View Single Post
Old 01-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #17
above bored
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 482

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt View Post
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;

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.

Last edited by above bored; 01-08-2013 at 06:13 PM.
above bored is offline   Reply With Quote