The one-handed backhand is far from being obsolete in the modern game

lukaslukas

New User
I watched Musetti play against Wawrinka yesterday. I was really impressed by his performance but also by his one-hander! I‘ll definitely keep an eye on him, partly due to his backhand as well. Too bad it‘s so rare nowadays. Hopefully Thiem and Tsitsipas will encourage people to still consider it.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
They just need to find a way to return properly with a onehander.

It shouldn't be impossible.
It's mostly a 2nd serve return issue. Fed's 2nd return game is super average. They need an insane 1st return to have above average return game, without it, they need an insane hold game to stand out. Otherwise you're automatically left with a decreased ceiling and relying way too much on clutching everything out every time which is not that sustainable in the long run.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
I watched Musetti play against Wawrinka yesterday. I was really impressed by his performance but also by his one-hander! I‘ll definitely keep an eye on him, partly due to his backhand as well. Too bad it‘s so rare nowadays. Hopefully Thiem and Tsitsipas will encourage people to still consider it.
first time seeing him play. he is immediately one of my favorites to watch. really impressed by his game and although this is wildly premature, i saw shades of federer in how much racket head control he has–great reflex volleys and he threw up several stab-lobs from tough positions that all found their way into the court. he's got great feel for the game.
 

SonnyT

Professional
Why one handed BH making comeback? I think it's modern racquet-string combination, which makes much less necessary for many young players!
 
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Villain

Semi-Pro
I wouldn’t call it resurgent when one new guy shows up with a one-hander. Fed, Wawrinka, and Kohlschreiber will all be retiring in the next few years. That leaves what, four guys in the top 100 that will have one-handers? Didn’t even Fed say he would have a two-hander if he was doing it all over again and he was probably the best one-handed returner?
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I wouldn’t call it resurgent when one new guy shows up with a one-hander. Fed, Wawrinka, and Kohlschreiber will all be retiring in the next few years. That leaves what, four guys in the top 100 that will have one-handers? Didn’t even Fed say he would have a two-hander if he was doing it all over again and he was probably the best one-handed returner?
Is it really that few? Obviously 1-handers have decreased, but they always seem to be around at a base level that I feel wasn't greatly diminished recently.
 

Villain

Semi-Pro
Is it really that few? Obviously 1-handers have decreased, but they always seem to be around at a base level that I feel wasn't greatly diminished recently.
Yeah I think that would only leave Shapovalov, Tsitsipas, Thiem and Musetti. Forgot to mention Gasquet, who will also likely be retiring in the next few years. Best case, you are at a return disadvantage at the pro level and most one-handers tend to make more errors on that wing in spite of the fact they typically hit with more spin.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
I wouldn’t call it resurgent when one new guy shows up with a one-hander. Fed, Wawrinka, and Kohlschreiber will all be retiring in the next few years. That leaves what, four guys in the top 100 that will have one-handers? Didn’t even Fed say he would have a two-hander if he was doing it all over again and he was probably the best one-handed returner?
well, given that Thiem and Stefanos are in top 10, it's not bad at all.
also given that Shapovalov might be knocking at the top 10 door
 

Villain

Semi-Pro
well, given that Thiem and Stefanos are in top 10, it's not bad at all.
also given that Shapovalov might be knocking at the top 10 door
That is a good point. Once Fed is back you could have 40% of the top ten be one-handers. Unfortunately for one-hander fans, that will still only equate to about 8% of the top 100 and I bet that goes down as you start looking at the top 300 or 500.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
That is a good point. Once Fed is back you could have 40% of the top ten be one-handers. Unfortunately for one-hander fans, that will still only equate to about 8% of the top 100 and I bet that goes down as you start looking at the top 300 or 500.
so it looks like an "all in".
either you get all the way to the top, or you struggle with it where folks are burning cash in their pursue of a tennis career
 

merwy

Legend
Yep! I think that Thiem winning a slam and having so many young and promising players with a ohbh says a lot for it not being a lesser shot in any way. It’s just about utilizing it’s advantages and disadvantages in the right way.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
A flurry of unforced errors, of course. Brawn beaten by brain in PCB
Yes, he's a gunslinger and that makes him entertaining. We all love to watch the guys that go for their shots over the retrieving defender. It's too bad the equipment and fitness changes in the sport make the latter a more successful style. It would be great to see more successful all courters again rather than see them continually lose to guys that just get the ball deep and wait for you to make an error.
 

BevelDevil

Hall of Fame
That is a good point. Once Fed is back you could have 40% of the top ten be one-handers. Unfortunately for one-hander fans, that will still only equate to about 8% of the top 100 and I bet that goes down as you start looking at the top 300 or 500.
Are you getting that 8% figure by extrapolating from the known top players? Or is that an actual count of the top 100? I would think that there are more top 100 randos with 1hbhs, especially the clay court guys.
 

Villain

Semi-Pro
Are you getting that 8% figure by extrapolating from the known top players? Or is that an actual count of the top 100? I would think that there are more top 100 randos with 1hbhs, especially the clay court guys.
I saw a somewhat recent article that had a list of top 100 players with one-handers. There are fifteen total listed but about half of them will be retiring relatively soon and four are no longer in the top 100. I’m just guessing, but I can’t imagine there will be an equal number of one-handers who will be replacing them in the top 100. We’ll see I guess.

https://www.atptour.com/en/news/federer-tsitsipas-future-one-handed-backhand-2019
 
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socallefty

Semi-Pro
I’m glad as it makes baseline tennis so much more aesthetically pleasing to watch. It would be great if Thiem, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov and Musetti become permanent fixtures in the top 10 along with some 2-handed young players I admire like Sinner and FAA - once Nadal and Djokovic retire.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
Yeah I think that would only leave Shapovalov, Tsitsipas, Thiem and Musetti. Forgot to mention Gasquet, who will also likely be retiring in the next few years. Best case, you are at a return disadvantage at the pro level and most one-handers tend to make more errors on that wing in spite of the fact they typically hit with more spin.
that’s gonna be half your top 10 right there.
 

Villain

Semi-Pro
that’s gonna be half your top 10 right there.
I acknowledged that in an earlier post but I don’t think that changes the fact we are witnessing the slow death of the one-hand topspin BH and that it will likely never be as common as it was even in the 90s, let alone the 50s or 60s. I’m not saying I wish for it to happen, quite the opposite. I like variety and seeing different styles, but the reality is what it is. The one-hander unfortunately has more disadvantages than advantages in the modern game and that’s why we don’t see it as often.
 
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