Footwork for two handed backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennisplayer, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    374
    Footwork for the 2HBH is something that I could not decide on for a long time. But I have finally found what works for me, and I thought I would run it by the experts here.

    Although I have an open stance for my forehand, I have been using the closed stance for the 2HBH for a long time. I thought I had modeled this stroke after Agassi's 2HBH, but all I had noticed was that he would make this shot of his right foot (although I guess all pros will hit using the open stance when the occasion calls for it, such as when being pulled wide). My strokes were never very consistent, although I could get good power. I then changed to the open stance - that is, hit the ball as if I were executing a left-handed forehand. I got more consistency, but there wasn't enough power.

    While puzzling over videos of Agassi and other pros such as Hewitt some months ago, I noticed something - yes, these guys do take a step forward and execute the 2HBH off the right foot, but... they step directly forward, not into the ball! Thus, the left foot covers the ball as it would for an open stance forehand, but this is followed by step forward with the right foot that leaves the stance either open or semi-open. Bingo - this was the secret sauce I lacked! I have been doing this for a while, and it has worked wonders for my 2HBH.

    Sometimes, especially for very low balls, I still need to close my stance, but with my new discovery, I am able to get decent power, spin, and consistency for the bread and butter cross court and DTL shots. I am amazed at how a simple thing can be so elusive even after reading all the available tips and watching all the videos on tennisone umpteen times!
     
    #1
  2. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,071
    While puzzling over videos of Agassi and other pros such as Hewitt some months ago, I noticed something - yes, these guys do take a step forward and execute the 2HBH off the right foot, but... they step directly forward, not into the ball! Thus, the left foot covers the ball as it would for an open stance forehand, but this is followed by step forward with the right foot that leaves the stance either open or semi-open. Bingo - this was the secret sauce I lacked! I have been doing this for a while, and it has worked wonders for my 2HBH.

    Can't quite understand this - starting with the second sentence.
     
    #2
  3. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    374
    What I mean is that the initial preparation is as though one is going to execute an open stance left-handed forehand. That is, the weight shifts to the left leg, and the hips rotate as if for a left-handed forehand. But then one steps forward with the right leg, and shifts weight to the right leg as the stroke is executed. The point I was trying to make is rather subtle - the step forward is not towards the ball, but rather, straight ahead. I'm sorry if this doesn't make it any clearer...
     
    #3
  4. Noelle

    Noelle Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,771
    #4
  5. Prince_of_Tennis

    Prince_of_Tennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Yes..... It is about transfering your weight forward and rotation...What part of San Jose are you from?
     
    #5
  6. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    374
    I live in South San Jose.
     
    #6
  7. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yeah, when I first started I hit closed, but then went to totally open and lost power but gain constency. I hit with closed on low balls but hit with with a semi-open stance for most other shots with good power and constency. It's easier to hit that crosscourt passing shot with a semi-open stance too. I will take note if I step forward with my right foot. I think I step back with my left, plant, and then lean into the shot with the hips and knees moving forward. I do get alot more power with semi-open and closed stances compared to open where it's only trunk rotation and racquet swing and little hip motion.
     
    #7
  8. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    I can pretty much guess that it was a closed stance you were using to hit a twohanded backhand. Yes, at times you will have no choice. In this case, slice.

    But when you do have a choice not stepping directly into the ball will allow your hips to open. Hitting as twohanded backhand with your hips closed is a recipe for frustration.

    Rotation is the key power element of the twohanded backhand. You need to allow your hips to move by not blocking them off and try and make contact in the 45 degree angle.

    This means you are not stepping across your bodies center line but rather more forward towards the net. Weighting your backfoot like you do on yoru forehand is also important.
     
    #8
  9. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    374
    Hey BB, thanks for your reply. I have a pretty good slice backhand, and I am going to use your tip - whenever the occasion calls for a closed stance (low balls, for example), I am going to slice. It makes a lot of sense.
     
    #9

Share This Page