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always_crosscourt 01-08-2013 05:26 AM

The myth that pro's with 1hbh's are weaker against high balls...
 
Just to clarify, we're only talking backhand topspin in this thread, ok, not slice.

Is it a myth that the 1hbh is more vulnerable to very high topspin shots than the 2hbh? Here is a video of Kohlschreiber and Tsonga (they are kind of messing around, but the points still stand) hitting some extreme height topspin shots to each other from 22 seconds in;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zG_gXUZkVU

I don't think Kohlschreiber would have been even able to reach up that high if he had a 2hbh, as the two hands restrict the height of the swing. Also, even if he could reach it, he would only just reach the ball, and there would be no 'room' left in the swing to swing further up on the ball, so the only option is a low percentage flat drive.

As you see in the video, Kohlschreiber is actually flicking and brushing up on even these extremely high balls, and returning them with very heavy topspin, so they would bounce over Tsonga's head unless Tsonga backed up, which he was forced to do.

The myth that 1hbh's are weaker against heavy spin and high bounce is being perpetuated by Nadal's winning record over Federer. However, Nadal has a winning record over just about everyone, not just Federer, and he breaks down 2hbh's just as viciously as Federer's backhand. In fact, Federer actually has a decent amount of wins over Nadal, so it could be argued that Nadal breaks down 2hbh's with more ease than he breaks down 1hbh's.

Djokovic has recently turned the tide with his match-up with his backhand, but his 2hbh is exceptional, and even then, it is a weapon not because of his ability to hit the ball really high, but because of his ability to take the ball early and hit it before it kicks too high.

What do you think - is it a myth that the 1hbh is weaker against high balls?

sureshs 01-08-2013 05:36 AM

It is probably weaker for high balls close to the body

albatros_forehand 01-08-2013 05:44 AM

Not a myth. You can't accelerate from up to down with 1hbh on a high ball the way you can with your left hand playing 2hbh. Which results in flat fast stroke. With 1 hbh the movement is only upwards so u can only be defensive..

Cup8489 01-08-2013 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by albatros_forehand (Post 7105379)
Not a myth. You can't accelerate from up to down with 1hbh on a high ball the way you can with your left hand playing 2hbh. Which results in flat fast stroke. With 1 hbh the movement is only upwards so u can only be defensive..

Not true. You can vary the path of your swing even with high balls to put more drive on the shot. Sure, you can't be quite as offensive.. but if you watched the video, kohly was hitting plenty of topspin on his responses.

And let's be frank here; the pros don't get troubled too much by anyone not named Nadal. Verdasco can't give people fits with his forehand, for instance. it's only those topspin shots that kick 6, 7 feet up that cause real trouble, and not many can consistently do that at pace.

Btw, Kohly's game is so awesome to watch.

heninfan99 01-08-2013 06:06 AM

I think it's true. Kohlschreiber has one of the best 1hbh on the planet and opted to hit moonballs back to Tsonga.

Obviously Nadal's heavy topspin is going to be an issue for most but Gasquet does a good job of it and he stands back waiting for it to drop. I have seen Gasquet do a jumping 1hbh once and I don't know if that could ever be done consistently. It was sort of like Nalby's jumping two hander.

Tsonga shows his 1hbh in this vid. Knowing both could be a new trend and maybe one-handers should also learn the two-hander nowadays. It's nice to have options. :-)

chatt_town 01-08-2013 06:10 AM

I have a 1hbh and I actually think there is a lot of truth to it myself. I think you see exceptions where the people with one handers master taking it on the rise, but once it does get up say shoulder height. I think the one hander is weaker if we are talking about high balls and not just top spin. I still wouldn't be caught hitting a two hander. I'll take my risks with the ball getting too high versus giving up my reach with the one hander. I honestly think that's what's given Fed so many problems with Nadal. The times where he has had more success he was indoors where he didn't have to deal with any wind or elements and could time it and take it off the ground. When he's on clay it's to many elements to deal with(clay bouncing different ways...wind..etc). I think that is what gives Nadal an advantage and the fact that he plays left handed. So Fed is going to hit more backhands than he would normally have to and the ball is not coming off the ground the same way each time. So it's harder for him it seems. So again, I don't think it's a myth. I wish it were. :)


Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7105357)
Just to clarify, we're only talking backhand topspin in this thread, ok, not slice.

Is it a myth that the 1hbh is more vulnerable to very high topspin shots than the 2hbh? Here is a video of Kohlschreiber and Tsonga (they are kind of messing around, but the points still stand) hitting some extreme height topspin shots to each other from 22 seconds in;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zG_gXUZkVU

I don't think Kohlschreiber would have been even able to reach up that high if he had a 2hbh, as the two hands restrict the height of the swing. Also, even if he could reach it, he would only just reach the ball, and there would be no 'room' left in the swing to swing further up on the ball, so the only option is a low percentage flat drive.

As you see in the video, Kohlschreiber is actually flicking and brushing up on even these extremely high balls, and returning them with very heavy topspin, so they would bounce over Tsonga's head unless Tsonga backed up, which he was forced to do.

The myth that 1hbh's are weaker against heavy spin and high bounce is being perpetuated by Nadal's winning record over Federer. However, Nadal has a winning record over just about everyone, not just Federer, and he breaks down 2hbh's just as viciously as Federer's backhand. In fact, Federer actually has a decent amount of wins over Nadal, so it could be argued that Nadal breaks down 2hbh's with more ease than he breaks down 1hbh's.

Djokovic has recently turned the tide with his match-up with his backhand, but his 2hbh is exceptional, and even then, it is a weapon not because of his ability to hit the ball really high, but because of his ability to take the ball early and hit it before it kicks too high.

What do you think - is it a myth that the 1hbh is weaker against high balls?


mandy01 01-08-2013 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7105357)
Just to clarify, we're only talking backhand topspin in this thread, ok, not slice.

Is it a myth that the 1hbh is more vulnerable to very high topspin shots than the 2hbh? Here is a video of Kohlschreiber and Tsonga (they are kind of messing around, but the points still stand) hitting some extreme height topspin shots to each other from 22 seconds in;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zG_gXUZkVU

I

What? Kohl stands much behind the baseline to receive. No comparison. Sorry.

boramiNYC 01-08-2013 09:28 AM

I agree it's a myth in a way. it's all in the technique. almagro is another one that handles high topspin balls with 1hbh. 1hbh doesn't automatically limit anything. you just have to figure out a way and get good at it.

smoledman 01-08-2013 09:58 AM

Nadal has a dominant record on clay not only due to his high RPM forehand to Fed's backhand, it's his overall court coverage and court craft.

always_crosscourt 01-08-2013 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smoledman (Post 7105800)
Nadal has a dominant record on clay not only due to his high RPM forehand to Fed's backhand, it's his overall court coverage and court craft.

Nadal has a dominant record over far more 2hbh players than 1hbh players - simply because the vast majority of the pro tour is 2hbh. In order to win, he uses the same patterns of breaking down the 2hbh players' backhands, so arguably you could say that 2hbh's are weak to high bouncing heavy topspin balls.

In fact when he faces a player with a 1hbh (other than Federer and Haas), the player with the 1hbh usually loses for reasons other than his backhand. Wawrinka, Almagro, Gasquet, Gaudio, Kuerten...etc... are able to trade spinny groundies with Nadal's forehand all day - even on clay, but his athleticism wears them down in the end.

Shangri La 01-08-2013 10:55 AM

Yeah a couple of casual rally shots tell you everything about 1hbh in a grand slam scheme.

always_crosscourt 01-08-2013 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shangri La (Post 7105904)
Yeah a couple of casual rally shots tell you everything about 1hbh in a grand slam scheme.

Have you tried to hit a high 2hbh vs a high 1hbh?

I guarantee you that you won't even be able to reach as high with a 2hbh as you can with a 1hbh. If you can't even reach as high with a 2hbh with a 1hbh, how is it going to be stronger against a very high ball? And, as I said, even when you do reach it, you have little option but to drive it downwards and flat since you can't brush up on a high ball like you can with a 1hbh.

Now, the 2hbh does have an advantage in that it's easier to co-ordinate yourself to hit the ball on the rise before it gets too high, but the whole point of a 2hbh being better once the ball actually is higher than your ideal contact zone, is a myth.

heninfan99 01-08-2013 03:47 PM

Davydenko rips returns on kick serves all the time above his shoulders.

He did this in his last match vs. Gasquet.
Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7105913)
If you can't even reach as high with a 2hbh with a 1hbh, how is it going to be stronger against a very high ball?


paulorenzo 01-08-2013 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by heninfan99 (Post 7105416)
I think it's true. Kohlschreiber has one of the best 1hbh on the planet and opted to hit moonballs back to Tsonga.

Obviously Nadal's heavy topspin is going to be an issue for most but Gasquet does a good job of it and he stands back waiting for it to drop. I have seen Gasquet do a jumping 1hbh once and I don't know if that could ever be done consistently. It was sort of like Nalby's jumping two hander.

Tsonga shows his 1hbh in this vid. Knowing both could be a new trend and maybe one-handers should also learn the two-hander nowadays. It's nice to have options. :-)

gasquet does bring that out once in a while, especially on returns or on the defense. but look up bjorn phau. jumping backhands usually only happen when the situation calls for it—when you aren't in optimal position to either let the ball drop or take it early, or you just want to show off.

the reason i mention bjorn phau is because i feel he does the most jumping one-handers of all ohbh players on tour, perhaps because of his height and counterpuncher game, and perhaps for his flashy style.

heninfan99 01-08-2013 05:57 PM

@paulorenzo...Interesting...I will def. check out some Bjorn Phau clips.

Jay_The_Nomad 01-08-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7105913)
Have you tried to hit a high 2hbh vs a high 1hbh?

I guarantee you that you won't even be able to reach as high with a 2hbh as you can with a 1hbh. If you can't even reach as high with a 2hbh with a 1hbh, how is it going to be stronger against a very high ball? And, as I said, even when you do reach it, you have little option but to drive it downwards and flat since you can't brush up on a high ball like you can with a 1hbh.

Now, the 2hbh does have an advantage in that it's easier to co-ordinate yourself to hit the ball on the rise before it gets too high, but the whole point of a 2hbh being better once the ball actually is higher than your ideal contact zone, is a myth.

1hbh has more reach yes which probably means you can reach and hit at a higher height. But practically speaking the extra reach is useless because biomechanically it is such a weak motion when you're stretching all the way up like that.
With the 2hbh you can certainly give heavy topspin on a very high ball by hitting the ball a little later.

above bored 01-08-2013 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7105357)
Just to clarify, we're only talking backhand topspin in this thread, ok, not slice.

Is it a myth that the 1hbh is more vulnerable to very high topspin shots than the 2hbh? Here is a video of Kohlschreiber and Tsonga (they are kind of messing around, but the points still stand) hitting some extreme height topspin shots to each other from 22 seconds in;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zG_gXUZkVU

I don't think Kohlschreiber would have been even able to reach up that high if he had a 2hbh, as the two hands restrict the height of the swing. Also, even if he could reach it, he would only just reach the ball, and there would be no 'room' left in the swing to swing further up on the ball, so the only option is a low percentage flat drive.

As you see in the video, Kohlschreiber is actually flicking and brushing up on even these extremely high balls, and returning them with very heavy topspin, so they would bounce over Tsonga's head unless Tsonga backed up, which he was forced to do.

The myth that 1hbh's are weaker against heavy spin and high bounce is being perpetuated by Nadal's winning record over Federer. However, Nadal has a winning record over just about everyone, not just Federer, and he breaks down 2hbh's just as viciously as Federer's backhand. In fact, Federer actually has a decent amount of wins over Nadal, so it could be argued that Nadal breaks down 2hbh's with more ease than he breaks down 1hbh's.

Djokovic has recently turned the tide with his match-up with his backhand, but his 2hbh is exceptional, and even then, it is a weapon not because of his ability to hit the ball really high, but because of his ability to take the ball early and hit it before it kicks too high.

What do you think - is it a myth that the 1hbh is weaker against high balls?

Only continental and eastern gripped backhands, such as that used by Federer, make higher balls more challenging. Nevertheless, you can still hit a decent enough ball. Semi-western backhand grips, such as that used by Almagro and Kohlschreiber, are more comfortable for high backhands, but not so good for low balls. These principles are well established, based on the anatomical reality for all players, not just because of the Federer/Nadal match-up.

You are always going to be at an anatomical disadvantage if you are going toe to toe against another pros forehand with your backhand. Forehands are almost always stronger than backhands, regardless of the opponent, but especially in the case of Nadal, who has a forehand better than most.

rajah84 01-08-2013 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7105357)
Just to clarify, we're only talking backhand topspin in this thread, ok, not slice.

Is it a myth that the 1hbh is more vulnerable to very high topspin shots than the 2hbh? Here is a video of Kohlschreiber and Tsonga (they are kind of messing around, but the points still stand) hitting some extreme height topspin shots to each other from 22 seconds in;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zG_gXUZkVU

I don't think Kohlschreiber would have been even able to reach up that high if he had a 2hbh, as the two hands restrict the height of the swing. Also, even if he could reach it, he would only just reach the ball, and there would be no 'room' left in the swing to swing further up on the ball, so the only option is a low percentage flat drive.

As you see in the video, Kohlschreiber is actually flicking and brushing up on even these extremely high balls, and returning them with very heavy topspin, so they would bounce over Tsonga's head unless Tsonga backed up, which he was forced to do.

The myth that 1hbh's are weaker against heavy spin and high bounce is being perpetuated by Nadal's winning record over Federer. However, Nadal has a winning record over just about everyone, not just Federer, and he breaks down 2hbh's just as viciously as Federer's backhand. In fact, Federer actually has a decent amount of wins over Nadal, so it could be argued that Nadal breaks down 2hbh's with more ease than he breaks down 1hbh's.

Djokovic has recently turned the tide with his match-up with his backhand, but his 2hbh is exceptional, and even then, it is a weapon not because of his ability to hit the ball really high, but because of his ability to take the ball early and hit it before it kicks too high.

What do you think - is it a myth that the 1hbh is weaker against high balls?

I'm sure it's been answered already, but it's no myth. And the video you posted only supports that. If you notice he's not hitting it with any force, that's because it's hard. Either hit early or be over 6'5.

always_crosscourt 01-09-2013 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by above bored (Post 7106638)
Only continental and eastern gripped backhands, such as that used by Federer, make higher balls more challenging. Nevertheless, you can still hit a decent enough ball. Semi-western backhand grips, such as that used by Almagro and Kohlschreiber, are more comfortable for high backhands, but not so good for low balls. These principles are well established, based on the anatomical reality for all players, not just because of the Federer/Nadal match-up.

You are always going to be at an anatomical disadvantage if you are going toe to toe against another pros forehand with your backhand. Forehands are almost always stronger than backhands, regardless of the opponent, but especially in the case of Nadal, who has a forehand better than most.

Federer, Haas, Dimitrov and Wawrinka uses a weak Eastern grip, Almagro and Kohlschreiber use an Eastern grip, Gasquet and Volandri use a strong Eastern grip (sometimes also known as a semi-western backhand grip - the 'full western' backhand grip is never used).

The 'strength' of your grip doesn't always limit how well you can handle high balls. Wawrinka, for example is very strong, and can handle them well despite his weak Eastern grip.

All it takes is that you strengthen the muscles needed to reproduce the backhand. These are muscles that people often neglect because they work out their chest instead, because the chest is a so-called 'mirror muscle'. A strong chest can give you a good forehand, but has little to no involvement in hitting a (one handed) backhand.

A steady diet of weighted pull-ups, rows, inverted body rows and dumbbell reverse flyes would give you the strength in your upper back and posterior shoulder to rip high balls off the one handed backhand. I do all the above and relish the chance of hitting a high backhand - my high 1hbh is both stronger than my high forehand and my low 1hbh. I can frequently take high balls to my 1hbh, swing as fast upwards as I can and whip topspin into them so that they kick over my opponent's head, or even over the back fence on one occasion.

And I'm no pro, so if you combine strength with perfect, pro-level technique the results could be devastating. The 1hbh gives you the extra ROM to hit heavier topspin on high balls than the 2hbh - I guess it is then up to you to build the necessary strength to capitalize on that extra ROM.

Laurie 01-09-2013 12:22 PM

I recall quite a few players over the last 15 years or so who were French Open winners or finalists with great 1 handers:

Albert Costa
Alex Corretja
Gustavo Kuerten
Gaston Gaudio
Thomas Muster

I assume these guys used extreme grips to handle high balls on the clay. The interesting thing about these guys is regardless of surface, they hardly ever slice the ball as a change up tactic.


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