006, 08:42 PM
Which players on the list were you unsure about?

alan-n
09-13-2006, 08:44 PM
Most one handed backhanders will be using a racquet with traditional head light balance rather than just slightly head light. 7-12 points head light feels just about right for a 1HBH. With the same amount of mass in the head of the racquet, yep the racquet will weigh more for that balance.

travlerajm
09-13-2006, 08:44 PM
Which players on the list were you unsure about?

More than half of them. :)

travlerajm
09-13-2006, 08:51 PM
Most one handed backhanders will be using a racquet with traditional head light balance rather than just slightly head light. 7-12 points head light feels just about right for a 1HBH.

I also checked for any difference in balance. The 1hb players had about the same balance relative to the weight-normalized average balance baseline = Rpro = 44.6/sqrt(M), with R = balance in inches, and M = weight in ounces.

This means that the average pro 1hb balance is about 12.45" (8.5 pts HL for 27" frame). And the average pro 2hb balance is about 12.65" or (7 pts HL for 27" inch frame).

FitzRoy
09-13-2006, 09:15 PM
Ok, here's a list of people who I thought you might be unsure about. No idea how much you watch, so if some seem obvious, bear with. ;)

Robin Soderling - 2h
Karol Beck - 2h
Radek Stepanek - 2h
Nicolas Massu - 2h
Filippo Volandri - 1h
Igor Andreev - 2h
Jurgen Melzer - 2h
Jose Acasuso - 1h
Santiago Ventura - 2h
Juan Monaco - 2h
Paul-Henri Mathieu - 2h
Stefan Koubek - 2h
Peter Wessels - 1h
Felix Mantilla - 1h
Guilermo Garcia-Lopez - 1h
Davide Sanguinetti - 2h
Sargis Sargsian - 2h
Sjeng Schalken - 1h
Wayne Arthurs - 1h
Jerome Haehnel - 2h
Janko Tipsarevic - 2h
Lars Burgsmuller - 2h
Stanislas Wawrinka - 1h
Julien Benneteau - 2h
Raemon Sluiter - 2h
Kristof Vliegen - 2h
Tomas Behrend - 1h
Flavio Saretta - 2h
Nicolas Mahut - 1h
Jarrko Nieminen - 2h
Peter Luczak - 2h
Florent Serra - 2h
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 2h
Olivier Patience - 1h
Mahesh Bhupathi - 2h
Edouard Roger-Vasselin - 2h
Wayne Black - 2h
Arnaud Di Pasquale - 1h
Franco Squillari - 1h
Nicolas Devilder - 2h
Kevin Ullyett - 1h
Nenad Zimonjic - 1h

EDIT: Looking at Jura's list again, the two names who I can't remember ever having seen play are Ken Carlsen and David Nestor. Actually I think I have seen Carlsen, at Newport, but he was mostly serve & volleying, and for the life of me I can't remember if he used 2hb or not. I know he hits lots of slice backhands though.

travlerajm
09-13-2006, 09:21 PM
Thanks, give me a few minutes, and I'll plug them in to fill out the data.

travlerajm
09-13-2006, 09:36 PM
Ok, Thanks to Fitzroy, I have a more complete data set:

Average 1hb wt: 12.7 oz. (95% conf interval = +/- 0.11 oz.)
Average 2hb wt: 12.4 oz. (95% conf interval = +/- 0.06 oz.)

So there is still definitely a significant difference.

FitzRoy
09-13-2006, 09:53 PM
Ok, Thanks to Fitzroy, I have a more complete data set:

Average 1hb wt: 12.7 oz. (95% conf interval = +/- 0.11 oz.)
Average 2hb wt: 12.4 oz. (95% conf interval = +/- 0.06 oz.)

So there is still definitely a significant difference.

Yeah - those numbers don't necessarily jump out as being a huge difference, but 8 and a half grams is pretty meaningful when it comes to tennis racquets. I think a lot of the 1hb guys do seem like they play with more "solid" frames; Tommy Haas comes to mind especially, the way he can unload on the backhand with very little motion.

travlerajm
09-13-2006, 10:03 PM
Yeah - those numbers don't necessarily jump out as being a huge difference, but 8 and a half grams is pretty meaningful when it comes to tennis racquets. I think a lot of the 1hb guys do seem like they play with more "solid" frames; Tommy Haas comes to mind especially, the way he can unload on the backhand with very little motion.

I just looked over the list of 1-handers. It's interesting how almost all of them have hefty frames. The only exceptions using really light frames are Arthurs, who I've never seen play, but I've heard that he's known for having a funky twist serve with unpredictable kick (a shot that requires a lighter frame), and Patience and Mantilla. Both Patience and Mantilla have extremely HH balances compared to average (~13.5"), meaning that they have very high swingweights, with Moya/Nadal-style setups that are good for clay.

FitzRoy
09-13-2006, 10:11 PM
I just looked over the list of 1-handers. It's interesting how almost all of them have hefty frames. The only exceptions using really light frames are Arthurs, who I've never seen play, but I've heard that he's known for having a funky twist serve with unpredictable kick (a shot that requires a lighter frame), and Patience and Mantilla. Both Patience and Mantilla have extremely HH balances (compared to average), meaning that they have very high swingweights, with Moya/Nadal-style setups that are good for clay.

Yeah, I'm not surprised that Arthurs throws it off a bit. You might consider taking the data out for him, really, because his backhand is one of the worst shots on tour and he rarely comes over it. From what I know, he took up tennis very late (relatively speaking). His serve used to be filthy, though.

Mantilla does play an awful lot like Nadal, albeit with less athleticism and less sting on the ball. No surprise that his racquet is similar.

I've only seen Patience play once, but I don't remember a thing about his game (other than the fact that he hit a 1hb). I just remember him getting completely blown off the court by Blake, almost like an early round WTA match with Sharapova or something.

FitzRoy
09-14-2006, 01:39 AM
Hey travlerajm,

What numbers do you have for Moya's strung static weight and balance point? I'm coming up with an estimate around 14.7", which seems a bit high.

BreakPoint
09-14-2006, 02:02 AM
This does not surprise me at all. I've always found that I hit much better 1HBH's with heavier racquets than with lighter racquets. In fact, the one shot that I have the hardest time with when using lighter racquets is my 1HBH. Just not enough weight to do the work.

Remember that with a 1HBH, you only have one hand and arm on the racquet so you need the racquet to do more of the work for you. Heavier racquets do more of the work than lighter racquets, that's just simple physics. Once you get your stroke going, a heavier racquet will impart more momentum to the ball and allow you to hit the ball more solidly and with more pace than a lighter racquet will. A heavier racquet will also be more stable which is important when you only have one hand on the racquet and only your thumb behind the grip on a 1HBH.

Ripper
09-14-2006, 01:35 PM
Very interesting, travlerajm. Very interesting, indeed. Thanks.

jackson vile
09-14-2006, 02:32 PM
IMO the reason you want more head light is inorder to be able to take the racket back in full preperation, and then take a full stroke. With my more HH frames I can't always do this in time and I keep feeling like I want to 2bh with them. IE my LMIXL is 27 5/8 inch and balance is 12 1/8 inch weight 13oz, my wifes ect are all very head light.

The extra weight does indeed add for more inertia and thus stability, and on demand power, so that if I am not able to take full swing I can get a block or bunt in. Also IMO it is harder to spin the HH frames on the 1hbh, so you end up with more errors.

This is very interesting as I never even thought about this until you pointed it out and then I check my 3 favorite frames, and Understand why I ditched my LMPrestige MP LOL

Vixenbergen
09-14-2006, 02:40 PM
Maybe it's not a matter of whether they play with one handed or two handed bcakhands.

Maybe the better players play with one handed backhands, and they like a heavier racket. Remember, correlation does not equal causation.

travlerajm
09-14-2006, 06:13 PM
Hey travlerajm,

What numbers do you have for Moya's strung static weight and balance point? I'm coming up with an estimate around 14.7", which seems a bit high.

About 11.4 oz., and 14.7". I would guess that it's a nice serving racquet, but the forehand would be tough to control unless you use a western grip (a western forehand is similar to a serve, biomechanically speaking).

travlerajm
09-14-2006, 06:32 PM
Ok, I just did an interesting calculation. Using the average balance points for each group, I calculated the location on the racquet that you would have to add mass to transform the average pro 2hb racquet into the average pro 1hb.

It turns out that you would need to add the difference in mass at 5.5" from the butt. This is interesting, because that's the approximate location of the top hand in a 2hb!

So are 1hb pros just replacing the added stability of the top hand in a 2hb by adding some mass where the top hand would be?

FitzRoy
09-15-2006, 12:07 AM
About 11.4 oz., and 14.7". I would guess that it's a nice serving racquet, but the forehand would be tough to control unless you use a western grip (a western forehand is similar to a serve, biomechanically speaking).

Ok, so my balance point estimate is the same. The trouble I'm having is getting the Babolat Pure Drive frame to have that balance point at that weight. Does he actually use the Pure Drive Team Standard? Even if I start at only 300 grams with an even balance (both very generous estimates, IMO) and add the weight at a 27" center of mass, I'm only getting to a 14.46" balance point at 323 grams. Anything you can think of that I'm doing wrong?

As for the finding that the difference in weight on 1hb and 2hb pro setups would need to be made up in the approximate location of the second hand, I'd say your explanation of that seems pretty sound. It kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

travlerajm
09-15-2006, 12:13 AM
Ok, so my balance point estimate is the same. The trouble I'm having is getting the Babolat Pure Drive frame to have that balance point at that weight. Does he actually use the Pure Drive Team Standard? Even if I start at only 300 grams with an even balance (both very generous estimates, IMO) and add the weight at a 27" center of mass, I'm only getting to a 14.46" balance point at 323 grams. Anything you can think of that I'm doing wrong?


I presume Moya has a special frame made for him that starts out much lighter than a stock PD.

SFrazeur
09-15-2006, 07:54 AM
I presume Moya has a special frame made for him that starts out much lighter than a stock PD.

I think he is supposed to use the original SoftDrive.

I also checked for any difference in balance. The 1hb players had about the same balance relative to the weight-normalized average balance baseline = Rpro = 44.6/sqrt(M), with R = balance in inches, and M = weight in ounces.

This means that the average pro 1hb balance is about 12.45" (8.5 pts HL for 27" frame). And the average pro 2hb balance is about 12.65" or (7 pts HL for 27" inch frame).

I am rather surprised that the difference is not greater.

tenis
09-15-2006, 09:17 PM
Travlerjam, I love your science, really. But you know what,
go, take your racquet and hit some.......