Straight arm 2hander VS bent elbow 2hander

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,950
    I can see there are two kinds of 2handers among the pros. The "straight arm" 2handers eg Hewitt or the "bent elbow" 2handers eg Safin. Am I right? What is the difference?
     
    #1
  2. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    12,740
    Location:
    USA
    The bent arm backhand gives you more backswing, other than that, there's not much difference. The only reason Hewitt and Roddick straight arm the 2 hander is because it's the way they set up for the shot.
     
    #2
  3. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,615
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Correct me if I an wrong... but wouldn't the straight-arm give you a greater leverage, and potentially a faster swing-speed?
     
    #3
  4. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,094
    Normally, players with longer arms (Venus, Serena) have bent arms; players with relatively shorter arms would use relatively straight arms for their 2-handed BH.

    The 2-handed backhand is a combination of lefty's forehand and righty's 1-handed BH which means also that the left arm should be bent as you would on a forehand, and the right arm should be relatively straight as you would on a 1-handed BH. Common sense, isn't it?

    Both styles are in vogue and effective. You want to improve your double handed backhand? OK, here is a drill:

    --- hit six balls with a lefty forehand only,

    --- hit six balls with both hands but finish out in front (good extension on the stroke).

    --- hit six balls with both hands with normal follow-through.

    Keep on repeating the above sequence for a basket or two. I do this with my daughter, Sarah Mahboob, once in a while and she has a good double-handed backhand.
     
    #4
  5. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I have long arms and prefer hitting them with both arms bent since it's easier to adjust your arms at the last second then and it just seems more relaxed and smoother swing and is maybe easier to generate topspin with bent arms allowing more wrist movement with the lefty. I should try seeing if I can still hit the ball 2-handed with a stiff straight right arm.
     
    #5
  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    There are numerous variations on the two hand backhand. The most common of them are two of them. Their is a new one emerging but that is another story for another time.

    All twohanded backhands can be organized according to how the left hand is used to drive the ball. Also, twohanded backhands are nearly indistinguishable from the rotation stage onward.

    The first might be called the the Hingis model, the second the Hewitt model. These designations are only for convenience and, as always, are approximations.

    BENT ARM TWOHANDER

    In the Hingis model, the left hand is bent at the elbow and is used to drive the racquet forward.

    In the second (Hewitt model) the elbow is nearly straight in both arms and requires both shoulders to play a role in driving the ball.

    In the hingis model, the racquet may be layed back to varying degrees at this point depending on the circumstances of the point. The elbow can be fully bent, or partially extended depending on where the final burst of acceleration will be produced. If the elbow is bent, it may be used to provide burst acceleration, if not, additional rotation (torso/shoulders) may provide acceleration.

    If the elbow is still fully bent, it can be a source of stability and can assist in producing the final straight line interval needed by the strike stage.

    STRAIGHT ARM TWOHANDER

    In the straight arm twohanded backhand, the key point is that both arms are fairly straight and remain nearly so through out the stroke. Of course there is room for variation.

    Two reasons for fixing the elbows rigidly is to reduce the variability of the stroke and to improve stability. A third, lesser known reason is that the straight arm configuration actually makes it much easier for your brain to compute the location of the racquet head.

    The elbow configuration makes it quite easy to get the back elbow (in this case the left arm elbow) in front of the body plane quickly, a definite plus in this fast game of tennis.

    With the straight arm twohanded, the rotation is obtained by rotating the shoulders since the legs are usually more in an open stance and providing stability.

    As always, with the open stance, the legs need to be some distance apart to provide a strong platform for leveraging during the rotation. The lower you crouch (why bending the knees is important for all strokes) the more force you can exert to assist the rotation stage.

    The acceleration stage is provided by a sort of "snap" movement in the shoulders combined with the final rotation to align the racquet for the strike. The distance from the wrist to the body plane can vary widely depending on circumstances.

    Since the stance is usually more open (to allow body flow) and the elbows are straight, the straight line portion into the ball is primarily developed by extending the shoulders forward. A lean into the ball can also be helpful in this regard improving the chance for a clean contact.

    Delivering power to the ball from this position is restricted by the straight arm elbow configuration but this is compensated for to a large degree by the stability and accuracy provided by the straight arm twohander in that it is easier to assure that the racquet contacts the ball very cleanly and thus providing more power.
     
    #6
  7. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,365
    Personally, I prefer the Hingis, Agassi, Kafelnikov, and Safin style. It seems to allow for more power and topspin with less effort.
     
    #7
  8. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yeah, more power, more topspin, and it just plain looks better. Hewitt and Roddick's backhand just don't look very nice, too stiff.
     
    #8
  9. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    12,740
    Location:
    USA
    I agree with that. Agassi and Coria's backhands look a lot smoother and have better placement than Roddick's and Hewitt's.
     
    #9
  10. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,615
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    It was said yesterday Hewitt has the best backhand in the game... can't think which commentator said it though.
     
    #10
  11. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,950
    Bungalo, seems like you prefer the straight arm version. I do too, the only problem is with high balls, it is kind of awkward to take back high with a straight arm. Well, can't have it all I guess. Thank you everyone for the input.
     
    #11
  12. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Well, I really dont lean to either one. I too hit with bent elbows. However, you cant judge the restriction of the straight arm twohander for a couple of practices. Like learning the twohander it takes a bit of time for the muscles to relax the proper way so it feels better. Most of the swing is in the shoulders but the pressure is more in the elbows then the whole arm on the straight arm twohander.
     
    #12
  13. gmlasam

    gmlasam Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,527

    Safin seems to have a straight 2 handed backhand similar to Hewitt.

    [​IMG]
     
    #13
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    878
    The different styles of Marat
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #14
  15. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,950
     
    #15
  16. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    It's when you strike the ball that the elbow is straight or bent. Safin's right elbow is bent when he strikes the ball.
     
    #16

Share This Page