how do people decide between 1hbh and 2hbh?

stockboy

New User
from what I've read, 2hbh is more common primarily because most pros use it, and that was because when they start out as juniors, their coaches had them use 2hbh. But this doesn't make 2hbh a superior shot , so I wonder how people should decide choosing between 1hbh and 2hbh. I've been using 2hbh, but the 1h feels so much more natural. I used to play ultimate frisbee, and the backhand was always my stronger toss. The tennis 1hbh feels very similar to a frisbee backhand. I guess the two main relative weakness of 1hbh is the return and high balls. But I play at the 3.5-4.0 level. and I wonder if 2hbh has the advantage at higher levels, when people hit with more pace, or if there are other reasons 1hbh is kind of going extinct. I'm honestly thinking about switching to 1hbh, but curious to get some thoughts before I do.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
The 1HBH will always feel more natural. Doesn't make it easy to perform properly. The 2HBH is simpler in concept and execution and doesn't need the same amount of solid footwork.

My suggestion is if you have good footwork and can read balls well, a 1HBH is a fine idea. If you struggle and are often swinging from poor platforms, the 2HBH might work better for you.

I know a lot of rec players that play a 1HBH and maybe 2 of them worry me off that wing. I know a handful of guys that hit 2HBH and most of them can pass me on that wing.

But the 1HBH is not extinct at all in rec tennis. It's less predominant in junior tennis but amongst adults, it's common because "it feels more natural". Rec courts are littered with bad or inconsistent 1HBH's.
 
My HS coach told me "Your 1HBH is terrible. You're learning a 2HBH."

To be fair, I was hitting a windshield wiper BH where contact is with the same face as my Eastern FH. So maybe he figured it would be easier to start over than to try and fix the one-hander.
 
1) people are old enough to come from a time when OHBH was predominant
2) ditto for DHBH today
3) a coach has learned to teach properly only OHBH and believes that it is the more sensible shot of the two
4) a coach has learned to teach properly only DHBH and believes that it is the more sensible shot of the two
5) a coach can teach both and picks the one that a player is more natural with
6) a player is self-sufficient he researches both shots and as he picks up the sport, he chooses the one that fits him better
7) one's favourite player has a OHBH and we must always do what our favourite is doing on the court
8) one's favourite player has a DHBH and we must always do what our favourite is doing on the court

:cool:
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I switched from a 2HBH to a 1HBH when I was a teenager, but my 1HBH has never been as strong as my FH even forty years later. I taught a 2HBH to my son and wife when they learned tennis. It is easier to teach and easier for beginners to learn.

My wife in particular got a stronger BH than FH within 2 years of learning tennis. Now, I wonder if I should have stuck with a 2HBH when I was a kid too.

Usually whoever is teaching you tennis decides for you. If no one is teaching you, it doesn’t matter what you pick as your BH will suck anyway.
 
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stockboy

New User
for me, 2hbh seems harder to perform than the 1h. I've found it very intuitive the transfer of power from the legs to the upper body in the 1hbh swing. with the 2hbh, it's like you're interrupting that kinetic chain, which i guess is why it feels less natural. Also, I've found my slices have been a lot more consistent than my 2hbh strokes in general. But I've not played against players who are a lot better than I am, which is when the check marks for the 2hbh really start to matter, like serve return, high balls, stability, margin of error, timing. will definitely play around some more with both.. I think I recall way back having conversation with my HS coach about using 1hbh ground strokes, but a 2hbh return, and he told me no. maybe i'm just born this way.

anyway, how come there are so few 1hbh in the pros today?
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
When i was working with some very novice HS kids, honestly the 1hbh was more natural a swing for them, but stability was always the issue. Showing the a 2hbh swing helped for some, but not others. So to me it seemed very individualized on what they could do with any consistency. Again, these were not necessarily players taht were taking on tennis to compete more than just a HS activity, so there wasn't any long term goal beyond making contact and getting it in as often as possible. But it was interesting to me to see what was natural, useful, or better for each kid.
 

Rosstour

Legend
The 1HBH will always feel more natural. Doesn't make it easy to perform properly. The 2HBH is simpler in concept and execution and doesn't need the same amount of solid footwork.

My suggestion is if you have good footwork and can read balls well, a 1HBH is a fine idea. If you struggle and are often swinging from poor platforms, the 2HBH might work better for you.

I know a lot of rec players that play a 1HBH and maybe 2 of them worry me off that wing. I know a handful of guys that hit 2HBH and most of them can pass me on that wing.

But the 1HBH is not extinct at all in rec tennis. It's less predominant in junior tennis but amongst adults, it's common because "it feels more natural". Rec courts are littered with bad or inconsistent 1HBH's.
Not even sure it requires better footwork, you just have to relearn spacing.

2hbh:
less injury prone
more stable (especially on the returns)
takes less energy to execute

1hbh:
easier topspin
better angles
federer hits 1hbh
I totally disagree with the 2h being less injury prone. The 2h is murder on your hips, especially the trailing hip.

The 1h also takes less energy to execute. It's a lazier shot.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
I think 1hbh is a disadvantage at the baseline, but I do think in a way it makes a player focus on the more cerebral side of tennis, the tactics and strategies. Learning shots that are more rare too
 

_GOATbis

Semi-Pro
Not even sure it requires better footwork, you just have to relearn spacing.



I totally disagree with the 2h being less injury prone. The 2h is murder on your hips, especially the trailing hip.

The 1h also takes less energy to execute. It's a lazier shot.
Yes, you're right indeed. I meant it's easier on arms.
 

Fintft

Legend
I think 1hbh is a disadvantage at the baseline, but I do think in a way it makes a player focus on the more cerebral side of tennis, the tactics and strategies. Learning shots that are more rare too
Also with 2h you get better disguise..
 

Fintft

Legend
I like people coming up to me after a match and saying that’s how I imagine I hit my 1HBH
Except that I had a ...pickleball type of player asking me for tips on how to hit better the 1HBH, after:
1. Winning a set out of me with old Penn balls and short angled game
2. Getting a lesson that day himself

Talk about adding insult to injury lol

True, I did DF a lot and wasn't match tough, yet still..-.
 

Slicerman

Semi-Pro
Choosing between 1hbh and 2hbh is a very personal decision, with different advantages depending on abilities and play style.

I've used both for extended periods of time, for various reasons. 1hbh for 2 years then 2hbh (current) for 4 years.

1hbh probably feels the most "natural" and comfortable stroke to most people, but the issue with it at lower levels is that it's prone to errors and mishits, because lower level players don't have accurate enough footwork and timing on the ball, especially if they try to swing out. I think the gap between 1hbh and 2hbh is pretty much negligible at higher levels, since higher level players know how to adjust regardless the shot.

I think there are 2 main advantages of the 1hbh, there's more potential for power because its a lot easier to get RHS mechanically. Secondly, 1hbh typically trains a player to have more variety, because using 1hbh will improve the backhand slice, which in turn will improve the backhand volley. I think that's one of the reasons why Sampras developed into a 1hbh.

For 2hbh, the advantages are easier timing, ability to hit decent shots in non-ideal positions (eg. hitting late, high balls). Compact swings can still be hit with authority, because you can stiffen up the racquet on contact using both hands. I find that these combination of advantages make it ideal for players who want to take the ball early or for redirecting pace.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
from what I've read, 2hbh is more common primarily because most pros use it, and that was because when they start out as juniors, their coaches had them use 2hbh. But this doesn't make 2hbh a superior shot , so I wonder how people should decide choosing between 1hbh and 2hbh. I've been using 2hbh, but the 1h feels so much more natural. I used to play ultimate frisbee, and the backhand was always my stronger toss. The tennis 1hbh feels very similar to a frisbee backhand. I guess the two main relative weakness of 1hbh is the return and high balls. But I play at the 3.5-4.0 level. and I wonder if 2hbh has the advantage at higher levels, when people hit with more pace, or if there are other reasons 1hbh is kind of going extinct. I'm honestly thinking about switching to 1hbh, but curious to get some thoughts before I do.
Decision tree: do you play tennis as well as Roger Federer? If no, you’re better off with a 2HBH. Even Fed would be better with a 2 hander
 

RVT

Rookie
2hbh:
less injury prone
more stable (especially on the returns)
takes less energy to execute

1hbh:
easier topspin
better angles
federer hits 1hbh
Completely disagree that a 2HB is less injury prone. This is only true if you don't know how to hit a 1HB...

I've known players with all sorts of wrist and core injuries from a 2HB, and it's a lot harder on the adductors and hips as well. I've never seen 1 handers at a high level have catastrophic injuries with a 1HB. I've never had an elbow issue, and most higher level 1HB do not have elbow or wrist issues on the BH side.

The 2HB effectively ended Mike Joyce's career before it got started and pretty much ruined Del Potro. I know of very few 1HB with the sort of wrist injuries that 2HB players seem to have.

I also disagree that it takes less energy. This is only true if you're playing against a ball machine. The extra reach and the easier recovery footwork are a pretty big advantage to a 1HB.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
I switched because despite "feeling more natural" and the odd spectacular winner, my rally bh basically sucked. I reasoned that as long as my bh was solid, and I could defend it, i eventually could get onto my forehand and take control of point. Like a sword & shield as my coach said. 2hbh is much more stable once you get the footwork and swing.

Also, another major reason i switched, was ROS. I (try) to return like björkman and the 2hbh makes life so much simpler with negligble grip change required, as rh continental & lh eastern, you are ready to chip/slice and hit 2hbh return. The only grip change is one bevel from continental to eastern for the right hand to hit a forehand.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
I've recently switched back to a 1HBH from a 2HBH reason being I always felt frustrated not generating enough spin and angles on my 2HBH. The stability was also questionable as well as reaching short angles to the ad side. I always cheated on the 2HBH trying to hit it open stance being lazy to step in and it started to cause some left knee issues on unstable clay due to the twisting motion of the stroke. Most of my opponents are 4.5/5.0 level as well as the tournaments that I play. After a few months, my results with the 1HBH have been the same or better than when I was hitting a 2HBH. The reason being I look more for inside-out/inside-in opportunities now and utilize the slice much better.

The big 'advertised' negatives are: high balls, power, and return of serve which in my opinion have easy fixes.... high balls you take on the rise or step back as you still don't get crazy power with 2HBH on head height balls.... power I get more power with my 1HBH... and return of serve, I return with two hands... no rule against that :D

Now the +/- of the shot itself to me are:
+ spin: way more topspin and easy depth
+ angles: better angles when passing and on shorter balls
+ power: when you are in time and hit full in sweet spot it’s magical
+ feeling at impact: feels amazing when hitting clean just like another poster said
+ greater reach: I reach wider balls
+ variety: i’m forced to play more variety and attacking tennis
+ more inside-out/inside-in opportunities: looking to run around it
+ easy to disguise slice/drop
+ same distance to contact as FH
+ I always found the weird wrist drop on the 2HBH uncomfortable for me
+ opposite motion for rhomboid/shoulder/obliques/scapula: feels more balanced this way
+ closed stance avoiding weak 2HBH open stance & left knee twisting which was a problem in my 2HBH
+ I return with two hands on the frame
+ looks amazing
- high balls: slice or go back or on the rise
- harder to do open stance but never felt the need to do it honestly
- fails under pressure with very low balls or when opponent at net

It's still a work in progress and at the end of the day I didn't 'forget' my 2HBH, I'm just putting it on the shelf for a while. As long as I keep winning against players I used to beat with the 2HBH, I will stick with it as it just feels so much better at impact.

PS. 30-40% of the Top 10 Open level adult rec tennis tourney guys in my area use a 1HBH.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
I started naturally with 2hbh.
My coach changed it to 1hbh
The first match l played I automatically went to 2hbh. My coach saw it was consistent and I hit quite a few winners and passing shots and said I should stick with it.
I played a doubles match against Mark Petchey and passed him a few times with by backhand. He was very complimentary, so I guess it works for me.
I do hit slice with a 1hbh.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
from what I've read, 2hbh is more common primarily because most pros use it, and that was because when they start out as juniors, their coaches had them use 2hbh. But this doesn't make 2hbh a superior shot , so I wonder how people should decide choosing between 1hbh and 2hbh. I've been using 2hbh, but the 1h feels so much more natural. I used to play ultimate frisbee, and the backhand was always my stronger toss. The tennis 1hbh feels very similar to a frisbee backhand. I guess the two main relative weakness of 1hbh is the return and high balls. But I play at the 3.5-4.0 level. and I wonder if 2hbh has the advantage at higher levels, when people hit with more pace, or if there are other reasons 1hbh is kind of going extinct. I'm honestly thinking about switching to 1hbh, but curious to get some thoughts before I do.
my coach plays 1 HBH till these days
yet he taught me a 2 HBH
and factually, as a kid I was equally comfortable playing 1 HBH / 2 HBH, and sometimes even now I freely switch between the two, and it's funny to see how even a weak 1 HBH results in opponents being often astonished and not being able to answer simply cause something unexpected happened :D
 

ngoster

Rookie
I'm one of those rec level players
TRec courts are littered with bad or inconsistent 1HBH's.
I'm one of those litterers haha.

It's taken decades of falling back on the slightly better slice but I'm finally committed to using it. My mindset is that since I have a pretty decent FH, why can't I do the same in reverse? Watching many YouTube videos coupled with readings on the board, I'm slowing beginning to understand the concepts like using the hammer grip (for stability) and footwork timing to create proper spacing.

To the OP, the friend who taught me to play in the early nineties had a OHBH. Oh yeah, there were a few notable players on the ATP...Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Tim Henman and Thomas Muster, who made it look cool.

I tried switching to a 2HBH a few years back but it just didn't feel natural to me.
 

zaph

Professional
I started with the 1HBH and could never master it, it was wild. Plus I found the high backhand utterly impossible, I simply don't have the strength to hit that ball.

The two handed shot felt weird at first, it felt like I was punching the ball but once I got the hang of it, it as far easier. Though I will I confess I suspect my technique is wrong because I mainly use the left arm to hit it. In fact I can take the right hand off it and hit it like a continental left handed forehand. Which makes suspect my technique is bit iffy.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
When i started no one but Chrissy and Jimbo were using 2 handers. So i did the 1hbh. Then Agassi came along and I switched to 2 hands. But the 2hander was hard on the lower back (and that was when I was young) so I switched back. One hander was better anyhow and I fixed the limitations by using a sw grip. No grip change from fh to bh so ros is easy and sw grip ups the strike zone so high balls are not an issue.

One handed though needs a heavier stick imho
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
When i started no one but Chrissy and Jimbo were using 2 handers. So i did the 1hbh. Then Agassi came along and I switched to 2 hands. But the 2hander was hard on the lower back (and that was when I was young) so I switched back. One hander was better anyhow and I fixed the limitations by using a sw grip. No grip change from fh to bh so ros is easy and sw grip ups the strike zone so high balls are not an issue.

One handed though needs a heavier stick imho
Chrissy and Jimmy were on the scene somewhat after I started playing . But I read a lot of books on tennis and two-handed anything was rare. I did read about Pancho Segura.
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
Backhand RPM:

Nadal: 1152
Federer: 548
is this counting only top spin backhands?
or is this a mix & match, of positive top spin rotations being neutralized by negative values of the slice, and then this wild cake being divided by the amount of shots counted?

P.S.
I think they both reach higher values on average for the top spin backhand. but since Fed slices more often, I'll assume for now that this is a logical mistake that nobody wanted to correct
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Backhand RPM:

Nadal: 1152
Federer: 548
Come on resh. The assumption is that they are both going for max topspin and therefore the 1 hander is less. Fed has a more attacking style duh and also uses more slice. Also its 2 players. Hardly convincing. You have to show more players to draw any kind of conclusion imho
 

RVT

Rookie
Nope. It’s generally accepted in the tennis community. He lost several slams to Rafa due to his 1hander alone.
I don't think that's generally accepted at all...

I don't see him winning Wimbledon 8 times with a 2 handed backhand... And the fact is, while Rafa's record on clay is amazing, Wimbledon has outsized prestige when it comes to slams. I think if Fed would have been better with a 2HB, he'd have hit a 2HB...

It's worth noting that despite most juniors being taught a 2hb, 3 of the top 10 are one handers. This idea that a one-hander is inferior at the top level is silly. Keep in mind, I believe most rec players are better off with a 2-hander. It's easier to learn, especially as an adult. I also understand the pros and cons of both.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
is this counting only top spin backhands?
or is this a mix & match, of positive top spin rotations being neutralized by negative values of the slice, and then this wild cake being divided by the amount of shots counted?

P.S.
I think they both reach higher values on average for the top spin backhand. but since Fed slices more often, I'll assume for now that this is a logical mistake that nobody wanted to correct
Good point
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Come on resh. The assumption is that they are both going for max topspin and therefore the 1 hander is less. Fed has a more attacking style duh and also uses more slice. Also its 2 players. Hardly convincing. You have to show more players to draw any kind of conclusion imho
Average Backhand Topspin - Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)
Adding spin to the ball helps create more margin for error and, in turn, allows for more power to be added to the shot as the spin helps keep it in. Sinner was the leader of the pack in hitting the most spin off his backhand wing, averaging 1858 rpm from 17 matches in the data set.

The leading five players in the spin category were:

1. Jannik Sinner = 1858 rpm
2. Martin Klizan = 1840 rpm
3. Felix Auger-Aliassime = 1825 rpm
4. Pablo Cuevas = 1735 rpm
5. John Millman = 1680 rpm

Only Cuevas has a 1 hander. How much more proof do you need?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Average Backhand Topspin - Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)
Adding spin to the ball helps create more margin for error and, in turn, allows for more power to be added to the shot as the spin helps keep it in. Sinner was the leader of the pack in hitting the most spin off his backhand wing, averaging 1858 rpm from 17 matches in the data set.

The leading five players in the spin category were:

1. Jannik Sinner = 1858 rpm
2. Martin Klizan = 1840 rpm
3. Felix Auger-Aliassime = 1825 rpm
4. Pablo Cuevas = 1735 rpm
5. John Millman = 1680 rpm

Only Cuevas has a 1 hander. How much more proof do you need?
I need more good faith or better reading from you. From your source, you didn't mention this part:

Rafael Nadal led The “Big Three” with the most backhand topspin (1252 rpm), followed by Novak Djokovic (1148 rpm) and Roger Federer (548 rpm). Federer traditionally employs more slice backhands than the others, which lowers his overall rating here.

You would need an explanation of their methodology if FEDs slice is lowering his rating, to see how that impacts Cuevas' numbers and the other one handers. From the looks of it, it might just be that one handers just hit more slice and that is impacting the spin for some reason in their study. Something seems a miss if slice lowers topspin rpm.
 
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