Double Hander Fundamentals?

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
I'd like to get into coaching and have a pretty sound understanding of all the strokes except for the 2HB. This stroke is slightly alien to me.

I know (in the case of a right hander) that the left hand does most the work.

I 'think' you use a continental grip with the right hand and then it's up to personal preference what you do with the left.

Can anyone give me insights into the fundamentals in order to perform the stroke well?

Thanks in advance.
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
I've been practicing the double hander in the mirror and I say this with slight trepidation but it feels somewhat feminine to me....not that there's anything wrong with that.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
I'd like to get into coaching and have a pretty sound understanding of all the strokes except for the 2HB. This stroke is slightly alien to me.

I know (in the case of a right hander) that the left hand does most the work.

I 'think' you use a continental grip with the right hand and then it's up to personal preference what you do with the left.

Can anyone give me insights into the fundamentals in order to perform the stroke well?

Thanks in advance.
Most of the power comes from the right side actually. The left hand mainly for contact (brush) and extension which is also crucial.
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
Most of the power comes from the right side actually. The left hand mainly for contact (brush) and extension which is also crucial.
You know it's funny. I was practicing in the mirror and I noticed my left arm is bent until point of contact where it becomes straight. I found it a strange sensation.
 
Two hander is different from a forehand so I do not like when people say it is "lefty forehand" when it really is not. Footwork is more important on 2hbh because your arms have less reach. All in all, I'd watch nishikori, djokovic, agassis backhand to get an idea of the fundamentals. Make sure the wrist is loose and shoulders get turned, the main issue I see with two handers is people are super stiff and army and get no spin because they do not create lag.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Two hander is different from a forehand so I do not like when people say it is "lefty forehand" when it really is not. Footwork is more important on 2hbh because your arms have less reach. All in all, I'd watch nishikori, djokovic, agassis backhand to get an idea of the fundamentals. Make sure the wrist is loose and shoulders get turned, the main issue I see with two handers is people are super stiff and army and get no spin because they do not create lag.
Also Zverev's backhand. You can see clearly his lag.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
You know it's funny. I was practicing in the mirror and I noticed my left arm is bent until point of contact where it becomes straight. I found it a strange sensation.
Its about the racquet lag as mentioned above. That is what you should concentrate on not arm positions.
 

Slicerman

Semi-Pro
Two hander is different from a forehand so I do not like when people say it is "lefty forehand" when it really is not.
Also Zverev's backhand. You can see clearly his lag.
Which is ironic, because in Zverev's Topcourt video he says to practice lefty forehand to train the 2hbh :sneaky:

I actually try to model my 2hbh mechanics after Zverev's. But because of the big wind-up I find it harder to be precise with control unless I have enough time. When I don't have enough time for a wind-up then I find myself reverting to a Murray or De Minaur style 2hbh.

And yes, I also agree. A 2hbh is completely different feeling from a lefty fh

I guess baseball and golf are for girls too. Those two handed swings... Sheesh. Real men swing bats and golf clubs with one hand.
Yeah. I was gonna mention that too. The tennis 2hbh actually resembles a golf swing a lot, which is elegant by its own right.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Which is ironic, because in Zverev's Topcourt video he says to practice lefty forehand to train the 2hbh :sneaky:
Yeah it can be misleading. Zverev’s backhand looks closest to a lefty forehand out of all other 2hb visually but the power is definitely generated from the right side of his body.
 
Lefty forehand is a good drill, but thats all it is. A two handed backhand is not a lefty forehand though, and feels nothing like a lefty forehand. Lots of the right side is used
 
I find it somewhat ironic that the tallest players such as Zverev, Del Potro, Cilic have very vertical backswings while shorter players such as Fognini, Gilles Simon and Schwartzman have practically horizontal takebacks.
I would think it would be the other way around.

In any case my favorite is Diego's 2HBH.
It is simple, compact, powerful and can handle fast incoming shots with consistency.
It holds up well (for me) under high pressure, match or tournament conditions.

DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN
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Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
What would you say to a beginner who asks the pros and cons of the 2H vs 1H?

I'd say the 2H has more stability and I actually think you get more reach with the 2H contrary to popular belief.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I find it somewhat ironic that the tallest players such as Zverev, Del Potro, Cilic have very vertical backswings while shorter players such as Fognini, Gilles Simon and Schwartzman have practically horizontal takebacks.
I would think it would be the other way around.
Shorter players will be hitting balls at waist level rather than thigh level so they don't need as vertical a takeback to get the racket below the ball.
 
What would you say to a beginner who asks the pros and cons of the 2H vs 1H?

I'd say the 2H has more stability and I actually think you get more reach with the 2H contrary to popular belief.
This is the key. The two hander is just rock solid under pressure. The one hander has a lot of moving parts and if you aren't 100% confident then good luck because your gonna get exposed. The two hander is just naturally more compact and easy to block back on defense.
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
This is the key. The two hander is just rock solid under pressure. The one hander has a lot of moving parts and if you aren't 100% confident then good luck because your gonna get exposed. The two hander is just naturally more compact and easy to block back on defense.
So what if a student asks why he/she should consider a one hander?
 

tennisbike

Professional
The one hander has a lot of moving parts..
Disagree there. There are definitely more moving parts for two handed stroke than one handed stroke. What are needed to be done is the same but handled by two arm/hands instead of one arm/hand.

I think the main thing is one hand/arm needs to be strong enough to hold the racket and controlling the racket face for control, as well as manipulate the racket to develop power. Seems one hand backhand takes longer for youngsters to develop because of the strength and mechanics. Where the strength issue is less for two-handed strokes.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Fundamentals are for the beginner.
2 hand tackback, swing from there
Disagree there. There are definitely more moving parts for two handed stroke than one handed stroke. What are needed to be done is the same but handled by two arm/hands instead of one arm/hand.

I think the main thing is one hand/arm needs to be strong enough to hold the racket and controlling the racket face for control, as well as manipulate the racket to develop power. Seems one hand backhand takes longer for youngsters to develop because of the strength and mechanics. Where the strength issue is less for two-handed strokes.
Disagree there. There are definitely more moving parts for two handed stroke than one handed stroke. What are needed to be done is the same but handled by two arm/hands instead of one arm/hand.

I think the main thing is one hand/arm needs to be strong enough to hold the racket and controlling the racket face for control, as well as manipulate the racket to develop power. Seems one hand backhand takes longer for youngsters to develop because of the strength and mechanics. Where the strength issue is less for two-handed strokes.
 
Disagree there. There are definitely more moving parts for two handed stroke than one handed stroke. What are needed to be done is the same but handled by two arm/hands instead of one arm/hand.

I think the main thing is one hand/arm needs to be strong enough to hold the racket and controlling the racket face for control, as well as manipulate the racket to develop power. Seems one hand backhand takes longer for youngsters to develop because of the strength and mechanics. Where the strength issue is less for two-handed strokes.
I am not sure I follow you. When hitting a two hander you don't really think about what your arms are doing, that happens naturally depending on the grips you use. Cont/Semi-Western usually gives a bent-bent arm structure and Cont/Eastern usually gives a bent-straight or straight-straight arm structure. I would argue its easier because two hands gives more stability and allows you to control the racquet easier. Why do most teaching pros teach two handers to both kids and adults learning tennis if it has "more moving parts"?
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
There isn't more moving parts. In every tennis shot or many other sports, if you master the hips, you master the shot. It's all in the hips. Wasn't there a movie where that was said?
 
What would you say to a beginner who asks the pros and cons of the 2H vs 1H?

I'd say the 2H has more stability and I actually think you get more reach with the 2H contrary to popular belief.
2h is easier to hit hard at high (shoulder, head height).
2h has a wider front-to-back range of contact; 1h needs to contact in front. -- Stability
1h has a wider side-to-side reach.
1h has more top-spin potential.
1h can slice better.
1h looks more graceful.
 

RyanRF

Professional
It's a strange shot. I'd say the 2hbh is still alien even to most recreational players who use it haha.

You would think that adding a second hand makes things easier, but in some ways getting both arms to coordinate comfortably is kind of complicated. I've even heard some coaches prefer teaching their adult beginners 1hbh and their junior beginners 2hbh.

Definitely your left hand is involved. Saying it's a lefty forehand is misleading. Also there's often a difference between what is actually happening VS what the student needs to be told.

Check out Intuitive Tennis youtube videos on 2hbh. His stuff is really good.
 

a12345

Professional
I find it somewhat ironic that the tallest players such as Zverev, Del Potro, Cilic have very vertical backswings while shorter players such as Fognini, Gilles Simon and Schwartzman have practically horizontal takebacks.
I would think it would be the other way around.
It maybe that a taller player needs to have a much more vertical drop in order to get underneath the ball compared to shorter players that dont need a big drop.

Its an interesting observation though.
 

tennisbike

Professional
  • Fitness: People talk about the importance of fitness, that is even more important for the hand/arm strength to hold and manipulate the racket. I have observed many beginners and youngsters lacking strength to control the racket/racket face. And these population would benefit of having two hands to control the racket the most. The grown adults mostly have sufficient strength to hold and control the racket, thus do not benefit from having a second hand on the racket, as much.
  • Coordination: If I remember reading John Yandell's article correctly, in two-handed stroke, both hand/arm needs to work together to make the shot. If a learner is one hand dominant or have a weak non-dominant hand, this partnership may not benefit a good stroke production.
There are benefits and drawbacks for each and each variation of stroke production. We will simply help the student to learn the game. The fundamentals are the same: stable racket face through the contact zone. Whatever does the trick!
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
This is the key. The two hander is just rock solid under pressure.
Whether a stroke is rock solid under pressure has more to do with the individual vs the stroke.

The one hander has a lot of moving parts and if you aren't 100% confident then good luck because your gonna get exposed.
They both have a lot of moving parts. You could argue that the 2HBH is more constrained, though.

A good opponent will expose my weaknesses; I don't think 2HBH vs 1HBH is the dominant factor.

The two hander is just naturally more compact and easy to block back on defense.
Personally, I have never been good at blocking with my 2HBH; I feel much more comfortable using the 1HBH slice.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I'd like to get into coaching and have a pretty sound understanding of all the strokes except for the 2HB. This stroke is slightly alien to me.

I know (in the case of a right hander) that the left hand does most the work.

I 'think' you use a continental grip with the right hand and then it's up to personal preference what you do with the left.

Can anyone give me insights into the fundamentals in order to perform the stroke well?

Thanks in advance.
Go to "2 minute tennis" on youtube and search his videos for 2 handed backhand. I think this guy presents good lessons that stress the fundamentals. I believe he has a 2HBH video that list several checkpoints.

Personally:
1. strong conti on the bottom hand
2. E to SW on the top hand
3. Prep: turn the shoulders a bit, switch to the correct grips but don't take the racket back. Instead, keep the hands between the shoulders
4. move to the contact zone
5. make a small loop to contact - racket head goes up on take back and loops down below contact at the bottom of the loop. As you take the racket back in the loop, the hips and shoulders close to ball. At the bottom of the loop, the face is closed. Contact is with a vertical face to VERY slightly closed. legs bend down as you loop down and legs lift a bit as you go up. Use hip and shoulder rotation too. Power comes form stepping on to front foot and
6. I hit with near straight arms but a little bend in one or both elbows is fine. I don't like both elbows bent and tucked to body but some use this successfully.
7. I use semi-open, square or slightly closed stances depending on the ball but prefer semi-open to square
8. follow-thru with hands about dominant shoulder, elbows relax and bend into follow thru but ball is long gone before elbows bend. I don't advise using "elbow" or "wrist action" during contact zone. hips (belly button) is fully facing the net at end of follow through.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
as far as lower hand dominant or top hand dominant, I think it is balanced. I do get the feeling of the top hand dominating the follow through but I also don't like the 2 handed backhands were the top hand seems to drive the entire stroke. Djoko and Agassi seem to use the bottom hand quite a bit and especially during the loop to contact.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
I've been practicing the double hander in the mirror and I say this with slight trepidation but it feels somewhat feminine to me....not that there's anything wrong with that.
in high school I was having a conservation with these twin girls at lunch. we got to talking about sports and I said I played tennis. they looked at each other and started giggling. I asked what was funny. they smirk and go, "isn't tennis only for girls?" i got the sense that I was supposed to be embarrassed, but I was not even in the slightest because they looked like idiots standing there laughing.

don't be an idiot. one could arbitrarily call many things masculine or feminine and you'd be so caught up worrying about all these silly superficial things that you never actually play the game. for instance, one could argue it's not very masculine to be looking in the mirror and seeing what looks feminine or not in the first place ;)
 

ichaseballs

Semi-Pro
as andre says around 3:30 in the video... hit the 2hbh from more neutral stance than open when possible.
the front foot facing forward (or 45 degree) is a big tip
 
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