Unique one handed backhand racket take back/loop

Curious

Legend
I love this guy's backhand. There is something beautiful about his take back, racket tip pointing forward at some stage. Esthetics aside, what's the significance of that take back? Looks somewhat similar to Gasquet's. Don't forget to watch at 0.25X speed.

 

ReopeningWed

Professional
Yeah I skipped around, it's a combination of being completely off balance when he hits and being late on his contact points. My sense is that those two are connected, and there's a lot of jerky, body twisting of his weight into the ball to get the racket moving through. The best backhand he hit was at 5:56, that's a very quiet, not extraneous motion that would be really good to build on.
 

Curious

Legend
Yeah I skipped around, it's a combination of being completely off balance when he hits and being late on his contact points. My sense is that those two are connected, and there's a lot of jerky, body twisting of his weight into the ball to get the racket moving through.
Yeah I see what you mean. I saw his other videos and usually hits pretty good backhands though. What do you think about the racket take back and pointing the racket straight at the net thing? Nothing special there?
 

ReopeningWed

Professional
I don't think takebacks or follow throughs matter stylistically, as long as you can coil quick enough to get your shoulders and hips and legs into the shot, it's cool. Go nuts and do whatever you want, but the cleaner and more simple your technique is, the more repeatable it'll be and it'll be easier to improvise with on tough balls. Aesthetics are great but the most important thing is how good the ball you hit is and how much better it can get right?

Edit: I watched another one of his videos and he looks well balanced in his most recent demo videos, as well as pretty consistent! Good player here!
 

Curious

Legend
I don't think takebacks or follow throughs matter stylistically, as long as you can coil quick enough to get your shoulders and hips and legs into the shot, it's cool. Go nuts and do whatever you want, but the cleaner and more simple your technique is, the more repeatable it'll be and it'll be easier to improvise with on tough balls. Aesthetics are great but the most important thing is how good the ball you hit is and how much better it can get right?
Of course, I agree. Aesthetics is a subjective thing anyway. I was wondering if that sort of take back has any relevance in terms of stroke mechanics/efficacy etc.
 

Curious

Legend
I don't think takebacks or follow throughs matter stylistically, as long as you can coil quick enough to get your shoulders and hips and legs into the shot, it's cool. Go nuts and do whatever you want, but the cleaner and more simple your technique is, the more repeatable it'll be and it'll be easier to improvise with on tough balls. Aesthetics are great but the most important thing is how good the ball you hit is and how much better it can get right?

Edit: I watched another one of his videos and he looks well balanced in his most recent demo videos, as well as pretty consistent! Good player here!
This is funny. That was the first video I watched and then searched for other videos of him to see his backhand from side view and started the thread. And that video was the one I was referring to when I said I saw his other videos where he hit good backhands.:)
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
You were one of the guys that I would ask their opinion by the way:). The other two were @IowaGuy and @ChaelAZ .
His backhand is indeed pretty sweet, especially in that 2nd video.

The closest pro takeback that I can think of is Gasquet, like you mentioned.

That loopy takeback might give him a tiny bit more power, compared to a compact takeback.

However, a drawback to such a big takeback is that the timing is more difficult.

Think about your FH - you're generally trying to eliminate any excessive stuff on the takeback/prep. This guy has a ton of excessive stuff going on!

I would recommend using a pro as a model who has a more compact BH takeback. That makes the timing easier (more consistent and holds up better under pressure) and will also make your BH more robust on a faster court (his BH would not be great on a really fast court - think Wawrinka and his limitation on serve returns and his poor results on grass).

Take a look at ~50-year-old Edberg's BH in this practice video (starts around 0:15). Notice how simple and compact his topspin BH takeback is. Food for thought...

 

ChaelAZ

Legend
You were one of the guys that I would ask their opinion by the way:). The other two were @IowaGuy and @ChaelAZ .
I’ve followed him for some time and he is a solid player, but really does some great racquet reviews and such. Will comment on the BH in a bit...gotta get a coffee in me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Curious

Legend
His backhand is indeed pretty sweet, especially in that 2nd video.

The closest pro takeback that I can think of is Gasquet, like you mentioned.

That loopy takeback might give him a tiny bit more power, compared to a compact takeback.

However, a drawback to such a big takeback is that the timing is more difficult.

Think about your FH - you're generally trying to eliminate any excessive stuff on the takeback/prep. This guy has a ton of excessive stuff going on!

I would recommend using a pro as a model who has a more compact BH takeback. That makes the timing easier (more consistent and holds up better under pressure) and will also make your BH more robust on a faster court (his BH would not be great on a really fast court - think Wawrinka and his limitation on serve returns and his poor results on grass).

Take a look at ~50-year-old Edberg's BH in this practice video (starts around 0:15). Notice how simple and compact his topspin BH takeback is. Food for thought...

I guess you're right about Edberg being a great maybe the best example.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I guess you're right about Edberg being a great maybe the best example.
Full disclosure - I'm a little biased towards Edberg since I used him as my model 1HBH when I learned to play tennis back in the late 1980's :)

But in general, whether the BH or FH, I think compact takebacks are better for rec players than fancy loopy takebacks which require more precise timing and hand/eye coordination...
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I am getting to the point anymore where the only things I think are important to see for a 1HBH are making sure the RH drops below the ball when back and the contact point is forward with a paralel racquet face fnishing forward through the ball and at least slightly above the ball. How all those things happen for rec players is going to be slightly or highly individualized. He ticks those boxes even with a more forehand style, racquet face to the back fence take back and his arching back up-right position. He is getting consistent pop. So not something I would demonstrate to anyone learning, but certainly works for him. As you noticed though, this doesn't seem to be his best hit and I've seen a bunch of his vids the last year or so where he is much more traditional and balanaced. Maybe he was still a little drunk! lol.
 

Kevo

Legend
You need to be caught up on your calisthenics to be hitting a 1HBH topspin return of serve. It's really important to be able to short cut the backswing and time the contact well. When you do that you are relying a lot more on your shoulder and back muscles to give you the racquet head speed you need. It can be done, but it's challenging. It's almost a little easier when you have a big server where you can block it more and use their pace against them, but you need that timing. And to get that you need to practice. It's hard to find someone to blast serves at you over and over to get the practice.

If your timing's not on you can always fall back a city block like Nadal. Then you'll have plenty of time for the full back swing, and you'll need it when you're that far behind the line.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I love this guy's backhand. There is something beautiful about his take back, racket tip pointing forward at some stage. Esthetics aside, what's the significance of that take back? Looks somewhat similar to Gasquet's. Don't forget to watch at 0.25X speed.

If you watch his match play that bh is a weakness imo
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Wow how come I didn’t think about that! Especially Wawrinka who has such a high command of topspin backhand.
Check out my bh return in that video I posted recently.. all slice. The 1hbh is so timing dependent that I slice all 1st serves now, and all 2nd serves if its grass.

Wawrinka slices nearly all 1st serves also on his bh

1hbh = better power and spin, but more timing required compared to 2hbh. It is an unfortunate fact that all good 1hbh players must accept. The slice has a much bigger timing windiw
 

Curious

Legend
Check out my bh return in that video I posted recently.. all slice. The 1hbh is so timing dependent that I slice all 1st serves now, and all 2nd serves if its grass.

Wawrinka slices nearly all 1st serves also on his bh

1hbh = better power and spin, but more timing required compared to 2hbh. It is an unfortunate fact that all good 1hbh players must accept. The slice has a much bigger timing windiw
One thing I noticed though is that all pro players with 1hbh hit topspin returns when they play doubles, including Wawrinka ( almost always).
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
One thing I noticed though is that all pro players with 1hbh hit topspin returns when they play doubles, including Wawrinka ( almost always).
Yeah the net man forces it. Think of it as more aggressive play, that 1hbh off a serve is hard to do but powerful when it comes back. If you can chain 4 points in a row and get 1 break that's all you need tho

More pressure to hold your own serve too
 

philosoup

Rookie
The guy's backhand in the video is pretty bad. His swing paths are wrong most of the times and he doesn't have the correct kinetic chain in place to generate controlled power.
 

TheLambsheadrep

Professional
I've watched a lot of his reviews and I think he's trying to keep the head of the racquet pointing forward, not just up, on his take back to add whip like a Sock or Kyrgios forehand.
At the peak of his take back his left hand is in front (i.e. closer to the net) of his right hand. Getting into this position and having that extra whip around requires more time which would lead to being late and off balance on some shots. The closest pro backhand does seem to be Gasquet but obviously a pro is going to look more natural and be technically sound.
 

mainmain

New User
What about Thiem as a model for XXL take back loops with forward pointing when he needs some whip (ie 90% of shots :))?
Tsitsipas also, even though a little less forward right?

Those two should be decent sources of inspiration, yet lacking compactness and simplicity, aren't they?

Oh my, if half of the posters say this guy suck, I'm gonna need some medical aid the day I submit a video of my shots.
Personnally I think he is fairly good but exhibits a slight lack of modesty which is either a kind of humor or sense of drama, both making no sense to my inferior european mind.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Viscous brutal tennis. Looks like a boxer throwing punches from his hip
Yeah and there is something about his forehand that is like that. It just seems so different. Not sure why maybe its the close angle or something. And my point in posting that is that even pros can be pros with a simple flashless takeback and once you get that down then maybe you can go for stylepoints.

Ironically I wish I had never found this site because it convinced me to ditch that simple takeback for a big loopy one. Now I am really thinking about going back to the simple one.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
You need to be caught up on your calisthenics to be hitting a 1HBH topspin return of serve. It's really important to be able to short cut the backswing and time the contact well. When you do that you are relying a lot more on your shoulder and back muscles to give you the racquet head speed you need. It can be done, but it's challenging. It's almost a little easier when you have a big server where you can block it more and use their pace against them, but you need that timing. And to get that you need to practice. It's hard to find someone to blast serves at you over and over to get the practice.

If your timing's not on you can always fall back a city block like Nadal. Then you'll have plenty of time for the full back swing, and you'll need it when you're that far behind the line.
I think the majority of all pro ros are open stance ... fh, 2hbh and 1hbh. Open FHs and 2hbhs are equal to their closed/square stance versions ... but an open stance 1hbh is not. You do see great players, Dimitrov, @Shroud, @ChaelAZ 8-B(y) hit good baseline open 1hbh ... but give a pro time at the baseline, they are hitting closed 1hbh. But on ros ... open 1hbh. Just watch video of Fed. Sometimes he is stepping wide with left leg, other times he steps to the right and ends up in open stance 1hbh ros.

So to our point about shorter backswing 1hbh needing more muscle, I think we also add open stance 1hbh to that. For a rec player, a 1hbh open stance slice ros will require less muscle.

When I have been taking 2hbh ros reps, I have committed to open stance 2hbh ros. I want that to always be rock solid and plan A. I have had the thought that maybe this isn't that much of a requirement for a rec player. A pro is returning each serves ... open stances is the fastest way to cover those serves laterally. But if a rec player is facing a 70 mph serve (and many much slower than that), you have all kind of time to step over into closed stance.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
One thing I noticed though is that all pro players with 1hbh hit topspin returns when they play doubles, including Wawrinka ( almost always).
If you watch some doubles at the AO, note if most 1hbs ros are ts vs more flat drives. I don't really watch that much doubles, but since generally the idea on ros is 1) low 2) net guy can't hit ... I would guess much or the 1hbh ros are flattish drives. It might not be an automatic jump from 1hbh slice ros to 1hbh ts ros ... for sure in rec doubles.

Also.... I continue to repeat it's a myth you can play high level 4.5 doubles with a 1hbh slice. The best doubles player we ever had on our 4.5 team played ad court, and hit almost exclusively cc off pace slice (near alley). He was an ex-college player, and had played some 5.0. Ball always cleared low over the net, his feet were moving coming in behind his returns, never hit big pace anything. He almost never lost. You can't play 4.5 doubles with an average slice ros ... but you sure can with a great one.
 
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