Tennis tips on using the two-handed backhand

November 3, 2015

The question of whether or not to use a two-handed backhand has been bandied back and forth in tennis circles for years. On the professional circuit, the debate is demonstrated on the court by Roger Federer, with his beautiful one-handed backhand, and Rafael Nadal, with his powerful two-hand shot. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer; instead, it is up to each individual player to decide which stroke is better for their game.

Tennis tips on using the two-handed backhand

1. Advantages of a two-handed backhand

  • For the vast majority of players, including tour professionals, the two-handed backhand is far easier to perfect.
  • It is easier to generate power and control the direction of the racket with two hands than just one.
  • Furthermore, it is easier to execute an open stance hit with a two-handed grip.
  • In addition to the increased power, the greatest advantage of a two-hand backhand is that it can generate a large amount of topspin capable of befuddling your opponent.
  • When it comes to returning a shot, the two-handed backhand allows a person a bit more time before he or she has to hit the ball because the point of contact is farther back.
  • In addition, with both hands holding the racket to generate power and stability, the player is afforded more room to make a mistake if he or she hits the ball slightly off.

2. Disadvantages of a two-handed backhand

  • While there is no denying that a two-handed backhand makes it easier to strike the ball with power, it does have several disadvantages.
  • A two-handed backhand can constrict a player's ability to stretch forward or wide for a ball.
  • By the same token, it is far more difficult to hit a ball that is below the knees or above the head with two hands than with one.
  • The largest disadvantage of a two-handed backhand is that it can lead to challenges for a player also trying to learn the one-handed volleying skills to win points that are played at the net.

3. Which backhand is better?

  • Because the main benefit of a one-handed backhand is reach, it might behoove older players or those with less flexibility to work with this stroke.
  • However, it is very uncommon for skilled players to utilize the one-handed backhand because it sacrifices power and control for greater reach.
  • Ultimately, many players find that the two-handed backhand affords greater flexibility because it is easier to control, has much more power, and generates greater topspin.
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