One Handed Backhand vs Two Handed Backhand

One Handed or Two Handed

  • One Handed

    Votes: 25 55.6%
  • Two Handed

    Votes: 20 44.4%

  • Total voters
    45

1hander

Rookie
Which do you prefer with modern-day racquets and strings? I prefer my one-handed backhand because I have more power and spin.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
One hand if I’m playing singles. Two hands if I’m playing doubles.

In singles, I can sit deeper and take longer swings at the ball. In doubles, I stand closer to the baseline and am always looking to get up to the net. Also, I have to hit inside-out backhands in doubles.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
2 hander is far better for the 2nd most important shot in the game and the 2nd shot of every game....the return. And despite contrary opinions, the 2hander has some nice advantages when bring the slice into play.

While I'll concede the 1 hander has more power available, there are 2 huge factors often missed here. Both the 2 hander and the 1 hander offer more power than is needed (so there is an excess of power) which means that any power advantage is wasted or misused. I think the 2 hander has more spin potential with proper use of the 2 hands on the handle.

Lastly the 2 hander means less grips to master.
 
Having a fairly reliable and once upon a time versatile one-hander, I would definitely go with a two-hander if I were to learn to play again. It requires more leg work, but I think the coiling comes more natural, which translates in a more efficient use of the kinetic chain. Long cross-court rallies are far less arm tiring with a two-hander. Also, disguising drop-shots is easier too (see Djokovic). I don't know about returns. I can block quite well with one hand.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
One hander just because when I started learning tennis my instructor tried very hard to teach me the two hander to no avail. He gave up after a while and taught me the one hander, which came very natural to me. At the recreational level I don’t think there is an advantage one way or the other. At the competitive level, I guess more pros go for the two hander for consistency.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I don't know about returns. I can block quite well with one hand.
I'm not sure if you are connecting the two sentences in the quote here, but with the two hander, you are not forced to block returns nearly as often. So if you agree that a more full stroke (maybe not totally full) would be an advantage for returning, then that is a big vote for the 2hander Imo.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
one hander for me. No grip change with fh, handles highballs better and I can hit drive returns with ease. Also the 2 hander was much harder on the back.

One supposed advantage of the 2 hander is being able to hit open stance. Its true. Though occasionally I do find myself hitting open stance one handers especially on returns and if I wanted to, I could hit exclusively open stance one handed bhs.
 
I'm not sure if you are connecting the two sentences in the quote here, but with the two hander, you are not forced to block returns nearly as often. So if you agree that a more full stroke (maybe not totally full) would be an advantage for returning, then that is a big vote for the 2hander Imo.
Fair point. I play on clay mostly, so having enough time to hit a full stroke is not a big issue. However, I can see how having the more compact stroke and shoulder turn of the two hander would be an advantage when you don't have the luxury of time. I was thinking more in terms of stability at contact when I wrote what you quoted. Anyhow, your point is valid.

Edit: I now realize that the way I expressed myself wasn't clear. When I said "I don't know about returns", I meant I literally didn't know which would have an advantage over the other, not that I disagree.
 
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ubercat

Professional
I m a one hander. Would up vote 2hbh

if I get caught at my feet or court late I will often do a desperate two hand block shot so it must be more natural
 

Clash Ah ah

Rookie
I'm here to stick up for double handers! The one handers are always said to be more beautiful, more artistic, poetic etc..', Murray wrote on Instagram. 'but almost all the best backhands in the game are double handers.

Almost all coaches say they would teach a double-handed backhand because it's a more simple, effective and efficient technique. Art doesn't need to be complex. There is beauty in simplicity. Double handers for the win!' Andy Murray
 

1hander

Rookie
I'm here to stick up for double handers! The one handers are always said to be more beautiful, more artistic, poetic etc..', Murray wrote on Instagram. 'but almost all the best backhands in the game are double handers.

Almost all coaches say they would teach a double-handed backhand because it's a more simple, effective and efficient technique. Art doesn't need to be complex. There is beauty in simplicity. Double handers for the win!' Andy Murray
Some of the best backhands of all time is one-handers. Like Stan, Thiem, Roger.
 

Fintft

Legend
I'm jealous of the one handers because it looks so good... but with the modern power/spin I think the 2 hander has a slight advantage. Returns are easier and balls around and above shoulder level are much more difficult with one hand.
To me it looks also that with the 2h it is easier to disguise the direction of your shots (i.e. DTL).
But I use 1h.
 

Clash Ah ah

Rookie
Some of the best backhands of all time is one-handers. Like Stan, Thiem, Roger.
1. Djokovic
2. Nalbandian
3. Agassi
4. Murray
5. Zverev

Aren’t bad either. The one handed stroke is more beautiful on the eye - ballet like.
However, Djokovic record v Nadal is down to his two hander, Roger struggles v Nadal due to the one hander.
 

1hander

Rookie
1. Djokovic
2. Nalbandian
3. Agassi
4. Murray
5. Zverev

Aren’t bad either. The one handed stroke is more beautiful on the eye - ballet like.
However, Djokovic record v Nadal is down to his two hander, Roger struggles v Nadal due to the one hander.
Federer finally figured out rafa by taking it early and has only lost on clay to him.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
I take the two handed shot away from my students. Have for many many years. Eventually they see the light and learn a devastating single handed backhand.

Hard to compare the two because it's apples and oranges. It's an argument that'll go on forever until you get your butt kicked by a player that has that single handed backhand and can place it anywhere on the court.

Which BTW, is key.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I take the two handed shot away from my students. Have for many many years. Eventually they see the light and learn a devastating single handed backhand.

Hard to compare the two because it's apples and oranges. It's an argument that'll go on forever until you get your butt kicked by a player that has that single handed backhand and can place it anywhere on the court.

Which BTW, is key.
Still waiting...

Devastating 1 handers in the 3.5-4.0 world of rec tennis are snowflakes. I know a few with powerful 1 handers but they are erratic as heck.

Of course great 2 handers are rare as well but I will say that in general the quality of the 2 handers I face are far superior to the quality of the 1 handers. The vast majority of 1 handed back hands I see are players that slice/block 99% of the time and run around their BH whenever possible.

Some of the best backhands of all time is one-handers. Like Stan, Thiem, Roger.
Prettiest maybe but I'd still take the Djokovic BH as a more consistent and efficient weapon.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
The interesting thing is this.

Everyone, well, almost everyone, considers themselves a tennis instructor, coach, aficionado, or whatever.

It's much worst now with tennis instruction all over the net. Everyone is now a professional instructor in all facets of the sport. Experts.

Which isn't the case at all actually and sadly. Because of this, everyone has an opinion and they are entitled to it. Can't take that from them. Conversation is great.

Over many years, what I find now which is missing , and I've been instructing tennis since 1972, is the "need to" or the "hunger to" learn.

Everyone wants to teach.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Of course great 2 handers are rare as well but I will say that in general the quality of the 2 handers I face are far superior to the quality of the 1 handers. The vast majority of 1 handed back hands I see are players that slice/block 99% of the time and run around their BH whenever possible.
I think it is a more complex question than that though. I switched away from a two-hander as a kid - not for sensible reasons; basically because I wanted to play like my dad (also Edberg, I guess). Undoubtedly my topspin groundstroke is weaker today than it would have been if I'd persisted with what was at the time a pretty solid two-handed stroke.

On the other hand, the rest of my backhand wing is comparatively strong. My volley, half-volley, slice and backhand smash are all very solid and well above average for my level. I've got no doubt that is partially due to hitting my backhand groundstroke one-handed. The shots aren't directly transferable, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of mechanics and timing.

Admittedly the stability and reliability of the topspin two hander is very attractive, and is probably a better value proposition when it comes to winning matches at rec level. But for me these days, I get a lot of pleasure from playing the sort of versatile game that a one-hander allows.
 

1hander

Rookie
I think it is a more complex question than that though. I switched away from a two-hander as a kid - not for sensible reasons; basically because I wanted to play like my dad (also Edberg, I guess). Undoubtedly my topspin groundstroke is weaker today than it would have been if I'd persisted with what was at the time a pretty solid two-handed stroke.

On the other hand, the rest of my backhand wing is comparatively strong. My volley, half-volley, slice and backhand smash are all very solid and well above average for my level. I've got no doubt that is partially due to hitting my backhand groundstroke one-handed. The shots aren't directly transferable, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of mechanics and timing.

Admittedly the stability and reliability of the topspin two hander is very attractive, and is probably a better value proposition when it comes to winning matches at rec level. But for me these days, I get a lot of pleasure from playing the sort of versatile game that a one-hander allows.
I agree the one-hander helps with slice and volleys a ton. I have a much better touch and feel on the slices and volleys with the one-hander than I did with my two-hander.
 

basil J

Hall of Fame
I started with a 2 hbh and moved to a 1HBH after a year of frustration. The 1HBH just feels more natural and I always felt like I could more with it. Granted, footwork and preparation are of monumental importance, especially against big hitters, but when a ball comes down the middle of the court I often run around my forehand so I can hit a BH. It's not a conscious move, I just do it automatically sometimes.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
1. Djokovic
2. Nalbandian
3. Agassi
4. Murray
5. Zverev

Aren’t bad either. The one handed stroke is more beautiful on the eye - ballet like.
However, Djokovic record v Nadal is down to his two hander, Roger struggles v Nadal due to the one hander.
Its more to do with fed using a 90” head for so long than the ohbh itself. He doesnt seem bothered by rafa these days
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I'm jealous of the one handers because it looks so good... but with the modern power/spin I think the 2 hander has a slight advantage. Returns are easier and balls around and above shoulder level are much more difficult with one hand.
Have you tried a semi western one hander?
 
No I haven't... not saying a one hander can't hit with as much power/spin as a two hander, but having a second hand certainly provides a lot more leverage that is a lot harder to achieve with one hand. Just like a one hander has more reach a two hander is better for high balls... doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve similar results, but each has their pluses and minuses.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
I can take a head high ball and hit it back with authority and topspin on my backhand side, single handed. Try this with a two handed backhand. You'll have to jump in the air, as some do, to accomplish this.

Why do many players run around their two handed backhand to hit a forehand?
 

3loudboys

Hall of Fame
Two hander - advantages are better at ROS, for me the most important shot in the game, and dealing with high balls, the most common tactic at rec level. Disadvantage of less reach but you can take one hand off and hit a slice, Muzza at his peak used the slice a lot to great effect for a two hander.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
No I haven't... not saying a one hander can't hit with as much power/spin as a two hander, but having a second hand certainly provides a lot more leverage that is a lot harder to achieve with one hand. Just like a one hander has more reach a two hander is better for high balls... doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve similar results, but each has their pluses and minuses.
for me that grip changes things. It basically eliminates the high ball/ ROS knock on the one hander.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
Here's the thing.

It's easy to say "everyone is different." But the differences aren't all that different. Remember, there's "science" happening in tennis.

The real difference is player's "ability."
 

1hander

Rookie
An upside for a one-hander is you just flip your forehand grip around and then you have your backhand grip. That saves time and helps you set up quicker.
 

Bobs tennis

Semi-Pro
I don't know why posters say the 2hbh is more Stabil then the 1hbh. I do find on first service returns it is more stabil but unless your playing against really hard hitters, not rec players, I can't agree You can't get more consistent then a sliced 1hbh
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
Heavily right hand dominant players will almost always hit crap 2h backhands. I spent 3 years hitting weak 2 handers. The first time I got serious and tried to rip a cross court 1hb it was like magic.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
Two hander - advantages are better at ROS, for me the most important shot in the game, and dealing with high balls, the most common tactic at rec level. Disadvantage of less reach but you can take one hand off and hit a slice, Muzza at his peak used the slice a lot to great effect for a two hander.
I see no advantage, especially if the ball bounces head high, but how often do REC players have to handle a serve that does this?
 

cortado

Rookie
I find 2 hand is easy to hit a straight down the line backhand, but harder to hit across the court and angles. Opposite for 1 hand.
I naturally play half-volleys on the backhand with 2 hands.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
An upside for a one-hander is you just flip your forehand grip around and then you have your backhand grip. That saves time and helps you set up quicker.
This may work for some but not all players.

I personally couldn't get away with that technique.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
Heavily right hand dominant players will almost always hit crap 2h backhands. I spent 3 years hitting weak 2 handers. The first time I got serious and tried to rip a cross court 1hb it was like magic.
Yes! Congratulations!! Kudos!! (y)

As I said and Posted, even ATP plus WTA players run around their 2HB. Gee! Why is that?

Glad to hear this and congratulations again. Welcome to the "old timers" club, or is it?
Or as you say, the SHB is such a much better stroke but most won't know and don't know because many elect not to learn one. :cool:

I use to run around my forehand to hit a SHB. True! :cool: I didn't have to but it was a real annoyance to those I played.

My students, I was famous for eliminating the 2HB and replaced it with the SHB. Many kept both! I taught them how to be annoying also but they didn't know it.

I can still easily hit 2H shots off both sides, My 2HF is much better because it's one of my "signature" shots. I used it more.

I learned all this variety of hitting techniques because I started playing tennis when I was 8 years old. That was a long time ago.

I'm so old I'm almost dead. :)

I will be hitting tomorrow morning.
 

3loudboys

Hall of Fame
I see no advantage, especially if the ball bounces head high, but how often do REC players have to handle a serve that does this?
Do you see no advantage of two hands over one with a head high ball? How tall are you? With ROS no brainer, the ability to drive back off a serve is eminently easier with two hands. Agree at REC level there is some variation in level and the shot received can be less difficult but generally speaking the two hander is better for ROS and handling high balls.
 
Yes! Congratulations!! Kudos!! (y)

As I said and Posted, even ATP plus WTA players run around their 2HB. Gee! Why is that?

Glad to hear this and congratulations again. Welcome to the "old timers" club, or is it?
Or as you say, the SHB is such a much better stroke but most won't know and don't know because many elect not to learn one. :cool:

I use to run around my forehand to hit a SHB. True! :cool: I didn't have to but it was a real annoyance to those I played.

My students, I was famous for eliminating the 2HB and replaced it with the SHB. Many kept both! I taught them how to be annoying also but they didn't know it.

I can still easily hit 2H shots off both sides, My 2HF is much better because it's one of my "signature" shots. I used it more.

I learned all this variety of hitting techniques because I started playing tennis when I was 8 years old. That was a long time ago.

I'm so old I'm almost dead. :)

I will be hitting tomorrow morning.
The fact that they run around to hit the better shot does not mean they would hit the same winners with a one hander as they do with their forehands. Most players run around their backhand given the chance, regardless of whether they hit a one or two hander.

I'm sorry, I don't know what a SHB is.

I would argue the reason most rec players have bad two handers is because they don't have the conditioning to use their whole body to hit consistently. The one hander allows for a lot more "wristing" of the ball (I should know, as a prime example of wrist abuse).
 

3loudboys

Hall of Fame
I can take a head high ball and hit it back with authority and topspin on my backhand side, single handed. Try this with a two handed backhand. You'll have to jump in the air, as some do, to accomplish this.

Why do many players run around their two handed backhand to hit a forehand?
Because the forehand offers more power and versatility. This in no way conceded it is a weak shot, but fh's are more of a weapon.

The jump bh btw is a technical marvel. Kudos to you if you can hit one handers above shoulder height. That deserves respect.
 
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