Which is better for playing on top of the baseline? 1hbh or 2hbh

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Slicerman, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Slicerman

    Slicerman Semi-Pro

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    Which type of backhand is more effective at playing close to the baseline? aka hugging the baseline. Or does it matter at all? Your thoughts?

    Recently been trying to make to the switch to a 2hbh. Still have a decent slice bh after a couple of years of hitting a 1hbh.
     
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  2. IDon'tKnowMuch

    IDon'tKnowMuch New User

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    If you have a perfect one-hander and very good timing than I would say that, but like most people if you don't the one-hander is more consistent unless it feels very unnatural vs the one-hander.
     
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  3. IDon'tKnowMuch

    IDon'tKnowMuch New User

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    Sorry I ment to say the 2-hander is more consistent
     
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  4. Wander

    Wander Rookie

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    I honestly don't think it's much of a deciding factor either way. Take two of the best players ever at taking the ball on the rise; Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. One has a two-hander, the other one-hander. Both Great at playing aggressively on top of the baseline.
     
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  5. SinjinCooper

    SinjinCooper Hall of Fame

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    If a player really wanted to play that style, I'd urge them toward the two-hander. For the specific reason that it does better, IMO, with an abbreviated takeback, and time is a real issue when you want to play in a positionally aggressive style like that. One hander can fall apart much easier without a pretty good windup.

    If a one hander was insistent, I'd urge him toward a continental backhand in the Lendl mode, or at least continental-ish, a la Haas or Dimitrov. It fares better with an abbreviated swing, allows a more successful variety of swingpaths, and translates to a slice in zero time, which is nice when you're feeling pressed.

    Obviously Federer does it differently, but if anyone came to me saying he wanted to play like Federer, I'd wish him luck and tell him the project is beyond me.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Makes little difference, because half you shots are going to be FOREHANDS anyway, so can your forehand handle hitting from atop the baseline? And since most player's favor hitting forehands, change that "half" to maybe 5/8ths or more.
     
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  7. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    My stronger aptitude in general is with the one-hander, but I also hit a two-hander when I need a quick set-and-fire shot on that side. Crowding the baseline and having a deep ball shoot in on my feet is when that two-hander comes in... that's right... handy. I also prefer it for jumping on a more aggressive return of serve.

    The easy response is to recommend using the style that's your natural strength, but I use both along with a slice without any confusion. Put in a little time with developing both styles of topspin stroke and I'd bet that both could become really useful.
     
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  8. Slicerman

    Slicerman Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the input, guys. Been hitting the 2hbh for last couple of weeks. It's slowly getting there. From what I've seen so far, the hardest adjustment from the 1hbh is the difference in contact point, reach and footwork pattern. I tend to prefer playing on the top of the baseline with a more counterpunching style and take balls that land deep on the bounce, and also try to take shots as early as I can sometimes with the intention of attacking forward. So far, it seems easier to do using the 2hbh as long as I get to the ball in time. I found playing on the top of the baseline pretty tough using the 1hbh, a bit too much like a half-volley when taking on the bounce. It was tough for me to maintain my position on the backhand side, I had to rely on my slice bh too much.

    Another reason why I made the switch to 2hbh is for physical reasons, realized that my body has become too imbalanced and one-sided, which has been affecting my posture. At least with a 2hbh, the left arm becomes dominant. Also less wear on my right arm, I think my tricep tendonitis is starting to clear up, which wasn't caused by hitting 1hbh, but it wasn't helping either.

    During this transition period, the funny thing I noticed is if I sometimes misjudge the distance of the ball, I would release my left hand on contact to extend my reach, making it look like a Bjorn Borg follow through. lol.. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. coupergear

    coupergear Semi-Pro

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    Your handle is Slicerman so I'll assume you're male. So man up and hit a 1hbh. Leave the women and children to their 2hbh.
     
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  10. Mark Asher

    Mark Asher Rookie

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    Interesting question. I played a 1-hander most of my 58 years, but in the last 5 months I have worked on a 2-hander. I'd say for a person who is fit and moves well, the 2-hander may be better. You can hit a 2-hander off-balance, block it back, muscle it back, and you don't need to do everything right to hit a decent shot. The 1-hander seems to require better setup and preparation to hit it well.

    You can also hit a topspin lob with the 2-hander. That's really hard to do with the 1-hander.

    That said, I've gone back to the 1-hander because it requires so much less energy to hit. I also found that when hitting the 2-hander, I often dropped the left hand and hit a 1-handed slice a lot anyway because I was stretching for the ball, because I'm 58 and don't cover the court like I used to. So now I hit a lot of cross-court slice and I have developed a continental topspin backhand as well, something I never used to hit -- I used an eastern for my topspin backhand back in the day.

    If I was in my 20s I think I'd really work on the 2-hander. I think it can do a bit more. As an older guy I look at the 2-hander and think it's not a put-away shot anyway, so if it's just extending the point, why not go with something that's easier on my body to hit, the 1-hander? A good slice backhand that stays low is probably harder on my opponent than a topspin backhand that is bouncing waist-high.
     
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  11. Slicerman

    Slicerman Semi-Pro

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    From my experience so far, I find that hitting a 1hbh takes less physical effort, but requires more concentration to hit well. And the 2hbh I found to be the opposite, I think it actually requires more muscling and physical effort to hit well, but is more forgiving. I can still move decently well at my moderate age (33) and I still have a decent slice backhand to fall upon if I ever need to deal with low balls, neutralizing pace and stretching wide. Making fair progress with the 2hbh so far, just need to hone in on my control (spin and depth), and find the best way to hit high balls.
     
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  12. Mark Asher

    Mark Asher Rookie

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    That mirrors my experience as well with both backhands.

    I did find it harder to get good topspin on the 2-hander. I was hitting it flatter than I wanted. I felt like it was more of a Connors backhand than the 2-handers out there now. Ultimately it seemed to suck the energy out of me faster and I didn't think the results were appreciably better than I would get from a good 1-handed slice, which felt effortless in comparison. I can't fight time. I'm going with the shot that requires less energy.
     
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  13. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

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    Both work really well. I'd stick with whichever shot you are already good at..
     
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  14. PittsburghDad

    PittsburghDad Professional

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    Makes zero difference at your level.
     
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  15. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    A two hander can absorb power easier but either works. That sort of tactic, playing so close to the baseline, is high risk low percentage so it doesn't really matter.
     
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  16. 2nd Serve Ace

    2nd Serve Ace Semi-Pro

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    Federer has been quoted that he would start with 2hbh if he were coaching/developing a young player.

    Not sure if recent successes have changed his mind, though!

    Sent from my SM-T310 using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Slicerman

    Slicerman Semi-Pro

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    Just came back from another hitting session. Figured out how to handle high balls better now. My 2hbh doesn't seem to break down as easily. My 2 week 2hbh is almost as good as my 2 year 1hbh.. Just need to work on my approach shot and running crosscourt then it should be pretty solid.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    One hander can be as consistent as 2hbh, only more slicing.
    If you stand atop the baseline, slicing works just fine, as you shorten the time for your opponent to react.
     
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  19. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    If we're talking purely about hitting on the rise, the two hander would be the better choice IMO because:
    1. Hitting on the rise still should be hit with full strokes (ideally). This is timing-sensitive, and will result in more off-centre hits.
    2. The 2HBH is more stable at contact than a 1HBH, so off-centre hits will be more forgiving on the former than with the latter.
    3. If you are unable to take a full swing on the rise, you need arm strength to redirect the ball at full stretch if you choose not to slice, and hitting a 'push' stroke using your left arm (assuming you're a righty) to redirect a heavy ball back with interest is going to be a lot easier than trying to do the same with a one-hander. In other words, you can still drive the ball with a poor setup on a 2HBH, whereas with the 1HBH you will have to slice more often.
     
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  20. MajesticMoose

    MajesticMoose Professional

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    As long as you can time the ball and take it early without much trouble then it shouldn't matter if one uses the 1 hander or 2 hander.
     
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  21. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

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    The only real disadvantage to the 1HBH is prep time. The game has gotten so fast that preparation is at a premium. The 2HBH requires far less prep time and allows for hitting a drive ball with a later contact point. This is why you see guys like Theim and Wawrinka standing way back so they can have time to prep, while guys like Djokovic and Goffin are on top of the baseline. It's also why you saw the Bryan Brothers abusing Dimitrov's backhand serve return in doubles the other day.

    Now, how much of this matters at the 3.5-4.0 rec level? Not sure. The game isn't very fast anyway at that level, so it shouldn't make a big difference.
     
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  22. weelie

    weelie Rookie

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    As a kid, I played with 1hbh for a while, was small and skinny, did not work (actually, I play top spun one hander and two hander both with an eastern backhand grip on my dominant hand). As a kid I tried to emulate Agassi. The 2 hander became my most solid shot.

    I can still hit the one hander, but I need to be early to get my weight behind it, it has to be the correct height, and hit so that the ball is well in front of me. Looks like I get more top spin on it than the two hander. But the two hander, it's so solid, doesn't matter if I am a bit later or lazy, I can change the direction very late too. On the forehand side, I sometimes chop a slice when I am late, the ball comes at me and I am too close and unprepared... but on the backhand, I don't need to do that (unless stretched).

    So for me, taking the ball early, I would (stay away from extreme grips on the forehand and) choose a two-hander for the BH.
     
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  23. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Hall of Fame

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    I think there's another issue too. It's the more vertical comfortable swingpath. Another reason why the one hander is harder to time, and also why it's very difficult to flatten out chest high balls for example. The racket just naturally wants to go on a deep loop and into a high follow through. I try shadow swinging flat backhands around chest height and it feels a bit uncomfortable for my hand on the follow through. There's a very short path for the racket to follow through if you hit a flat one hander, it needs to stop very suddenly, pulling your wrist violently.
     
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