The dreaded high 1HBH

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by The King of Swing, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. The King of Swing

    The King of Swing New User

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    Nothing like a juicy waist level ball to crack my 1 hander but those high ones can be tricky. I usually try and block the ball back, take off some power and just roll it back or just slice it as I'm not quite sure how to attack it with a full rip. Can anyone help me out here? I play with a eastern backhand grip.
     
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  2. tonygao

    tonygao Rookie

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    hi,

    I am also 1HBH with an eastern grip. lately I am trying to adjust my grip to semi-western to handle high ball to my backhand. still trying, it could be a solution.

    I am just wondering if Federer ever tried this? or is he using it against Nadal? does anybody know?
     
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  3. The King of Swing

    The King of Swing New User

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    Funny you mention that because I'm a semi-western to eastern convert on that wing. When I used semi it made that shot a lot easier to handle but never had the consistency with other shots like I do now with the eastern.
     
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  4. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    What do you mean by "semi-western"? Where's your index knuckle?

    Also, on your eastern, do you keep your fingers together, or have them spread out?
     
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  5. tonygao

    tonygao Rookie

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    if so, then the best may be to use two grips on the backhand, semi-western and eastern.

    why not. it could be done with some practice.
     
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  6. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    If you work this one out, give Roger Federer a call.

    You can't really attack it. Best thing to do is take it early and really focus on brushing up the back of the ball. Work the topspin, give them something awkward and hope you get a better go at it next time.
     
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  7. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I attack them and put them away with a full uni grip western. High hand, contact is closer to you than a waist high ball, high straight through plane of attack and vicious hip rotation.
     
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  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I highly doubt this claim.
     
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  9. USERNAME

    USERNAME Professional

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    Up to the lower college level, you have options. You can move up and bunt the ball on the rise, you can back up and let it drop into you comfort zone, you can cut a hard slice (it's above your waist so HIT the slice), you can drop the racquet head and loop it with spin, or you can straighten your body a bit and hit the ball flatter simply by moving your contact point up.
    When you hit the elite level you have 3 options if you don't wanna play a point like Simon, crack it or hit a hard slice or take it on the rise.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    High backhand....
    Now you can smack it topspin, with a strong grip, and some players like Kiteboard (I have seen him hit) CAN indeed smack a topspin winner off a high backhand up to the 5.5 level. Maybe he cannot do it at 6.0 level, but he claims only 5.0, I think. Hope your elbow is OK.
    But you all discount the strong grip HARD SLICE! That ball is a toughie for any strong grip forehand, and very effective to force weak returns off a backhand, the low, shin high skidder that screwballs off to the side.
    Sure, you can defensive slice it, but that IS the weak ball that you often get when you hit a strong grip underspin forehand with aggression.
    And you know, unless you swing like Kuerten and Vilas, it takes only the strong and dedicated to hit offensive shots off a high backhand.
     
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  11. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    take the racquet high (behind your head) and hit straight through the ball. Your problem is that you are trying to sweep the racquet head up and over the ball
     
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  12. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Something you might care to try on this shot is to have think of the racquet floating down a stream (butt pointing to where your aiming) and as you hit, think of the racquet going over a waterfall - butt quickly is pointing down but verticle.

    Big thing is that you can't really do much with the ball so stay away from trying to do too much.
     
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  13. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    How about sweeping across the back of the ball - sideways. That's what I remember Becker, Edberg, etc. doing with those high balls. You have to really let the racquet fly to make this work. Their shots were pretty aggressive.

    Note: I don't hit a 1hbh, so what do I know.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sure, a strong player can hit top with a bit of sidespin, because that's your anatomic option...you gotta add some sidespin on high balls, because your swing pivots off your shoulder.
    But unless you can swing and hit it hard enough to counter the high ball, you are giving your opponent an easy sitter. If you can bounce it to HIS backhand or forehand side, consider yourself done with that problem, now learn to volley...:)
    I'd think, maybe 80% of good players cannot hit a high backhand with topspin and make it effective against a like level opponent.
     
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  15. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Now I only claim 4.5. Only so fast at 210lbs. Beaten many top norcal kick servers with a flat bh return off the ad side dtl.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OK, we'll give you a "4.5 who hits like a 5.5" rating.
    I"m a 3.8 who hits like a bad non moving 4.5.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, for those who will snicker at us.....
    The guy can hit a backhand overhead like most of you's normal overheads, can hit 20 topspin shots deep with a huge fast swing, and if he can lose 35 lbs and cure his chronic elbow and lower back, watch out 5.5's.
     
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  18. tonygao

    tonygao Rookie

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    when hitting topspin on the high backhand, is grip-adjustment the right thing to do? such as from eastern backhand grip to a semi-western backhand?

    about the hard slice, I found it more difficult to hit than a top-spin. when I try to slice a high backhand, I always dump the ball into net. what's the tip of slicing a very high ball, like head-level?
     
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  19. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    You're just in position to have a go at that thing no matter what grip or body adjustment. It's just an inherent weakness you can't cure. I personally have 3 routes to this problem. First, I'd hop to get some height like Federer on a backhand return from a split step. The ball is somewhat flat and isn't particularly forcing, but enough to keep me from getting a ball whipping into a corner. Second, I do an actual high topspin backhand. The ball is hit on a downward trajectory. To keep it from getting attacked, I'd place it at an extreme CC angle, aided by the height and topspin. Third, just chop that thing right back like Fed, with minimal net clearance, pace, and skidding with a little sidespin for added interest.
     
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  20. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

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    On high backhands I always just back up slightly to make absolutely sure that I am then able to step into the ball, then I pretty much take my racquet back to head height, and then I swing straight through. That description is probably not super helpful, but I think that the most important thing on high backhands is that you just swing straight through, because if you make an effort to get topspin then it just messes everything up, the topspin comes pretty much naturally, at least for me. I just sort of hit high backhands virtually the same way I would hit a backhand that's just floating high in the middle of the court. Of course this could just be easier for me due to my height (6'3"), but hopefully this might help some of you.
     
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  21. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tony, you are in luck.
    If the only problem you have with slicing a one handed backhand off a head high ball is that it goes into the net, then just don't switch grip so much.
     
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  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes! Nothing dreaded about it. It's easy if you know how to do it.

    Don't try to hit up on a high ball unless you're hitting a lob or a moonball. Rather, treat it like a backhand overhead. When you take the racquet back, let the racquet head drop below the hand, lead with the butt of the racquet with a straight elbow, suppinate the forearm and accelerate the racquet into, and then under, the ball. You can rip the ball as hard as you like with this method.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
    #23
  24. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    You will have to cheat your grip towards extreme and start practicing taking attacking swings at those high balls. There is a swing path that can work for this to where the next thing you know, you may be hitting high onehanded backhands that penetrate while resembling topspin forehands hit at sixty-five percent of full power; but what I have noticed is that you really have to get around the outside of the ball and just give it a rip--and when you feel off timing wise, the best you can hope for is to level out the swing and hit a nice flat drive. . .but it's tricky going for sure, although definitely doable. The key is just getting to the outside-of-ball and trusting in a manly topspin swing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
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  25. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Be careful of your terminology. "Semi-Western" suggests you are putting your index knuckle on bevel 8 (the next bevel behind the top, bevel 1).

    This is way too extreme for most players. I think Mauresmo may have done this, but every other pro with a extreme grip (like Kuerten, Henin, and early Gasquet) uses the "Extreme Eastern" which is where the index knuckle is in-between bevel 8 and bevel 1. Basically it is moving your knuckle back half a bevel from Eastern.

    If you have frequent problems with high balls, I highly recommend this grip since it helps with high balls while maintaining your ability to hit low and medium balls with a good combination of control, spin and power.



    I also asked earlier about how you use your fingers on your Eastern grip. Are your fingers spread out ("pistol grip")? Or are they kept together like a fist ("hammer")?

    This is an important question. If you are using a pistol grip, you will have a harder time hitting high balls because of the wide angle the racket is forming with your forearm.

    A hammer-type grip is much better for hitting high balls and is much more common among pros than the pistol grip. Actually, no pro I've seen separates his index finger from his thumb or middle finger.

    A better way to hold the Eastern is to grip it according to this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IurGIKVFKQ#t=0m18s


    Also, keep in mind you can combine the extreme-eastern grip with the hammer grip. (This is actually what Kuerten did.)


    In short, I think for most people both the extreme-eastern pistol grip and the eastern hammer grip are a better choice than the eastern pistol grip. The extreme-eastern hammer grip may be better if you're a clay court specialist and/or you are very short.
     
    #25
  26. tonygao

    tonygao Rookie

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    the grip-adjusting is only about hitting topspin, when silce it, I always use continantal, no matter how high or low the ball is.

    but my problem with slicing a high ball is I always hit it into the net, where I don't have this issue when slicing a low or normal ball.

    is it the racquet face or the swing path that leads the ball into net?
     
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  27. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    That's weird because I do the opposite. I try to impart even more spin on the ball. I figure on a high ball the one thing that's easy to do is get under the ball and create topspin.
     
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  28. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    #28
  29. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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  30. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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  31. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Its a PITA, no doubt, but we 1-handers have to get used to it. Even I have stopped ripping balls CC (I am a lefty) and started hitting high spinny balls as my typical shot and save the ripping for when they are more useful and more high percentage.

    I think every 1-hander should find a lefty who hits a forehand with a lot of spin and find a clay court and just work through them hitting CC until they are just a minor nuisance and not fatal to the point. Playing on clay is the best way to get used to them.
     
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  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Ole leather face here....
    Tony, you can say it can be either/and/or too much grip change, or too steep a downward slice swingpath. Change one, not both, and high backhands will clear the net.
    Personally, I have trouble hitting top of the head high backhands. I'm trying a flat swingpath, heavy SW grip, and taking the ball well in front of my body, shoulders fully turned.
     
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  33. Hitman99

    Hitman99 Rookie

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    I'm a low 4.0, but this is one of my favorite shots. I play with a very light, stiff racket, and can really smack this shot without a lot of effort. Always leaves my opponents flatfooted, as they don't expect a forcing shot.

    Key for me is an extreme Western BH grip.
     
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  34. qwanta

    qwanta New User

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    Federer can hit a high 1hbh just fine. It's just that in a crosscourt rally against Nadal's excellent forehand, it's not good enough to overcome the huge amount of spin Nadal imparts to the ball. Stroke to stroke, it's a match-up that is in Nadal's favor and so he ends up winning a majority of the points in that situation, but it doesn't mean Federer can't hit a high backhand.
    At the rec level a high 1hbh is a shot that is valuable and should be practiced, because rec players are not likely to face someone with Nadal's chops.
     
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  35. 10sEmporer

    10sEmporer Banned

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    this is very much grip dependent.. you can use more extreme grip, but then low balls become a pain.

    on high ones, just slicing them down is fine.
     
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  36. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Ok, so i will retract my previous statement about doubting you can do this.
    I can hit high backhands with my 1hbh but when they get pretty high they end up with having more side spin than top spin. (on purpose). Are you changing your grip to more extreme on this kind of shot? I change my grip a little but still im not ripping topspin bh's on a ball above my shoulders.
     
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  37. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I guess I'm one of the few who has a lot more trouble with the low ones.
     
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  38. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Your certainy not alone on this - it can be a difficult shot that many have problems with.
     
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