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A lot of discussion is going on about which backhand is better:one handed or two handed? So far I have never read someone stating that one or the other one is better;they always state disadvantages and advantages of one and the other or their subjective feeling toward one or the other backhand.Why?I really do not see any valid reason for it.If we agree on definition of better(more efficient for tennis competition ) it is not hard to see which one is better by comparing its advantages and disadvantages .One more thing;one handed backhand means one handed drive,topspin backhand .Do not confuse it with one handed slice backhand because they are completely different in terms of muscle memory.

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It's really difficult to get the technique down for the one hander--but you get the reach theory--it has more range--vs the disguise of the two hander, but one thing I read a long time ago discussed how the one hander builds strength in the arm and actually helps develop a stronger serve. Course, this could be turned into a discussion of the imbalance that happens to tennis players and how that leads to injury.

I teach my students two hands first with a one handed slice, and when they get older, bigger, and stronger we discuss the one hander--with the knowledge that it will lead to a drop in their performance while they master it.
I prefer the one hander. And I teach it to my students before the 2 hander. I suppose we could decide by tallying up the all time great one handers vs. the all time greatest 2 handers and conclude something. The reason I think the one hander is best is it is a more varied, adaptable, and flexible shot. One handers can handle baseline drives, topspins, and underspins (which I do believe should be included in the one handers' repertoire because all one handers can stroke flat, topspin, and underspin shots if taught). The one hander baseliner can also more easily and effectively execute the one handed backhand approach shots, volleys, dropshots, half volleys, and low bouncers more easily than 2 handers. A competent one hander just doesn't need that second hand on the racket. The one hander can also use the other arm for balance while the 2 hander cannot. Look at films of Don Budge and Ken Rosewall one handers. Budge could hit anything anywhere with one hand. Rosewall hit flat and underspin one handers. All tennis eras have had great one handers: consider Tilden (in mid and later career), Budge, Rosewall, and Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. If their one handers were so great, who needs the two hander? The same stroking principles apply to us lesser mortals.
INTRODUCTION

There were times when two handed backhand was an exception
Before 70¨s it would be completely inappropriate to have such a discussion.Nobody even spoke about two handed backhand.It did not appear even in the tennis handbooks.Than few players came to the stage such as: Jimmy Connors,Chris Evert ,and later Bjorn Borg who made such success using two handed backhand that from than on more and more players have used it. In today professional tennis is prevailing;especially in women's tennis.I think that this is valid enough reason to find out which one of the two and why is better.Furthermore this is very important to the coming future stars streaming to make mark in professional tennis because it can save them time to figure it themselves out and put them on the right track.rightaway.
Your title has nothing to do with what you say this is a pointless argument. the only difference in a one handed and a two handed backhand is hands, movement, reach and body rotations.
"So far I have never read someone stating that one or the other one is better;they always state disadvantages and advantages of one and the other or their subjective feeling toward one or the other backhand.Why?" the reason is neither is better than the other . It is a choice. Let the player decide which one is better for them.

and speaking to everyone who replied at once. "you still need two hands for a single handed backhand. your body muscles are not big enough to bring back the racquet fast." - CoachV
The teaching standard says to start with 2 hands.

Damir Popadic said:
INTRODUCTION

There were times when two handed backhand was an exception
Before 70¨s it would be completely inappropriate to have such a discussion.Nobody even spoke about two handed backhand.It did not appear even in the tennis handbooks.Than few players came to the stage such as: Jimmy Connors,Chris Evert ,and later Bjorn Borg who made such success using two handed backhand that from than on more and more players have used it. In today professional tennis is prevailing;especially in women's tennis.I think that this is valid enough reason to find out which one of the two and why is better.Furthermore this is very important to the coming future stars streaming to make mark in professional tennis because it can save them time to figure it themselves out and put them on the right track.rightaway.
Hi All,
Double Handed backhands are interesting - however I find them hard to teach and diagnose technical errors because I 'teach from within' and I am a single hander.
There are different variations of double handers and it comes down to the grip combination.
Eg Bottom Hand and Top Hand.. The different grips influence the contact point...
For example
1) Continental Bottom Hand and a Eastern Top hand. This is more like a second Forehand - because the continental bottom hand is neutralized. This grip combination results in a more linear shot - sweeping down the side of the body. Im pretty sure Hewitt has this grip combination.
2) Eastern Bottom Hand and Eastern Top Hand. (Agassi) This becomes a different stroke. Both hand are working to develop Racquet head speed. In more advanced versions you actually get a Push-Pull where both hands are actually working in opposite directions to get racquet head speed. Eg for a right hander. Left Hand push forward while right hand pulls back. It creates a rotational axis half way up the handle (between your hands) adding another moving segment.
Thats how I understand it all anyway :) I can explain this a little more if needed...
Anyway... a bit more info to throw around :)
Michael
Another interesting thing Damir mentioned is that they didnt really exist before the 70's
I am interested to see how they last.. I collect tennis books and there are some amazing photos in the 20's of guys with open stances, closed stances, multi segment forehands, etc.. Basically working it out by letting the body find power..
I dont see any double handed backhands in there... So maybe it is a sign of our equipment creating a new stroke.. The other strokes are fairly un altered - our biomechanical understanding has improved, however these older guys had some suprising techniques... (If I hadnt seen the photos I would have presumed everything was fairly closed and continental)
Ohhhh also.. Back then they had massive grip sizes and wooden.. Now the tendancy is to go smaller.. With a smaller grip you get a more whippy racquet head...
All good fun stuff
Michael
Grip size does matter. I was surprise that Federer is using a size 3 grip. But to each their own, I thing flatter players will use a bigger grip. ( but I am just speculating )

Michael Maidens said:
Another interesting thing Damir mentioned is that they didnt really exist before the 70's
I am interested to see how they last.. I collect tennis books and there are some amazing photos in the 20's of guys with open stances, closed stances, multi segment forehands, etc.. Basically working it out by letting the body find power..
I dont see any double handed backhands in there... So maybe it is a sign of our equipment creating a new stroke.. The other strokes are fairly un altered - our biomechanical understanding has improved, however these older guys had some suprising techniques... (If I hadnt seen the photos I would have presumed everything was fairly closed and continental)
Ohhhh also.. Back then they had massive grip sizes and wooden.. Now the tendancy is to go smaller.. With a smaller grip you get a more whippy racquet head...
All good fun stuff
Michael
Yes, I agree. Flatter players = bigger grip

CoachV - William Vazquez said:
Grip size does matter. I was surprise that Federer is using a size 3 grip. But to each their own, I thing flatter players will use a bigger grip. ( but I am just speculating )

Michael Maidens said:
Another interesting thing Damir mentioned is that they didnt really exist before the 70's
I am interested to see how they last.. I collect tennis books and there are some amazing photos in the 20's of guys with open stances, closed stances, multi segment forehands, etc.. Basically working it out by letting the body find power..
I dont see any double handed backhands in there... So maybe it is a sign of our equipment creating a new stroke.. The other strokes are fairly un altered - our biomechanical understanding has improved, however these older guys had some suprising techniques... (If I hadnt seen the photos I would have presumed everything was fairly closed and continental)
Ohhhh also.. Back then they had massive grip sizes and wooden.. Now the tendancy is to go smaller.. With a smaller grip you get a more whippy racquet head...
All good fun stuff
Michael
THE COMPARISON OF THE TWO

At first I am going to explain few well known myths about one and the other

Easier to learn- two handed backhand is easier to learn (children have no such strength of wrist ,arm ,and shoulder so it is difficult for them to execute one handed backhand),and coordination by one handed backhand is more complicated..These characteristics by itself would not mean much because the point I am trying to proof here is which backhand is better for professional play..If all other characteristics were in favor of one handed backhand this one would not count much.

More reliable – means which one will perform better in crounch situations.By common sense is known that in tight situations players have to use bigger body parts to lessen the impact of musles tightening.This is again in favor of two handed backhand

More consistent- it means with which one you can hit more or less the same shot over and over again.It is obvious;two handed backhand because two hands on the handle enable more controlled backswing and more stable position of racket at impact

More precise- again two handed backhand because of the things just mentioned, and also because the margin for error for one handed bachand is higher due to more precise positioning in relation to the ball (the ball has to be hit ahead of and bit to the left of front foot:small deviation will cause big repercusions)

More versatile- two hander is much more versatile than one hander.With two hander you can hit drive,different topspins,topspin lob,short topspin cross,half-volley,balls on the rise,high balls with topspin or on the rise,and all these different shots are much more easier to execute on one hand (much higher percentage of success), and with more variation on the other hand than using one handed backhand .Furthermore , players who use two handed backhand easyly transfer this technique to hit drive and topspin (very difficult shots hit with one hand)volleys .One handed backhand is better suited to hit half-volley close to the net

Better diguise- again there is no comparison between the two.Two hander is far out because of the other hand which will help to overcome different ponts of contact what is not case with one handed backhand.This luxury to commit a bit later is the main point in disguising a shot (keeping the intentions to you till is too late for opponent to react)

More power- power at one handed backhand comes mostly by stepping into the ball;rotation of the body, and backswing are second in line .When htiting two handed backhand power can come also from stepping into the ball (lateral force),but as well as rotating upper body around head (angular force), and to lessen degree from the backswing..So it obvious that two hander has edge over one hander.

Return of serve- it is almost impossible to return fast flat serves on fast surface using one handed backhand drive,topspin because by using one hander you cannot adjust your backswing length and by not adjusting it you are late, and when you are late there is no way to hit one handed backhand (there is not second hand to come around on the ball).Also because of less difficult stroke mechanics player who uses two hander can quicker prepare which is of paramount importance for return of serve

Running backhand- here again two hander is superior to one hander
because gives a player bigger margin of error.To hit one handed running backhand you have to position yourself more precisely because you have very narrow effective striking area(ahead of and to the left of front foot).It is true that you have greater reach with one hand in comparison to two hands but to no avail because if your hitting arm is too far away from the body produces ineffective shot.On the other hand,when executing two handed backhand because of the help of the second hand striking zone is larger, and arms to body position more tolerable.Here again if the timing is not perfect there is not comparison between the two.

Transition to the net- two hander is again better than one hander as an approach shot because you can hit it from open stance (the same as forehand) which enables to move through the shot and gets attacker closer to the net (better positioning)

Low balls- to hit topspin on low (slice) balls is difficult by itself (need to turn backwards to forwards rotation of the ball), and if the knee bent is not deep enough the ball will finish in the net.Here again two hander has edge because by executing two hander base of support is wider so the shot itself is more stable

Short , low balls-for this kind of balls neither of the two is well suited .One handed backhand has further reach but without body laverage (only wrist and arm)is impossible to produce satisfactory shot.For two handed backhand this kind of shot is beyond the reach because of two handed backhand mechanics which determine the point of contact (point of contact has to be in the line with body).

Really wide balls-neither one is well suited, The same reasons as in previous case .The only difference is that all what is said for balls ahead of the body now applies for the balls to the side of the body

Balls hit directly at the body-here one hander has advantage because by two hander second hand stops upper body from moving away from incoming ball
Thats why america is number one in tennis right because of lame single minded ideology. "CoachV's motto: There is no right or wrong way to hit the ball.!" there has only been one other person in my life time that had the exact same philosophy. no one you would know. the one credit I will give you is that you are well read in Tennis. try to get more experience that allows you to grow more.

Damir Popadic said:
THE COMPARISON OF THE TWO
At first I am going to explain few well known myths about one and the other
Easier to learn- two handed backhand is easier to learn (children have no such strength of wrist ,arm ,and shoulder so it is difficult for them to execute one handed backhand),and coordination by one handed backhand is more complicated..These characteristics by itself would not mean much because the point I am trying to proof here is which backhand is better for professional play..If all other characteristics were in favor of one handed backhand this one would not count much.

More reliable – means which one will perform better in crounch situations.By common sense is known that in tight situations players have to use bigger body parts to lessen the impact of musles tightening.This is again in favor of two handed backhand

More consistent- it means with which one you can hit more or less the same shot over and over again.It is obvious;two handed backhand because two hands on the handle enable more controlled backswing and more stable position of racket at impact

More precise- again two handed backhand because of the things just mentioned, and also because the margin for error for one handed bachand is higher due to more precise positioning in relation to the ball (the ball has to be hit ahead of and bit to the left of front foot:small deviation will cause big repercusions)

More versatile- two hander is much more versatile than one hander.With two hander you can hit drive,different topspins,topspin lob,short topspin cross,half-volley,balls on the rise,high balls with topspin or on the rise,and all these different shots are much more easier to execute on one hand (much higher percentage of success), and with more variation on the other hand than using one handed backhand .Furthermore , players who use two handed backhand easyly transfer this technique to hit drive and topspin (very difficult shots hit with one hand)volleys .One handed backhand is better suited to hit half-volley close to the net

Better diguise- again there is no comparison between the two.Two hander is far out because of the other hand which will help to overcome different ponts of contact what is not case with one handed backhand.This luxury to commit a bit later is the main point in disguising a shot (keeping the intentions to you till is too late for opponent to react)

More power- power at one handed backhand comes mostly by stepping into the ball;rotation of the body, and backswing are second in line .When htiting two handed backhand power can come also from stepping into the ball (lateral force),but as well as rotating upper body around head (angular force), and to lessen degree from the backswing..So it obvious that two hander has edge over one hander.

Return of serve- it is almost impossible to return fast flat serves on fast surface using one handed backhand drive,topspin because by using one hander you cannot adjust your backswing length and by not adjusting it you are late, and when you are late there is no way to hit one handed backhand (there is not second hand to come around on the ball).Also because of less difficult stroke mechanics player who uses two hander can quicker prepare which is of paramount importance for return of serve

Running backhand- here again two hander is superior to one hander
because gives a player bigger margin of error.To hit one handed running backhand you have to position yourself more precisely because you have very narrow effective striking area(ahead of and to the left of front foot).It is true that you have greater reach with one hand in comparison to two hands but to no avail because if your hitting arm is too far away from the body produces ineffective shot.On the other hand,when executing two handed backhand because of the help of the second hand striking zone is larger, and arms to body position more tolerable.Here again if the timing is not perfect there is not comparison between the two.

Transition to the net- two hander is again better than one hander as an approach shot because you can hit it from open stance (the same as forehand) which enables to move through the shot and gets attacker closer to the net (better positioning)

Low balls- to hit topspin on low (slice) balls is difficult by itself (need to turn backwards to forwards rotation of the ball), and if the knee bent is not deep enough the ball will finish in the net.Here again two hander has edge because by executing two hander base of support is wider so the shot itself is more stable

Short , low balls-for this kind of balls neither of the two is well suited .One handed backhand has further reach but without body laverage (only wrist and arm)is impossible to produce satisfactory shot.For two handed backhand this kind of shot is beyond the reach because of two handed backhand mechanics which determine the point of contact (point of contact has to be in the line with body).

Really wide balls-neither one is well suited, The same reasons as in previous case .The only difference is that all what is said for balls ahead of the body now applies for the balls to the side of the body

Balls hit directly at the body-here one hander has advantage because by two hander second hand stops upper body from moving away from incoming ball
there are so many things that are different

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