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Interactive Forum April 2014: Dominic Thiem One Handed Backhand

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  • Interactive Forum April 2014: Dominic Thiem One Handed Backhand

    Dominic Thiem. Does that name ring a bell? I filmed his gorgeous one-handed backhand just before he beat Giles Simon at Indian Wells. He was an elite ITF junior player and won the Orange Bowl. He was developed by the Austrian Coach Gunther Bresnik who also coaches Ernests Gulbis. I interviewed Gunther at Indian Wells and he had some very interesting things to say about Dominic, the one handed backhand in pro tennis, as well as other topics. Look for that coming up! But for now, what do you think of Dominic's one-handed drive?

    Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2016, 10:04 AM.

  • #2
    Quicktime

    Dominic Thiem One Handed Backhand

    Last edited by johnyandell; 07-01-2016, 10:04 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great Footage John! Every year you go to Indian Wells and every year you bring back some awesome footage. That trip to the desert never disappoints!

      Dominic Thiem is a future star on the ATP Tour. He will certainly be Austria's next great tennis hope. Austrians no longer have to rely on another Thomas Muster comeback at the age of 78

      Thiem has a sweet one hander. He gave Andy Murray all he could handle in Rotterdam earlier this year as well. This footage shows a multitude of one-handers which I love. You see him hit in a closed stance as well as a neutral or possibly open stance in the 2nd backhand (can't see due to angle). He starts with a nice unit turn and emphasizes keeping that right shoulder down. He keeps his hitting arm fairly straight through the backswing and points his racquet tip back towards direction of the ball. The last backhand shows this view nicely. That racquet tip pointing back towards the direction of the incoming ball gets more pronounced as he has more time. I really like the fact tha his non dominant arm is flailing away behind him, still looks like its measured and under control. There is great timing in his release of the left hand. Once he reaches his left pocket he lets go and that racquet head accelerates into the ball.

      I saw Dominic Thiem in Miami at the Sony Open practicing with Roger Federer. When it came to backhand rallies crosscourt, Dominic Thiem was not losing many of those points. Can't wait to hear opinions from other forum contributors on this kid's one-hander. But I'm even more excited to see Dominic Thiem's future on tour.


      Kyle LaCroix USPTA
      Boca Raton

      Comment


      • #4
        In a recent interview with ESPN, Dominic Thiem had this to say about his one-handed backhand:

        "When I started with Gunter, I had a double-handed backhand. I played too defensive. He changed that. The one-handed backhand helps you to be more aggressive in the points. My junior ranking went down while I got used to it, but it was the right thing to do."

        Love that.


        Kyle LaCroix USPTA
        Boca Raton

        Comment


        • #5
          Inconsistent footwork, but at least the hitting foot is not as bad as Feds.

          Most pros hit forehands with body fly forwards. How many one handers do the same off back hands? Many two handers have the body fly shot off bh. (Think Dolgopolov when he beat Nadal, hitting flat cc to Nadal's fh.) Almost no one handers have the body fly bh shot, and all hit mostly stationary or moving upwards/backwards, but do not utilize the same tech that they do on their fh sides.
          Last edited by GeoffWilliams; 03-24-2014, 06:57 AM.

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          • #6
            I'm just not a fan of that really straight arm throughout the backswing. It must be tough to prepare against big hitters and net rushers (not that there are any net rushers!). I'll keep my eye on the kid but at the moment it's a thumbs down from Stotty.

            The video clip is superbly shot, however.
            Stotty

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by klacr View Post
              In a recent interview with ESPN, Dominic Thiem had this to say about his one-handed backhand:

              "When I started with Gunter, I had a double-handed backhand. I played too defensive. He changed that. The one-handed backhand helps you to be more aggressive in the points. My junior ranking went down while I got used to it, but it was the right thing to do."

              Love that.


              Kyle LaCroix USPTA
              Boca Raton
              Thanks for posting this! Wow, to change from a two-hander to a one-hander while a ranked junior player is incredible. How many people would be able to pull something like that off - both the willingness to take a big hit in the rankings as well as the physical ability to switch? Incredible.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jeffreycounts View Post
                Thanks for posting this! Wow, to change from a two-hander to a one-hander while a ranked junior player is incredible. How many people would be able to pull something like that off - both the willingness to take a big hit in the rankings as well as the physical ability to switch? Incredible.
                Hmmmm, how about Sampras? two handed backhand was his best shot according to Lansdorp and Pete himself.


                Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                Boca Raton

                Comment


                • #9
                  left hand/finger on strings

                  Notice how Thiem's left hand index finger is up on the strings of the racquet. I know there was a thread on this forum a while back about the usage of the finger on the strings as opposed to the throat of the racquet like other players. Is this a quirk or kinesthetic preference or something more. We talk about the role of the left hand in the one-handed backhand, what role does the hand or fingers on the string bed play if any? Curious.

                  Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                  Boca Raton

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think one of the biggest teaching points on this good looking backhand is the grip. If you slow down his swing frame be frame, you see the heel of his hand behind the grip, maybe on bevel 8 or so.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thiem's 1-hand topspin backhand has much in common with other great ones. He tries to track the incoming ball with strings in front of his body out towards the net. During his backswing, the racket passes thru that key slot point i talk about, with strings close to left hip facing towards back fence. Thiem's contact point is relatively close to body & out is front towards the net (as opposed to reaching the racket too much out towards the sideline) -- similar to that backhand punch i always talk about.

                      Thiem does not artificially extend his free arm out toward the back fence. He lets the free arm do what it naturally does for maximum power & efficiency. As far as Thiem touching some strings with his fingers, it is good that his right hand & left hand are separated a great deal on the throat of the racket. That way, Thiem is able to prepare his racket most effectively. But of course, it does not matter much if he touches strings or neck of racket.......just individual preference. Today's rackets tend to have wide throats (too wide to efficiently handle racket), so maybe it is smart for Thiem to use string area to help him handle the racket.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
                        Inconsistent footwork, but at least the hitting foot is not as bad as Feds.

                        Most pros hit forehands with body fly forwards. How many one handers do the same off back hands? Many two handers have the body fly shot off bh. (Think Dolgopolov when he beat Nadal, hitting flat cc to Nadal's fh.) Almost no one handers have the body fly bh shot, and all hit mostly stationary or moving upwards/backwards, but do not utilize the same tech that they do on their fh sides.
                        Not sure I understand what you mean by body fly forward, but if I understand it correctly, I would say that Thiem does fly his body around more than most, certainly more than classic form would dictate, and I don't think it actually helps him. In fact, I think he could get more on the ball and through the ball if he didn't fly around so much.

                        don

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wrist Straightening During Forward Stroke

                          Originally posted by stroke View Post
                          I think one of the biggest teaching points on this good looking backhand is the grip. If you slow down his swing frame be frame, you see the heel of his hand behind the grip, maybe on bevel 8 or so.
                          True, but a neglected teaching point, as far as I am concerned, is straightening of the wrist during the forward stroke. It is a major factor in the closing of the strings at least in this individual's individual shot.
                          Last edited by bottle; 03-25-2014, 06:12 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Hitting arm straightens then bends then straightens again.

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                            • #15
                              This kid beat Wawrinka today on a big stage in Madrid. Even admitted he was in the zone. It was glorious to see. Just glorious. 20 years old. One handed backhand. Someone gets this kid to appreciate the net and good things can come. Dominic Thiem...good stuff.

                              Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                              Boca Raton

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