Originally Posted by Benhur
I think his backhand gets the job done pretty well and I’ve seen him hit great shots with it. I know it has been dismissed as very inferior but I don’t see that, and I don't think he would have become a top player for 3 years if it hadn’t worked well for him, as he had to use it a lot. Then again, having learned tennis relatively late with a one-handed bh from the start, I’ve never been able to understand how two-handed backhands are hit. Can't do it. It feels like trying to play tennis while handcuffed, so I can't comment much on the mechanics of that mysterious shot. The most incomprehensible to me, by far, is Nadal’s backhand. I like Nadal and his game allright, but his backhand looks impossibly cramped and uncomfortable to me.
Sometimes I think of two-handed backhands as a remnant from a childhood necessity. As if a child had never fully made the transition from crawling to walking. Some babies can half-crawl very fast at the age of 12-15 months, in a bouncy and complicated way that reminds me of chimps, and even after they learn how to walk, they sometimes resort back to that kind of crawling for a while if they really want to go fast and safe.
A 2hb is basically a left handed forehand (for a righty). If you let your left hand dominate and keep your right hand passive, you'll get the feel for it quickly. In addition, you can't swing from the shoulder with 2 hands on the racquet as you can with 1 hand on the racquet. Without bending your elbows, you can't move your hands more than a few inches from in front of your sternum. You have to swing with upper body rotation.
So, the 2 keys are: (1) left handed forehand, let the right arm be passive, and (2) swing with upper body rotation elbow bend.
Having said that, to me, Courier's backhand looks like a baseball swing with a truncated windup. And, it is very underrated on this forum.