Originally Posted by above bored
No pro with a single-handed backhand really struggles with high backhands in any real sense. It’s all relative, against the highest human standards. For some critics, anything less than a dominating shot, equivalent to a pro forehand, on high balls is deemed struggling, when this is not really realistic. The fact that you might have one individual who deals with high backhands the best, doesn’t mean that the guy who deals with high backhands the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 10th best, struggles with high backhands all of a sudden. We’re talking about world class standards here, across the entire span of tennis history. These are individuals who have mastered the game, not people struggling with rudimentary aspects of it.
Also bear in mind that any type of approaching ball amongst pros, is typically going to have more pace and work on it, be directed more accurately and supported more effectively by the rest of the opponent’s game, than would be the case between amateurs. This is not going to be taking place in a vacuum. So the high balls you might have to deal with are not the same as the high balls pros have to deal with and the consequences for hitting a shot which is not dominating are much more severe. And by dominating, I don’t mean dominating in the amateurs, I mean dominating in the pros. Your world and their world are completely different, so it doesn’t make sense to compare your experience with high backhands to theirs.
As for two-handed backhands, those who hit them well have mastered the technique, so your not being able to tackle low or high balls effectively with it, simply means you have not mastered the technique. Like any skill, you have to first learn the correct approach and then practice it a lot before you can become any good at it.
I may not have mastered the 2hbh, but it is a simple anatomical fact that there is less range of motion when you have two hands on the racket when reaching up high. With the1hbh you have more range of motion, but most people are too weak in their shoulders and/or wrists to capitalize on the advantage.
If you have
strong shoulders and wrists, however, you are in an advantage over a 2hbh's in terms of what you can do with a high ball. You can drive down on the ball (though not as easily as with a 2hbh) OR you can loop upwards on the ball, because you have more range of motion. With a 2hbh, you can't loop back an already head height ball, because your swing is shorter and does not finish high enough to impart topspin on a ball of this height. Looping back a high shot back with heavy spin is a safer and higher percentage option than driving it downwards.
Of course I don't have experience of hitting against Nadal's forehand, but there are 'Nadal's' of my local park who are the same level as me, and who try to kick it up to my backhand and I love dealing with that shot on my one-hander. I deal with head-height balls on my 1hbh better than low balls, or even normal-height balls, but I use a semi-western 1hbh grip. Of course if Nadal kicked up to my backhand I couldn't handle it, but if I were at nadal's level, my backhand would be a lot better than it is, so you can't really compare things that way, can you?
Not to mention there are pro's with 1hbh's who CAN go toe-to-toe with Nadal's forehand with their 1hbh's. Gasquet can use his own heavy topspin off that wing to angle Nadal off the court, probably so could Kuerten, Wawrinka can easily drive through a high ball and Kohlschreiber, Gaudio and Almagro don't do anything too flashy, but are just very stable against high balls. All these players lose to Nadal (when they lose) for reasons other than their 1hbh's.
In fact, do you notice the trend that when a pro player has a 1hbh, it is a more often than not a very
strong backhand (Lopez notwithstanding)?