ref: Extended Two-Hand Backhand Twenty years ago, a bad case of tennis elbow forced a switched from my beloved one-hand backhand, to the two-hander backhand. The two-hander always seemed constrained, even if the racquet was whipped up and around the shoulder on finish. Power was ok, but not really great. In 2006, I started experimenting with how to convert my two-hander into a weapon-of-choice, one that offers not only a more fluid, smooth, and graceful stroke, but also with significantly more controlled power and less muscular effort. Being a righty, the left hand is slid down nearly to the racquet butt with an Eastern Forehand grip. This forces the right hand to extend beyond the racquet end, using just two fingers to grip. The right-hand thumb is aligned on the top flat of the racquet butt, and forefinger wrapped around the bottom flat and bevels. It really works! I call the right-hand grip the "Stabilizer Grip." The new backhand stroke is called the "Extended Two-Hand Backhand." A conventional two-hand backhand can be hit with left-hand forehand dominance, with 90% left and 10% right hand strength. Many players may elect other force balance, as self taught. The Extended Two-Hand Backhand is force balance is ~98-99% left, and 1-2% right hand, more extreme than conventional stroke. The stroke really is an Eastern Forehand, with a smidgeon of stabilization and guidance from the right hand Stabilizer Grip. With the Extended Two-Hand Backhand, the stroke is much looser. Both arms remain slightly flexed with firm wrists, and both legs also remain flexed to adjust spin and power. Use of straight arms or legs is not desirable, or recommended. I found the new stroke to be extremely powerful. It gives ability to control pace, direction, and topspin, without extreme muscular effort or upper body rotation. No need to jump off the ground for the power shot. It complements well with my renewed one-hand backhand, which I still find more versatile for varied spin control, when up against opponents who hit all types of slice or crazy shots. But when the ball sits up a little bit, the Extended Two-Hander can be used to overpower your opponent, or to outlast in deep cross-court baseline rallys. One can learn to lightly cup your left hand over the right on service returns, to be able to quickly switch to the two-hander. Naturally, the grip change is slightly faster with the one-hander, and one has to decide when to switch. My belief is the >40 players benefit most, by freeing up their stroke, and away from a rigid or robot-like two-hander. Younger players are extremely loose, and can rotate their body super quick and to extreme angles, up to 270 degrees or so, and likely have a grooved stroke already. On the other hand, the Extended Two-Hander requires only 90 degrees upper-body rotation: -30 degrees away from sideways on backswing, and +60 degrees forward rotation to open up the shoulders on the follow-through. The stroke offers great potential for older folks, as we are not so quick and flexible, and prefer to stay grounded! See the reference web page above, for pictures and stroke details and comparing with Nalbandian's excellent two-handed backhand, with excerpts from R. Lansdorp's 2006 Tennis.com article. Experiment and try the stroke. Start by shifting your left-hand in increments toward the racquet butt, until you get comfortable. Its also recommended you develop a full backswing, and unrestrained follow through up and around your shoulder. Once comfortable, the grip will feel right, and you can begin refining your overall stroke to desired power level and spin control -- and using the new stroke in match situations. Good Luck! - Darryl Chong, San Jose CA "There is nothing else like it. You won't find it anywhere else!"