One-handed backhand Questions!!

#1
Hi, I've been playing tennis my whole life... am now 18 and will be playing college tennis next year. I am in the process of switching to a one-handed backhand, for many reason which dont really need to be discussed. The problem is that my schedule doesnt fit with my coaches schedule most of the time, so I am having to teach myself how to hit this stroke. I have the help of my dad, who was quite a tennis player himself in his day. Here are the problems and questions i have run into.

1. I have read in some places that my body should never rotate into an open position with the followthrough. Is this true? If so, at what point of the followthrough do I allow my self to rotate back into my ready position?

2. I have found that hitting high balls around head level are quite difficult with the one-hander. The problem may be in my approach to hitting this shot, because im not really sure what to do... If anyone can tell me the correct way to hit this shot... it would be appreciated. Or... should I be taking these on the rise.... OR slicing them back?

3.With a one handed backhand, should I expect to need to slice back most head-level or higher balls?

4. How much wrist movement should there be in my stroke. When I keep my wrist very firm throughout the stroke... I seem to hit with more power, and control. However, my natural tendency is to let the wrist accelerate through the ball and flop over at the end of the followthrough.

Sorry I have so many questions, but I just want to nail this stuff down before I continue to practice anything the wrong way.

Thanks in advance!
 
#3
You've made a good decision. I love my backhand now and feel more comfortable with it than when I used a double hander.

1. You can get back into an open stance after the followthrough by bringing your left foot up, but you should not hit the 1 hbh in an open stance.

2. High balls are generally sliced back, but you also have the option of moving back to get the ball in your strike zone, taking it on the rise as you pointed out, and running around to hit a forehand.

3. Same answers as number 2.

4. A firm wrist is very good for a one hander. Your followthrough will be very different from the 2 hander in that your right arm, if you're a righty, will not be folding up toward your shoulder at the end of the motion, it will be straight and to the right of your body.
 
#4
1. Make sure to turn your shoulders/hips and step across with your front foot for
both the slice and the topspin backhand. For the topspin, you'd remain sideways
until contact, but then a good follow-thru with the arm swinging out freely will cause
your body to gradually open up & also allow the back leg to come around, so your
body finally finishes up facing the net and the arm is extended high to the right.
This finish allows you to also quickly recover for the next shot.
But overall, it's best not to think of trying to make this rotation happen since it will
mess up your racket-speed and follow-thru. Instead just
focus on hitting thru the ball freely and the rotation+follow-thru will just happen
naturally.

For the slice, some pros (for eg Edberg) also open up on the follow-thru (though the
back leg still stays at the back and doesn't come around as it does on the topspin).
However, others (for eg Federer) stay sideways thru most of the shot. So pick
your poison according to your slice style.

2. To hit a shoulder/head high ball flat or with topspin - take the racquet back like
normal, but then hit out confidently at the ball with a free swing with a nice high
follow thru. The key is to hit out confidently - once you do that, everything will
fall into place. Most folks screw this up by being afraid to hit out on a high ball.
Don't hit down! Get the feeling that even though the ball is high, you're still
hitting thru it freely.

4. The wrist should be pretty firm, but not rigid, otherwise it will prevent you from
swinging freely in the follow thru.

-Madhavan
 
#5
My 2 cents.

1. You don't rotate as for a forehand, you stretch your hitting arm across the body.
Coil the body -> stretch all the way -> it should be in straight line, or like you see some players even bring they hand behind them.
What helped me is extend the non hitting arm from your body, like a penguin, this way it won't allow you trunk to rotate. I feel like I sort of grab an invisible rope with non hitting arm, and let the hitting arm to hit through the ball and stretch all the way.

2,3. Hight balls watch the JHH, she mastered it. What I was told, is to hit straight, follow through and brake the wrist at the end. I still didn't master it, but it seems to work many times. Slice is also great way, I would say it depends on a player, and personal preferences.
 
Top