My Backhand Side

Since my second year of playing tennis (been playing for four years now), I've been in a constant debate about whether I like the single or two-handed backhand more.


I can move my two-handed backhand shots around the court, but sometimes it lacks power. I always found that it uses more energy too. Well to me it does. The shot also felt kind of awkward, even now.

When it comes down to my one-handed backhand (eastern backhand grip), I could never seem to get the mechanics of the shot down. It felt more natural than my two-hander, but it wasn't as offensive, although my defensive play with my one-hander was far better than my defensive play with my two-hander. I also found that power came more naturally with this shot and it also took less effort.

My Current Backhand Situation:

I often find myself hitting a backhand slice (with a continental grip) more frequently than my two-handed backhand, however, I've never had problems defeating an opponent while using this shot excessively during a match. Kind of makes me feel like Steffi Graf, hah.

From time to time, depending on the situation, I also use a one-handed backhand flick/block (with a continental grip), but sometimes I use a half and full-swing, which basically just becomes a full-fledged one-handed backhand shot.


I didn't ask for any specific help in this post. I kind of just vented, but based on what I've stated, I'd appreciate some positive feedback that can help me decide on whether or not I want to start using my one-handed backhand again (this means I must improve it) or just continue doing what I've been doing for the past couple of months.

My backhand is also the reason why I can't decide on what kind of racquet I want. I REALLY like how my forehand hits with midsize racquets and sometimes with my backhand side because of my slice, but it doesn't really go with a two-handed backhand. That's why I've either been using a midplus or oversize racquet for awhile now 'cause it makes hitting my two-hander easier. I dislike using a one-handed backhand with midplus (unless it's a 95) or oversize racquets. Sure there's a bigger surface area, but I find that there's more room for spraying that shot out.

So yeah. Thanks for reading and thank you for your feedback, if you have any.


Hall of Fame
If you want to continue to improve you need to pick a backhand, 1hbh drive or 2hbh, and then work on it to develop it into a solid shot. Either shot can be hit powerfully and work at a high level.

Having said that, you might consider that the overwhelming majority of players today are going with the 2hbh. You might want to consider going that way. At today's pace the 1hbh takes a lot of talent to make it work. As far as lacking power on the 2hbh, there's likely a mechanics issue(s). You should be able to rip it pretty well.

Everyone should hit a 1hbh slice IMO.


1) Get really good at the Continental slice. You need it at all levels of play. Almost no pro players don't use this shot frequently. It also ties into the midcourt and forecourt games. You don't really need a topspin at lower than 4.5 (though it can help), and, of course if you are as good as Graf, you don't ever need one.
2) Pick either a one or two handed backhand and stick with it. Without knowing you, I'd say the 2-hander, but I've taught people to use one-handers sometimes because for some people it is just more natural.

Grip combo? Not really sure what you mean but I'll answer anyways.

Forehand - Eastern
Two-Handed Backhand - Standard? Continental on bottom hand and reverse Continental on top hand.
One-Handed Backhand - Eastern
Slices - Continental
Volleys - Continental
Serve - Continental


I've been dedicating myself to a two-hander for the past four months. As for my lack of power, I know what I'm doing wrong, 'cause I can get plenty of power off of the shot, but working to get the shot is tiring, haha.


I started playing with a one-hander. My two-hander just came about somehow. I can't really remember. Like I said. It still feels awkward.


Hall of Fame
Grip combo referred to the two grips that you use on your 2hbh. You answered cont/cont., which some pros do. The shot would tend to be flatter I would think than other grip combos. Cont/eastern (bottom/top) or cont/SWfh are more common. The eastern and SW are stronger fh grips, so I believe that they will promote a more left hand dominant stroke.

Arm structure is also important. Are your arms straight or bent when you hit? Both bent tends to be favored among the women pros, while left straight and right bent tends to be favored among the men. Some do both straight (Agassi, Nadal). Right straight and left bent really isn't done except for maybe Borg.

The whole interaction between grips, arm structure, and arm dominance are important for building your stroke.


New User
Possibly try an E/E, a E/C, or a SW/C combo? I personally think that the C/C grip combo is pretty hard to generate power with too, just like with the Continental Forehand Grip. (My BH is left hand dominant.)

Ah. After defining that for me, mine is a C/SW. You learn something new everyday, haha. Thanks.

My right arm is straight, and my left arm is bent. Thanks for mentioning that 'cause sometimes when I misjudge the ball, I do a Borg backhand. It's very rare though.


Thank you for the input. I'll try out those combos the next time I go play.