Finally, evidence that the 1hbh can do something better than the 2hbh: topspin

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennis_hack, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    In the Wimbledon 2013 match when Gasquet played Tomic, a stat came up showing that Gasquet hits 48% of his topspin backhands with more than 3000rpm's of topspin. Obviously, this was recorded on grass as well - a lower bouncing surface where Gasquet might be inclined to hit flatter than usual.

    I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this stat - the stat compilers seem to think that all we want info on is Nadal's forehand and Federer's forehand like they're the only shots that exist.

    Anyway, to contrast, that stat shows that Gasquet's average backhand is hit at around the same spin as Nadal's average topspin forehand which sits at 3300prm's. And the bulk of Tomic's (two-handed) backhands were hit with less than 1000rpm's of topspin.

    Now it could be (and it probably is) the case that Gasquet hits an especially spinny 1hbh, but do you guys see any 2hbh players getting as high in the rpm stakes with their 2hbh as Gasquet's backhand (and, by extension, Nadal's forehand)? Would it even be possible for them to do so?

    If we could compile an average rpm list of the topspin backhands of Gasquet, Wawrinka, Almagro, Youzhny, Federer and Haas and compare it to Murray, Djokovic, Gulbis, Nalbandian, Nadal, Berdych - which group do you think would have the higher average and peak topspin rpm?
     
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  2. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I certainly feel as though I can produce a lot of topspin with my one-hander, but I'm generally more comfortable with that style of stroke. Not trying to be a complete buzz-kill, but I try to avoid arguing the superiority of one style vs. another. Even if the one-hander has some empirical advantage for spin potential, that's no help for someone who is clearly more comfortable and competent with a two-hander.

    Yahoo!!!
     
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  3. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I hit a 2hbh and I agree. Getting the same level of ts as I do on my fh is an issue - just doesn't happen. I can get good ts on my 2hbh when my form is good, but not like the combination of spin and pace I can produce off my fh.

    I can get good pace in general with my 2hbh and punch balls back well when I'm in trouble. It's a good shot for me, but it'd be nice to get that fh level of spin.
     
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  4. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    Yes, I use a relatively extreme forehand grip with a vertical swing path, so it felt natural to me to replicate that vertical swing path on the backhand side - and the best way to do that was to use a 1-hander with an extreme grip. It seems you just have to swing more linearly with a 2hbh.

    With so many pro's (and even recs) now looking to spin the ball as much as possible on the fh side (which is why the average fh grip is now semi-western instead of eastern) - we are now seeing pretty much the same shot combinations - heavy topspin forehand, and flat two-handed backhand. This means everyone ends up having the same strengths and weaknesses off both wings, homogenizing the tour - which is why it's great when you see a spanner in the works such as Tomic with his super-flat forehand, or Gasquet/Wawrinka/Almagro with their topspin-monster backhands.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is always known that 1 hander produces more topspin. But here is the catch: it can only produce topspin. It cannot reliably hit flatter shots without resorting to slicing.
     
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  6. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    That's unfortunately not true. Back in the days of wooden frames people majorly resorted to flatter trajectories and the 1HBH was an overwhelming favorite. Even in the late 90's, strokes were still pretty flat. Because of this, I would be inclined to think that 1HBH players tend to vary a lot more than their trajectories than 2HBH do. If you've ever watched a few tennis matches, you're perfectly aware that this is what happens on a court.

    I'd say that, for some reason, the game 1HBH play is DIFFERENT than the game 2HBH players play -- i.e., they do not use their strokes for the same purpose.

    Before Federer became a top player, there were analysts who thought that the slice backhand would become obsolete. It was a purely defensive gesture you would use when you're in trouble in their mind. After all, how can a puffy sitter disturb a top player? He'd run around that ball and he'd smack a forehand winner. Then, that Swiss guy came in and he was slicing the ball in the middle of a neutral rally. Federer has an astonishing forehand, especially when he plays it as an inside ground stroke, but without that slice, you would not have seen him play so many inside forehands in his career. I'd say that Federer minus his slice doesn't have 17 GS titles and I'd go as far as saying that Federer with a 2HBH wouldn't have that slice... at the very least, he wouldn't use it that way. Arguably, not staying in a backhand rally is what has cost him matches against Nadal. The biggest mistake Federer made, I think, was trying too hard to avoid a backhand rally against Nadal's forehand... it gave Nadal the space he needed and it provided him with too many useless unforced errors. Same in late career defeats against Djokovic: not committing himself to a backhand rally, not accepting a lasting neutral situation off that wing has cost him major points. I know both of these cross-court rallies are loosing bets, but there are always good and bad times to change direction, run around, etc. and Federer abused of these things, in my humble opinion. THERE, a 2HBH Federer would have won the matches. There, sticking a to a rally with a lot of simple cross-court strokes would have been a good thing. People remember defeats against Nadal when they think about the 1HBH. They don't think about how many titles Federer owes to his backhand simply because he doesn't finish the point with it and never obliterated anyone with it. However, it earned him the occasions to hurt his opponents with his forehand.

    Of course, Gasquet, Wawrinka, Haas and others do not play like Federer since they are not Federer, but you still see them varying their trajectories a lot more than 2HBH do. Regardless of the reason, it seems like using a 1HBH or a 2HBH changes the way you approach a tennis match and that's as important, though less discussed, as the question everyone inquires about here (i.e., which objective advantages, if there are any, are there in using one backhand or the other?). In a similar perspective, tennis hack has a great point about match-ups and tactics.
    When everyone plays the same game, difference becomes a weapon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
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  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Maybe for you, because I can crush flat 1HBHs all day long.
     
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  8. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    thats why when the ball is low i crank a one hander, and when its up high i smack a 2 hander. best of both worlds.
     
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  9. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    It's probably more like jack of all trades, master of none, which is why you don't see anyone on the pro tour do it.

    Anyway, one of the reasons I changed to a 1hbh is that I felt I could hit heavy topspin on head-height balls, whereas I'd need to drive a high ball flat with a 2hbh. To me, 1hbh is far more comfortable with to hit head height balls.
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The flatter (non-slice) shots were possible with 1 hander because the balls did not have much spin on them. Today is different.

    Also, hitting flat is different from crushing the ball flat. Latter is better done vy 2 hander.
     
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  11. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Do you have any proof of this stat, or is it as reliable as your avatar that shows Nadal standing 50 million kilometers behind the baseline to return serve? Oh, and Tomic won the match.
     
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  12. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    1). No, I'm not going to take a screenshot of the stat on TV, and upload it just to satisfy your cynicism - anyone who say BBC commentary of the match will have seen it and can confirm.

    2). Don't hate on my avatar.

    3). I didn't even get into the argument of whether the 2hbh is 'better' than the 1hbh or not (which Tomic winning the match wouldn't have even proved, as I'm sure Roddick has also beaten Gasquet - does that prove he must have a better backhand?) - I merely suggested the 1hbh is better at one facet of stroke production: topspin.
     
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  13. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Contact points are higher now, but the game has changed, like the tactics. As far as I kow, some players do not have any problem hitting flat backhands off of high balls, but as I explained, the intention might simply be different.

    The later is most often done by 2HBH players, but it does't make it so hard to do with one hand on the racket.
     
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  14. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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  15. Topspin Shot

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    "Both a topspin shot and a flat (no-spin) lob will bounce high. However, one will bounce high because of spin, and one will bounce high just because it had a big distance to fall from.

    Hitting topspin your racket face should be closed - but it's hard to exactly know if your racket face is closed at contact without filming yourself in slow-motion HD and replaying it.

    So the way to know that you're hitting topspin and not merely spinlessly lobbing is if your shot skims the net by an inch or so, yet bounces 8ft high in the air when it lands - it's heavy topspin. If it clears the net by 16ft, and bounces 8ft high, you dinked a lob.

    With really heavy topspin, your shot can barely skim over the net, yet bounce way over someone's head when it bounces."

    Maybe the potshot about your avatar was a little out of line, but what I don't like to see on the boards is misinformation that will confuse people new to tennis who actually want to learn the game and will believe anything they see on here. Maybe your statistic about Gasquet's topspin is real, and maybe it isn't, but you have posted things like what I've copied and pasted above that are 100% BS. I don't want people new to tennis to hurt their development trying out things that aren't real. I don't want beginners insisting on learning a 1 hander that may or may not be right for them assuming that with it, they'll get great spin.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
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  16. Avles

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    For the record tennis_hack is a troll (or possibly mildly mentally ill, not sure) and has been repeatedly banned under other usernames.

    engage at your own risk
     
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  17. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I don't normally engage with trolls, but this type of trolling upsets me because beginners can't tell it's trolling. When he goes and picks Almagro to win Wimbledon, there's no harm done. Even that Adam kid who wasted everyone's time with the Six-One 90 posts wasn't hurting anyone. But what happens here is some kid new to the game is going to try what Tennis Hack says and set himself back.
     
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  18. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    It is obvious from watching the match that Gasquet's backhand had far more topspin than Tomic's. That's not necessarily the best thing on grass. Yes, theoretically the one-hander should be able to generate more topspin because it has more freedom of movement, however, whether that is good or bad or even occurs at all is player and situation-dependent. As 10sFreak said, players hit different backhands for different purposes in their games.
     
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  19. Avles

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    Actually I suspect that the original post is right about the 1hbh tending to have more topspin than the 2hbh and I'm sure Gasquet hits his bh with massive topsin.

    But the idea that the 1hbh is good because it allows you to "hit heavy topspin on head-height balls" sounds a bit off to me. How often are most players going be hitting a head-height ball with a topspin 1hbh? And is heavy topspin a realistic priority for a shot like that? It doesn't really make sense.

    Tennis_hack and his earlier incarnations have a collective obsession with topspin and the 1hbh that borders on monomania... here's an example from one of his past lives , and here is another.
     
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  20. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Well, he is right that 1hbhs can have more topspin than 2hbhs. But over 3,000 RPMs of topspin on a 1hbh on average? I'm not buying that, and I'm not buying the head high thing either. But there will be beginners who will buy that because they don't know enough about tennis yet to detect this sort of BS.
     
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  21. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Just for kicks, here's yet another tennis_hack account obsessing about topspin RPM.

    And here's a thread where two different alter egos discuss the topic-- the second alter ego resurrects the thread after months have passed (looks like TTMR recognized this at the time).

    And here's an alter ego making the identical claim about topspin groundies skimming the net and bouncing far up in the air.

    There must be something about this in the DSM-IV...
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
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  22. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    This is getting too funny. How many accounts has this guy had? And TTMR has really grown on me. He's like TT's version of Stephen Colbert.
     
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  23. BevelDevil

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    I don't see the need to have a grudge against the OP.

    He brought up an interesting stat, and I've never seen any reason to believe he's making it up. If it weren't for the OP, topspin would probably be an under-appreciated aspect to the 1hbh.

    A lot of one-handers would love/I] to be able to hit a consistent, heavy 1hbh on a head-high ball (or even chest-high ball). So perhaps having one person on TT obsessing about it isn't a bad thing.

    As for him giving potentially bad or misleading advice, he's not alone in that department. If he says something that's wrong then simply explain how he's wrong. That's the point of a forum, to discuss things.

    Lastly, even if you're right about previous screen names, I think I've actually noticed quite a bit of maturation over time, whatever the reason.
     
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  24. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    Definitely the one-handers for RPM. However, 2-handers though flat, are hit a bit faster. Personally I think a two-hander is a better choice overall (even though I love the one-hander). I mean, we're seeing hybrid backhands now (2-handed backhand, good 1-handed slice, and good net game).
     
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  25. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    The stat is completely legitimate, 48 percent of Gasquet`s topspin backhand were hit at >3000rpm. It shocked.the he'll out of me because I thought Gasquet hit heavy top for a backhand, but really he hits heavy top for a groundstroke, period. Lukas had previously said that Gasquet`s backhand is a Nadal like rally ball, I thought that was an exaggeration, but it turns out it's not at all. I had waited a long time for that stat, I'm not going to make it up, and as I said, anyone who watched BBC coverage of the Tomic match will be able to confirm.
     
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  26. Cheetah

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    The stat is not legitimate mehh. Gasquet does not hit 3000rpm on his bh on average. no way.

    You mean since he was last banned in march?
     
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  27. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Do you have an idea of how much spin this represents? It sounds like an exaggeration because you read Nadal hits his average forehand at 3200 rpm. However, I've seen what a near 3000 rpm backhand looks like from Federer on a slow-motion video during one of his hitting session and I have no hard time believing Gasquet regularly breaks the 3000 rpm bar. He might average a ball close to 3000 rpm, actually... it's not that surprising, especially considering how he plays his backhand.

    That ball obviously won't be as heavy as Nadal's forehand because of the difference in pace, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that Gasquet out-hits the vast majority of forehands with his backhand.
     
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  28. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    Why would I make it up?

    48% of shots. At or over 3000rpm. I've been waiting for statistical confirmation of the heaviness of Gasquet's backhand for a long time, I'm glad Wimbledon finally provided it.

    Highlights of the match should eventually be on YouTube, keep a close eye on the bottom right of the screen where they brought up the stat box to show the difference in average topspin between Gasquet and Tomic's backhands - I believe it was in the middle of the 3rd set.
     
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  29. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    I pretty much agree that gasquet hits over 3000 rpm on that backhand (semi-western). However, it just says the 1-hander puts more spin on the ball then the two-hander. That is all. And respect Cheetah's opinion. He hits a great one-handed backhand (according to a lot of people.)
     
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  30. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    I do not respect Cheetah's opinion because he can hit a good shot. I've never seen him hit a ball, for that sake. I respect it because (a) he generally provides useful insights that trigger good discussions and (b) he respects the opinions of other people when he makes comments.
     
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  31. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Now that some makes me think about it, do you have any video of your ground strokes? It's been a few times I read people complimenting your strokes and I've never seen that. It's always fun and enjoyable to see someone hit a good one handed backhand after all!
     
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  32. Cheetah

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    I didn't say you made the stat up. I'm just saying that I don't think it's correct. Maybe it is correct and I'm wrong.

    It's just my opinion that that seems high based on seeing what it takes from Nadal to get those numbers on his fh. Nadal swings like crazy with his hyper modern technique, uses a spinny, light weight aero stick made for spin, uses a full bed of RPM blast, swings with a reverse fh and comes off the ground with a full on grunt from putting so much energy into a vertical swing and he uses an extreme grip. Everything about nadal seems geared toward spin.

    Gasquet doesn't even use a semi western bh grip anymore. He has a conservative grip now.

    John Yandell should know Gasquet's spin rate. I would believe it if he said so.
     
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  33. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    Not sure I agree with point b). - he comes across as arrogant and condescending the majority of the time.

    I have not seen footage of him hitting a backhand (would like to), but his advice is not universally applicable to all 1hbh's, because he apparently uses quite a conservative style of backhand - conservative grip, classical follow-through.

    We know how different a Haas/Lopez type of backhand is to a Kuerten/Gasquet type of backhand. It's like an eastern grip forehand player telling a western grip forehand player to use his technique.

    EDIT: John Yandell does not have rpm data on Gasquet's backhand, I've already asked him.
     
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  34. Cheetah

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    where did you get this info about my bh from?? Noone on this forum has ever said any of those things regarding my technique.
    my bh grip is not conservative, my knuckle is on the top of bevel 8 which is towards a sw, i open up a little more than avg too and i definitely do not have a classical follow through.
     
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  35. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    It's hard to know how much spin is coming off any shot without measuring it. Nadal uses a semi-western forehand, whereas you'd think he'd swing Hawaiian if spin was his one and only goal.

    Furthermore we don't know how many other players are coming close to Nadal's type of rpm's because of the lack of data. It is assumed that Nadal must be so far ahead of the pack in terms of the topspin he hits, but usually I only see Nadal's forehand and Federer's, Djokovic's and Murray's forehand topspin rpm quoted. And Federer and Djokovic are already not too far behind Nadal in his forehand rpm's.

    We have no idea how many rpm's are hit by other very spin-heavy players such as Verdasco's forehand, Bellucci's Andreev's forehand, Almagro's forehand and backhand, Wawrinka's backhand. Maybe they're all very close to Nadal's rpm's, yet Nadal's rpm's is the only one actually recorded and reported about.

    10isfreak already said he's seen a 3000rpm Federer topspin backhand, so it is not too hard to believe that the power trio of Almagro/Gasquet/Wawrinka hit more backhand topspin than Federer on average, and hit close to 3000rpm on average.

    I think it is more the left-handed nature of Nadal's forehand (combined with the spin) and his absolutely dogged pounding of that wing, rather than the fact he hits 200% more spin than anyone else on tour that makes his forehand a breaker of all backhands.

    EDIT: Cheetah, get some video of your legendary backhand up.
     
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  36. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yes it could be true. i'm just saying i will reserve judgment till yandell chimes in.

    My bh is not legendary as the fh is my better shot. i bought the volleycam recently. tried it out but my court didn't have enough room behind me so when i play at a different court i'll film it.
    The volleycam is cool in case anyone was thinking of getting one.

    edit. hmm... idk. the more i think about it i guess it miiiiight be true about gasquet. not sure about the "on-average" part but i can see him hitting 3000. If i have a real good bh day i think that i can hit it with just about the same rpm as a fh. and i've seen gasquet hitting some very nadal-like balls.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Do you think our courts have enough space?

    We can shoot (no pun) for this Thu-Sun sometime if you are going to be in town. I am going to be here.
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I find his backhand quite arrogant and condescending (too much side spin) :) I am used to facing more humble backhands.
     
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  39. Avles

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    #39
  40. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    I think we need to be careful about interpreting averages (and medians)

    Both Gasquet and Nadal can have the same average (or median), yet its still possible that Nadal's higher-end rpms are higher than Gasquet's. If we're talking median (which I think may be the case in this stat, due to loose language), that means Nadal can hit his top 10% at 5000 while Gasquet's top 10% is only 4000, yet they both could share the same median. Nadal can also have a higher bottom end yet still share the same median as well.

    What would really be nice to see is a graph of the rpm distribution for each player..



    I wouldn't describe his particular Eastern grip as "conservative." Far from it. His heel pad is further back behind the handle than any player I've seen. That's probably why he uses a massive butt cap, since doing so makes it much more comfortable to hold the racket that way. I consider his grip "extreme" due to his heel pad positioning.
     
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  41. Cheetah

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    i don't think you can characterize a bh grip by heel pad positioning like you can on a fh because a) small grip size he uses and b) he's not using his palm or heel pad to push the ball. he's whipping the racquet around and pulling it towards the ball with his shoulder and core. He's not pushing up against the racquet on the heel pad like you do on a fh. He has a large butt cap to keep the racquet from flying out of his hand because he's pulling the butt to the ball. The heel pad position on a 1hbh doesn't play a major a role as it does in a fh.
    imo

    conservative grip
    [​IMG]

    A grip is characterized by how the racquet is faced when you hold it. A racquet will be quite closed early in the takeback w/ an extreme grip. gasquet's is not.

    extreme grip
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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  42. Cheetah

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    you can also tell an extreme / consrevative grip by their arm position and racquet angle when meeting the ball.

    conservative
    [​IMG]

    extreme
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  43. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Since I was just hitting with Cheetah about two hours ago I'll chime in and say that his backhand is as he describes it. He gets great spin on it.
     
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  44. BevelDevil

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    Yes, Gasquet is not as extreme as Henin, but I think calling it "conservative" is just as misleading. It's still a pretty "strong" grip compared to a lot of pros, and certainly stronger than what beginners usually learn, from what I've seen.

    I think it's reasonable to say Dimitrov, Wawrinka and Federer use more conservative grips than Almagro/Gasquet. So I think it's useful to maintain the distinction.

    But ultimately, a 1-dimensional scale of extremeness is problematic and subjective (as far as I've seen). For example, if someone uses a grip where their knuckle and their heel pad are both on bevel 8 (as some rec players use) then there will be a very obtuse angle between racket and angle, yet should that still be described as "conservative"? What about Tommy Haas, who has a pretty tight angle at contact, yet his knuckle is in the mild-Eastern/continental position?


    Btw, Almagro and Gasquet are hitting balls around their kneecaps so I'm not sure how much weight to place in these particular pics.
     
    #44
  45. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Haas has that angle at contact because of his wrist position, not because of his grip. He is flexing his wrist (turning it down). You can see the straight line from his forearm to his wrist because his wrist is pointing down to 'compensate' for his non-extreme grip.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
    #45
  46. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    Cheetah the second pic you tried to link in post 41 (beneath Gasquet) did not work, who was it? And if you think that both Gasquet and Almagro have conservative grips, who on the current men's tour has an extreme grip?
     
    #46
  47. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    pics work for me on laptop and phone. sabatini.

    i don't know any men offhand that have an extreme grip for a 1hbh. maybe there are but i don't know any. All the top 1hbh guys with the super spin and pace have an eastern grip or less. Maybe Almagro is approaching extreme but i wldn't call his grip extreme. And he changes his grip. Sometimes he uses an eastern and sometimes his knuckle is on the edge.

    here he is with an eastern. knuckle squarely on the top bevel. this is the standard eastern backhand grip. not extreme.

    [​IMG]
     
    #47
  48. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    How about Montanes and GGL:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #48
  49. dufferok

    dufferok Rookie

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    I am a 4.5 level player. When I started tennis back in 1990, I learned with a one handed backhand. I had no issues with my backhand and statistically I had more backhand winners vs forehand. By 2007 (17 years later) I wasn't playing as ofter, I had stopped lifting weights and my shoulder/core muscles were noticeably weaker. Attempting to return hard hit serves with a one handed backhand became a chore. I switched to a two handed backhand. After a year, I felt very comfortable with the two hander. The good thing about the two hander was that it solved the problem of being overpowered with hard serves. The bad thing about the two hander, harder to generate the same amount of topspin as compared to my one hander, less power and I had to take an extra step to get into position as compared to the one hander. Which made setting up for angled shots harder. I hit with the two hander up to 2011. But I started to miss my one hander. I hit the gym again and really worked on my shoulders, lower back and core strength. Switched back to the one hander in 2012 and love'n it again. The topspin and ability to hit angles are far easier with a one hander. But the downside to the one hander is the possibility of being overpowered. If you don't keep your body conditioned, the one hander is not for you. In the end though, I'm glad that I took time to learn the two hander. I know the difference between the strokes based on actual trial and error and not by just what I've read online. In long matches, if my one hander starts getting fatigued, I can switch to the two hander and I'm back in the game. If you have the time and ability, learn both strokes so that YOU know what works best for YOU...also advisable in case you ever decide to teach/coach tennis.
     
    #49
  50. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    ^^ Good read here
     
    #50

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