Two hands and doubles virtuosos


A thread on early two handed male players prompts this. If you look at many of the early men with double handers, like Bromwich, MacMillan ,McGrath even before Connors, was that several were so accomplshed in doubles. It has me questioning my assumptions on double handers playing that net position. What's always been fascinating about these players, . I know there are other examples of fine semi modern players, but never nearly as many as one-handed doubles greats. I always saw the double hander as a net deficit in doubles everywhere but the return of serve ( this is before so many players decided to stay back and rally beginning in the 2000's Its harder get down to the half volley/ low volley hit that low volley, the reach is constrained on the backhand overhead, and covering the alley, and handling the shot straight at you. In fast block reflex volley exchanges , those two handed volleys seem more unwieldy. Where am I wrong, is there some advantages to that double handed volley, I don't see or are they just exceptions to the rule?


Hall of Fame
A lot of players with two handed backhands hit their backhand volley with one hand

But assuming you are only talking about players who use two hands for both - I would argue that the benefit they get on the ROS very much outweighs the disadvantages on the volley. Yeah, you lose a fair bit of reach - but good volleyers strive to avoid reaching anyway.

Put it this way - I play with a one-hander, and I don't really feel like it provides me with the same advantages in doubles that I get in singles.


New User
volleys are not topspin shots. Most people hit volleys with underspin. Many good two handed back hand players also have a very good one handed slice.


The archetypal pro doubles player these days seems to have a 2HBH drive, 1HBH slice and 1HBH volley on the ATP tour - they seem to crush 2HBH returns. I see 2HBH slices and 2HBH volleys amongst doubles players mostly on the WTA tour and barring a few exceptions, I wouldn’t call too many of them virtuosos at the net.


Great doubles players often had an unothodox style, like Bromwich, McMillan or later McEnroe. I remember the great Francoise Dürr, who had a grip, where the index finger was on the racket shaft. It looked like she would break her hand in an instant. Her service motion was out of the world, and her serve so slow, that she could catch it before going over the net. But she had that great return and was one of the all time womens doubles players, who excelled in doubles and mixed.


two-handed volley is/can be restricting in quick action. also you can't cover the body shots as well.

i'm sure a mix of the two could be desirable.