Backhand options

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dmvprof, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. dmvprof

    dmvprof Banned

    Apr 20, 2005
    I've been working hard on my backhands lately. Warming up, I stroke it very well, but only rarely am I able to stroke it well during a match because of my lack of confidence in it. It usually ends up a as a safe slice shot that puts me on the defensive.

    I have always hit a 1 handed backhand, but during my most recent efforts I've picked up a 2 hander that I am getting more and more comfortable with. I have more time with it, and I can place it anywhere on the court easier. It seems that I have more time to hit the ball with the 2hander.

    So my game now has both shots. When I get a backhand and I"m there in plenty of time and my feet are right, I have the confidence to take a good whack at it with a 1 handed topspin shot, but if I'm late and get in trouble, I'll hit the 2hander which is less hard of a shot but very dependable. It's worked pretty well for me in the last couple of weeks and I'm much more confident about backhands now.

    I can't say I've seen anyone else do it, so I wonder, am I just on my way to a 2hander full time, or is this a sound way to play off the backhand side?
  2. andirez

    andirez Rookie

    Apr 14, 2004
    I think you should go for one of the two. Why? Because your opponent will be able to see what kind of shot is coming. For instance: "One hander": hard topspin ball, "two hander": safer, less penetrating shot. Not saying that all your opponents will take advantage of this, but I'm sure some will.
  3. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Jun 16, 2004
    I had the exact problem you did and even used the same strategy of using the 2 hander on late shots. What I've learned to do is stay behind the baseline on groundstrokes, especially if you're getting jammed up on the backhand side. If you get the ball late even though you're deep enough, slice the ball back. The slice is the best thing a 1 hander can do on late hits. You don't need to play with both backhands so just do what I did, stick with the one hander.
  4. Tennis Ball Hitter

    Tennis Ball Hitter Semi-Pro

    May 4, 2005
    good point andirez ... never thought about that. I wanted to have the option of a two handed BH once, so that I could hit those BH shots which don't bounce higher than the net with more spin.

    Good thing I didn't waste any energy on that :) , well actually I did ... I just couldn't do it better than my one hander.

    dmvprof: I find it surprising that you say "I"m there in plenty of time and my feet are right" you use a one hander. Because I found the 2 hander to require more precise foot work. [it could well be becasue I am used to the 1 hander]
  5. dmvprof

    dmvprof Banned

    Apr 20, 2005
    That's not my experience. With the 2 hander, I am able to hit to the open court a lot easier than with the one handed slice, and being off balance doesn't cause as much of a problem as it does when I'm trying to hit a 1 hander.

    And when I mean late, I mean that the ball getting by you with a lot of pace. But on shots you have to run to, the one handed slice is by far better because of the reach.

    I've been told that the safety shot for a 1 hander is the slice, and prior to the last couple of weeks, that's what I used. But it's just not as dependable to me on a deep fast paced shot as a 2 hander.
  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    That is great you are working hard on your backhands. It takes a lot of practice to become confident in the onehanded backhand during a match for a lot of people. There are those "gifted" athletes (I am not one of them) that can pick up a racquet and almost immediately start hitting a good onehanded backhand.

    There is nothing wrong with the slice. The slice is usually hit with a Continental grip. This gives you the opportunity to hit a tad later which gives you some time to prepare. You need to master the slice backhand. You need to be able to hit both offensively and defensively. You can read up on some of my tips on how to develop an offensive slice.

    The slice comes in handy when you play a talented player that seems to have all the shots. When you play against someone like this, you will rarely out hit him. So, you need to do something else to win like changing the ball speed, mixing in different spins, and placing the ball. The slice is a great tool to have for these reasons.

    Consistency and placement are high on my list to decide which shot to use as your main backhand. I would keep the slice and the twohander. I think these two backhands together will strengthen your backhand side. Power is something you can develop overtime. Learn to stay relaxed and the power will come as you practice making clean contact and improve your timing. If you can just focus on those two things together on ANY stroke - you will eventually be able to simply rip the ball.

    If you are not confident with the onehander, as fun as it may be, you need to make a choice. Each backhand requires focused work. Decide today what you want to do. Are you a twohandeder with a slice backhand? Or are you a onehander with both topspin and slice?

    The contact points and swinging technique are different for the topspin onehander and the twohander. The twohander requires a bit more precise footwork to stay balanced. The onehander requires its own footowork but in a different sense.

    The twohander is hit closer to the body and the onehander is hit further away from the body. The onehanders contact point is more in front then the twohander.

    Remember in order to generate lots of power you need to hit the ball cleanly and exactly on time. This means you have to MASTER the contact point for various kinds of balls hit to you.

    If I were you I would master the twohanded backhand and the slice. The contact points for each are pretty similar.
  7. krnboijunsung

    krnboijunsung Semi-Pro

    May 11, 2005
    My backhand is my best weapon. It's weird how lately, everyone around me who has started playing tennis makes their backhand their strength. I feel that the 2HBH just gives much more control. You're holding a racquet with two hands. In the open court, I just face up, and when the ball's coming to my backhand side, I'm ready and i hit hard and follow through. My forehand is my weakness, I guess it's cause I'm hitting with less consistency.

    You're going to have to choose a backhand. Backhand slices won't win games for you. Maybe if you're playing with beginners, but once you get in a higher level of play, backhand slices will only have to be part of your game, and not your whole backhand game. Just go with the one you're comfortable with, and go with the one you know you can improve on, until to the point you are able to hit with confidence and able to make it your strength.

Share This Page