Is the return grip change for single handed backhand players even an excuse?

zill

Hall of Fame
Thing is all players must first turn their body before making the forward swing and while turning, the hands can make the grip change when returning. So whats the fuss with returning for single handed backhand players?
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I never understood anyone complaining about it taking too long to change grips. If you have both hands on the racket in a ready position, changing grips is about the fastest tennis related motion you can do. You can't even take a step to the ball before you can have your grip changed.
 
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zill

Hall of Fame
I never understood anyone complainging about it taking too long to change grips. If you have both hands on the racket in a ready position, changing grips is about the fastest tennis related motion you can do. You can't even take a step to the ball before you can have your grip changed.
Then why is the most significant disadvantage of single backhand players considered the return of serve?
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
it's not about the grip change so much as body position. you can clock a 2hbh from a pretty much completely open stance if you have to whereas with the 1 hander you pretty much have to position the body right (...ish, sampras for example blocked plenty back from a pretty open position but 1, he's sampras, 2. it's still not ideal, and 3. a very heavy racket helps in that case.)
 

socallefty

Legend
With a 1HBH, it’s harder to hit a good return sometimes because of the following:

1. Tougher to return a high kick serve that’s shoulder height with a BH drive - easier to slice it. You have to either stand back and allow the ball to drop or take it on the rise which is hard to do against powerful servers.
2. It puts more pressure to hit the ball early more in front to hit a good return and so, it is harder to have good timing against heavy serves that have a lot of spin - you can hit later with a 2HBH and still control the ball accurately.
3. If you don’t turn the body/shoulder and move to the ball early, you will be caught in an open stance and it is harder to generate pace with the 1HBH return especially off wide serves. Again, it might be easier to slice than to hit a good drive.

Everything is relative and in comparison to a good 2HBH that doesn’t have the same limitations - a 2HBH might have less reach though. There are obviously many 1HBH players who still hit great returns as they are great athletes who anticipate the ball early and prepare quickly to hit the ball at an optimal distance and height. But, I don’t think the grip change is what makes the 1HBH harder.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
why does Wawrinka chip back most of his returns?
Stan chips it back because he hits a 1hbh that uses torso rotation to hit. The set up for that takes too long. Also, if you think about it, it would be hard to move to your left for a wide serve yet rotate your upper body towards facing right. You’d fall an crack your head open. Fed, on the other hand, can use mostly arm if required by time constraints. At most Fed turns1/8 of a turn and shoulders go through contact perpendicular to baseline. Denis Shapovalov can do either, but he moves way more athletically than Stan.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Stan chips it back because he hits a 1hbh that uses torso rotation to hit. The set up for that takes too long. Also, if you think about it, it would be hard to move to your left for a wide serve yet rotate your upper body towards facing right. You’d fall an crack your head open. Fed, on the other hand, can use mostly arm if required by time constraints. At most Fed turns1/8 of a turn and shoulders go through contact perpendicular to baseline. Denis Shapovalov can do either, but he moves way more athletically than Stan.
Thiem uses torso rotation but still returns first serves fine with top spin backhand
 

socallefty

Legend
why does Wawrinka chip back most of his returns?
I don’t know, but I am not going to criticize it as a big weakness when Stan The Man has three Grand Slams under his belt. Maybe he likes the point patterns it sets up for him. I agree with the poster above that Stan needs more time to hit his drive BH and maybe he chips more often as a result. Thiem takes a big backswing also and he fixes his timing issue by standing well back for returns.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
why does Wawrinka chip back most of his returns?
Peobably because it's safer and he doesn't always get punished for it. Putting a neutral ball back into play 80% of the time is worth far more than most other riskier shots you could select.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Thiem uses torso rotation but still returns first serves fine with top spin backhand

He doesn't rotate on the serve returns here when hitting topspin. Just like Shapovalov, he throws his hand behind him to arrest the rotation. Stan is either go big or chip. DT start hitting returns 2:50 in.
 

zill

Hall of Fame

He doesn't rotate on the serve returns here when hitting topspin. Just like Shapovalov, he throws his hand behind him to arrest the rotation. Stan is either go big or chip. DT start hitting returns 2:50 in.
surely Stan can do what they do?
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
Maybe he’s found that he’s more successful when he chips the ball back for some reason. Perhaps a chipped return gives him more time to get into position before his opponent’s next shot.
yeah might be just his preference, what feels right for him. he’s doin’ all right.
 

Morch Us

Professional
Because it is easier to manipulate a reaction "dirty" shot with two hands than one hand. (think about jammed up and no time.. but have to get the ball across somehow with some pace/direction). Against a good server, there is struggle for time/space, and a beautiful one handed drive needs time/space. Of course the alternative is to chip it, or slice it. And strong single handed bh players do get pretty good at alternative enough to make it not really a disadvantage, or develop more movement skills to hit the one hander from further back to gain more time/space.

Single handed back hand (drive) is a pull and let go... vs double handed is a combination of pull and push... push can work wonders when you have to make last minute changes, or don't have time to start an early enough pull.


Then why is the most significant disadvantage of single backhand players considered the return of serve?
 
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PMChambers

Hall of Fame
It's much harder to change grips on OHBH, especially if your more extreme. End up either sacrificing one wing or both slightly. End up using more conservative grip. Even player like Federer with his great movement and ability to read the serve used to play FH Ex Eastern and BH slice {Asume Ex Cont but haven't checked}.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
You could have an "extreme" western forehand grip and an eastern backhand grip and never change grips at all. :-D

You can also have a semiwestern forehand grip and an eastern backhand and go "the wrong way" and it's only one bevel, as opposed to three bevels the "standard" way.
 

RyanRF

Professional
why does Wawrinka chip back most of his returns?
Andy Roddick recently spoke specifically about Wawrinka's returns:

Stan used to rip returns. Sometimes it worked out, but most of the time it didn't. Roddick says old Stan was easier to hold serve against because of how many return errors there would be.

Nowadays Stan just chips returns back and then tries to win the point from the baseline. It seems to be working for him.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
The Grip Change ... from ready position (forehand grip) to 1HBH grip is NO problem at all ... no matter HOW fast the serve is coming at you ... IF ... you have been forced to practice changing the grip as the FIRST thing you do when you see the ball is coming to the backhand. But you have to do it mindfully thousands of times for it to become muscle memory.

I tell all 1HBH students to practice their grip change while watching TV even. Just tons of repetitions ... ... ... Non-dominant hand torques the racquet ... Dominant hand grip is loose and allows the handle to rotate, but does not move at all ... until "there" (BH grip) ... then it grips tighter to finish the backswing and prepare for the forward stroke.

The biggest issues one-handers have when returning serve are ... 1) thinking they don't have enough time for a real (or full) backswing ... and ... 2) getting jammed (shoulders too close to the line of the approaching ball). Any leaning of the shoulders can create problems. Upper body should be vertical when turning sideways during the backswing.

Two-handers have a bit more positioning latitude all the way around ... can always "fake it"!

~ MG
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
One tip someone pointed out to me was to mindfully hold the racket in your ready to receive serve position with your dominant hand in forehand grip (eastern for me) and your off hand in its backhand grip (semiwestern for me).
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
My 2 cents is that its very possible for a one hander to hit drive returns if they know the trick. Look at Almagro.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
One tip someone pointed out to me was to mindfully hold the racket in your ready to receive serve position with your dominant hand in forehand grip (eastern for me) and your off hand in its backhand grip (semiwestern for me).
That’s for two-handed backhands, and it’s a very effective thing to do. I don’t know why all two-handed players are not taught to do that.

For one-handed players, I think you should set up with the opposite grip that you’re most comfortable switching to. For example, I’m more comfortable switching from forehand to backhand, so I set up with a forehand grip. A friend of mine is the opposite, so he sets up with a backhand grip.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
You could have an "extreme" western forehand grip and an eastern backhand grip and never change grips at all. :-D

You can also have a semiwestern forehand grip and an eastern backhand and go "the wrong way" and it's only one bevel, as opposed to three bevels the "standard" way.
Or sw and never change grips at all
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
For one-handed players, I think you should set up with the opposite grip that you’re most comfortable switching to. For example, I’m more comfortable switching from forehand to backhand, so I set up with a forehand grip. A friend of mine is the opposite, so he sets up with a backhand grip.
For any opponent not serving consistently over 100 MPH, I will topspin return at least half the shots on my backhand. But I always hold a continental because if I have to lunge hard, there's no way I can do that and switch from my eastern backhand grip. I can however switch easily from a continental to an eastern backhand grip during the short takeback to hit an open stance topspin.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
i never really thought much about this and i think the short answer is it's not/shouldn't be an issue, but in terms of technique i always wait w a forehand grip but use left hand on the takeback to adjust to backhand grip, either slice or drive. doesn't really take any time.
 
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