Who had the best 2hbh before Borg/Connors?

urban

Legend
Cliff Drysdale, Frew McMillan, in the 1930s the young Viv McGrath, who upset World Nr. Nr. 1 Ellie Vines in Australia 1933 and produced, going by the reports, the best shot ever up to that day. Pancho Segura had a doublehanded forehand, which was called the best forehand of the day. I think, John Bromwich had also a doublehanded bh.
 
Cliff Drysdale, Frew McMillan, in the 1930s the young Viv McGrath, who upset World Nr. Nr. 1 Ellie Vines in Australia 1933 and produced, going by the reports, the best shot ever up to that day. Pancho Segura had a doublehanded forehand, which was called the best forehand of the day. I think, John Bromwich had also a doublehanded bh.
Bromwich and McGrath (plus Pancho's funky forehand) were the pioneers I was best aware of. In fact... hang on a sec, I have a pic of JB from 1946 on my hard drive...



There's also some Italian from the 1950s, whose Wikipedia bio claims he "invented" the 2HBH. Clearly hogwash given that the Aussies predate him by so much, but perhaps he was the first European to adopt it?

Edit: Beppe Merlo. Looks like a Borg-esque two-hander where he lets go with his second hand after contact.

 
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urban

Legend
Yes i forgot Beppe Merlo. He had extremely loose racket strings, like a onion or fisher net. Giorgio di Stefani was ambidextrous, he beat prime Perry once at RG.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Bromwich and McGrath (plus Pancho's funky forehand) were the pioneers I was best aware of. In fact... hang on a sec, I have a pic of JB from 1946 on my hard drive...



There's also some Italian from the 1950s, whose Wikipedia bio claims he "invented" the 2HBH. Clearly hogwash given that the Aussies predate him by so much, but perhaps he was the first European to adopt it?

Edit: Beppe Merlo. Looks like a Borg-esque two-hander where he lets go with his second hand after contact.

Although from the look of this to me it looks like he is dropping his bottom/dominant hand which is really interesting.

Borg would drop his top or non dominant hand.
 

urban

Legend
Bromwich had a weird style (not only a big jaw), i think he served righthanded and played the forehand lefthanded, or reverse. Bud Collins once wrote, that he even served doublehanded in his early years.
 

urban

Legend
Seems that other Aussies of the era also had that weird style. Geoff Brown, whom Newcombe rated of having the hardest serve ever, served with his right hand, had a doublehanded forehand ?, and instead of a normal backhand hit the forehand with his left hand. Now it is to everyones choice, if his doublehander was a forehand or a backhand..
 
Bromwich had a weird style (not only a big jaw), i think he served righthanded and played the forehand lefthanded, or reverse. Bud Collins once wrote, that he even served doublehanded in his early years.
Found a Youtube clip demonstrating that very thing.

At the 5-6 second mark, Bromwich hits a right-handed serve to begin the point, but the rest of the rally shows him hitting a two-handed lefty backhand, then a one-handed lefty forehand.

Also this... :)
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
I found an article on Geoff Brown with some really good footage by Bristish Pathe of his Wim final 1946 vs. lanky Yvon Petra. One can see the fierce serve of the rather small Brown and his pretty sharp doublehander. Sometimes he plays the forehand with his right when pressed after his righthand serve, but mostly with his left.

www.thefirstserve.com.au/blog/the-unluckiest-player-youve-probably-never-heard-of
Brown could work up a storm with his power game, he defeated Gonzales at Wimbledon in 1949, Gonzales was then the reigning Forest Hills champion.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Decided this post content while relevant, should merit its own thread. Look for one entitled "Two hands and doubles virtuosos."
 
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urban

Legend
Brown really had a power game, although he was quite small, almost half the size of giant Petra. The serve at 1.23 in the Pathe clip of the Wim final 1946 is probably the hardest serve, i have seen in clips from that era. Interestingly enough, the Wim game 1946 looks quite similar to the grass tennis of today, more baseline rallies and big serves. The Big Game with the serve and volley style of Kramer and followers was not yet intact. Strong favorite Kramer had lost to Drobny in 1946 (and had suffered blisters), but won the doubles with Tom Brown. I once read, that Brown was late with the London tube on finals day, and so slept the first two sets away. Petra, the last musketeer, had been a prisoner of war.
 
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ballmachineguy

Professional
Bromwich and McGrath (plus Pancho's funky forehand) were the pioneers I was best aware of. In fact... hang on a sec, I have a pic of JB from 1946 on my hard drive...



There's also some Italian from the 1950s, whose Wikipedia bio claims he "invented" the 2HBH. Clearly hogwash given that the Aussies predate him by so much, but perhaps he was the first European to adopt it?

Edit: Beppe Merlo. Looks like a Borg-esque two-hander where he lets go with his second hand after contact.

Shoulda outlawed that crap on the spot.
 

Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
In no way a fact. He hit it with two hands, left hand as the dominant hand. He let go of the racket well after impact – and he let go because of the weight of the racket. Today, he does not let go. Same thing with Wilander. Check out the video:

A 1.5 backhand is a shot where you merely guide the racket with your left hand – and let go just before impact.
 
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