Originally Posted by BevelDevil
Timing is also harder, especially for a beginner. That's why there's usually no or little supination on a return of serve, I think.
Don't forget, we're talking about a beginner here and there's a lot more for him to focus on.
I'm not an absolute beginner. I just learned in the 80's through mid 90's and haven't adapted my strokes for the modern game i.e. tons of topspin. My two handed backhand is serviceable, but has never felt comfortable. My one handed backhand is, again, something that feels more natural and that I think can be decent with some consistent hard work. That being said I'm only 5' 9" and the one handed backhand is definitely a little tougher on the higher balls, hence really wanting to learn a stroke that is going to allow me to hit with a greater margin of error. I notice from watching videos of Federer's backhand that he seems to drive through the ball a little more while just naturally supinating his forearm. It works in perfect congruence with his upper body for smooth stroke. His racquet face seems quite open on most of his backhands (or even many of his forehands for that matter). Is it a common misconception that massive topspin is used for every shot in tennis nowadays?