View Full Version : Has the technical aspect of the game changed that much since 1996?

Jul 8th, 2002, 03:42 AM
I bring that up because a poster in another thread suggested that a one handed backhand or two handed forehand would prevent you from winning the US Open. I find that rather odd, given that the 14 US Opens from 1983-1996 were won by:

11: One handed, both sides
2: Two handed, both sides
1: One handed FH, Two handed BH

Jul 8th, 2002, 04:00 AM
It's a sign of the times. The faster shots are being hit, the more one needs to "block" the ball back than take a wind-up. With two hands, there is more support behind your racket, making blocking powerful shots easier.

Of course, the one-handed answer to a hard shot is usually a slice, but slices are less effective on hard courts than anywhere else.

Williams Rulez
Jul 8th, 2002, 04:30 AM
Rocksteady is right about that... however, it may also be partly due to the fact that players are starting to play younger now, and a young girl will have difficultly hitting a one-handed backhand most of the time. So, they have little choice but to use a double fisted BH.

Only 2 players in the top 10 play with a single-handed backhand... the technical aspect has changed a lot. Not only the backhands have changed, but the way the volleys are hit for example, is also vastly different.

Jul 8th, 2002, 04:44 AM
Williams-Rulz--I would disagree with the volley comments. On a floating or mid court shot players use more swing and topspin, but on a driven ball the technique at a high level is the same as always.

Williams Rulez
Jul 8th, 2002, 04:47 AM
What I mean is that less classical volleys are hit now a days...

I've seen a lot of instances where players use a swing volley when a simple classical volley would do.

Jul 8th, 2002, 06:37 AM
Disposable I think you forgot to mention that during that period the tournament was dominated by two of the greatest exponents of the classical one-handed game ever; Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. They collected 9 of those mentioned 11 "one handed US Opens". They also happen to be two of the greatest players in history. They would probably still be up there winning now. The fact that they were one-handed is rather irrelevant. Also your choice of stats is misleading, beginning at 1983, because from 1975-1982 the tournament was won for eight straight years by women with one handed forehand and two handed backhands - the same groundstroke combination that has provided the last 5 winners of the championship. The progression began long before 1996. There were two great players who dominated with single FH, double BH (Evert and Austin), then two great players who dominated with single-hands (Navratilova and Graf), now a whole bunch of players, in the absence of dominance who have followed evert's lead. The single handed backhand had become a rarity long before Graf's last win in 1996, her and Navratilova were exceptions, not the rule.

Jul 8th, 2002, 08:08 AM
tennisaddict, your post makes some glaring omissions, and misses the point. First of all, Monica playing with 2 and 2, won 2 US Opens and could have done 6 or 7 in a row for all we know, but she was hijacked. Second, both Gaby and Hana took a USO of their own during those years.

The other thing you are missing is where you refer to the single handed backhand as a rarity. That misses the point entirely. Whether people use it or not is irrelavant. The question is does using a one hander suddenly provide some huge disadvantage that it didn't in the past?

Jul 8th, 2002, 08:21 AM
The point I was trying to make was that it is who the stroke is attatched to that matters, not neccessaraily whether they are one or two handed. It just so happens that of those 11 one handed winner you were talking about 9 were won by two of the greatest players ever. There have been no great players with one handed backhands in recent years, this is why it has not been present in the winners list. Also that the one-handed backhanded is being used less is inextricably linked to this question. That the last 5 US Open winners did not have one handed is more due to the increasing RARITY of it as a stroke, than of its ineffectiveness or weakness. Approximatley 9 out of 10 players have a two fisted backhand (8 of the top 10), therefore it is more likely that someone with a two fisted backhand will win the tournament. Basic mathematics. I'm answering your question. It is is not that the one hander is a huge disadvantage, but it is less used. I n those years you mentioned more players used it, over the years it has become less used, thus less people on the winners list who are using it.

Jul 8th, 2002, 01:50 PM
OK, well that is the point that was actually being debated. Whether or not those players who use 1 and 1 or 2 and 2 have some innate disadvantage, which I consider ludicrous. As you said, its about the specific players who are dominating.

Jul 8th, 2002, 02:58 PM
The point, dh, is that it is not 1 or 2 dominating players. We have 4 different winners for last 5 US Opens and they all use 1-2 combination for groundstrokes.

It is is not that the one hander is a huge disadvantage, but it is less used.

Reversed logics.. Should be - it is less used because it is a disadvantage. But, as I say, it is not clear disadvantage. Two-handed forehands will be a less of disadvantage on clay and perhaps RA. One-handed backhands could be even an advantage on slow surfaces (because generally they generate more pace ) and could be anything on grass ( advantage or disadvantage, depends on what one's game will be ).. The problem also is that because of few reasons such as recent American dominance in WTA, US events being the most prestigious and lucrative, most of players residing in USA, the US hardcourts became single dominant and most important surface on WTA Tour. Make the Tour more clay-heavy and soon you might see more of one-handers.