Getting topspin on 2hbh!!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by saqdeez, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. saqdeez

    saqdeez Semi-Pro

    Jul 4, 2006
    My backhand is awful and its flat. I tend to hit the ball out in front of me, as I do with my forehand, but when I do that on the backhand i get no power because I think the contact point is too out in front of me. Grip is continental with bottom hand and eastern with top hand. Ive tried making my top hand semi-western and it just feels so constrained on the follow through, like my arms are twisting, feels harder to have a clean follow through..

    Any general advice on getting topspin with a 2 hander?
    Should I use a firm/loose wrist? Should I work the ball with the wrist at all?
    Should i push the swing out in front after contact or just wrap it around my back? Should it be an upward swing like with the forehand?
    Is the topspin being generated by torso rotation? Should I be doing a jump pivot like davydenko?

    Im used to it being so easy and natural to hit an open stance forehand with a ton of topspin, that the topspin 2hbh feels so foreign, I dont know what do focus on....using wrist, torso etc. Ive tried so many things!
  2. saqdeez

    saqdeez Semi-Pro

    Jul 4, 2006
    Ive also found its easy to hit topspin when I get a high backhand because I can kind of jump and rotate and hit a good ball, but when its coming in low and flat (lets say too deep for me to slice) I have big trouble hitting a good backhand
  3. CallOfBooty

    CallOfBooty Rookie

    Aug 25, 2009
    First thing you need to do is get lower. The lower you are to the ground, the easier it is to hit from below the ball generating topspin. You also need a good racket drop. You can't create topspin if you don't drop the racket and brush up the ball. Thirdly, keep a loose wrist, and at the point of contact use your wrist to brush the ball up and follow through. Now when I advocate using the wrist, I don't mean use the wrist only. You need to make sure you have the basics such as shoulder rotation and a unit turn, and the follow through. The worst thing you can do is finish with a cocked wrist. Use the wrist, but have a natural follow through up above your dominant shoulder with the racket pointing to the ground.
  4. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

    Jan 22, 2008
    West Virginia
    First off, 2HBH nowadays isn't really enough info since you can use straight/straight straight/bent and bent/bent arm configurations and each one is a different stroke really. I bet that you use a bent/bent because most people i see do. When it comes to topspin you're not going to get as much as your forehand, so you've gotta change the tactics a little. I don't think a flat backhand is that bad since its less pacy than your forehand and a lower, more skidding ball would stay out of your opponents strike zone, assuming they use a semi-western or western grip which would give them a higher strike zone.

    With that said, i always use an open-stance when hitting a high topspin backhand because you really have to throw all you have into the shot pretty much straight up the back of the ball. The key here is not to hit with tons of power but make sure the ball lands deep and bounces high so you can get a weaker return to attack. i like to watch the williams sisters when working on my open stance backhand because they really have the best. (Don't get hung up on the fact that its womens or mens tennis, they all play with the same basic technique men just hit harder because of their physicality. And if I could play like a williams sister i would be pretty happy :). I tend to use a lot of wrist action to get that extra snap up the back of the ball, which isn't necessary with a flatter shot since you're hitting through the ball more.
  5. sir_shanks_alot

    sir_shanks_alot Rookie

    Nov 12, 2009
    Only read the top two posts, but for me the key was making a "dip" with the racquet as the forward motion begins. If you watch slo-mo videos you'll see this. Its harder to pick up with the naked eye.
  6. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Oct 3, 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Close the face more and
    then hit later while
    swinging faster.

    Experiment with all three variables and you
    will find a technique that yields better topspin.

    You can refine this shot by coming around the side of the ball
    a little bit to give you some release power.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  7. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

    Feb 25, 2009
    Lafayette, Or
    Swith to one hand and practice twice as much and you can create spin and pace that you will never get from the 2hbh.
  8. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

    Feb 16, 2009
    Get lower and focus on hitting low to high. Friend of mine has the same problem. He rotates too much with his shoulders. He gets the pace but keeps the swing path almost horizontal. Look at nadal and how low he gets and follows through nice and high.

    So stay low and follow through high.
  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    In addition to some of the great suggestions above... try using a SW grip with your off hand rather than eastern... even if it feels weird. Also, try hitting left-handed forehands with a SW grip. This can give you more feel on that side.
  10. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    Couple of things you might want to try.

    Move the top hand a little more to a FH grip - I wouldn't go all the way to SW (right now at least) but your too open at the moment and a lot of your balls have to be going long with absolutely no topspin.

    Wait for the ball a split second longer - I think you might be hitting too far in front - that's ok on a one-hander but on a 2HBH all it does is produce a weak shot.

    You might also be trying to hit too much out of an open stance at first and your weight is "probably" on your back foot and your not balanced.

    Remember, there are two elements of every shot. One is lift and the other push - with topspin, you need a lot of lift. Left hand pulls the racquet forward, right hand lifts it --- maybe 80/20.
  11. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Oct 4, 2004
    It may seem obvious, but for topspin, you need to get under the ball prior to contact and to finish above the ball after contact.

    The most common thing I notice in players struggling with topspin is that they hit the ball at the bottom of the loop, so the contact is made when the swing path is pretty level.

    For your description, if you are hitting pretty far forward (not a bad thing) than you need to continue to swing up and past the contact point and over your shoulder.

    I find it helps, sometimes, to practice an exaggerated topspin by having a rally with topspin lobs - even against a wall. Practice getting as much spin and height on the as possible (don't drive the ball), and you may get a better feel for getting the racquethead under the ball and hitting up and through ball for heavy topspin.
  12. split-step

    split-step Professional

    Dec 6, 2007
    Quoted because this absolutely works.
    Do the above exercise exactly as is stated.
    All you are doing is getting a feel for a topspin swing path by exaggerating it.

    I do the above (bu for my eastern forehand) when I haven't played in a long time when trying to get my timing/feel back.
  13. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    Good guidance - I'll echo the idea of using not too firm wrists to that you can get a good release through contact. I use a 2hbh for a defensive shot or for an aggressive return of serve and I needed to learn to use good extension of my left arm through contact - I'm a righty. This really encouraged a good swing radius and turned the stroke loose for me.

    I also don't feel like I can get good topspin unless I'm set up so that the incoming ball is around the level of my right tricep before I swing. This sets me up to lift through the stroke, more with my legs than my arms, and make decent topspin. If I try to lift through the ball too much with my arms, my elbows bend, that radius of my stroke shrinks as I pull the racquet in too close, and the shot just sort of withers.

    Definitely experiment with different contact points - there's obviously such a thing as too far out front or too far back. Also pay attention to your tempo and keep your stroke smooth and comfortable for good results. If the 2hbh gets too jerky and quick at its release, it can be really unpredictable.

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