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The One Handed Backhand: Defending the High Bounce

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  • The One Handed Backhand: Defending the High Bounce

    Let's get your thoughts on John Craig's article, "The One Handed Backhand: Defending the High Bounce"

  • arturohernandez
    replied
    Originally posted by neil123 View Post
    I think there is maybe some confusion of concepts. To me a one handed backhand means one handed topspin backhand. I have absolutely no argument that hitting one handed is better for volleys and slice. Unless it is being suggested that a one-handed topspin helps you develop one handed volleys. I don't buy that, some of the greatest doubles players have two handed backhands and hit one-handed volleys.

    If we focus only on one handed topspin, then I don't see any advantages, only weaknesses. That is not to say that these weaknesses cannot be overcome. But my argument was against the idea that there was any long-term advantage to the one-hander (which is implicit in the oft repeated statement that the prevalence in two handers in junior tennis is a short term decision).

    Btw, the fastest ever recorded backhand was by Nalbandian. Also Agassi, Safin, Murray, Djokovic have all hit monster backhands at times. Two handers can hit just as big as one handers. I rarely see one handers, even Wawrinka, rocket back a powerful first serve Agassi or Djokovic style though..
    Is it true that some of the greatest double players have two handed backhands?

    I am guessing that is true today since the two hander is being taught at such a young age.

    The question is why there are so few one handers in the juniors and I have to agree that it is a short-term decision.

    A two hander at age 12 will look better than a one hander because of size and strength.

    The experiment we cannot do is to look at what would happen if someone with a two hander but who might be more naturally inclined to hit a one hander were allowed to develop.

    All of our comparisons are across different people and so we don't know that a two hander is the best for that player.

    I think Sock and Tsonga are great examples of two particular players who I think have okay two handers that are functional but would have been better off with a one hander.

    But again I cannot tell for sure.

    We all have our biases.

    Those of us who prefer the one hander are only trying to give some kids a chance to explore a possible backhand that might be better for them.

    Rather than being given a functional backhand that is good at 12 but never gets better.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Great video article.

    Two of the options - playing shoulder-high and taking the ball early - are very difficult options for most club players. I would opt for the 'move back behind the baseline' if time permits or, failing that, use slice. It's really only very good players who can hit shoulder-high topspin backhands consistently.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    replied
    Neil,
    Let's agree to see it differently.

    Leave a comment:


  • neil123
    replied
    I think there is maybe some confusion of concepts. To me a one handed backhand means one handed topspin backhand. I have absolutely no argument that hitting one handed is better for volleys and slice. Unless it is being suggested that a one-handed topspin helps you develop one handed volleys. I don't buy that, some of the greatest doubles players have two handed backhands and hit one-handed volleys.

    If we focus only on one handed topspin, then I don't see any advantages, only weaknesses. That is not to say that these weaknesses cannot be overcome. But my argument was against the idea that there was any long-term advantage to the one-hander (which is implicit in the oft repeated statement that the prevalence in two handers in junior tennis is a short term decision).

    Btw, the fastest ever recorded backhand was by Nalbandian. Also Agassi, Safin, Murray, Djokovic have all hit monster backhands at times. Two handers can hit just as big as one handers. I rarely see one handers, even Wawrinka, rocket back a powerful first serve Agassi or Djokovic style though..

    Leave a comment:


  • arturohernandez
    replied
    I agree with both points! The two hander handles high bounces and give juniors stability. So it is a "stronger" stroke. However, having a stubborn daughter who likes the one hander better at 12, I am sure that there are things that a one hander will tend to learn that are much harder for a two hander to develop. As John noted about volleys, slice, etc.

    Even the "weakness" of the one hander lends itself to having to figure out a different way to use the stroke. If the stroke remains and continues to be developed it can turn into a strength over time.

    The one question that still remains is handling the high bounce and all these videos are designated for an adult who already hits one handed.

    What I find lacking is how the one hander develops, and how children and adolescents might hit it differently at different ages.

    Right now my daughter can hit hand-fed waist high balls really nicely with a one hander.

    However, dealing with real balls is more difficult and requires greater coordination.

    This would be a perceived weakness. On the other hand it can also lead to the development of different solutions.

    She has been able to hit a one handed high ball from the net with her back facing the opponent for a while now.

    She plays around with this shot a lot.

    Lately, she has tried to hit that from the baseline which she then lands as a deep lob.

    I am not saying that this cannot be learned with a two-handed backhand. Of course, it can.

    But I do think that a one hander will more naturally develop all kinds of different shots.

    All these degrees of movement are a weakness and are a strength.

    Brad Gilbert thinks that one day there will be a player who can hit all three backhands.

    A two hander for the return, a one hander under other circumstances, and a slice for others.

    If there is ever a mutant like that, I think we can all agree that it would be a very difficult opponent.

    I often wonder why Michael Yhouzny doesn't pull out his two hander every so often.

    On the opposite end I wonder why Tsonga doesn't pull out his one hander more often.

    Leave a comment:


  • bottle
    replied
    Or late seventies?!

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    My belief is that a one hander is more versatile and leads to better net play and therefore should be an option for players at all levels.
    Yes, Arthur Ashe preached exactly the same advice. Arthur also suggested club players should settle for a slice backhand as it is easier to master than a drive and lays an excellent foundation for a backhand volley. At club level, Arthur maintained, a sliced backhand is all you need.

    Another thing, which I think you raised before in an article, is the one-handed backhand suits the ageing player better. How are these two-handers going to manage when they are in their sixties?!


    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    replied
    I don't find inherent weakness in Wawrinka's backhand--or Feds for that matter. I think the fastest recorded backhand in pro tennis was hit by Stan. It's a debate that probably will never be settled. But one thing I do believe is that many players in the juniors are natural one handers. Or given the choice might choose one hand. Since the prospect of playing pro tennis is virtually zero the question becomes one of "sport for a liftetime." My belief is that a one hander is more versatile and leads to better net play and therefore should be an option for players at all levels. I'd rather see a kid lose a few matches if he wants to hit with one for the long run.

    Leave a comment:


  • neil123
    replied
    "The high bounce is one reason why two-handers prevail in junior tennis since itís win and win now."

    There is an inherent judgement underlying this statement, that the dominance of the two-hander at junior levels is some kind of short-term thinking mistake, but are there really any long term benefits to learning the one-hander? Seems to me that, at best, one-handers can learn to compensate for the inherent weakness of the stroke.

    Leave a comment:

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