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Two Handed Backhand Stances in Women's Pro Tennis

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  • Two Handed Backhand Stances in Women's Pro Tennis

    Would love to hear your thoughts on my latest article, "Two Handed Backhand Stances in Women's Pro Tennis"

  • #2
    Left arm business

    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love to hear your thoughts on my latest article, "Two Handed Backhand Stances in Women's Pro Tennis"
    Great article...really got me thinking.

    So if the Williams sisters had had stronger grips with their bottom hand their backhands would have automatically become more right arm dominant?

    How do the Williams sisters feel about this? If they were asked, would they concur their left arm is doing much of the work? Would it be obvious to them that it is...or is it more subtle than that? I say this because I often ask two-handed players which arm they feel is doing most of the work. They usually cannot give me a definitive answer. Many say their arms feel equal. But then I have never asked a world-class player...be nice to know rather than relying solely on biomechanics.

    Should coaches ascertain left arm dominance in players by having them try out a weaker bottom hand versus a mild backhand grip? Or will players gradually become left arm dominant by starting from young with a weak grip?. Seems likely they will when I think about it. Why would a right-handed player develop any kind of left arm dominance otherwise?

    I've always taught a mild backhand grip on the two hander by default, simply because it looks and seems right to me. Maybe I should have been more lenient here and there? Maybe weaker grips suit some players better?

    The biggest weakness in coaching is that we cannot DNA clone a given player and have one play with one grip and the other play with another, then wait and see what pans out. Be really cool if we could. And how different would Venus and Serena have been as players and people with a different dad...now there's a thought.


    • #3
      Coach Yandell: In this article, you mention things like "most men" or "most women," or "men more than women," or "women more than men" or "most top players." I think it is important to know what data you used, & where you accessed that data. How did you code the data, calculate the data, and then possibly perform statistics on the data so that you can make many of your statements? Where did the data come from? Are you the only one who has access to such data? The data seem so important that the data should be accessible by all of us.

      Many of your statements in the article seem more like biased feelings than like actual research results. For my part, I see wild follow throughs as the #1 factor in WTA and ATP pros blowing their 2-fisted topspin backhands.

      Both men and women will line up the ball well, & have a nice, efficient swing, until they disrespect the contact point with the ball and finish with the racket wildly finishing over their shoulder blades. The ball often goes into the bottom of the net, or wildly wide. Even top players like S. Williams, Djokovic, and Nadal don't seem to be able to figure out why they blow their 2-fisters at times. Too bad their coaches can't tell them.

      This kind of mistake is epidemic in men's and women's pro tennis today. However, I am not claiming that I have used data to substantiate my observations. Yet you, Coach Yandell, seem to claim a researched data set for your observations. Where are your data?


      • #4

        As with many of your posts you seem oblivious to the information that is at your disposal. The data is derived from the stroke archives on the site.
        I suggest you do your own research there and then you will have a basis for an informed opinion.
        While you are at it, you should try to learn more about the acceleration/deceleration patterns in the swings. Your comments about the wrap finishes are misinformed.

        John Yandell
        Last edited by johnyandell; 04-12-2014, 11:32 AM.


        • #5
          Ok. From your comments, Coach Yandell, it seems you base your observations on general feeling, based on the videos you see. That is fine. I was under the impression, after reading your article, that you did a sort of scientific study that calculated the % of players who do this, or that. I see why I thought the way I did, but now I know there was no study per se that was done. I am sorry.

          About the wrap finish: you can see it in some of the greatest players in the world. Sometimes Nadal & Uncle Tony, or Serena & her French coach, have no clue why their backhands are going low into the net at times. Sometimes, Djokovic & his coaches don't know why Nole goes through streaks of hitting 2-fisted topspin backhands wildly wide. It is because they try to finish the swing with such fast racket head speed that they forget to put the strings onto the ball in proper position during contact point. Contact point is probably the most neglected part of tennis coaching, both at the world-class & the beginning levels.

          (Actually, often Djokovic & Murray hit some of their best 2-fisters when they just violently punch the ball, with no follow through at all.)

          About grips for the 2-hander: Yes, the way Serena grips the racket, her strings face less to the ground, & more to the sky. This gives her a flatter, more penetrating 2-fister, albeit one that tends to go awry.

          Many good players use the tactic of hitting a topspin stroke with a grip that is conducive to underspin. Chris Evert did this with her forehand. Don Budge did this with his great backhand. I know of some players in my USA region who are great, & use this tactic. I think it's a good tactic to try, sometimes, if a more standard grip does not work well for the player.


          • #6

            Improve your reading skills. I counted hundreds of stances of many of the world's top players. The same type of work the USTA guys are doing.

            As for the wrap, it follows the extension of the swing. It's the deceleration of the motion. Not a loss of control but the opposite. Used by all good players of all levels going back to Tilden and undoubtedly beyond.


            If you want to be a member of this forum improve your understanding of what you read before you criticize it and make some positive contributions.
            Last edited by johnyandell; 04-14-2014, 08:44 PM.


            • #7
              love the Tilden video!

              I also find the difference in stances between the men and women interesting and as with so many things something you only can find analyzed and discussed on this site. such a great combination in that there is the raw video data and then the articles that mine it for our benefit. but as a club player what stance should i use on my two hander?


              • #8
                Develop a great turn. Learn to set up semi open and hit neutral. Then make sure you can also hit from the semi open. Progress from there to experimenting with mild versions of the closed.


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