One-handed bh or two-handed bh better?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JeeRaahL, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. JeeRaahL

    JeeRaahL New User

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    I've been playing tennis for about half a year now, and I've tried out the two-handed bh, however I don't hit as hard as I do with the one-handed bh. Can someone tell me the advatantages of the two-handed bh and the one-handed bh? Thanks.
     
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  2. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I used to hit a 2hbh, but I now use a 1hbh. The 2hbh is good for drives and hitting with an open stance. The 1hbh is good for slice and more reach, but can be tough when a ball is hit high or when the ball lands behind you. I prefer the 1hbh because you take the ball earlier and the option to slice is always there as opposed to most 2hbh players who switch to a 1hbh when they slice.
     
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  3. JeeRaahL

    JeeRaahL New User

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    I guess the one-hander seems better.
     
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  4. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    this has been discussed before i believe, if you do a search something should come up.

    as for me, i agree with rickson even though i use a two hander (my slice is one handed btw). i just can't get the timing down on the one hander consistently to use it in match play. it just means more practice for me!
     
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  5. gmlasam

    gmlasam Hall of Fame

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    What ever is most naturally comfortable for you is the best backhand.
     
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  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    The onehanded slice backhand and the onehanded topspin backhand are two different animals. Each requiring a somewhat to a different grip for each depending on the grip you like to use for the topspin backhand. Each has its own timing element. Each has its own footwork elements. Each has its own emphasis on the swing and how much effort you put in the swing. So with this said, I think Rickson is not all that correct about his findings.

    The onehanded backhand (topspin) places a greater demand on timing the ball. It places a greater demand on getting set and recovery since a onehanded backhand is hit primarily from a stance that is nuetral to closed. The onehanded backhand is also harder to hit for return of serves, and high balls. Return of serves are sometimes hit from an open stance which reduces the onehanders chance to put pace on the ball. Since the rotation in the onehanded backhand is important and needs whatever little rotation it gets for power, having an open stance makes the onehanded backhander use all of its shoulder and arm to generate the power without the help of rotation. This becomes hard to do and time.

    The onehanded backhand is more precise and more demanding on timing five different body segments for maximum power and control. And finally, the onehanded backhand needs some time to develop strength in the arm to support the energy flow and wrist control.

    Things that favor the onehanded backhand are:

    1. Freedom of movement (at first). When you first use the onehanded backhand vs. the twohanded backhand, you get a sense that it is more free flowing with your movement.

    2. It feels more natural (at first). Again, swinging the onehanded backhand feels very natural, the racquet goes back, the arm comes forward. Simple.

    3. The onehanded backhand is better suited for low balls. It doesnt mean it wont have its troouble spots, but it is easier to maintain balance witht he onehanded backhand on low balls.

    4. The onehanded backhand is well suited for serve and volleyers

    There are other things but I think you get the picture. If you want to know more just ask.

    The twohanded backhand is an excellent shot. It is better suited for return of serves and high balls. Since the majority of courts have a higher boouncing ball, the twohanded backhand can blow holes through these balls. The extra hand on the racquet brings tremendous control and power to the ball.

    The other advantage of a twohanded backhand is the verstaility in grip combinations. You can use a different bottom hand grip than the tophand grip. If you put the bottom hand grip in a continental grip you get the add benefit of slicing the ball if you are late in getting into position, or to change the pace and spin of the ball.

    Everyone that plays this sport should have or be working on the bakhand slice, so I dont buy the slice bakchand is only with the onehanded backhand. The slice is a defensive shot and everyone at sometime or another has to defend. So you must develop a slice no matter which backhand you go with. The slice backhand does not require as much arm strength as the swing path and the way you make contact is different.

    The twohanded backhand is easier to begin getting results right away. To develop a twohanded backhand efficiently it takes about 6 months. This is in contrast to the average time it takes to develop a solid topspin backhand which takes about a year or more!

    The twohanded backhand can allow the ball to come into the body more or you can step into it and meet it earlier. You can use this delay as a diguise element or if you need the extra time. The onehanded backhand does not give your this option. The bottom-line to this is the twohanded backhand is easier to time.

    The twohanded backhand can easliy add topspin to a shot. Just the sheer nature of twohands hitting the ball allows the twohanded backhand the ability to add tremendous topspin.

    Until the onehander really learns to time the ball well, the twohanded wins in power. Power for the most part comes from your abillity to hit a clean shot and timing. The twohander hands down is easier to do this with both on grooundstrokes and the return of serve.

    The twohanded is easier to manage from a stroke production view as only two body segement are used. The lower body and the upper body, thats it!

    Some downfalls of the twohander:

    1. You need a wider base under you to hit the ball.

    2. The backfoot really needs to be set to push off through the ball.

    3. Balance is more of an issue through the stroke phase. SO you must be in good shape and have goof footwork to maintain that balance.

    4. You burn a little more energy because your using more muscles in the shot. At the very least, your using more MAJOR muscles in the shot.

    5. It is harder to learn to relax the shoulders and legs so rotation can move through the kenetic chain. Many players "tighten" up their legs or tighten up their shoulders and try to muscle there shot. The worst is as you swing you tighten up the legs for power as it just stiffens the swing and produces poor results.

    6. It feels awkward (at first). It takes a good month to learn how to move with a twohander. But if you keep your legs loose and body loose through the swing, you will get fantastic results.

    Although I love the onehander, I favor the twohander for todays game. since every player needs to slice it mutes the benefit of having a onehander because of it. Also, the gap favoring coming to net with a onehander vs. a twohander is closing as well. Twohanders are now hitting their backhand volleys with twohands or onehands on the racquet. They are learning to slice the ball as well.

    The bottom-line is if you want a onehanded backhand then you must stick with it for at least a year and a half with hard practice. It is simply a hard shot to learn and get good with. This is a decision you will have to make.

    As for me, I love both backhands and teach both backhands. But if a parent came up to me and asked, if it was your kid and they could be good with either, I would favor the twohander. Itis a better shot for the return of serve (which is more important than ever before) and the higher ball which is prevalent in todays tennis.
     
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  7. kreative

    kreative Professional

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    once again, bbill has nailed it on the head. thou 1 thing i've noticed is that those that have 1 handed topspin/flat backhands really like to hit them! i.e. they favor their backhand side. i can see why thou, it's definitely a "feel-good" stroke. i used to play w/ a 1 hander, but switched to 2 for more consistency, better backhand returns, and dealing w/ high balls (kick serves also). still have a 1 handed slice thou.
     
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  8. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

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    I've been taking lessons over the summer to try to get a solid backhand. The problem is, the teacher only teaches one handed so that's what I've been learning.

    From BB's excellent analysis though, it sounds like 2 handed might be better for me. The reason is that i play an aggressive game and have a big forehand. So even if I have a steady backhand, it will always be picked on since I can do so much more on the forehand side.

    The 2 HBH might allow me more aggressive backhand shots that could slightly obscure the advantage of keeping the ball to the backhand.

    Plus being in my 40's whithout a lot of time to practice or work on my game might mean I could ultimately have a better chance of developing a matchworthy bh. I've always used slice for a bh, that works reasonably well, but of course all the opponent has to do to take the aggression out of my game is hit to my bh and wait for slices.

    Another reason favoring the 2hbh is that I hit my forehand with a fairly open stance and it just might be more natural for my style of play.
     
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  9. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Skinny Dip - this is a little scarey - I could have written your last post ! You don't have brown eyes and blond hair too, do you :) ?

    I've played a one handed slice for years (someone recently told me it was at the 5.0 level) and find the same thing, that smart players tend to prefer to hit to that side in rallys because it's 1) predictable and 2) less forcing than the forehand.

    So recently, I've been working on a two handed backhand. I don't fully trust it yet, and only rarely try to drive the ball with it, but even only using it to spin the ball back (and luckily, I find it more natural to go dtl with it), it brings a lot to my game - just because people can't anticipate as well what's coming from that side.

    So... I say develope both. They compliment each other.
     
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  10. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    What else is new?
     
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  11. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    I think the big advantage to the 1hander is freedom of motion which can deliver sheer power. I find that when I get a nice soft ball, I can really rip the living daylight out of it without much effort. Some good 2handers may be able to do this too, but the 1hander is lot more natural for me in that respect.

    As to slicing w/1hander.. The problem is once the ball comes I've already commited myself to either topspin backhand or slice backhand. So you can't really just decide to slice once you're already got a topspin backhand grip... Technically you can but the slice than becomes a floater which gets you in trouble anyway.. So I don't see any advantage to using a slice with the 1hb.

    On the other note, if your takeback is similar for the 1hb slice and 1hb topspin, it may be good disguise and your opponent cant anticpate completely. While I was watching Tommy Haas play in Los Angles this year, I was amazed how close his backhand slice and backhand topspin looked. It was hard to read the difference because he takes back high on both shoots.
     
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  12. Exci

    Exci Rookie

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    Interesting though that the 2hbh is considered the one with the most drive, while almost all amazing backhand drives on the tour are hit, yes, SINGLE handed!

    Verkerk, Kuerten, Kafelnikov (used to hit it 1handed as well, right?) and of course Federer.

    Might not be due to the nature of the shot and I know there are very good two-handers as well, but they're not considered to be totally amazing.

    Could be the perception of hitting it one handed that makes it LOOK like a very very good backhand, but I remember my former teaching pro who used to wack the ball across the court one handed like I've never seen anybody hit it two-handed at a club..
     
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  13. buster17

    buster17 Guest

    I'm curious why anyone has to decide whether to to hit a 1hbh or 2hbh. While in my early years of playing I developed a sound and reliable 2hbh, and I was still able to a slice with it. As I continue to develop my game, I have incorporated the 1hbh, both topspin and slice. I use whatever shot seems appropriate for the situation.

    Is it necessarily a bad thing to be currently working on both types of backhands? I suppose that I am lucky (for now) that my current coach is allowing me to use both 1hbh and 2hbh. Although, early on he has expressed interest in me committing to one or the other. Never asked him "why". Any ideas.
     
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  14. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Versatility is great, but you don't want to get indecisive when the ball comes to your backhand side. I use the 1hbh over 90% of the time, but I will use the 2hbh if the ball comes behind me or I use a lefty forehand once in a while. Stick with the backhand you're most comfortable with, but don't think too much when the ball comes your way, either hit the 1hbh or the 2hbh and don't look back.
     
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  15. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Easier to slice one hand and easier to topspin 2 hand. A little bit more court coverage with 1 hander. Consistency can be high with both, but the 2 hander is usually easier for a beginner to learn. Two hander might have a little bit more directional control and makes for a better passing shot most of the time. Go with what feels natural for you. I can hit a one-hander with either of my hands but my 2hander playing righty is my best shot overall so I would tend to recommend the 2 hander as it can break down many players 1 hander at the 4.0 level I play against.
     
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  16. buster17

    buster17 Guest

    Generally speaking, I tend to stick with my 2hbh when trying to keep my opponent on the move, keeping him defensive. My 2hbh definitely has more pace and I do generate a lot of topspin, so I can drive the ball deep. Unfortunately, as Rickson has pointed out, I have been caught in the "indecision" of what to hit and end up completely mishitting the ball.

    I know my 1hbh does not match the pace of my 2hbh, but I can control depth just as well. I also like idea I can disguise my shot with the 1h allowing me to hit a drop shot. At least for now, I do not consider the bh side a weakness. Maybe as I move up and play better opponents I may need to decide one way or the other.
     
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  17. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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  18. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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  19. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    BB- I'm looking into it because I remember this from an article and it fit what I've observed. BTW, I remember John Yandell was part of a team that measured ball speeds at the Sybase Open a while ago, but I don't think they tracked 1H BH compared to 2H BH. The reason I remember is I think Sampras didn't hit returns as fast as they were hit against him, which surprised me. I'll get back to you.
     
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  20. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, thanks! I will turn to John and try and find out his research. I am not discounting it as I said above the onehander if timed well well go through the ball and meet the ball out in front which usually allows the ball to fly off the strings. So we shall see! In the mean time keeping looking for that article.
     
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