Your Strokes: Two Handed Backhand
The Closed Stance

John Yandell

The closed stance two-hander—overwhelming choice of pro players.

We know that semi-open stance is the preferred option on the forehand, especially at higher levels. But what about the two-hander? Would you be surprised to know that at the highest levels, the preferred stance is actually closed?

We documented this in a presentation I gave with the USTA's David Ramos at a teaching convention at the U.S Open. Let's just say that a few of the 200plus coaching attendees were surprised. Dave counted literally hundreds of pro two-hander stances in live match play. Although all players need to be able to hit from all the stances—open, neutral, and closed--closed stance dominated as the preferred choice.

A Stance Test

My friend and colleague Miles Bentley brought two of his promising junior students to my court recently and we did a stance experiment. Miles had been working with both on developing that necessary open stance which is used for defense mainly. But Miles also wanted both players to work on open stance to increase the loading in the back leg--an excellent idea.

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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