Your Strokes: Two Handed Backhand
The Closed Stance
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.