Explain the one-handed backhand's fall on the WTA

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by soyizgood, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    This is something I haven't figured out and I've wondered about this on a few occasions.

    I tried looking at it from this perspective:

    * Evert popularized the two-handed backhand in the 70s which was then duplicated by Austin. However, Austin went down with injuries which pretty much left Evert to carry the 2HBH. Even though she was VERY successful, most of the up and comers were using one-handed backhands. King, Goolagong, Navratilova, Mandlikova, and a host of OHBHers still predominated the landscape.

    * After Evert retired, it would be a few years before another 2HBH player would rise. While that was waiting to occur Graf achieved the Golden Slam while Navratilova and Mandlikova were in the slam mix. Seles and Sanchez-Vicario emerged. But after Seles got stabbed, that really left Sanchez-Vicario holding the fort for the 2HBH while Graf went on to win a ton of slams. And the OHBH camp also had Sabatini, Novotna, Conchita, Sukova as possible successors to carry Navratilova's torch.

    * Things for the OHBH camp started going downhill as Graf was on the decline. By the time she left, 2HBHers Hingis, Serena, Venus, Davenport, Pierce, Capriati were primed and ready. Meanwhile, the OHBHers had to wait until Henin and Mauresmo emerged.

    What baffles me is when exactly did the 2HBH start to become popular for on the WTA? Graf was winning 3 majors a year in the mid 90s yet when she was on the way out, the vast majority of new stars were using two-handed backhands. Did Seles' success ignite the rise of the 2HBH? Were coaches drifting towards teaching the 2HBH to women despite Graf's success? Was it because girls were starting to play tennis at a younger age in the late 80s and early 90s which resulted in a huge wave of elite women with 2HBHs once Graf retired?

    I'm NOT trying to start a 2HBH-OHBH battleground as we have enough of those already. What's happened on the WTA as far as the OHBH is concerned is something that almost defies logic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2008
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  2. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    This is easy: the 2 handed backhand was custom made for women. Women are generally weaker than men so it makes perfect sense. As for men using that stroke, I guess it's because they have very feminine qualities. You use a 2 hander, soy. Enough said.
     
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  3. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Capriati, Serena, Kuznetsova, and Venus could kick the crud out of 90+% of the ATP players in a brawl. They certainly aren't weak.

    Federer probably can't even bench press 1/2 as much as Safin, Nadal, or Roddick. Gasquet I doubt could even bench press 75% of his weight. Federer and Gasquet don't come off as manly and are very soft-spoken.

    Anyway, I'm not surprised by your response. Just like Breakpoint, you twist the question and shoot blanks elsewhere...LMAO
     
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  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    There's not an ATP player out there who couldn't kick those girls' floppy asses. Ok, maybe not Donald Young.
     
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  5. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Round ONE: Macho Gasquet vs Maiden Serena. RIP Gasquet.... over-hyped one-shot pony that was too scared to face Donald Young @USO

    I rest my case. Back to the original topic....
     
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  6. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Tommy Haas with a backhand smack across Serena's face and she's out cold. Next!
     
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  7. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Tommy would trip over himself as he approaches her. He'll take his typical 6 month layoff and forget what he was trying to do.
     
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  8. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Federer takes Capriati down and kisses her for the mononucleosis knockout! Next!
     
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  9. Vision84

    Vision84 Hall of Fame

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    Wow this topic really went off topic fast. :)

    And to try to bring this back.

    Yes strength is an issue. Sure players like Serena and Capriati in their prime could clobber the ball but they are taught the strokes when they are young girls before they have physical strength. And well you know how players don't tend to like to change from one backhand to the other type unless your name is Sampras.
     
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  10. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I my eye, everything about the game these days is about making the best 13 year old player possible, because players need to make a splash at a young age to get elite coaching and sponserships. This is particularly true with girls, because there is presure to go pro at a younger age.
     
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  11. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder if the decline of serve & volley also played a role in the decline of the OHBH on the women's side. With serve & volley virtually gone, the women's game has become a baseline battle. Serves are coming in harder (even Henin has hit 124MPH on hers while Venus clocked at 129MPH) and strokes are being hit with more pace than in the past. Very little in the form of finesse in the women's game.
     
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  12. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Rickson's right though, most women simply grow up using the two handed backhand and don't have the strength or the determination necessary to master the stroke.
     
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  13. FedererISBetter

    FedererISBetter Rookie

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    so are we saying that one hander is weaker in terms of pace, speed, spin, combo of both? : /
     
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  14. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    The one-hander is NOT weaker than the devil's backhand in ANYTHING, whether Soy admits it or not.
     
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  15. TennisProdigy

    TennisProdigy Semi-Pro

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    Probably just pace and stability for the woman that is.
     
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  16. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Your irrationality and arrogrance only grows stronger with each passing day.

    This is a discussion involving why the OHBH is rarely used on the WTA. Yet some folks here seem content to deflect the issue at hand or try to expand this question into other aspects.

    Some people here (*cough* Rickson and Djokovicfan4life *cough*) have shown they are not rational thinkers and will stoop REEEEEEEEAL low to get their point across. They can go drool over Robredo's or Graf's backhand (or perfect the art of Federer's shanks) for all I care.

    At least we have an idea of some of the factors contributing to the lack of OHBHers on the WTA tour. Any more theories and thoughts are welcome.
     
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  17. A.Davidson

    A.Davidson Semi-Pro

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    Yep. I agree.
     
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  18. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Soy, we don't claim to be politically correct. We tell the truth and the truth is that many women don't like the one hander because they're girly. If that bothers you then that's nothing new.
     
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  19. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Love you too, Soy.
     
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  20. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You're gross, DF!
     
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  21. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I'm just tired of playing his silly mind games.
     
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  22. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think those are mind games at all. I think soy genuinely believes that the 2 hander is a better stroke than the one hander.
     
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  23. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I want whatever he's been smoking!
     
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  24. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Justine Henin does not look that strong and yet she has one of the marvellous 1-handed BH. Also, logic would have it that shorter persons should use 2-handed BH. She is short, and does not look strong and yet she has one of the best single-handed BH. Safin on the other hand does not look weak, yet he uses double handed BH. I think it is how you start as a kid. No conspiracy theories here, but now-a-days almost 100% kids are started off with double-handed BHs because it is easier for them, and later no one bothers to convert them to single-handed BHs. It's a matter of success which you do not like to halt.
     
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  25. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    The advent of heavy topspin from synthetic strings really killed the backhand on the women's tour.


    It's hard enough as a male to hit shoulder high balls with a one handed backhand, imagine reducing your strength 30% and try doing it.



    Henin is deceptively strong btw, she is EXTREMELY athletic, her lack of size is the only reason why she does not dominate the WTA like Federer did for a few years.
     
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  26. TNT16

    TNT16 Semi-Pro

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    Why tons of 2HBH and few OHBH? The answer is simple -- what do they teach to the juniors? If you go to any group teaching setting for juniors, the same cookie cutter is being applied.

    Does that make the 2HBH a better stroke? Henin and Mauresmo provide the answer.

    Does that make the 2HBH the easier cookie cutter stroke to teach to hundreds of young girls? Probably so.
     
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  27. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    I think the point is not about the masculinity of a player (he / she). Its more on the time and effort (patience) it takes to learn and master the 1hbh stroke.
    Two Handed Backhand is much easier to learn compared to One Handed Backhand.
    Is the 1hbh weaker .... NO! Henin, Muresmo and Schiavone are the living proof.

    With popularity of the power game and baseline play - One can easily see the immediate progress when playing with 2 hbh. So there is not really the need to get into the net. That is why you noticed not a lot of women pro players comfortable playing in the net which uses the skills of a one handed bh. Unless they play alot of doubles like Serena, Venus and Sugiyami.

    I would point to the tennis teaching pros who are directly responsible in promoting/ teaching and also in charge of the demise of the 1hbh technique. I have attended group classes where there is really a little to no emphasis on how to play with 1hbh correctly... unless you cough up the $$ to get a private intructor - but are you really getting the correct lessons for it?
    (not sure if there is such a certification already or not - since I am not a teaching pro - but here's my opinion).
    There should be a movement within the USTA or the Tennis community worldwide especially among the teaching professionals in promoting a certification on one handled backhand.
    In this way, the local tennis club can host classes of players who can learn and master to play with this dying art.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
    #27
  28. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I'll add this too:

    It's about $$$$ and fame.

    The quicker you learn to smack the ball, the quicker you get out on tour and start making some bank.

    Admittedly, overall it takes less time to develop a good 2HBH than a good 1HBH.

    The same can be said for the men these days.
     
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  29. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    This is NOT A PITCH OF US (1HBH) VS THEM (2HBH). It's more directed to saving the art of playing the 1hbh.
     
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  30. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    #30
  31. TNT16

    TNT16 Semi-Pro

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    Yet for that era and the next 10 or 20 years one name comes to mind more than any other - N.A.V.R.A.T.I.L.O.V.A.

    Love that 2HBH she was hitting . . .
     
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  32. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    yeah, navratilova really drove her backhand too, lol.

    Navratilova had a tim henman backhand.

    Tracy Austin, Eert and Andrea Jaegaer were AMERICAN.

    They were women.

    They were successful.

    They had two handed backhands.

    Austin and Jaeger actually hit the ball as hard as modern pros.They had great technique and had better groundstrkoes than many of the top men.

    Evert and Jaeger were also taught by DADDY.Psycho parents everywhere decided to turn their children into carbon copies of these two.

    Kids went to tennis instructors looking to learn 'The Evert Backhand'.The all conquering, (at the time), 2 handed backhand used by Evert, Austin, Jaeger, Borg and Connors.

    Bollettieri serviced this demand...
     
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  33. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Is that why Andrea Jaeger became a nun? Because her 2 handed backhand was so crappy?
     
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  34. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    does anyone have a good 2 hander rickson?

    What about Agassi, does his backhand suck too?

    setting you up for the obvious put down LOL
     
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  35. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    ~I've just rated this 5 stars btw, why is it 1 star?
     
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  36. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Probably some disgruntled OHBHer voted 1 star out of spite. We get that too on our 2HBH club, but it doesn't bother us at all. :)

    The OHBHer fanatics have been giving silly answers while the mainstream folks have been rather informative. Those bitter fanatics can go hug a tree, catch a roach and let him leave their home peacefully, slice 90% of their backhands like Graf or push their backhand like Robredo, and work on their continental forehands. ;)
     
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  37. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    I liked your original post, soy. Informative/thoughtful. Thanks for the perspective!
     
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  38. TNT16

    TNT16 Semi-Pro

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    Wow - interesting perspective.

    I do agree though, Henin really only pushes or slices her backhands and it is amazing how she can get away with the continental grip forehand.

    Same for Mauresmo btw.
     
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  39. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Sarcasm, I sense.

    -Yoda-
     
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  40. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Ha, so now we're continental grip users? The continental is more of an abomination than the eastern forehand.
     
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  41. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    The continental remark was a jab for all the "history" the OHBHers like to bring up as an argument for the OHBH as well as against the 2HBH. Much of the OHBHs glory days composed of players playing continental for forehands and backhands. The good olde days of wearing all white shirts/sweaters/trousers, ankle high dresses, wood racquets, serving underhand, serve and volley/chip and charge to avoid using the backhand, and only grass/clay courts, to name a few. ;)
     
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  42. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    When did people ever serve underhanded? :confused:
     
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  43. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Look back at the history and you'll see that tennis started off with people serving underhanded.
     
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  44. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Santoro would have LOVED that, just another way to mess with his opponents! :twisted:
     
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  45. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    It's still legal to use underhanded serves. I had a tennis teacher in his 50s that did that and he put a good amount of side spin on it.
     
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  46. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Soy, you have to learn an overhand serve one of these days.
     
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  47. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    I forgot about Jaeger. Then again I was only 4 when this match was played. They really hit hard with those old sticks. Heavy topspin and depth as well even on grass.
     
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  48. Forehand Forever

    Forehand Forever Professional

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    This doesn't have to do with the WTA tour but the juniors coming up that will play on the WTA. Many of the girls are using both hands on both sides. I think that eventually, the womens game will have many, many more of these players.
     
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  49. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Hopefully those girls that choose two-hands on both sides take after Seles rather than Bartoli...haha

    Other than stability, I can't really see much of an advantage of playing two-handed forehands. Bartoli looks like a pusher, but then again her conditioning leaves MUCH to be desired.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2008
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  50. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    If not two hands on the forehand, then why the backhand? :confused:
     
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