Tsongas messed up dual backhands

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by always_crosscourt, Feb 15, 2013.

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Should Tsonga abandon his topspin 1hbh?

  1. Yes - drop it instantly

    22 vote(s)
    46.8%
  2. No - continue to mix it in

    25 vote(s)
    53.2%
  1. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHS23N3gDBQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=520s

    Check out Tsonga in the following link against Klizan. I had to do a double take - was it really Tsonga playing in that clip? He hit at least two rally backhands as a topspin 1hbh. Not one handed slice. Not a last-ditch desperation passing shot attempt when stretched out way too wide (I can understand this). But rally backhands where he has ample time to set up his 2hbh.

    How can Tsonga even be thinking about doing this?

    It takes billions upon billions of repetitions of a stroke to get it to a pro level, and it takes learning that stroke from the age of, oh I dunno, TWO years old.

    If Tsonga really wants to have a 1hbh, he needs to invent a time machine and go back to when he was two years old and hit thousands of 1hbh's every day for 25 years, and then, maybe then, he'd a have a 1hbh that he could hit to pro standard.

    It really baffles me that a mature touring professional can mess around with his technique like this, and it certainly gives fuel to those who claim that Tsonga spends all his time clowning around and never really having the belief to win anything big. Its like: "oh I can't win this match anyway (even though I'm playing Klizan of all people), so may as well mess about hitting 1hbh's to entertain the crowd."

    Do you see Nadal or anyone else on tour learning new techniques? Of course not, because in tennis your game is locked into place by the time you're 15 - after that, any time spent trying to acquire new techniques/skills is wasted because you'd need to spend 20 years and billions of hours getting those new techniques/skills up to pro standard. By that time you'll have long retired.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
    #1
  2. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    At least tell us the time when he hits the one hander when you post a video.....we don't want to waste 19 min of our life to watch that vid.
     
    #2
  3. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    Cool it, badass, I've edited the link so you won't have to spend 20 minutes of your busy and hectic life finding it.
     
    #3
  4. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    He was just fooling around - up 5 - 0. It is the French way - n'est pas!
    But you may be right - they don't win much - but as fan - I enjoy watching most French players - they try amazing shots - not high percentage but amazing. Odd times they pull off the spectacular win Tsonga vs Federer wimbledon - one most amazing matches ever!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
    #4
  5. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    What do you mean? As a regular rally shot, it's not very reliable. But two handers that at least have a very fundamental understanding of one handers go a long way. One handed backhand has greater reach, so it can work wonders on the run. Tsonga using it strictly for this purpose actually may be an evolution in the game.

    Observe

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Z-cJL94OU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwAmU7YY8nk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc1HIssojyw

    It's nowhere near useless to experiment with the one hander as a two hander. Sure, it's flashy but at the same it it has pragmatic use too. And keep in mind, 2/3 of those matches above he won and the one he didn't was against Murray in a tight three setter
     
    #5
  6. oldhacker

    oldhacker Semi-Pro

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    I was watching and filming Tsonga practicing at Wimbledon last year and he was hitting only 1 hand topspin backhands. I thought I was going mad at the time as I knew he played with a 2HBH. I put it down to him wanting to rest a damaged left finger (think he fell at Queens and injured it) at the time but perhaps there is more to it !
     
    #6
  7. Tropikal_Knights

    Tropikal_Knights Banned

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    hmmmm well maybe he just felt liked doing it......

    Its not a crime last time I checked.
     
    #7
  8. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    I think you make an interesting point. I played with a 1 hander for years, quit for about 8 years and started playing again about 2 yrs ago. Decided to switch to the 2 hander. Used it for a year and switched back to 1 hander.

    The comment I have heard from EVERY pro at my club and anywhere else,

    'You have to pick 1 or the other. You can't use both. Pick 1 or the other.'

    Why the hell not!!!!!!! I'm gonna start using both!!!! Thank you for the encouragement.
     
    #8
  9. NickC

    NickC Professional

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    Tactically speaking, it's much more useful to be able to confidently hit both a 1 handed backhand and a 2 handed backhand rather than just one.

    If you have the ability to hit both shots, why not do so?
     
    #9
  10. Narcissist

    Narcissist Semi-Pro

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    Pretty sure a pro of that level can manage a rally 1hbh without serious risk
     
    #10
  11. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    Personally I think he should hit one-handers all the time. He's that good.
     
    #11
  12. MichaelChang

    MichaelChang Hall of Fame

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    the take-back of 1hbh is different than the 2hbd. When he running to his left and getting ready for his backhand shot, he has to make an early decision, way before the ball bounces, whether this is going to be a 1h or a 2h shot. I do not think this happens routinely at the ATP level matches. Consistency is key. If he keeps switching back and forth, it is only going to cause more errors. I think he is pulling a 1hbd only because he is loose and doesn't care much at that particular moment.
     
    #12
  13. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Any decent player can bring hit both. Tsonga has layed with the one hander more than most and he thiiks its its is natutal shot.
     
    #13
  14. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    I made a thread/poll a few weeks ago called "If Federer Had Tsonga's backhand." People in that thread said Tsonga had the worst 2hbh in the top 20 (including all the 1-handers).

    So maybe there's a good reason for what he's doing. I assume he's worked on his 2hbh and failed. Perhaps he's practising seriously with the 1hbh and plans on using it more often in match play a few years from now. I hope he succeeds.


    The takeback of a slice is also different from a 2hbh, yet pros make that decision just fine. Also, pros have a ton of experience reading the ball, so that should help mitigate the effects of the greater incoming speed.
     
    #14
  15. MindoverMatter

    MindoverMatter Professional

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    I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one here who knows that he's been doing this for years, right? Ever since he dropped his coach.
     
    #15
  16. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    There is 2hander extenion that is exactly like one hander but with one extra hand on it. Tennisplayer.net talked about 5 different 2 handers......and one of those 2 handers is exactly like a one hander. Maybe Tsonga has that 2 hander where he can naturally hit a one hander if he wanted to. 2011 Wimbledon....his one handers were ridiculous.

    Thanks OP for updating the link......
     
    #16
  17. grolson1993

    grolson1993 Rookie

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    This. Also, 1 handers when timed really well feel much more natural with the body rotation :) To me, 2 handed feels cramped and uncomfortable, then again, i can't hit a 2 hander to save my life...
     
    #17
  18. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    That type of 2hbh that is more like the 1hbh is rare. Agassi and Nadal are the only recent pros I know who hit that way, with a straight front arm.

    Tsonga's is more conventional (straight back arm).
     
    #18
  19. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    A few years from now, when he's on the senior tour?

    Even if Tsonga started practicing the 1hbh 15 years ago for 8 hours a day, he wouldn't have enough repetitions in him to get it to the tour level.

    There is a reason why everyone says to pick either 1hbh and 2hbh and use it for everything - there aren't enough hours in a lifetime to learn both.

    If there were, everyone would be using topspin 1hbh's on shots where it was advantageous to do so (hitting heavy topspin, hitting wide balls), and 2hbh's on shots where it was advantages to do so (return of serve, high balls). But no-one apart from Tsonga does it. They pick one and put up with the weaknesses of their choice. That's how it should be done. You shouldn't have the best of both worlds.
     
    #19
  20. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    If he plans on playing into his early 30s I think a good 1hbh (at least as a reliable option) would pay off big.


    I think you are right about him trying to go exclusively 1hbh. But I think there is time for him to have a usable 1hbh in very specific situations (such as passing shots, on the run, and winner attempts). It worked against Federer at Wimbledon.

    If he truly does have the worst backhand in the top 20, and has already worked in vain on improving it, then he doesn't have that much to lose, especially with his all-court ability.
     
    #20
  21. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    Just the way he rolls, a fun guy to watch!
     
    #21
  22. Tafmatch

    Tafmatch Rookie

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    Well Tsonga himself is definitely 'tour level' and I don't see why shouldn't be able to make the switch to a 1-hander. Repetitions of one shot help your other shots as well you know, you don't start from scratch.

    I do think it's a silly idea though, unless he really wants to change to an even more attacking style.
     
    #22
  23. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    that has nothing to do with Evolution, I think he just did that out of boredom Messing around a Little. if he Plays djokovic he doesn't do it a lot.

    I have a two hander but if I play with a Girl or a beginner I will hit some one handers too (I'm no pro of course).
     
    #23
  24. tata

    tata Professional

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    The guy is strong. Even if he doesn't use all the mechanics to get power from good rotation, he can still muscle the hell out of it.
     
    #24
  25. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    I recall my brother getting very excited last year, telling me to check out Tsonga, he hits one hand backhands!!

    Not sure what to make of it, if it is a state of mental confusion on how to play, or if he really is literally playing with feeling, like those jazz musicians do?

    But even those good jazz musicians improvise around a stucture, whether it be a blues pattern or 5/4 or whatever. Tsonga really needs a good structure around his game to realise his talent properly. Bit late in his career, but maybe he could practise returns with a one hander see how he gets on, but whatever he does he should stick to a plan and bring out certain shots at certain times, instead of randomly as it can appear.

    Also, with his game, I would have thought a Head midsize plus or something similar would have suited his game better than a Babolat with a large head.
     
    #25
  26. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    babs pay him the big bucks and they're french*...

    anyway, you guys are acting as if his ranking and his results are suffering due to his backhand. i know you want everyone to fit into your 'model' view of what a tennis robot, sorry, player is supposed to be, but he is french. french players don't come off of an assembly line... he's doing fine messing about, what's the issue?


    * well, chinese really, but we turn a blind eye to that...
     
    #26
  27. 70後

    70後 Semi-Pro

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    This is not an era where Tsonga could have flourished. This is an anti-shotmakers era. If only he were born in the 70's I have no doubt he would have been a forward flowing ohb attacking player.
     
    #27
  28. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    That used to be the case before, but not anymore. The one hander on the run is a solid option for Tsonga because he is not very good at defending with his backhand. Guys like Murray and Nadal hit great two handers on the run, and Djokovic has taken the on-the-run two hander to the next level.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7kSDj6ooEvk#t=483s
     
    #28
  29. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    I've seen it get him in trouble and just hitting a 1hbh for no reason in the middle of a rally could be a very bad habit to fall into.

    However, last season and in 2011 when he started doing this, it was generally on the run for an insane pass up the line, and you can't say much about that.
     
    #29

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