Will "seniors" with 2HBHs quit tennis?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by widmerpool, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. widmerpool

    widmerpool Rookie

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    Will "seniors" with 2HBHs still be effective?

    what's going to happen to all the kids who started using 2HBHs in the 70s and 80s when they turn 40?

    are they going to switch to a OHBH or will they just quit. i was sorta lucky that I started late (12) and came from racquetball so one-handed was natural.

    i'm sure a few phenomenal athletes who will be able to execute a two-hander for a long time, but not many weekend warriors are going to want to go through all that.

    just seems like it's going to be weird b/c I know of literally zero "old" guys who play with a 2HBH.

    btw, what year did more junior American boys start using a two-hander.

    don't start on which is the superior (Federer, Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Lendl, McEnroe, Laver) stroke...:grin:
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
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  2. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    Your opinion is based on no actual fact, as I know quite a few old fogies with 2HBH. You fail.
     
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  3. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    I've seen several older guys at the club I play at who seem to hit it pretty well. And besides, every 2 hander still has a one handed slice if they are halfway decent.
     
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  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I'd say 99% of the male players age 35 or older that play around me have 1HBH's. It's quite shocking to see anyone playing with a 2HBH.
     
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  5. widmerpool

    widmerpool Rookie

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    GOAT,

    thanks. i thought i was imagining that based on the previous posters...

    maybe "quit" was strong. just seems like we're reaching the point where the former HS and college players mostly used two-handers in their prime.

    i still think a lot more flexibility and effort goes into that shot. and the reach is reduced.

    sorry for failing everyone.
     
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  6. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    I've been playing with a 73 year-old player with a 2-handed backhand. It's not a powerful shot, but it's steady. For what it's worth, his back is out right now from playing tennis. An opponent repeatedly hit behind him to his backhand, and I guess he over-twisted trying to scramble for it.

    Jimmy Connors had unusual longetivity, first as a pro and then on the seniors tour. But then he had an unusually good reach on his open-faced two-hander (both elbows straight), and wore out one of his hips at a young age (he got it replaced at age 53). Pancho Segura may be a better example. He used two hands on the forehand side, and reached his peak as a player as he was nearing 40. He had a long career on the Grandmasters Tour after that. I think when he was in his 50s he played doubles and Wimbledon with Pancho Gonzalas.

    I don't think the 2-hander is going to be as big a problem for the old fogies as will the western style in general. The loss of a foot in lateral reach merely makes it _slightly_ harder to cover court. Having to squat down a foot lower on every shot when playing someone who knows how to keep the ball low -- now _that's_ going to be a handicap.
     
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  7. heycal

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    This is simply because those older players learned to to play tennnis with a one handed backhand, not because old folks can't use two handers. The OP is asking what will happen when these two handers of today get older, and I think the answer is -- nothing will happen. They will continue playing with two hands without problems, as I assume older women who've always used two hands currently do.
     
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  8. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Check out youtube - Connors hits a big ball two-handed at age 53 even after hip replacement.
     
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  9. Phil

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    I'm sure that is the case-today's two-handed b/h yunguns and middle agers are tomorrow's two handed b/h-using codgers. But what WILL actually happen, asks the OP? I believe that all the somewhat effeminite 2/h b/h-using codgers will be laughed of the court by us manly-men one-handed backhand-using codger-studs. Pure derision...that's what will happen.
     
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  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Not totally true. The OP's point is that you need to be faster and cover the court better to use a 2HBH due to its limited reach. As you get older, you get slower so you will not be able to reach those same balls with a 2HBH that you could when you were younger. This is the main reason why older folks use 1HBH's. They can stretch and hit the ball with a 1HBH rather than having to move their aging legs to get to the ball as they would have to do with a 2HBH.

    heycal, I'm really starting to question your knowledge about tennis.
     
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  11. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    BP - Actually, he has a point and you seem to be overthinking this. The old folks playing today learned tennis when there wasn't really a choice in strokes There was the one-handed backhand...period. They didn't just decide to use the 1/h b/h a few years ago to better enable them to "stretch and hit the ball.". C'mon. It has nothing to do with that, even if those ARE advantages to having a 1H b/h.

    The MAIN reason why older folks use 1HBH's is simply because that is how they learned the game. And that is probably the way it will turn out for today's younger players when they reach a certain age-they'll play with the game they learned, which, for most of them, will include the 2/h b/h.
     
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  12. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Even Phil says I'm right, so I must be on solid ground here... This little comment comes partly from your continued inability in that other thread to see that the slice is a more natural biomechanical movement on the backhand side than the forehand side, I take it?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
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  13. Tennismastery

    Tennismastery Professional

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    While there is a subtle difference in reach, it was well documented that the actual difference between the reach of a one hander and a two was about an inch and a half.

    I'm in the same boat as those who believe that nothing specific will change unless the senior deems change is necesary for their perception of strokes. In addition to Connors, watch Borg play senior events...still with a very steady and consistent two-handed backhand.

    I do beleive that it is much easier to go to a one-handed backhand after playing with two. I have many juniors who can hit a great one-handed backhand after first learning with two. I'm sure there are those who have difficulty making the change but the percentages show me that it is easier to go from two to one than it is for any one-hander to start learning with two.

    Understand too, that with two hands, the player reduces the stress to the arms, wrist, elbow and hands...to the point that many seniors can play much longer with two hands than one because the two hands share in the stress and impact of the ball rather than one hand absorbing all the vibration, stress and fatigue associated with one-handed strokes.

    I have watched many now-approaching middle to senior aged players who use two hands do just fine playing. It is ignorance to assume that the one or two inches of limited reach is going to make such a difference in play that a person will abandon what they are comfortable, familiar, and successful with.

    I mean, consider all the stagnant 3.0 players out there who refuse to learn a new grip, swing pattern or footwork pattern that would move them out of a lifetime of mediocre play!
     
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  14. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    What will ACTUALLY happen? All those one handed backhand codgers will be sitting on the sidelines with TE watching the Connors-like 2 hbh codgers continue to march on.
     
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  15. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I didn't actually say you were right...I just said you had a POINT, but of course ANY TIME your views (or anyone's for that matter) can coalesce with my own views, then it's a safe bet that you're on "on solid ground".

    We already KNOW what will happen-at least to the 1/h b/h users...just look at the old codgers of TODAY...they're not sitting around, so I don't see the next generation crying about TE either...and wait...don't you use a two/hander...and don't YOU have TE? Pure derision...you'll be laughed off the court by fellow gaffers for your girlish backhand.
     
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  16. heycal

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    The 1 hbh codgers you see left out there are the very few still left who haven't yet been felled by TE like their brethren. For every old codger you see using a one-handed backhand, there are 9 more of his 1 hbh buddies sitting at home with TE...

    I do use a 2 hbh now, yes. And making that switch has virtually cured my TE. So 20 years from now, while you're using your slicing, defensive, Rene Richards-like one hander with your aircast/tenex/band-it encased arm and howling in pain each time, I'll be pounding Nadal-like two handers pain free.
     
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  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But if you re-read the OP, he's not asking about why older players use 1HBH's or 2HBH's. And he's also not asking about what today's young players will do when they get older. He's asking about people who learned to play in the '70's and '80's when they hit 40. Now all the people who learned to play during the '70's Borg and Connors era should be all over 40 by now, if not 50. I also learned to play in the '70's and I used to see lots of kids use 2HBH's when I was a kid. I even tried it myself for a while. However, today, as with the OP's observation, I just don't see anyone my age using 2HBH's at all. So my only conclusion could be that all those kids my age that were using 2HBH's must have all switched over to 1HBH's at some point of their tennis careers.

    2HBH's require more speed and footwork and also more trunk rotation. It's just harder for older (and mostly now heavier) guys to do all of those things without pulling a leg muscle or hurting their backs. In addition, older guys tend to play a lot more doubles than singles, and in doubles there's an advantage in being proficient using just one hand because most of it is net play, and also a lot of chipping and charging when returning serves.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
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  18. Phil

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    So only 10% of 1/h b/h codgers are still in commission? I hardly think so...I see very few girly two-handed codgers. Very few. Though that may be because the club where I used to play probably wouldn't let the old girly men join...but, come to think of it, even on the public courts, the codgers are 1/h b/h types. That will, of course, change, when your generation gets out there in a year or so for wheelchair tennis.

    As for MY one hander, it's the type of stroke that you DREAMED of having, but you gave up trying and decided to emulate Chrissie Evert. Really...I've got a cannon-it's better than my forehand. As a natural left handed batter and golfer, I probably SHOULD have gone to a two hander because even when just fooling around, it's like RPG rockets...I did consider it...for about 2 seconds. Nothing like hitting a cross court or dtl ONE hander, ba-bee!
     
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  19. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Well, I don't know if so many male players in their 40's or 50's switched back to a one-hander. It just wasn't a common stroke until, as you say, Borg and Connors came along, but even then, it was years before it overtook the 1HBH in popularity. I just can't say for sure, and I'm not sure anyone else can, either.

    I don't think the 2HBH requires "more footwork". You can be sloppy and open-stanced on the two-hander and get away with a lot of bad footwork that you could NEVER do hitting a 1HBH. You can return hard flat serves much easier with a two hander just BECAUSE the footwork doesn't need to be near-perfect and you can be late on the ball and still catch it solidly. The two-hander is MUCH more forgiving a shot for those and other reasons, which is why it's an advantage for most people. Easier to learn, lower maintanence. But it just wasn't popular in the 70's, and wasn't even HEARD OF before that (based on MY observations).
     
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  20. heycal

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    Wait -- is the same dainty, dreamy one hander that's been causing you TE for the last ten years?

    Cortisone or my Safin-like two hander -- the choice is yours.
     
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  21. Virginia

    Virginia Hall of Fame

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    Exactly.

    A one handed bh doesn't give you TE - bad technique does...

    Speaking as an old codger (or would that be codgeress?) playing a one handed bh, I can assure you that I'll continue to do so TE free for at least another 20 years!
     
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  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    All those things you mentioned are true. But IMO, the 2HBH also requires that you get to the ball a bit sooner and requires more stretching and rotating of the body, all of which are harder for older fat guys with aging legs with minimal muscles, sore knees, bad backs, and huge beer bellies to do.
    I would disagree (at least for kids learning to play). In the mid-to-late '70's lots of kids were trying to copy Borg's and/or Connors' 2HBH's, myself included. I went through the "Connors imitation" phase and then the "Borg imitation" phase before settling on the "McEnroe imitation" for a decade. ;) One of my friends from high school and a regular hitting partner had a great 2HBH.
     
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  23. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    The TE is all but gone, and no, it's not. The root of my problem, if it was technique at all, was in my serve (which caused some pain), not the backhand, with which I hit the ball well out in front of me. When all things are right, Saturn is aligned with Venus...the stroke is pretty much effortless.

    Unlike you, I don't recall Safin getting TE in BOTH arms...
     
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  24. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    This is why God invented the backhand slice!
     
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  25. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yup, same here. We must be twins, Phil! ;) :D
     
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  26. heycal

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    Unlike me, I don't recall Safin competing with BOTH arms.

    Us gifted ambidextrous types sometimes have unique burdens, and developing TE while playing as a lefty, and then developing it while playing as a righty, was one of them...
     
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  27. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    You call that "gifted"...some gift!
     
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  28. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I think there's some folks with excellent technique who developed TE who might disagree with you on this, including some pros... I'm not sure anyone can say with absolute certainty what does or does not cause TE.

    In any case, I think most of us would agree that a 1 hbh may not give you TE, but it sure makes you more vulnerable to getting it than a 2 hbh does.

    If you are lucky, yes. But I'd knock on wood if I were you.
     
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  29. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Well, as Socrates so famously said: "Is it a gift that heycal can play tennis with his other hand -- or a curse that he has to?"
     
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  30. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yes, I would agree with this. However, that's still not enough reason for me to switch to a 2HBH. I would rather quit playing tennis than to switch to a 2HBH because I absolutely LOVE hitting my 1HBH. There's just no better feeling in tennis (nor in life, for that matter). :D
     
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  31. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Sure, a 1 hbh is lovely. But I'm pretty sure you'd adopt a two hander before abandoning the game because of TE... And you know what? There's something really wonderful and satisfying about smacking a powerful two hander that is its own special reward... I got addicted to that feeling VERY quickly after making the switch. Perhaps you will too someday.;)
     
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  32. tennis_hand

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    some of these learnt their 1HBH in their young days. some other geezers just transferred it from other sports such as badminton and table tennis, in which u don't use 2 hands at all.
    so the 2nd group of geezers use 1H on the backhand side very weirdly and improperly, like playing badminton or something.

    ya, so virtually most old people use 1HBH.
     
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  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I doubt it. I've had both TE and GE and each time I quit tennis cold turkey for 6 months instead of switching to a 2HBH. It would be like asking me to switch to wearing skirts because none of my pants fit me anymore. It ain't gonna happen. 2HBH's are just too "girly" for me. ;)
     
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  34. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Wait a second here...I think what you meant to say is that there aren't MANY things in life that feel better than hitting a 1HBH...;)
     
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  35. lanky

    lanky Rookie

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    I'm an old guy who has switched from a 1 hander to a 2 hander (because of wrist and elbow problems).I learnt 1HBH because that was the only backhand to learn.Playing with 2 hands I can play all day and walk off court without pain -a most unusual feeling.I can use modern racquets ( a PDR + at present)with no problem -another advantage in todays game.Reach etc -no problem ,just feels weird because the footwork required is different(and thereby i think one handers trying 2 hands feel reach is restricted).I wont go into the pros and cons of each style-we all know what they are but I suddenly i have different options -a vicious topspin lob, a return with heat ,options i never had with my virtually flat SH. The game is suddenly different and more fun because of this..
     
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  36. astra

    astra Rookie

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    So far I have seen 70+ players using only slice backhand or flat 1HB, none of them with 2HB.
    Concerning 1HB and TE, we shall see (in cca 25 years) whether you are right or not. Actually I think you are not, there no signs of TE due to 1HB.
    In case you are right, I will play slice backhand. My left hand is not skilled enough to play 2HB.
     
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  37. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    So 40 is old now? Wow! I am one of those players that started with a 2HBH in the 70's & 80's. I stopped playing tennis in the early 90's (1992-3) and came back to tennis in December of last year at age 40. Now I use a 1HBH, only because for those 14 years I played a lot of handball (which actually makes you ambidexterous), paddleball, ping pong, and racquetball......all which use the 1HBH. I flirt with the 2HBH and still have a lot of power and good placement, but the timing is different than the 1HBH. The 2HBH doesn't really make you lose that much reach as compared to the 1HBH, especially when each is hit in their respective "hitting zones". The only time you get more reach from the 1HBH in my opinion is for shots outside of the hitting zone that you have to reach or stab for in an emergency.
    Don't under estimate us geriatric 40 year olds, we can still move around just fine, we just tend to feel the results of all of that running a little bit more than you young whipper snappers,the next morning LOL! I play tennis for an average of 2 hours a day of hard practice and I feel great, I'll probably peak at about 41 or 42 years of age.
     
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  38. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    That may be true of some of the geezers, but my backhand is a true tennis backhand and I started out as a 2HBH'er and switched to 1HBH after a long lay off from tennis. I played a lot of racquet and paddle ball but those games didn't mess up my backhand, they only played a little havoc on my forehand.
     
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  39. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Here is the important question- how can 50 year old guys with 1BH handle highballs to the backhand side? Kids today are learning to hit with massive topspin. Are 50 year old guys with 1BH going to be able to do anything with huge topspin to their backhands? The biggest advantage to the 2BH is that it lets you handle high balls easier. Right now when I face and old guy in league tennis with a 1BH I just take him over because he simply can't handle the topspin to his backhand once I take it out of his strikezone.
     
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  40. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    So you missed a year of tennis because you were too stubborn to abandon your girlie one hander, that oh-so pretty stroke used by suspiciously effeminate types like Roger Federer and Richard Gasgay, in favor of the macho 2 hbh, presumably because you didn't think you had the testosterone to use the stroke favored by he-men like Connors, Nadal, Safin, etc? Is that what you're saying?:grin:

    Your check is in the mail.

    We'll see in 25 years? Let's first see in 25 days... There are countless stories of TE suddenly appearing out of nowhere for players of all ages who play with loaded guns (aka, a 1 hbh.)

    You sound like a perfect candidate for a smooth transition back to your original 2 hbh once you get TE.;)
     
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  41. fgs

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    i'm getting 43 and learned tennis in the 70's. i started out with a 1hbh and switched to 2hbh by the age of 12. after giving up competitive tennis at 22 due to a series of injuries, i picked up the game 19 years later. i tried to hit one handed the first couple of hitting sessions but then went to my trusted 2hbh, slices of course 1handed. it's close to two years that i'm back now and i have recovered my game pretty well - eastern grips and lots of topspin, and play competitive on the seniors tour in the country i'm living.
    in the +45 age groups there are just a couple of 2handers, nobody laughs about. in the +35 and +40 (where i mainly play) there are a few more, but we are definitely in the minority. still noone laughs about our girlie backhands, because as funny as it seems we seem to kick quite a lot of 1hbh sporting man's asses, so around here girlies are taken seriously.:D
    i don't want to go into the technique related similarities and differences of these two strokes, but in my opinion both are in different ways demanding.
    by the way, there don't seem to be many beer bloated bellies around here either, in the competitive department, probably because most drink wine.:D

    and oh yeah, i just about forgot that i love the idea of being a girlie amongst borg, connors, wilander et al.
     
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  42. Virginia

    Virginia Hall of Fame

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    What I should have said is that some of today's modern and ridiculously light, but head heavy racquets, often coupled with inferior technique, is what gives players TE.

    None of the 70/80 year olds at my club have TE, EXCEPT the very few who've chosen to use super light racquets or have poor technique. Our oldest member is 86 and by the way no beer pots where I play. One of our best players is 83 and still bounds around the court like a 30 year old. :-D

    P.S. Our club is seniors only and is the only club in New Zealand with its own (astroturf) courts and clubhouse.
     
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  43. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    How do we handle high 1HBH's? Simple. We don't play against kids. ;) LOL
     
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  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Right, that 2HBH that's used by 95% of female players, including the pros, because of their weak girly arms Yes, that's the one. ;)
     
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  45. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    If Borg wasn't "girly" with his long blond hair, skin tight shirts, short "hot pants" shorts, I don't know who is. ;) LOL
     
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  46. fgs

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    breakpoint,
    if my count is not wrong, based on the latest atp-rankings, there are 12 girlies in the top 20 as opposed to 2 men in the wta top 20.:D
    in those years almost everyone wore hot pants. i still have some old navyblue fila and ellesse pants left, which i like much more than these new ones available now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
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  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Take a look at the Top 2000 women pros, the thousands of female college players, and the millions of women who play recreational and competitive tennis. 95% using 2HBH's may even be conservative.
     
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  48. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

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    breakpoint,
    you are right, i just pointed out that taking only the top 20 in women's you end up with only two men.
    but if you think nadal has girly arms you should go to have some proper looking glasses fitted.:D
    if you compare him with serena, than he might classify as a rather cute girlie, but that would be the case of the other top20 atp too.:p
     
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    #48
  49. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    Tell that to the many people who got TE back in the olden days using their heavy, headlight wood rackets.

    Right -- I use the two hander used by women and extremely virile men, while you use the one hander favored by lesbians and gay men. Glad we're clear on that. :p
     
    #49
  50. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,495
    becker was gay?
     
    #50

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