Originally Posted by rkelley
I agree that positioning and foot work on the 2hbh is generally more difficult. The 2hbh has a shorter contact zone and you're just generally more constrained with it. Low, short balls can be hard. But I think a key point is that when you are out of position with a 2hbh you can muscle the ball over more easily and still hit a decent, if not great shot. I believe this is the big draw initially for beginning players and players who never develop proper foot work and positioning.
I think this is also the reason it's so good with return of serve. When someone's pounding a ball at you at +100 mph with different spins you often have to make last minute adjustments very quickly. It's a lot easier to do that with a 2hbh and still get some pop on the return.
When you have time to set-up and let it rip it's pretty impressive how much rhs a player can generate with a 1hbh, which ends up as some combination of pace and spin.
Julian, thanks for the response. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "distance." The word never appears in my post. I read the link that you posted and "distance" only appears once in reference to lateral reach. I never discussed lateral reach in my post.
Interesting article. I don't agree with all of its conclusions. Specifically the section on "racket velocity." The article said:
Racket Velocity: Which of the two backhand techniques is capable of producing higher racket velocities at impact? Historically, the production of high racket velocities was believed to require the radius of rotation to be as long as possible and the swinging movement to occur through the greatest arc; characteristics clearly favouring the one handed technique. However, the shorter hitting radius of the two handed stroke provides for greater angular velocities of the racket head at impact, and potentially higher linear velocities (and therefore post-impact ball velocity) at the impact position.
The article references radii of rotation the key element to raquect velocity, and then makes the point (that to me seems unsupported) that " . . . the shorter hitting radius of the two handed stroke provides for greater angular velocities of the racket head at impact." I don't think this is good analysis. I think the physics and biomechanics of a human swinging a racquet are far more complicated than looking at one factor like hitting radius.
Given that we're not writing a treatise on the biomechanics of generating maximum racquet speed, I think a better way to think about this is to go to some life experience. If a person swings a thin, light stick, I think most people would say that they could swing it the fastest with one hand, not two. I think this is because the freedom provided by one hand will allow a person "whip" the stick. OTOH, if a person swings a heavy baseball bat, most people would say that they could swing it the fastest with two hands, not one. I think this is because while all of the freedom of one hand is still available, the bat is too heavy for a person to whip it with one hand. The extra strength and leverage that someone gains by using the other hand outweighs the loss of freedom of movement.
A tennis racquet, I think, is kind of in a transition zone with respect to whether it's a stick or a bat. IMO (with all of the lack of scientific experimentation and analysis that is implied in that statement), for the average adult male, if the only consideration is generating maximum racquet head speed, a tennis racquet is more like a stick than a bat. With proper technique an adult male can generate more racquet speed with one hand than two on the backhand (or forehand). I'm not so sure about the average female, though I suspect for a lot of women the same would be true.