Mark Philippoussis:
Topspin Backhand

Bungalow Bill

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Mark's backhand: beautiful, under the radar, and a good model.

Perhaps the most beautiful stroke in tennis is the one-handed backhand. It's always a pleasure to watch the great one-handed backhand players. But as beautiful as the shot is, it also comes with its thorns. The biggest dilemma facing players that choose the one-handed backhand is developing a consistent and powerful stroke, one that can be depended on time and time again. Professional players seem to be able to get to the ball, setup, and perform their stroke with ease. This is what frustrates many club players as they realize "looks are deceiving."

One of the players I have always enjoyed watching over the years is Mark Philippoussis. His explosive style is always a pleasure to see. He has an incredibly powerful serve and a big forehand that he uses to put his rivals on the defensive. But one of his strokes that has slipped under the radar is his one-handed backhand.

Power and spin: an excellent combination.

Nothing Fancy

When you look at Mark's backhand there is nothing fancy about it, except that he loads and explodes through the ball, creating an excellent combination of power and spin. Although there may be "flashier" one-handed backhands to analyze, I have found that Mark's one-handed backhand possesses a package of key fundamentals that any one-handed backhand player can learn from. In this article, I want to share what I see when I look at his backhand so you can improve your own one-hander. By disciplining yourself to use the fundamental aspects of his stroke, it will help you become a better tennis player.

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Bungalow Bill is the nom de plume of one of the internet's best known and most prolific tennis analysts, teachers, and commentators. For the last several years, Bungalow has advised, mentored, and entertained players and coaches on the tennis message boards at (Click Here to go to the free TennisWarehouse message boards.) A high level player, former USPTA pro, instructor for Vic Braden, and life long student of the game--not to mention avid recreational surfer--Bungalow Bill will also be answering your questions in the Forum.(Click Here.)

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