As a 1hbh player - can I use 2hbh for ROS?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by always_crosscourt, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

    Jan 3, 2013
    Has anyone else used 2hbh for returning serves (particularly first serves), and a 1hbh for everything else?

    I like the advantages I perceive the 1hbh to give me (better sense of 'freedom' in the stroke, better topspin production, better for hitting topspin off of high balls, better for returning kick serves, ability to flick wide balls...etc...) - but returning flat 1st serves is a nightmare.

    Would using a 2hbh for ROS off 1st serve offer best of both worlds?

    And, will we ever see it at the pro level? Tsonga has been messing around with 1hbh passing shots, but maybe, since his return is so awful (for a top pro), he should have been experimenting with returning with a 2hbh?
  2. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2010
    I had the same issues with 1hbh, quite frustrating since 2hbh return of serve was pretty solid back in the day. The problem with what you thinking of doing though, is that ROS is one of the most difficult shots. If you don't have a very dependable and developed 2hbh you probably will have a very hard time using it on ROS.
  3. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Even James Blake would use a 2 handed return sometimes. If it works for you, go for it.
  4. North

    North Professional

    Jun 21, 2005
    I occasionally use a 2hbh for high ROS. It doesn't necessarily produce a better shot than a well-executed 1hbh high slice ROS or taking the ball immediately off the bounce on the return with the 1hbh. Those shots, however, are much harder to time well and require much more practice than the easier & more forgiving 2hbh.
  5. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

    Dec 4, 2010
    Not Fantasy Land
    Tsonga does use a 2hbh return.

    Anyway, you can...if your goal is to simply block it back. Using two hands will make it more stable, and easier to block things back. But if you want to do more than that, I wouldn't suggest it unless you actually develop a good two handed stroke.
  6. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Aug 9, 2012
    My friend uses a 2hbh for his return only, though I prefer to slice it. What you could learn is the hop step where you load your weight on your left foot take your racquet back, then hop and throw your left foot back and your right foot forward into your backhand. You can see Federer and Kohlschriber doing it a lot on high balls.
  7. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

    Dec 21, 2010
    I agree. I generallly only use two hands if the server has a very good flat serve that I am just blocking back.
  8. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

    Oct 31, 2011
    I think the times it takes for you to develop a good 2hbh return can help you improve your 1hander even more, unless you are already have perfect stroke.
  9. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

    Jan 3, 2013
    Well, a block return of a fast serve is often not a textbook backhand, so using the 2 hander is simply a way of 'pinging' the ball back fast enough to discourage serve-volleying.

    This is the sort of play (at the pro level, obviously) that I mean;

    Is there any footage of Blake with the 2hbh return?
  10. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

    Mar 2, 2012
    I use a 2hbh interchangeably with my 1hbh depending on the situation. 2hbh is faster to set up, so if I find that I have no time to properly set up my 1hbh, then i'll switch to 2 hands.

    so i don't see why a 2hbh for ROS would be bad. No one said you had to stick to one type and forget the other.
  11. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

    Jun 10, 2010
    The (pretty accomplished) Mark Woodforde did this. See if you can find footage of him.

    Also, a big question you have to answer is what kind of 2hbh to develop. Should it basically be a 1hbh with an extra hand to support it? Or should it be more of a "true"/conventional 2hbh?
  12. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    As I see it, the two-handed return can be a very useful addition to the toolbox of any player who generally hits a one-handed backhand.

    I rebuilt my ground game several years ago, including a one-handed backhand, but couldn't return hotter serves with anything more than a blocked slice. Against a slower serve, I usually have time to quickly set and fire a one-hander just fine, but the two-hander made perfect sense for producing an aggressive return as opponent's serves got faster. At least for me, it was a case of "why didn't I think of this sooner".

    My one-hander is clearly my superior style of backhand, but it takes that extra tiny fraction of a second to set up and swing. I still block many returns of serve on my backhand wing, but some practice with the two-hander gave me the stronger option I had needed for a while. I also like the two-hander when I need to fight off a fast ball that gets in deep near my feet.

    Since I also have a very reliable slice, I've been surprised that I haven't gotten too mixed up with all the backhand options to choose from out there. My one-hander is my default stroke though, and if I have to hit a different style of backhand, I usually know it right away. Get confident with every option and you ought to be able to use whatever you need from one shot to the next.

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