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View Full Version : The One-Handed Backhand


alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 06:52 PM
Is it making a return to women's tennis- spearheaded by the rise of Justine Henin-Hardenne, or will we continue to see two-fisted play?

fleemke³
Aug 5th, 2003, 06:56 PM
I know a lot of kids who wonna learn the one-handed backhand because of Justine but here in Belgian, maybe only Flanders, kids are learned the two-handed at first and they change it only when needed ;)
But I think it could have an impact :) (for Amelie and others the same btw)

alexusjonesfan
Aug 5th, 2003, 06:59 PM
dunno...all the young players seem to be baseline grinders in the Bolliteri mold and how many kids grow up on grass courts these days where the one-hander has a distinct advantage?

alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 06:59 PM
"It's the single biggest shot in tennis- men and women"- John McEnroe on Justine Henin-Hardenne's backhand

irma
Aug 5th, 2003, 07:06 PM
justine is no chris evert

alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 07:12 PM
justine is no chris evert

Can you imagine what that match would be like- with both players playing with a small, wood racquet, on ANY surface?

I happen to think that Justine would do well if we went back to smaller racquets- perhaps even dominate a little more. Chris' best shot was the two-handed backhand, however, you don't see anyone hitting that shot the way Chris used to block it with half-swing directional control...

irma
Aug 5th, 2003, 07:19 PM
but she made it popular. that can't be denied. I doubt justine will get that popularity.

alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 07:22 PM
but she made it popular. that can't be denied. I doubt justine will get that popularity.

I agree with you there- no one will ever be as popular as America's Sweetheart- and she played it to the hilt for all it was worth- and is still going strong. She was just here in my home town this past April for an Exhibition with her younger sister Jeanne- and I couldn't believe how professional and outgoing she was- she made it her job to get out on every single court and hit at least 1 ball with every one of the local sponsors- very respectable. I wasn't a big fan before this, but I am now!

DA FOREHAND
Aug 5th, 2003, 08:04 PM
"It's the single biggest shot in tennis- men and women"- John McEnroe on Justine Henin-Hardenne's backhand


Pretty sad that the "biggest shot in tennis" can so easily be overpowered.

Venus' dtl backhand is bigger
Capriati's forehand is bigger
Lindsay either wing bigger

c'mon john... get a clue

alexusjonesfan
Aug 5th, 2003, 08:23 PM
Pretty sad that the "biggest shot in tennis" can so easily be overpowered.

Venus' dtl backhand is bigger
Capriati's forehand is bigger
Lindsay either wing bigger

c'mon john... get a clue

I think he said 'best' actually...he's obviously a fan
btw, how many times today have you mentioned that Justine's backhand can be overpowered on hard courts?
I can't believe how many times that's come up :lol:

iosonoti
Aug 5th, 2003, 09:52 PM
The best one handed backhand is Mauresmo´s... she has such a natural swing

and don´t forget Sabatini!!!

alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 10:09 PM
The best one handed backhand is Mauresmo´s... she has such a natural swing

and don´t forget Sabatini!!!

Did you see the one-handed topspin backhand lob Justine hit on the run in the Acura Classic final against Kim? I've only ever seen Sabatini hit that shot once for a winner, and off of her back foot, and then she held up her had as if she was hoping it wouldn't be out, and then celebrated when out of sheer luck, it fell in. No, Justine would destroy Gabby quite easily, I think.

Randy H
Aug 5th, 2003, 10:18 PM
Justine's backhand is a great shot, but I don't think that it is likely to be a shot that many young kids are going to try and duplicate. The reason I say this is because especially for younger kids who are learning, the two-handed backhand is much easier to hit and develop early on, while the one-handed backhand takes more work. Kids are being pushed younger and younger to develop fast, and because of this I think it's more likely we will see two-handed backhands still in order to gain that faster development rather than sacrifice a bit more time for the one-hander.

selesfan87
Aug 5th, 2003, 10:22 PM
I think a double-hander is easier for a lilttle kid just learning.

alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 10:30 PM
I think it's more likely we will see two-handed backhands still in order to gain that faster development rather than sacrifice a bit more time for the one-hander.

This could all change at the developmental level, as soon as the teaching pros start teaching the classic strokes again, and make up their minds to forever abandon the Bollettieri western-grip bashing for the harm it is doing, and return to classic stroke production. The one-handed backhand is actually easier to maintain than the two-handed backhand, because once mastered, a one-hander is much more versatile and can get a player out of trouble on the run much easier. The two-handed backhand requires so much extra footwork, which loses longer matches for lesser players.

controlfreak
Aug 5th, 2003, 10:59 PM
I am learning the one-handed backhand because it looks fucking cool and makes spectators go "ooh" and "aah". And I believe there will always be players for whom looking cool is a priority, even on the pro tour. Therefore, there will always be one-handed backhands. And many of the future one-handed-backhanders will have been inspired by Henin, just like me.

Deimos
Aug 5th, 2003, 11:13 PM
I am learning the one-handed backhand because it looks fucking cool and makes spectators go "ooh" and "aah". And I believe there will always be players for whom looking cool is a priority, even on the pro tour. Therefore, there will always be one-handed backhands. And many of the future one-handed-backhanders will have been inspired by Henin, just like me.

I wonder if the age at which a person starts learning tennis influences whether they use a two-handed or on-handed backhand? I agree with one poster that it may be easier for younger players to start two-handed.

The funny thing is, I took up tennis in my late teens and the one-handed backhand was the shot I instinctively used. It just felt more natural, was easier to hit when I was at a dead run, and my opponents found it extremely unpredictable.

I've been working on a two-handed backhand, but more often than not, it just sails crazily or is easily returned...and I have to be in a really good position to even attempt it. Anyone experience the same thing?

alfajeffster
Aug 5th, 2003, 11:24 PM
I wonder if the age at which a person starts learning tennis influences whether they use a two-handed or on-handed backhand? I agree with one poster that it may be easier for younger players to start two-handed.

The funny thing is, I took up tennis in my late teens and the one-handed backhand was the shot I instinctively used. It just felt more natural, was easier to hit when I was at a dead run, and my opponents found it extremely unpredictable.

I've been working on a two-handed backhand, but more often than not, it just sails crazily or is easily returned...and I have to be in a really good position to even attempt it. Anyone experience the same thing?

I started playing tennis in 1973 (11 yrs old) after the BJK/Riggs fiasco. My first lesson- I was taught to hit a one-handed chip shot much like most of the grass court players of the day (Connors excepted). Very few people had a topspin backhand then. When the Chrissie/Jimmy show took off in the late 70s, I started hitting with a two-handed backhand, and immediately noticed more pace and disguise, and better returns of serve. I kept hitting with two hands through the early 90s, when I started to take tennis really seriously, and started taking lessons from every pro who could schedule them. I'll never forget the head pro at a local club during one lesson, where he started out hitting balls from the net/basket just to see my strokes. After he got a good look at all of them, he pronounced "your backhand is your best shot". I was dumbfounded- as I always perceived it as the weakest, most attackable. He went on to explain that mechanically, there is nothing wrong with my one-handed backhand, it's smooth, I turn and put my chin on my shoulder and produce a clean low to high drive with not much that can go wrong. From that moment on, I decided to get past the mental block of "my backhand is my weakness because I can hit my forehand better" mentality, and I made up my mind to HIT every backhand, and within 6 months, it became my primary weapon- to the point were regular opponents still don't serve there in either box.

All this to say that the one-handed backhand isn't that hard a shot, folks. In fact it's probably easier than you think. Good players to watch in slow-motion tape are Edberg, Henman, Sampras, Henin-Hardanne, Tauziat, and if you have them, Goolagong, Laver, and Rosewall (for slice)

Gowza
Aug 6th, 2003, 12:30 AM
i think there will be more young players taking it up but most of the top players still use the double-hander so i don't think it will take over the tour or anything but there should be a higher number of people using it.

joegerardi
Aug 6th, 2003, 12:57 AM
But...
A 2BH player MUST have a 1BH swing also, in order to play the wide shots. A 1BH player only needs the one swing, and doesn't have to concern themselves with remembering the completely different body motions necessary for the 2 different strokes.

Does that mean I think one is better than the other? No, just that having the 2BH requires more work.

..Joe

mboyle
Aug 6th, 2003, 01:12 AM
Two hander has more control and produces power more easily.

One hander has more variety and deceptiveness.

As Pam Shriver says, you should ideally have both. I have a two hander, but am trying to learn the one handed slice.

TennisHack
Aug 6th, 2003, 02:29 AM
I think you should learn what comes naturally to you, and most people who first learn tennis feel more comfortable using two hands. A lot of recreational players have better backhands than forehands because the two hands help control the shot. As my instructor says, "There are less joints to go awry" ;)

A one hander is ideal to learn, sure, but first starting out two hands is easier, especially if it feels more natural. With the power game that is still prevalent on both the mens' and women's side I don't think exclusive one-handed backhands will be back anytime soon.