Returning agressively with the 1 hander

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Tennis4203, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Tennis4203

    Tennis4203 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2007
    I have a 1 handed backhand (for those that are extra slow)
    and i have trouble returning agressively with the one hander,
    i usually end up slicing the ball, and i have trouble
    stepping *into* the ball when i return. I take a short backswing and i stay on my front foot,
    but i just can't return with power, and my wrist gives way,
    and the ball usually ends up in the net.
    any tips that i can practice?
  2. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

    Jun 5, 2005
    The slice return of serve is maybe the norm for one handers against really hard serves and those that pull you wide and is used by Federer a lot. Has little to do with your footspeed-it is just easier to time and hit against a really hard serve or wide serve than the one handed topspin which requires an earlier contact point and a little longer swing and prep.

    Use a moderate eastern toward a continental grip.
    Keep your shoulders more level- you may be swinging high to low and maybe dipping your front shoulder too much.
    Follow through at your target, then open up and finish across, not before.
    Have your racquet slightly beveled back like a BH volley. This will create backspin which makes the ball rise a bit depending upon how much you bevel the racquet.

    It can be a real negator of hard serves and if you can slice a bit wide and low across the middle of net-a real headache for net rushers. It also can be aggressive in general if you can direct it away from the returner or down the line with a little depth, and bite and it stays low-never easy to dig out for anybody at any level.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2007
  3. Elyod Nanoc

    Elyod Nanoc New User

    Sep 10, 2007
    just watch Federer, Blake, Gasquet, ect. return serve on their backhand(or thats what I do and it works for me at least)
  4. schnick_15

    schnick_15 New User

    Sep 25, 2006
    Use your shoulder to move the racquet more than your arm and wrist; it will give you more stability in your swing, and stop your wrist from giving out. Just like a two hander you just want to block it back, not a real high to low swing.
  5. Slazenger

    Slazenger Professional

    Nov 1, 2005
    How good is your 1HBH drive? Can you change direction on fast paced balls? How good is your backhand down the line?
    Can you drive backhands at shoulder to head height?
    Can you drive balls on the rise aggressively with your 1 hander?
    How about half-volley 1HBH groundies?

    The problem sounds like an issue with your backhand in general.
  6. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

    Jun 5, 2005
    Gee, that was really helpful I am sure for the guy.:rolleyes:

    If he could do all of the above well-he would likely be a 4.5 + and certainly have a decent slice BH.
    My guess is he is a 3.5 to 4.0 trying to improve. Give the guy a break.
  7. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

    Jul 18, 2007
    Somewhere in NY
    Despite learning the 1 hander recently, this is why I stick with the 2hbh. You can absolutely dominate most serves.
  8. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    Before working on an agressive backhand return of serve, first, I suggest, that you just start work on learning to hit a proper backhand topspin drive.

    Have someone stand to your left and toss a ball so it bounces up into your comfort zone and far enough ahead so you can move your weight forward and "step into" the ball. The racket should move through the ball form slightly below to slightly above. Aim two or three feet above the net. At the moment of contact, your weight should be moving forward. Your weight should be over your forward foot at impact to the extent that if you did not "adjust" at that point you would be tipping over.

    Hit dozens of these balls-- say a hundred-- concentrate on the feel of the ball at impact and the feel of your weight and the motion of your arm flowing through the ball.

    As your form becomes more consistant, have your trusty assistant toss the ball higher, so that if your timing is off and you don't catch it as it is bouncing up it will bounce over your head.

    As you master making contact with the ball, have the assistant throw it even higher (15 feet or so). If you can hit these balls soundly back across the net with good form- then have someone serve balls to your backhand. Practice hitting them, alternating between down-the-line and crosscourt. Keep that up until you feel confident.

    Then play a set and see how it goes.
  9. Tennis4203

    Tennis4203 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2007
    i would self-rate myself to be a 3.5-4.0
    but on what i see on youtube i could be a 4-4.5 :p
    i can already drive a topspin backhand, i can do that also on the shoulder to head high balls,
    but it usually lands around the service line but i have trouble getting it cross court
    ye, and my slice is not aggressive enough to use it as a good return shot.
    and thanks guys, i'll try out the tips u've given me tonight
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2007
  10. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

    Feb 24, 2004

    This is how the NTRP describes a 4.5 player's backhand:

    "Can control direction and depth but may break down under pressure; offensive on moderate shots"

    For a 5.0 player the NTRP says:

    "Can use backhand as an aggressive shot with good consistency; has good direction and depth on most shots; varies spin"

    For a 5.5 player the NTRP says nothing specific about the backhand but says:

    "This player is capable of hitting dependable shots in stress situations; ... can vary strategies and style of play in a competitive situation."

    Slazenger's description sound like 5.5 at the very least. (That's the theoretical NTRP level -- which has little to do with the level of players who actually enroll and compete in the leagues and tournaments intended for these levels.)

    Some would say that improved rackets and training has raised the standard for each level. I think it makes more sense to accept the NTRP guidelines at face value as definitions and admit that the typical NTRP level reached by recreational players is higher than it was twenty years ago.

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