2HBH, but 1HBH to save far-reaching balls?


I use 2HBH. I started to learn 1HBH just for fun, and found that I can hit an angle much wider than with 2HBH.

For example, when the ball is beyond my double's sideline on the ad court, and at the baseline, (I am right-handed) with 1HBH I can hit to the opponent's deuce court, at about the single's sideline, a bit more than half way between the net and the service line. And with pace. With my 2HBH, even when this angle can sometimes be made, the ball can hardly go as fast.

But I do not want to completely switch to 1HBH.

So I start to think, should I keep using 2HBH, but sometimes hit a 1HBH? The 'sometimes' can be when I:
  1. (mainly) cannot reach as far with 2H
  2. want to hit a wide angle
  3. hit a low ball
  4. just want to change the pace or spin

A) Any pros doing so?
B) Do you advise for or against this?
C) Well if I am still to practise so anyway, what should i be aware of?​
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New User
I also play with a 2HBH and, like you, occasionally resort to a 1HBH (the backhand stroke I originally used as a teenager before relearning fundamentals in my 30s) when reaching for balls hit wide to the ad court (I'm a righty). While this "bail-out" stroke may be justifiable 0.5% of the time just to stay in the point, it shouldn't be a go-to move for a 2HBH player. As a 2HBH player, you need to get into position faster to hit the "tighter" contact point on a backhand stroke, so you should consider whether you resort to the 1HBH on wide shots due to poor footwork, court position or fitness. If you convince yourself that a 1HBH is an option on wide shots,* it's likely that you won't work as hard on improving your footwork/fitness as you should to enable you to cover the entire court. If you're truly using a 1HBH strategically and not due to a weakness in your 2HBH (i.e., you can't get to proper position quickly enough to hit wide shots with a 2HBH), then by all means, you do you. Otherwise, I think you should work on whatever aspects of your 2HBH you need to keep wide shots in play with your default backhand stroke.

*A backhand slice might be useful in these circumstances, but I assume you're not referring to a slice.


The contact point for the 1HBH topspin drive is just as close to the body as a 2HBH so reachability is not a real advantage either way. 2HBH has a shorter prep time so it may actually give you more time.

I have a 2HBH and a 1HBH slice. I don't need a 3rd shot in the mix to change pace. If you can develop a searing 1HBH topspin drive, then use it. But the timing is far harder. Only a handful of guys my level have that kind of BH. Most have bunty, slicy thing they run around.


Hall of Fame
Generally one is better than the other, in the same way most people's FH is better BH. So you hit FH more often
Its generally better to pick one and develop it as 1 weapon is better than none.
Both have pros and cons. For club level the 1HBH is generally harder to return with.

Pros who use both in play, Borg and Tsonga. Both will hit 1HBH topspin on ovcations. Most 2HBH hit 1HBH slice.


The 1HBH may have more reach, but its reach as an advantage is relatively negligible because it generally requires you to set up better with more precise footwork just to hit it properly.

So considering that the 1HBH is more footwork and setup sensitive than its two-handed counterpart, the idea of deliberately choosing to hit the more difficult shot in a situation that is already tough enough as it is sounds rather idiotic.

Just learn the topspin, stretch, and running 2HBH. Since the 2HBH is already less demanding, it should be far easier to pull off than learning how to hit a 1HBH on the run or on the full stretch.

fuzz nation

If you can hit both styles and make good use of them - sounds like you can - keep it up. Remember that a slice backhand is also an essential for every player's toolbox. I get a better reach with a slice than with my topspin one-hander (bh) when I really need to reach for a ball.

The one-hander is the easier option for me to make racquet speed, but I need just an extra fraction of a second to set and swing it compared with a two-hander that can happen in a hurry with only a turn of my shoulders. My two-hander is quicker on the draw, so I like it for aggressive returns of serve or perhaps when a fastball gets in on my feet - easier to short hop the ball or take it on the rise.

The two-hander is usually driven by the top hand - the left hand for a righty - so the "racquet arm" is attatched to the hitter's back shoulder. The racquet arm with the one-hander is on the leading shoulder - right shoulder for a righty - so the racquet's best strike zone is typically further out ahead of us where it can more effectively release through the ball. Make sure you're going out there after the ball when you hit your topspin one-hander.

A one-hander also seems to work better with a closed stance, at least compared with a two-hander. While a two-hander can be done with a neutral or mildly open stance, a one-hander can be stressful on the shoulder and also tough to accelerate well if the feet are too open. Make sure you experiment with different orientations to find your best setup.

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
I use both, but my default is one handed. I use two hands on high balls that I don't want to slice back or balls hit hard and close to me where I can't extend for the one hander and use two hands to block and redirect the shot back.