How to deal with the high kicker to the single handed backhand

HuusHould

Professional
I have a hitting partner with a good kicker. It gives me a lot of headaches high to my single handed backhand. I have had a bit of success with chip and charging. He conversely molests my kicker to his backhand, he lets it drop and then he falls to his right (right hander) and he holds the sidespinning/topspinning shot up until he sees which way I lean, it's kind of like a ping pong shot where sidespin is used to disguise the shot and to swing the ball away from the opponent or back into the court depending on which way he goes with the shot and whether or not I'm serve volleying. I was thinking maybe a Stanimal style response could be practical. What are your thoughts on technically and tactically how to deal with the high kicker to the single handed backhand. I especially have trouble in the ad court, where it's more difficult to run around it.
 
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Crocodile

Legend
The first thing I would do is to alure him to serve to your forehand by standing over to the backhand side leaving a gap on your forehand side, and see how he goes with that one. Many people when manipulated to serve to their less favourite side, end up double faulting or giving you the return you wanted. This is the role of the receiver.
The second thing you could do is move back or move forward. By doing this you change the visual perception that the server has of the service box itself and encourages them to change an aspect of the serve. This is a very effective tool. Its the same when you are used to playing on a backyard court and move to a centre court show court. The perception of depth changes and it takes a while to dial yourself in.
The third thing you could do is go out and practise returning kick serves to you backhand. Try stepping forward and slicing it back, then try standing back and driving it back and then see which one works bette for your. There is no substitute for hard work and practise.
 

HuusHould

Professional
The first thing I would do is to alure him to serve to your forehand by standing over to the backhand side leaving a gap on your forehand side, and see how he goes with that one. Many people when manipulated to serve to their less favourite side, end up double faulting or giving you the return you wanted. This is the role of the receiver.
The second thing you could do is move back or move forward. By doing this you change the visual perception that the server has of the service box itself and encourages them to change an aspect of the serve. This is a very effective tool. Its the same when you are used to playing on a backyard court and move to a centre court show court. The perception of depth changes and it takes a while to dial yourself in.
The third thing you could do is go out and practise returning kick serves to you backhand. Try stepping forward and slicing it back, then try standing back and driving it back and then see which one works bette for your. There is no substitute for hard work and practise.
These are all good ideas. I have to admit I need to work on attacking the high ball on my forehand wing as well. My movement isn't great due to arthritis, so tempting him to serve to my forehand on the ad court is a bit of a risk as is moving back to respond as he has a very good drop shot on it's day (the key is executing a very aggressive return). I'm working on a Stanimal style faded off forehand response from the ad court, for when I wan to roll the dice and run around my backhand. He potentially could double fault when presented with a different look (I'll experiment with there I stand) as he's definitely a rhythm player who likes the same ball/situation over and over and is a bit susceptible to change-ups.

You're right, I need to drill dealing with it. Both slice and drive responses and from different positions. I think they all need to be used at least a bit to keep him guessing and off balance.

From a technical perspective I've always been a very old school, stay side on, on the backhand drive player. Given my movement limitations, I guess I need to be able to deal with the high ball on my backhand to retain court positioning. I'm thinking the only way you can generate power/spin from around shoulder height is through hip/shoulder rotation and a bit of weight transfer in the air?! Any thoughts?
 

Crocodile

Legend
One way you can deal with your return on the ad court with regard to your arthritis is to practise the timing of your returning position. What I mean by that is say you are getting ready to return and you decide to move to the left to encourage a serve to your forehand, what you do is you do a split step and move diagonally forward and right when the server has placed the ball in the air because he can't see what you are doing at this stage in his action and you can place yourself into position.
The other thing I forgot to mention is that you want to study this guy and everything he does, so you know his particular style, plays, strength and weaknesses. Part of winning in tennis is learning how to apply pressure on a consistent basis. Doing this will create more errors from your opponent and break down their game. Always try and do what you like to do the most and get him doing what he least likes in every way.
 

HuusHould

Professional
One way you can deal with your return on the ad court with regard to your arthritis is to practise the timing of your returning position. What I mean by that is say you are getting ready to return and you decide to move to the left to encourage a serve to your forehand, what you do is you do a split step and move diagonally forward and right when the server has placed the ball in the air because he can't see what you are doing at this stage in his action and you can place yourself into position.
The other thing I forgot to mention is that you want to study this guy and everything he does, so you know his particular style, plays, strength and weaknesses. Part of winning in tennis is learning how to apply pressure on a consistent basis. Doing this will create more errors from your opponent and break down their game. Always try and do what you like to do the most and get him doing what he least likes in every way.
Yes, that makes sense, encourage him to serve there, but move to cover it during his toss. He'll eventually cotton on to what I'm doing, but if I mix it up it should still be effective. I'm generally pretty good at studying my opponents, but for some reason it took me a long time to work out that I needed to do something about dealing with the high kicker to my backhand. I think maybe I just thought there was nothing I could do about it, but you can always improve how you deal with a ball by practicing your response.
 
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Lance L

Semi-Pro
I've found the 1hbh is well suited for high balls. I can keep the exact same motion and adjust the grip a bit to account for the ball height. If you can hit a topspin 1hbh, then you can hit a highish topspin 1hbh.
The big problem with heavy topspin serves is the timing, at least that is what I've found. The timing is a real issue for sure.
My first thing would be to move back. Move back until you can handle the serve, then gradually try to move your way in(long term, I mean). You have to be able to get the return in, whatever it takes.
You also mentioned blocking the return, that that is also a fine option. A deep blocked return back at them is usually an effective return.

In the original post you mention him waiting until you move to hit the ball. Why would you move before he hits its, when you don't know where it is going? Why not get in a good ready position, position yourself as best as possible, and then move when he hits?
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Honestly, there is no good answer for how to hit a high kicker with a 1HBH. Particularly in doubles where a slice return will get abused all day long. This is one of the primary reasons the 2HBH is so prevalent.

I'm not sure how old you are, but if you are an adult rec player, it won't take you long to learn a 2HBH that's as good as your1HBH.
 
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Deleted member 120290

Guest
I love hitting kick serves to 1hbh opponents in doubles. It is almost a free point. We probably win >80% of those points. This is at the adult rec level.
 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
My thoughts - when asked about the 1HBH, the only advantages people talk about are it's asthetics, how nice it is to watch, etc. They never say it's a better shot, more reliable, easier to win matches with, or has tactical advantages. You can draw your own conclusions from this.
My conclusion is you have no idea what you're talking about. Both backhands are excellent choices.

The one hander has greater pace potential, greater spin potential, more versatility, more variety, and tactically/match-winning-wise, it's been the backhand of choice for almost all of history's dominant players, including a guy still on tour who happens to have won 17 slams with the thing.

If there's anything to be said against it, it's that it requires a fair amount of wrist and shoulder strength to hit a topspin drive with it as a weapon, meaning especially that it's tough to develop as a junior or woman. And that it appears likely to break down if you happen to find yourself in a lot of matches against Rafael Nadal. Though to be fair, I wouldn't fancy your two-hander's chances against Rafa, either.

Also, if you can step in and chip the return against a kicker aggressively, doubles players are about as likely to "punish that all day" as they are to win Wimbledon.

A two-fister may well be the way to go to get the best returns against big servers. But the slice is better against the kicker for almost everyone. Especially against club level kickers, which are a joke, by and large.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
The one hander has greater pace potential, greater spin potential, more versatility, more variety, and tactically/match-winning-wise, it's been the backhand of choice for almost all of history's dominant players, including a guy still on tour who happens to have won 17 slams with the thing.
Please expound, since literally no one else will defend the shot. Even Federer himself says that if his kids take up tennis, they should learn the 2HBH.

In what way is it advantageous tactically and match-winning-wise, as you said? It may in theory have better pace and spin potential, but only if you have plenty of time to prep, because the swing path is so long. If the opponent hits a heavy pace/spin shot to a 1HBH, causing the shot to be rushed, it invariably breaks down. This is true at all levels. It's not about creating a heavy ball, but handling a heavy ball hit to you. And yes, a 1HBH player on the ad side in doubles is like fresh red meat to a pack of wild dogs. Actually this is true on the deuce side as well. I even know guys that have been not picked up by USTA league teams because they hit a 1HBH and the default assumption is that they are weak on serve returns. Basically black balling them from league play at high levels.

The truth is that successful modern era players with a 1HBH win in spite of their backhand, not because of it. The lone exception may be Wawrinka, but he is a needle in a hay stack.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I've found the 1hbh is well suited for high balls. I can keep the exact same motion and adjust the grip a bit to account for the ball height. If you can hit a topspin 1hbh, then you can hit a highish topspin 1hbh.
The big problem with heavy topspin serves is the timing, at least that is what I've found. The timing is a real issue for sure.
My first thing would be to move back. Move back until you can handle the serve, then gradually try to move your way in(long term, I mean). You have to be able to get the return in, whatever it takes.
You also mentioned blocking the return, that that is also a fine option. A deep blocked return back at them is usually an effective return.

In the original post you mention him waiting until you move to hit the ball. Why would you move before he hits its, when you don't know where it is going? Why not get in a good ready position, position yourself as best as possible, and then move when he hits?
You're right, the timing is the issue. I find if you get the grip around too far (past eastern), for me anyway, the shot then lacks penetration. I'm trying to get airborne and crack my hips into the shot to avoid giving away court position and still be able to use the eastern backhand grip as opposed to a Robredo semi-western forehand grip. I'm working on both flattening out and ripping a dipping return. But I might give getting the grip around further another go and see if I can get more on the shot. He has pretty wicked drop and angled volleys, and covers the net/anticipates well, so I'd have to rip the ball with authority if I moved back, if I could dip it cross court it might be viable, but I'd still be a bit susceptible to the drop volley.

He literally hits his backhand as hard as Wawrinka when he gets onto it, my movement off the mark is compromised and we're playing on synthetic grass which is a fast surface. Sometimes we are drilling serve volley as well and I'm coming in behind my second serve. I will experiment with not committing so early. Thanks for the ideas.
 
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HuusHould

Professional
Honestly, there is no good answer for how to hit a high kicker with a 1HBH. Particularly in doubles where a slice return will get abused all day long. This is one of the primary reasons the 2HBH is so prevalent.

I'm not sure how old you are, but if you are an adult rec player, it won't take you long to learn a 2HBH that's as good as your1HBH.
I'm in my mid thirties. I can do it all with a double-hander against the wall, swing it both ways, half volley, lob, roll angles etc. But my movement off the mark isn't great and I find I have the same problem with high balls that I have with the single hander when I get on the court. It's something to do with getting the right grip tension with each of the two hands I think.
 

HuusHould

Professional
My conclusion is you have no idea what you're talking about. Both backhands are excellent choices.

The one hander has greater pace potential, greater spin potential, more versatility, more variety, and tactically/match-winning-wise, it's been the backhand of choice for almost all of history's dominant players, including a guy still on tour who happens to have won 17 slams with the thing.

If there's anything to be said against it, it's that it requires a fair amount of wrist and shoulder strength to hit a topspin drive with it as a weapon, meaning especially that it's tough to develop as a junior or woman. And that it appears likely to break down if you happen to find yourself in a lot of matches against Rafael Nadal. Though to be fair, I wouldn't fancy your two-hander's chances against Rafa, either.

Also, if you can step in and chip the return against a kicker aggressively, doubles players are about as likely to "punish that all day" as they are to win Wimbledon.

A two-fister may well be the way to go to get the best returns against big servers. But the slice is better against the kicker for almost everyone. Especially against club level kickers, which are a joke, by and large.
I agree the single hander has greater pace and spin potential due to more leverage. But I'd say the double hander is at least it's equal as far as versatility and variety goes. The single hander requires more talent to do the same angles, lobs and fades that can be done with the double hander.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I have a hitting partner with a good kicker. It gives me a lot of headaches high to my single handed backhand. I have had a bit of success with chip and charging. He conversely molests my kicker to his backhand, he lets it drop and then he falls to his right (right hander) and he holds the sidespinning/topspinning shot up until he sees which way I lean, it's kind of like a ping pong shot where sidespin is used to disguise the shot and to swing the ball away from the opponent or back into the court depending on which way he goes with the shot and whether or not I'm serve volleying. I was thinking maybe a Stanimal style response could be practical. What are your thoughts on technically and tactically how to deal with the high kicker to the single handed backhand. I especially have trouble in the ad court, where it's more difficult to run around it.
I am in the move up and take it early camp i think. Though i tend to like making contact at shoulder height because of my sw grip.

Also i think a tight stringbed helps as does higher sw racquet.
 

kiteboard

Banned
No one teaches how to hit it. Would you hit a high kicker on your fh, going high to low? Or would you start high and hit down on it? Must use the deltoids in a way that's not taught. Start high and hit down on it just like a fh return, but takes a strong deltoid and practice.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I am in the move up and take it early camp i think. Though i tend to like making contact at shoulder height because of my sw grip.

Also i think a tight stringbed helps as does higher sw racquet.
Yeah I think if you are good enough to take it early it is the way to go. I have a tight string bed, but possibly need to add a bit of lead tape to increase the swing weight. The difficulty in taking it early is that due to the steep angle of approach, the ball tends to pop up if you don't get it right.

No one teaches how to hit it. Would you hit a high kicker on your fh, going high to low? Or would you start high and hit down on it? Must use the deltoids in a way that's not taught. Start high and hit down on it just like a fh return, but takes a strong deltoid and practice.
You make an interesting point. I think it's to do with the approach angle of the ball as I allude to above. But you're right if you swing low to high the ball will tend to pop up. I will experiment with hitting down on the ball like for a high forehand. Do you have any suggestions for building up deltoid strength kiteboard? Cheers.
 

HuusHould

Professional
No one teaches how to hit it. Would you hit a high kicker on your fh, going high to low? Or would you start high and hit down on it? Must use the deltoids in a way that's not taught. Start high and hit down on it just like a fh return, but takes a strong deltoid and practice.
I think this is definitely a part of the solution!! Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it against the wall, it'll take a lot of practice, but I hit some really encouraging shots. Do you recommend keeping the same Eastern backhand grip and hitting pretty well dead flat? Do you think it's important to try to keep the racquet as horizontal as possible, or can it be raised above the horizontal, (I guess again you just try to mirror what you do on your forehand? I'll often put a bit of sidespin on a flatish high forehand to prevent it from going long) Is it important to turn the shoulders maximally in the preparation for this shot? (I found I wasn't turning my shoulders maybe as much as usual as a natural consequence of attempting this shot).

Another one of my hitting partners has a Borg style right hand dominant 2 handed release backhand. He hits a weird vertical racquet drive volley I guess you'd call it at the net sometimes and he uses this technique on the high ball (above shoulder height) on his backhand as well, he hits it dead flat, after all you don't need spin up there as you're hitting down into the court. It's a good way to explain it saying that you do the same as you would on your forehand, there isn't as much difference between a forehand and a backhand as we often think, the joints and limbs are the same you're just hitting with the opposite side of the racquet and across/away from your body on one versus the other.
 

Lance L

Semi-Pro
I love hitting kick serves to 1hbh opponents in doubles. It is almost a free point. We probably win >80% of those points. This is at the adult rec level.
I enjoy hitting kick serves to a 2hbh. I find that very effective. Now that I'm thinking about it, hitting a kick serve into the body can work really well.
Kick serves in general are challenging. Returns are usually a left-right decision, and the kick serve turns it into a left-right/front-back decision, as well as the added physical challenge of hitting on the rise.
You're right, the timing is the issue. I find if you get the grip around too far (past eastern), for me anyway, the shot then lacks penetration. I'm trying to get airborne and crack my hips into the shot to avoid giving away court position and still be able to use the eastern backhand grip as opposed to a Robredo semi-western forehand grip. I'm working on both flattening out and ripping a dipping return. But I might give getting the grip around further another go and see if I can get more on the shot. He has pretty wicked drop and angled volleys, and covers the net/anticipates well, so I'd have to rip the ball with authority if I moved back, if I could dip it cross court it might be viable, but I'd still be a bit susceptible to the drop volley.

He literally hits his backhand as hard as Wawrinka when he gets onto it, my movement off the mark is compromised and we're playing on synthetic grass which is a fast surface. Sometimes we are drilling serve volley as well and I'm coming in behind my second serve. I will experiment with not committing so early. Thanks for the ideas.
I certainly can't hit a 1hbh past Eastern(index knuckle on 1). With an Eastern grip I can hit at shoulder height or above. I can't even understand how a grip more CCW than eastern works at all.
 
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Deleted member 23235

Guest
i have a 2hbh, and i have the same issue when the ball gets too high... (especially against really good kickers from tall opponents)
often i have to either back waaaay up, so i hit the ball when i comes back down into my strikezone,... (but usually they'll come into the net if i do this)
usually i just have to take a chance, and step up to about 2-3 ft from the service line and take the ball on the rise... abbreviated backswing, etc...
or i'll just try to block/chip it back (still stepping up before it gets too high)
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
If I know I'm getting a kicker to the backhand, then I'll move in and try to half-volley it.

Other options are to let it drop and then slice it back high or slow topspin shot back deep. You. You need time to get back into the court after being pulled wide.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
If it's a really well struck kicker, a slice that lands deep into the court is about the best you can hope for. This is what Fed and Stan both do with great effect: neutralize the serve and try to gain control with groundies
 

HuusHould

Professional
If I know I'm getting a kicker to the backhand, then I'll move in and try to half-volley it.

Other options are to let it drop and then slice it back high or slow topspin shot back deep. You. You need time to get back into the court after being pulled wide.
Yes, the sabre is an option when receiving the kicker. I think the tactical principles behind this play that has been brought back by the Fed express are sound, I mean given the kicker doesn't have a lot of pace and has to land somewhere in a space that's only about a quarter of the court and is in the front part of it, you should be able to get to the pitch of the ball and then rush them while they are regaining balance after the serve. The issue with moving back can be when they serve and volley.


If it's a really well struck kicker, a slice that lands deep into the court is about the best you can hope for. This is what Fed and Stan both do with great effect: neutralize the serve and try to gain control with groundies
This is what I have always thought, they have gotten the ball high to your single hander therefore you can't do much with it, that's just the way it is. But having experimented with kiteboard's advice of hitting down on the ball like a forehand, I'm striking them much cleaner than I was trying to brush up on the high ball. I mean court geometry wise a high ball and what's more a shortish high ball really should be a chance to attack, even if it's breaking a fair bit. I played a guy in singles who was about 400 in the world in doubles and any time I tried to neutralise with a high ball, it disappeared for a winner. You don't need much spin on the return because you can hit the ball downward. But you're right if it swings and bites, puts you off balance and is well placed then you have to cut your losses.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I've noticed Dominic Thiem employing a Safin style scissor kick aka Fed Ex to deal with the high kick serve to his single hander!?
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
You need to hit it out in front, a lot of people WAIT when a kicker is coming, because it dips fast and they think they have time. Then it kicks off the ground and they have no time. So hit earlier than you think and get full extension.
 

teekaywhy

Professional
To the OP's original question, the best way I've found to deal with heavy kickers to the ad side backhand is to either 1: move up and take it early and either chip or slice 2: reposition in the court closer to the alley to incentivize the slice down the middle or 3: move back and wide to account for the kick and try to take it at a more manageable height.
Truth be told, I rarely come across players with kickers that are so vicious as to drive me off the court. Every now and again, a good left server, who employs kick slice will eat my lunch and dinner.

The implied challenge with the high ohbh is, as other posters mention, footwork, strength and timing. Critical skills that are easily exposed especially if you don't work at all of them... hence the dying ohbh in rec and competitive USTA levels. I'm not saying the dhbh is a superior stroke, it's just easier to compensate for technical swing flaws with two hands.
The one advantage of employing a ohbh is the easy transition to a slice backhand. I'm not talking about the weak slice block that pops up and floats, but a true low slice that skims the net, lands at the service line and skids 3 inches off the ground.
 

SCSI

Semi-Pro
One option is go way back and hit with lots of topspin cross court. If you are far back enough and if you have good enough one handed backhand, you would be able to work the ball to pass, even if the server tries to sneak in.

If you are not able to hit with topspin reliably, you would be vulnerable to net attacks but you can always slice it back cross court. The last thing to do is to try to do too much and miss the return.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Honestly, there is no good answer for how to hit a high kicker with a 1HBH. Particularly in doubles where a slice return will get abused all day long. This is one of the primary reasons the 2HBH is so prevalent.

I'm not sure how old you are, but if you are an adult rec player, it won't take you long to learn a 2HBH that's as good as your1HBH.
I disagree. In my view, a traditional slice backhand is optimal for handling high kickers. Check out the first 3 seconds of the video below which shows Billie Jean King hitting a high slice backhand that anyone can emulate. Her technique is perfect.

 

HuusHould

Professional
You need to hit it out in front, a lot of people WAIT when a kicker is coming, because it dips fast and they think they have time. Then it kicks off the ground and they have no time. So hit earlier than you think and get full extension.
Yeah it's weird, you think "I've got this one covered, I'm going to attack it" then the next thing it slides off your racquet wide, because you were too late," then you try to compensate by contacting further in front and you wither net it or drop it short because you're hitting too far away from your body. I'll focus on full extension.

To the OP's original question, the best way I've found to deal with heavy kickers to the ad side backhand is to either 1: move up and take it early and either chip or slice 2: reposition in the court closer to the alley to incentivize the slice down the middle or 3: move back and wide to account for the kick and try to take it at a more manageable height.
Truth be told, I rarely come across players with kickers that are so vicious as to drive me off the court. Every now and again, a good left server, who employs kick slice will eat my lunch and dinner.

The implied challenge with the high ohbh is, as other posters mention, footwork, strength and timing. Critical skills that are easily exposed especially if you don't work at all of them... hence the dying ohbh in rec and competitive USTA levels. I'm not saying the dhbh is a superior stroke, it's just easier to compensate for technical swing flaws with two hands.
1. I've had success taking it early (generally chipping and charging) 2. I should try encouraging him to serve the other way a bit more and as someone mentioned earlier alter my position during his toss. 3. Moving back and wider I'm sure would work well for someone quicker than me, but in this situation I'm not quick enough to recover may court position and my opponent loves taking the time away from me by taking his first hit early.

I agree the single hander has the potential to do everything the double hander can (almost), it's just harder to realise this potential and it rarely is realised.

One option is go way back and hit with lots of topspin cross court. If you are far back enough and if you have good enough one handed backhand, you would be able to work the ball to pass, even if the server tries to sneak in.

If you are not able to hit with topspin reliably, you would be vulnerable to net attacks but you can always slice it back cross court. The last thing to do is to try to do too much and miss the return.
Yes, if I step back, I think I should rip it cross court. Stepping back is a B or C option (but one I can use as a change up) for me due to being relatively slow off the mark. I go for too much and miss way too often, although sometimes I feel that's preferable to letting him hit yet another winner off a weak return!

I disagree. In my view, a traditional slice backhand is optimal for handling high kickers. Check out the first 3 seconds of the video below which shows Billie Jean King hitting a high slice backhand that anyone can emulate. Her technique is perfect.
Interesting, she has a fairly horizontal racquet on the high slice as opposed to coming around the outside of the ball and putting sidespin on it.
 

HuusHould

Professional
Also i think a tight stringbed helps as does higher sw racquet.
Is it possible to adjust the swing weight of the racquet with lead tape? I have a head graphene extreme pro, which is 315g, and for the balance it says 310mm/1and1/3IN HL. What does all this mean? I think the modern racquets are too head light, I can't do the Federer flick on the run that I used to be able to do with the older racquets. Thanks.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Is it possible to adjust the swing weight of the racquet with lead tape? I have a head graphene extreme pro, which is 315g, and for the balance it says 310mm/1and1/3IN HL. What does all this mean? I think the modern racquets are too head light, I can't do the Federer flick on the run that I used to be able to do with the older racquets. Thanks.
You definitely asked the right guy.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
* * *

Interesting, she has a fairly horizontal racquet on the high slice as opposed to coming around the outside of the ball and putting sidespin on it.
What BJK demonstrates in that ad is a classic slice backhand on a high ball. It is the bread and butter slice backhand of the wood racquet era. Her technique is perfect, in my view. Further, that same technique can be used to hit a slice on any ball with modern racquets.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I think that strung weight is 357 so not 100.

This one is mine - only added 15 grams from 10 to 2. Still a bit light.

 

HuusHould

Professional
I think that strung weight is 357 so not 100.

This one is mine - only added 15 grams from 10 to 2. Still a bit light.

Oh right, I couldn't find the specs, it's quite a heavy racquet in the first place. That's what I'd be looking to do, just a slight modification. I'm not up to speed on the different configurations for the lead tape and how they affect the racquets playability, all I know is I need more head heaviness.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm talking about the mains, not the crosses. The crosses look like NXT and the mains look like a poly. Discho Iontec maybe?
I think that you're right. The Mains would be Luxilon (not sure which). I did the playtest back in September and went back to my regular frames.
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
I have a hitting partner with a good kicker. It gives me a lot of headaches high to my single handed backhand. I have had a bit of success with chip and charging. He conversely molests my kicker to his backhand, he lets it drop and then he falls to his right (right hander) and he holds the sidespinning/topspinning shot up until he sees which way I lean, it's kind of like a ping pong shot where sidespin is used to disguise the shot and to swing the ball away from the opponent or back into the court depending on which way he goes with the shot and whether or not I'm serve volleying. I was thinking maybe a Stanimal style response could be practical. What are your thoughts on technically and tactically how to deal with the high kicker to the single handed backhand. I especially have trouble in the ad court, where it's more difficult to run around it.
There are two options when handling a kicker, regardless if its to your forehand or backhand. One is to move forehand and hit it on the rise, which isn't always ideal especially on clay and more risky, and the second is to back up and wait for the ball to do its spin and start dropping.

Backing up is the better option, however in both cases you really gotta move your feet. When I was a junior one thing a coach who I worked with for a while who was an ex-Davis Cup player told me was to stand higher on the second serve, because the contact point will be higher and to be a lot more active with your feet. On the first serve you're more blocking back, and possibly lunging, on the second serve get on your toes more, bounce around and get your feet moving.
Watch someone like Wawrinka how much he backs up on second serves and gives himself a much better margin for error. A few things happen when you hit it from further back, first you are hitting a higher percentage shot, you push your opponent back behind the baseline and you give yourself time to read the ball better. As long as you hit a deep penetrating ball back at your opponent and recover back to the baseline and not end up being back so far behind the baseline its a very viable option.
 

zaph

Professional
Switch to a 2HBH, I know that may not be popular advice here, but I know so many players who have crippled their game trying to master the 1HBH. I can see why, it is a nicer looking shot, but few of the players at my club have managed it. Most can hit the odd spectacular winner, but are unsteady. Whereas I have far less natural talent, but a much higher shot tolerance with the 2HBH, because the 2HBH is a much easier shot to master.

We do have one player who has truly mastered the 1HBH, he can hit crosscourt, down the line and has great shot tolerance. It is a reliable shot and a weapon. Even he has failed to find a solution to balls which kick high into backhand and tried to switch to 2 hands.

He was unable to do it, because of year of muscle memory. Which is why I would make the switch as early as possible. The 2HBH handles high balls much more effectively and why make your life more difficult by learning a shot which has a weakness and is harder to master?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
There was a nice match today between Thiem and Evans, both with OHBHs. You can see the highlights on YouTube. Lots of good examples of dealing with high kickers to the OHBH.
 

HuusHould

Professional
There are two options when handling a kicker, regardless if its to your forehand or backhand. One is to move forehand and hit it on the rise, which isn't always ideal especially on clay and more risky, and the second is to back up and wait for the ball to do its spin and start dropping.

Backing up is the better option, however in both cases you really gotta move your feet. When I was a junior one thing a coach who I worked with for a while who was an ex-Davis Cup player told me was to stand higher on the second serve, because the contact point will be higher and to be a lot more active with your feet. On the first serve you're more blocking back, and possibly lunging, on the second serve get on your toes more, bounce around and get your feet moving.
Watch someone like Wawrinka how much he backs up on second serves and gives himself a much better margin for error. A few things happen when you hit it from further back, first you are hitting a higher percentage shot, you push your opponent back behind the baseline and you give yourself time to read the ball better. As long as you hit a deep penetrating ball back at your opponent and recover back to the baseline and not end up being back so far behind the baseline its a very viable option.
Interesting point about being higher in the ready position when waiting for the second serve, I'll give that a go. The other advantage of backing up is that it's much easier to generate topspin on the shot. You definitely have more time to read what's coming to you as you mention.

Switch to a 2HBH, I know that may not be popular advice here, but I know so many players who have crippled their game trying to master the 1HBH. I can see why, it is a nicer looking shot, but few of the players at my club have managed it. Most can hit the odd spectacular winner, but are unsteady. Whereas I have far less natural talent, but a much higher shot tolerance with the 2HBH, because the 2HBH is a much easier shot to master.

We do have one player who has truly mastered the 1HBH, he can hit crosscourt, down the line and has great shot tolerance. It is a reliable shot and a weapon. Even he has failed to find a solution to balls which kick high into backhand and tried to switch to 2 hands.

He was unable to do it, because of year of muscle memory. Which is why I would make the switch as early as possible. The 2HBH handles high balls much more effectively and why make your life more difficult by learning a shot which has a weakness and is harder to master?
I've tried to get myself to change, but it's the 2 or 3 years of losing consistently to people you normally have a chance of beating that doesn't appeal to me. I think it should be possible to use both the single hander and the a double hander to go over the ball. In my double handers early stages it suffers the same problem on high balls as my single hander. With my single hander the problem is a loss of control and lack of power on the shot (the advice from kite board of hitting down on the high ball has improved this a bit), on the double hander it's lack of control, less power and also more shanks (theoretically it should eventually shank less). I can see how it could be more effective in dealing with the high ball in the long run though. I guess the old "short term pain for long term gain" is a tough credo to follow!

There was a nice match today between Thiem and Evans, both with OHBHs. You can see the highlights on YouTube. Lots of good examples of dealing with high kickers to the OHBH.
These highlights were a good example of dealing with the high ball using a single hander. Against Elias Thiem backed up more than he did in the match you mention to take the return of serve on his backhand, when he took it on the rise his chance of winning the point if he got it in went up, but his chance of missing did also. I think against Evans he decided he was going to try to hold his court position in returning it, maybe it was a tactic specific to his opponent or maybe he felt he had more success doing this in the previous match.
Evans was generally slicing it back and sometimes floating it deep into Thiem's backhand corner with swing, Thiem would've benefited from serve and volleying a fair bit more than he did. Evans also occasionally chip charged. I'm surprised he can get away with slicing the return of second serve so much!
 

NLBwell

Legend
Move in, take it at the high point or on the rise and slice down on the ball. Follow it to net.
Only exception is on clay, where the ball will slow down enough to allow you to back up and take a good rip at it.
 
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