If I have a good backhand, should I still run around it

Golden Retriever

Hall of Fame
to hit an inside-out forehand?

My backhand (2H)is more consistent than my forehand and it is just a tad weaker. In fact I favor my backhand side since it is more accurate and just feels more comfortable. However, I see pros who have good backhand still run around their backhand to hit an inside-out forehand (admittedly not as much as Moya does but still......) Is there a reason for them to do that?

Bungalo Bill

The main reason at the pro level is to be able to begin a different strategic matchup during the point. If a pro can step in and around to hit the ball, he is either setting up for a clear winner, changing the current strategic matchup, or looking to put the other player on the defensive based on the ball he received and end the point on the next few shots.

At the club level, it is mainly to hit a winner or put the opponent on the defensive. Strategic matchups are usually not followed very well at the club level.

You should always be able to mix in an inside-out forehand even if you have a good backhand. You will have two weapons now at your disposal.

The reason is "what if you play a person that can stay with your backhand? What then?

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
And try this test and post your result here:

Drill 1: Using forehands only, try to cover the entire court (no backhands);

Drill 2: Using backhands only, try to cover the entire court (no forehands).

The above could be done with a consistent partner, or against a coach (basket feeding).

With which situation you felt the efficiency of economy of movement?

I also have a good backhand, but move well with forehand as opposed to backhand.


You won't see many pros run around a huge distance to hit a forehand, but if the distance is a small hop, why not? Most pros have more pace on their forehands anyway so it makes sense to return a shot with some heat than to return a softer backhand. If your backhand is somehow faster than your forehand, you'd obviously be better off not running around the backhand.


some pros with very strong forehand, or some pros with a little stronger forehand with very good movement runs around backhand a lot.

Roddick is ultimate example of the first case. He doesn't move extrememly well, but when he camps out on his backhand corner, he's looking to finish off the point sooner or later.

Moya is another example. He would hit forehand from doubles alley of his backhand court. His forehand is so good and heavy, it's hard to go down the line on his inside out forehand. Plus he moves so well that he can cover a lot of ground.


Keep in mind that running around your backhand puts you at a positional disadvantage because it pulls you farther from the center of the court. You are very vulnerable to a shot to the corner of your forehand side.

For that reason, when you run around your backhand you had better hit a strong forehand. If you are hitting down the line, you had better put it away or you are in real trouble. Hitting cross-court is safer, especially if your opponent is the same handedness and you are hitting a strong forehand into his backhand.

If your backhand is as strong as your forehand, I see zero reason ever to run around it.