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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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THE TRENDS IN MODERN TENNIS

To further value one or the other;it is very important to give a few hints where the game of tennis is heading to:

- newcomers will be physically stronger compared to todays players (faster,more powerful,more agile) which translates into faster ball exchanges overall
- based on this trend more and more balls will be hit from dynamic balance (from movement)
- more and more balls will be hit from the air and on the rise
- more and more balls will be hit(on both wings) from open stance in order to recover as soon as possible for the next ball
- opening of the point will play even greater role (solid return will be must)
- trend of slower playing surfaces will cause the balls to bounce higher
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE TWO

One handed bachand:
1. less stable racket at the moment of impact
2. needs more time to prepare
3. less controlled backswing
4. full backswing is almost a must
5. the point of contact has to be ahead and to the left of front foot (otherwise you are in trouble)
6. upper body must be more than perpendicular to the oncoming ball
7. necessary very strong shulder,arm,and wrist(more injuries)
8. after finish your body is still mostly sideways
9. the most power is generated by stepping into the ball
10.lineal (close) stance is almost a must (less balanced)
(all the others reflect seriously on the efficiency of shot)
11.ellbow must be close to the body otherwise the shot is ineffective (narrow striking zone)

Two handed backhand:
1. more stable racket at the moment of impact
2. quicker preparation
3. controlled backswing
4. with variety of backswings is possible to produce quality shot
5. the point of contact is in the line with the body and bit to the left (.if you are late the other hand can help you)
6. upper body must coil but not as much as on one handed backhand
7. because of the two hands impact is more evenly distributed so it is not necessary so strong shoulders,arms, and wrists(less injuries)
8. after finish you body faces the net and you can easily move sideways
9.. power is generated by rotating your shoulders around your head and stepping into the ball
10.all stances are possible (more balanced)
11.because of the help of the other hand ellbow can be in various position in relationship to the body for the shot to still be effective (larger striking zone)
I think it depends on a player as world's greatest two, Sampras and Federer, both have one handed backhand.
Umm added note. Pete switched from a two to a one. This guy makes no points & uses logic that suites his perception. Um two handed backhands why would you put an uncoordinated hand on the racquet to hit. IT will take longer to learn that way. ( see i used logic that works to my point of view. )

Tennis Doc said:
I think it depends on a player as world's greatest two, Sampras and Federer, both have one handed backhand.
ONE HANDED BACKHAND SLICE AS MANDATORY

Although it is obvious that the two hander is the stroke of modern tennis as obvious is that one handed backhand slice (in spite of the fact that topspin rotation dominates slice rotation) is must.The game of tennis is more and more attack, and counterattack but one handed backhand slice is needed for defense (really wide balls,block returns),for specialty shots(reaching drop shots,transition to the net on low,short balls ), and as surprise weapon by changing rally¨s pace and spin .So every aspiring player has to have one.
CONCLUSION

One handed backhand can be very effective stroke but needs that all conditions are met to its fullest(strong wrist,arm, and shoulder,complete shoulder turn,full circular backswing,very precise positioning,stepping into the ball,optimal impact point).If any of the conditions is not fullfilled the stroke losses substantially to its effectiveness.And it is impossible to meet these conditions(very difficult now and evenmore in the future) because of the trends in modern tennis (faster rallies,more balls hit from the air,and on the rise,extreme importance of hiitng from dynamic balance,need for fast lateral recovery,high bouncing balls).So in spite of one handed backhand evolution(it used to be that finish is with shoulders sideways to the net and today is that shoulders can turn quite a bit)this is not enough to stop one handed topspin,drive backhand of becoming an obsolete.Where is the answer?At first sight seems difficult to find the answer but actually it is very easy.One just has to look at the forehand side and its evolution(different stances,different impact points,=hitting from dynamic balance).To translate it to backhand side(and in many tennis handbooks I read that these two strokes are mirror picture of each other)reads two-handed backhand
Here's a nice Two hander

here's a nice one hander

I do admit there is room for argument--I like two hands because the game is a baselining game in the juniors especially for little ones--BUT I have seen some small kids age 7 with nice one handers...

i'll teach two hands first and if they have net skills, we'll switch but it'll be much later in their career
Thanks for the vids. I like both these backhands but I gotta say that the top player (with the 2-hander) seems to need help with his legs during the follow thru. very weird the way that his feet end up so together.


Speaking of weird - how about the lower player's STRANGE take back on the FOREHAND? The racquet curls up over his head, this will hurt him when he is playing against players with fast shots - takes too much preparation time.

But, hey, I'm sure I have a lot of funny moves too. :-)

I think the fact that Justine Henin, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic (who can go either way depending upon whether he wants slice or topspin) would take issue with that. To categorically state that one is definitively better than the other is like saying Eric Clapton is a better guitarist than Jimmy Page. They both have different styles and you cannot say that one is better than the other anymore than you can say apples are better than oranges. I DON'T see any valid reason to say one backhand is better than the other because it's a pointless arguement. Two-handed is better for Nadal and not Federer, better for Clijsters not Henin. What difference does it make?  Personally, I'm a one-handed guy, and while I'll never be a Federer or Nadal (or a Santoro or Rochus for that matter) I've tried hitting a two-hander and it's just not me.  My daughter on the other hand cannot hit a one hander to save her life - she also sometimes hits her forehands two-handed (which would make Fabrice Santoro happy wherever he is). So I will have to respectfully disagree with your premise.

Ive always felt that whatever you have in your arsenal is what you use.  I never practiced the one handed back hand, I always practiced a 2.  in college, ppl would say, the 1 handed is more professional...but in reality, with proper stroke, the 2 handed can be a definite competitor.  Alot of people use (we're speaking right handed players) their right arm for power or in conjunction with their left.  I take my right hand as the stability point and drive through with proper stance my left arm.  I can hit flat, spin, high, low, whatever.  It takes a bit of practice but a killer 2 handed backhand will throw many people off.

I have to say I disagree alot with what is characterized in the one hander. I do not have to take more time to prepare if I use the Laver style backhand with the more open stance. I also use this fire away at balls on the run and on the rise.

If I am using the Kuerten style backhand with a more closed styled stance, I have much more control of the spin of the ball than a two hander.

When I am returning, I use a Gasquet high takeback, I can hit the high backhand return harder than many two handed players. I can hit open stance backhands using the Edberg fall away method as well. Edberg definitely could drive the ball extremely hard.

There are certain techniques, and it doesn't take much time to prepare the shot. Also, there is alot of versatility in the one hander in terms of style and effectiveness, not lacking in power, control or reach. The only thing the two hander has is greater stability.

 

Note: The ball does not have to be to the left of the front foot. It can be more in front of the right hip with a shorter takeback. The shoulders do not have to be exactly perpendicular to the ball, and if it is, it is only for a split second with a quick coil. The one hander can open nearly as much as the two hander, depending on how big the coil is.

The elbow does NOT have to be close to the body, especially at the point of contact. In the Kuerten and Gasquet backhand, the elbow is pointed to the side fence. Their extension of their arm is much further than most two handed backhands.

One handers can be hit off the back foot very effectively as well. Watch Gasquet or Kuerten or even Edberg's open stance. Lastly, because of a good coil and heel to toe weight rocking, you do not have to have strong muscles at all. You need flexibility, spring, sense of balance, timing. 


Damir Popadic said:

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE TWO

One handed bachand:
1. less stable racket at the moment of impact
2. needs more time to prepare
3. less controlled backswing
4. full backswing is almost a must
5. the point of contact has to be ahead and to the left of front foot (otherwise you are in trouble)
6. upper body must be more than perpendicular to the oncoming ball
7. necessary very strong shulder,arm,and wrist(more injuries)
8. after finish your body is still mostly sideways
9. the most power is generated by stepping into the ball
10.lineal (close) stance is almost a must (less balanced)
(all the others reflect seriously on the efficiency of shot)
11.ellbow must be close to the body otherwise the shot is ineffective (narrow striking zone)

Two handed backhand:
1. more stable racket at the moment of impact
2. quicker preparation
3. controlled backswing
4. with variety of backswings is possible to produce quality shot
5. the point of contact is in the line with the body and bit to the left (.if you are late the other hand can help you)
6. upper body must coil but not as much as on one handed backhand
7. because of the two hands impact is more evenly distributed so it is not necessary so strong shoulders,arms, and wrists(less injuries)
8. after finish you body faces the net and you can easily move sideways
9.. power is generated by rotating your shoulders around your head and stepping into the ball
10.all stances are possible (more balanced)
11.because of the help of the other hand ellbow can be in various position in relationship to the body for the shot to still be effective (larger striking zone)

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