Why are there more players with 2HBH than 1HBH?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Kokopelli, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    First of all, I enjoy reading the 1H vs 2H threads. This is not a knock against one or a praise for the other as I belong to neither group.

    One undeniable fact is that there are more players (that grew up in the "graphite" generation - aka since the POG) use the 2hbh than the 1hbh.

    1) This has to due with the evolution of the racket. With stability, forgiveness, flexibility and lesser weight of the modern racket, the TYPICAL players and weekend warriors can now generate higher racket head speed. Greater head speed results in more power, thus more topspin is needed to keep the ball in the court. 2) The grips are getting more and more extreme (eastern -> semi -> western). This all leads to more and more topspin. 3) The modern strings are more spin friendly. Sampras commented on Luxilon a while back. 4) The improvement of the strokes (the modern forehand, etc.).

    Another thing to consider is the mechanics of the topspin backhand. The 1HBH's point-of-contact is further in front of the body and its striking zone is LOWER than that of the 2HBH.

    Back in the wooden days, when most TYPICAL players slice and dice with the continental/eastern grip, the ball bounced much lower, thus making the 1HBH more suitable then. Now, it's just the opposite.

    Nowadays, you have balls coming at you with greater velocity, thus giving you lesser reaction time. This makes it harder to contact the ball further out in front of your body which is required by the 1HBH. With the 2HBH, you can hit the ball a little bit later.

    In addition, because the balls that come at you have greater topspin, they will bounce higher. When they bounce at chest level, it's way above the striking zone of the 1HBH, but not so in the 2HBH.

    IMHO, the 2HBH popularity came about due to the evolution of the game. This doesn't mean that an elite player with a 1HBH couldn't do well. Again, I'm not talking about the elite players who have the athletic skills to dominate regardless of backhand techniques. I'm talking about the 95% of tennis playing public (aka us). With today's FASTER AND HIGHER bouncing balls to the backhand side, it's just easier for a TYPICAL player or weekend warrior lacking the athletic skills to handle them using a 2HBH.

    Your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
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  2. tfm1973

    tfm1973 Semi-Pro

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    Bokurano is an underrated series. Not just a poor man's Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    Is there any definitive study with the number of people who use 2hb vs 1hb?
     
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  3. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    If your whole point is that the 2 handed backhand is just easier to use for those "95%", and that they wouldnt be able to handle the pace with the 1HBH, I would agree. The 1HBH is hard.

    But there are a lot of players who are even playing in 3.0 and 3.5 who are serious about their game and can adapt to the 1HBH if they want to. I still dont think it's correct to say that either of them are better than the other.

    Sure technology is making the ball move faster, but it's still not moving THAT quickly at those levels.

    The MAJORITY of players (if you want to point to the recreational ones), have all sorts of different aspects of poor form. Not that using a 2HBH is one of them, but my point is that it doesnt matter what the majority is doing. (probally most of them are not using it in the most efficient way)

    I play 3.5 now, and I was playing 3.0, and when I was in 3.0 tournaments Ive had people tell me that Ive had the best backhand they've seen in 3.0. (and it's a 1HBH). I didnt see what you were describing until I played in a 4.0 tournament this year and met a guy that had appealed down from 4.5.

    He hit the ball with so much pace and spin, that I had to resort back to the 2HBH because I couldnt read the ball in enough time to possibly get the ball back with the 1HBH.

    But even given that, I wasnt hitting GOOD 2HBH, it just allowed me to block his shots back. I think if you are hitting an effective 2HBH against a very good player (not recreational) it has just as many elements of good footwork and preperation then any other stroke.
     
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  4. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    I always thought that the 2HBH was easier for women (because of hip rotation), while the 1HBH is easier for men (because of the strength and natural motion).

    That being said, I haven't noticed more people using the 2HBH, at least not from the men's side. I actually thought it was the other way around.
     
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  5. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    1) Of course, anyone can adapt and learn.
    2) Of course, most of today's, yesteryear's, and future's players have bad/poor forms. That's not going to change just because time changes. It's all relative. For example, when one has bad forms, a person with those bad forms can still hit a 2HBH later than a person with the same bad forms hitting a 1HBH. Case in points, you had to resort to the 2HBH to handle the pace of a 4.5 player (which according to you was too fast, and that the 2HBH gave you more time and allowed you to hit the ball a bit later).
    3) "Sure technology is making the ball move faster, but it's still not moving THAT quickly at those levels." Of course, it's all relative. Just as you had a hard time handle the 4.5 player's pace. A 5.5 player might think that the 4.5 pace was "not moving THAT quickly." But nonetheless, it was too quick for you. Again, it's all relative.
    4) Of course, if one does have optimal forms and techniques, one can make a 1HBH a success, just as one could with a 2HBH. Again, I'm NOT talking about optimum. I'm talking about 95% of the tennis playing public (including you and me) with all of our inadequacies. My argument was that the speed and bounce of today's game lead to the popularity of the 2HBH. In other words, the 2HBH are more suitable for the typical players (with all our flaws) due to the speed and bounce of the ball. More popularity, more suitability do NOT equal superior.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
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  6. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    I used to live in Southern California, and attended local/regional junior tournaments regularly. From this scene, and amongst my friends (those that are 35 and under), 2HBH substantially outnumbered the 1HBH. The ratio in the professional game somewhat reflects my personal observation as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    My observations

    For men

    under 30 2HBH outnumber 1HBH

    30-40- 1HBH>2HBH

    40+ 1HBH >>> 2HBH



    For women- 2 HBH seem greater in all age groups.
     
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  8. FH2FH

    FH2FH Professional

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    I remember seeing stats for the ATP and WTA in the last few years or so. It was 90% WTA, 70% ATP.

    There are probably more using 2H now because it's taught more frequently (a guess). It's easier to learn (control and consistency) in my opinion. I think 1H takes more discipline.
     
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  9. Alexio92

    Alexio92 Professional

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    Easy, 2 words : It's easyer.
     
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  10. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    Thanks for the stats.

    The 2HBH might very well be easier to learn. This could be a true statement. But relatively speaking, if the 2HBH is easier to learn today, then it would also be easier to learn yesterday, 10 years ago, and during the wood era.

    Then how come the majority of the players that grew up in the wood era (over 40 years old) have the 1HBH? I think the answer has to due with the style of the game. Back then, slicing is a much bigger component of the game. Thus, it's extremely difficult to hit a 2HBH when the ball bounces at your knee level. In other words, the game dictates the style and calls for a more suitable backhand. Back then, low bouncing balls favored the 1HBH. Today, high bouncing balls call for the 2HBH. Again, I'm referring to the the general public, and not the elite players who can create magic with good skills and techniques, regardless of styles.
     
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  11. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    Hey kiddo, how's your game coming???
     
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  12. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Because a two-hander is easier to hit for beginners.
     
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  13. Alexio92

    Alexio92 Professional

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    Pretty good actually.
    I just beat two people same rating as me 0 and 0 today :twisted: double bagel :) Thanks for asking.
     
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  14. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    One big factor is teaching. It's perfectly acceptable in most circles to use the 2HBH today (as well as different forehand grips).

    I learned tennis in the late 80's and even then there were a lot of teaching pros who believed that somehow the two handed backhand was "bad". Even if you learned it at first, you were usually encouraged to change it if you could. (and that's with metal and graphite racquets)

    Nowdays it's accepted that it's perfectly fine to use one, and a lot of the teaching pros are younger and they've grown up used to seeing it a lot.
     
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  15. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    Yup, I remembered how the "in-the-know" crowd put down the 2HBH back then.
     
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  16. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Rookie

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    Nice!!! Congrats!!!
     
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  17. speedtoburn

    speedtoburn New User

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    This is very interesting to me, because I'm fairly new to the sport and the single handed backhand came much more naturally to me so that is what I learned, but everyone I play with thinks it is very odd that I learned the shbh vs. the dhbh.
     
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  18. speedtoburn

    speedtoburn New User

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    Also, I'm the only one on my team that uses it, but now you guys have me a little concerned.

    Should I dump it and learn the dhbh instead?
     
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  19. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    If you are getting proper instruction, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are trying to teach yourself, the 2 hander is easier to self-teach.
     
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  20. speedtoburn

    speedtoburn New User

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am in fact working with a coach, when we first started working together, he asked me what felt more comfortable (which was the shbh for me) and so he taught me the mechanics of that stroke vs. the dhbh.

    From the thread it just sounds like the dhbh seems to be the stroke everyone recommends and that is what got me concerned.
     
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  21. quicken

    quicken Professional

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    Two handed is easier to learn compared to one handed backhand.
     
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  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Also you have to figure that a lot of what you are noticing is biased because of what technology has done to the game.

    If you take a game like squash or badmitton, the equipment hasnt changed much after all this time (same shape at least), and because of that your casual player only will play those games occasionally for fun. But they are sometimes so hard that players quickly become bored with it.

    I believe that with wooden tennis racquets with tiny little heads, tennis was very much like this. People may of played occasionally (non-players) but the game was so hard in general that unless you were serious, you probally werent playing a whole lot. There probally wasnt much for amatuer leagues or anything like the USTA League tennis at the time.

    If you look at other racquet sports that are pretty much the same, they too are not very prevalent, so most of your casual players are the ones who just pick up a racquet once in awhile.

    So my point is that if you look at who these casual players are, a lot of them are a lot more serious about playing tennis because it's easy enough now that a lot of people can pick up a tennis racquet and even with incomplete skills (almost everyone is at least a 2.5 or a 3.0 on day one) they can have a fun match.

    So if you are just looking at that group of people, you cant really compare backhands. Most of them simply didnt play a whole lot back then anyway because the difficulty rate of the sport was too high. Maybe they did use the 1HBH if they were taught that, but it's not like they were doing it well. (and it's definately possible that they could of used the 2HBH even back then if they just wanted to do the bare minimum of getting the ball back)

    You should play platform tennis sometime, it's probally a lot like real tennis was with wooden racquets.

    You have a wooden paddle like "racquet" with holes drilled in it for air flow (not nearly enough holes) and some dense heavy rubberlike ball. You get almost no pace, and if you dont use proper tennis technique you will either suck badly or you will most definately hurt something. I can use the 1HBH because Im good at that shot, but if I wasnt, I think I would rather use 2 hands. (otherwise Id rip my shoulder out probally)
     
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  23. Alexio92

    Alexio92 Professional

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    Platform tennis = Paddle tennis in spain?
     
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  24. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I wouldn't say there's more players with a 2hbh, but more GOOD players with a 2hbh. Most league players are middle-aged or seniors and play with a 1hbh because either 1) they started playing before 2hbh were prevalent or 2) they never had instruction and/or just played with one hand because it was less restrictive. Most of the league players I've seen have horrendous 1hbh.

    People who start learning tennis with instruction are usually taught the 2hbh because its easier to learn and better promotes good technique whereas the 1hbh takes alot more practice and one needs to focus more on their technique. So alot of the good junior, college and pro players will have 2hbh's because of this trend.

    I used to play with a 2hbh and switched to a 1hbh. I find it took alot more practice to get comfortable with the one-hander but I like it better for a few reasons so I choose to put the extra effort into developing it.
     
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  25. kairosntx

    kairosntx Professional

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    I am over 40 and use 1HBH which would confirm goober's observations. I taught in a local tennis leage to get my kids interested in tennis and the 2HBH is -MUCH- easier for the younger players.

    I think that is why the 2HBH has become dominant in the game. Over the past 20+ years the age of the kids getting serious about tennis has gone down and so they become dependent on and comfortable with the 2HBH. And as we see he proliferation of the 2HBH on tthe ATP and WTA it encourages others to do the same.

    And a side note. There was a player at TCU when I was in college that hit two handed on both sides.
     
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  26. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    Pros:

    2hbh - consistent; more familiar for those who grew up using it

    1hbh - less restricting; more powerful; easier to disguise topspin from slice

    If you take the time to properly learn the 1hbh, you can make it a consistent shot for yourself, and if you can make it consistent for you, why would you choose the 2hbh over the 1hbh? The 1hbh just seems superior to me.
     
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  27. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Something that came to me that I didn't see mentioned.

    Kids are taught the 2HBH early on because well. If they learned a 1HBH they'd lose because all the moonballs (during match play) would be way over their strike zone. And they aren't fast enough to take every one of them on the rise. And subsequently they would lose. A lot.

    So after years of honing a 2HBH, it's hard to think about switching to the 1 which would be a 1 step forward, 2 steps back kind of thing. Not many parents or kids are willing to sacrifice wins for a long term goal.

    That said, would you encourage a shorter person to use a 2? I would love to use a 1 (I'm 5'7") but it seems I'm not fast enough to get EVERY ball on the rise and be in good position foot-wise. I can be a little sloppy with the 2 and still tee off on a high bouncing ball.
     
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  28. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I think those are actually two different sports that may use similar equipment.

    Platform tennis is played in a caged in area with a tennis court that is about 1/4th the size of a full court. The surface is on a platform that is about a couple feet above the ground and it's heated, which makes it popular in the New England states and Chicago in the US.

    You can actually play the ball of the cage as well. (if it bounces in the court and hits the cage it's still in play)
     
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  29. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    I dunno which shot -- 1hb or 2hb -- is easier to learn in terms of the technical elements that go into the shot.

    But one of the main reasons... if not THE main reason... that more people -- esp. younger players -- nowadays hit 2 handers is that it is easier to learn as a kid from a physical strength stand point. Most kids aren't strong enough to hit a 1hb correctly.
     
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  30. obow

    obow Rookie

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    The championships surfaces are getting slower and bouncing higher, which hands the advantage to DHBH. Also professional players are bigger and taller nowadays, they don't like low bounce surfaces.

    Also, kids are starting younger and they have to use both hands to hold the racket to start with, and it is extremely hard for a kid under 10 to hit a 1HBH.
     
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  31. obow

    obow Rookie

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    Comparisons between 1HBH and DHBH are just like comparing free-range eggs with battery chicks, and battery chicks can be produced in vast quantities.
     
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  32. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    The support hand is a much stronger position in the 2hbh than with the hand in a 1hbh. Especially for younger players, that makes the 2hbh a much easier shot to learn. Most people stick with the way they first learn how to play.

    For example, I didn't switch to the 1hbh until I was in my 20s.
     
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  33. matchpoints

    matchpoints Professional

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    I advocate the 2 hander for the simple reason that it gives your left arm a workout as well. Majority of the people I work with are not going to go into the gym and workout their non dominant side. I also teach the 1 hander if and only if the person feels like it's best for him/her. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages and depends on the style of play.They both work (eg. Agassi, Sampras (remember when he switched from 2 to 1, etc...) To each his own....so to speak.
     
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  34. my_forehand

    my_forehand Professional

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    Ironically enough, only 3 players in the Top 10 use a 1-hander; meaning 70% of the Top 10 use a 2-hander, reflecting on the entire ATP, provided FH2FH's stats are right.
     
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  35. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    17 of the top 25 ATP use 2HBH. That's 68% right there. So I could believe FH2FH's stats.
     
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  36. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    I learned the 1hbh cuz my coach had a sick one-hander. But I must admit, it was pretty hard to learn at a young age.
     
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  37. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

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    How is it superior? I like one handers, but I definitely do not think they are better than two handers. I think both have strengths and weaknesses, and either are fine. There are many reasons on why to choose a two hander, I'm sure if I played you I could exploit your one hander wiht my lefty forehand and serve. There are also reasons to chose a one hander such as disguise and power.
     
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  38. my_forehand

    my_forehand Professional

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    Advantages of 2-hander: (just a few points)

    2-hander:
    lecter255: "1) 1 hander takes a lot longer to be good at. i have a 1hb myself and i wish i started with a 2hb so i can spend more time working on serve and fh. speaking of time...

    2) you are in HS and soon you'll be in college, and then you will have almost no time for anything. I am a junior in college and i have little time for tennis, even though i love the game. so time constrain is very important

    3) 2hb allows you to have more options for fh. last summer, i had a western fh, and i luv it, but changing grip to 1hbh was just weird. i can change to 1hbh from continental fine, but just can't do it from western. after a 4 month struggle, trying everything, i decide to give up my western fh and go sw. i still have a lot of work to do on my fh, thx to my 1hbh. again, 4 months time wasted. now i have to start almost from scratch for fh. you might have a sw fh now, but what if in the future you **** to western?

    4) return of serve. unless you are good like federer, which you aren't gonna be cuz you are busy w/ school and not enough time to practice, returning serve will be a pain. 2hbh allows you to hold a fh grip and bh grip while waiting for the serve. and 2hbh has more support. if it's way wide, you can still slice it back. how do you hold the racquet while returning? continental? eastern?

    5) no one with good 1hbh around. I go to UC Berkeley, and their tennis team is Division I. The entire Men's team uses 2hbh. I watch them play fairly often, and I just wish there was one 1hbh player so I can learn from him while he practice. but noooo not a single 1hbh player. then come a tournament where good players from many colleges come and compete. again, i didn't see a single 1hbh player. that was pretty darn frustrating."

    That's just a little from the thread...There's way more info in their respective threads: although, sorry Rickson, but soy is wayy more helpful (backhand-wise) and gives more info on the 2-hander than you the 1-hander.
     
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  39. pow

    pow Hall of Fame

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    The one hander is a longer stroke and is difficult to pull off consistently without a lot of practice and many people are thwarted by the difficulty of trying to learn it that they move on.
    To have a solid one hander at higher levels of tennis requires a lot of practice and natural talent.
     
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  40. Silent

    Silent Semi-Pro

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    I use a one hander, and to me what's difficult isn't the shot itself, but the preparation for the shot. When I have time to prepare, I can pass with great precision. If I don't, I hit the ball too late and hit it wide for a down-the-line, or too much in the middle for a cross-court. It's crucial to anticipate the ball trajectory early because the contact point is far in front, especially with extreme grips.

    I started using the one hander because it felt natural, but at the time, I didn't know what early preparation was because balls were coming so slow at me. It isn't the case anymore.

    I'm really considering switching. Nothing keeps me from doing a one handed slice when I need it. The "lack of" reach will be offset, and more, by the compactness of the stroke. Also, I believe more and more in developing simple strokes, reducing the number of things that can go wrong.
     
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  41. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    quicken has it right, 2 hander is easier to learn, and so that is what is usually taught to juniors now. What is taught to kids is what they will play with the rest of their life 98% of the time.

    Heavier, less powerful wood racket would make the 1 hander harder to learn, but the 1 hander was what was taught back then (Chris Evert hit with two because she couldn't swing the racket with one when she was little).

    Rackets, grips, strings, court bounce, etc. don't have much effect because they don't come into play until after you learn how to hit the ball.
     
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  42. Josherer

    Josherer Professional

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    The fact of the matter is that the two handed back hand is much easier to execute when compared to one handed.

    Both have their advantages (2hbh- return of serve, High balls .etc. 1hbh- Lower balls, better reach, more maneuverable etc.) and disadvantages (2hbh- Low balls, reach etc. 1hbh- High balls, topspin return of serve).

    I started using 1hbh when i first started playing tennis, but for most the 2hbh is much easier to execute and get good at. :)
     
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