29 Jul 2006 17:55:42
Isaza
Two Handed Backhands Rule

At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
best.



29 Jul 2006 20:05:56
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

two handers are much superior in terms of offensive ability but the one
hander affords more variety.

Djokovic's backhand may be 10 times better *offensively* than
Federer's, but I think Federer's backhand is better defensively.

Nadal's backhand is aite -- but it is nowhere near second best. Even
though it is unfortunate that he isn't playing well nowadays, Safin has
the best backhand I have seen. Even if the rest of the game breaks
down, his backhand remains rock solid.

Gasquet's backhand looks overrated when compared to massive two handers
like Djokovic's and Safin's -- but it is an excellent shot.

I saw a match between Haas and Gasquet, davis cup I think, and it was
some absolutely brilliant tennis. Very high level play from both
players -- alas, both are very big underachievers.


Isaza wrote:
> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> best.



29 Jul 2006 23:43:48
ccrevival
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sasidharp wrote:
> two handers are much superior in terms of offensive ability but the one
> hander affords more variety.
>
> Djokovic's backhand may be 10 times better *offensively* than
> Federer's, but I think Federer's backhand is better defensively.
>
> Nadal's backhand is aite -- but it is nowhere near second best. Even
> though it is unfortunate that he isn't playing well nowadays, Safin has
> the best backhand I have seen. Even if the rest of the game breaks
> down, his backhand remains rock solid.
>
> Gasquet's backhand looks overrated when compared to massive two handers
> like Djokovic's and Safin's -- but it is an excellent shot.
>
I agree with you on Gasquet's bh being overrated; I saw Gasquet vs. Fed
for the first time this W, and was surprised to see how often Roger was
able to out back-hand Richard with power, angle, and consistency. It's
a good looking stroke and he can crack a monster from that side every
now and then, but I think Rich's wind-up is much to long which hurts
him on faster courts.

As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.

As Wilander has shown, however, it's possible to have both a good dhb
for topspin shots, and shb for slice.



30 Jul 2006 00:13:09
Dedalus
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

I don't play a lot of tennis but don't most dbh players also play with
sbh when hitting other more defensive shots? So if we can agree that
the two hander is better offensively shouldn't a player who plays dbh
have an advantage over sbh players in the backhand side?
ccrevival wrote:
> Sasidharp wrote:
> > two handers are much superior in terms of offensive ability but the one
> > hander affords more variety.
> >
> > Djokovic's backhand may be 10 times better *offensively* than
> > Federer's, but I think Federer's backhand is better defensively.
> >
> > Nadal's backhand is aite -- but it is nowhere near second best. Even
> > though it is unfortunate that he isn't playing well nowadays, Safin has
> > the best backhand I have seen. Even if the rest of the game breaks
> > down, his backhand remains rock solid.
> >
> > Gasquet's backhand looks overrated when compared to massive two handers
> > like Djokovic's and Safin's -- but it is an excellent shot.
> >
> I agree with you on Gasquet's bh being overrated; I saw Gasquet vs. Fed
> for the first time this W, and was surprised to see how often Roger was
> able to out back-hand Richard with power, angle, and consistency. It's
> a good looking stroke and he can crack a monster from that side every
> now and then, but I think Rich's wind-up is much to long which hurts
> him on faster courts.
>
> As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
> bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
> shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
> really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
> take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
> it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
> especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.
>
> As Wilander has shown, however, it's possible to have both a good dhb
> for topspin shots, and shb for slice.



30 Jul 2006 00:36:11
topspin
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Dedalus wrote:
> I don't play a lot of tennis but don't most dbh players also play with
> sbh when hitting other more defensive shots? So if we can agree that
> the two hander is better offensively shouldn't a player who plays dbh
> have an advantage over sbh players in the backhand side?
> ccrevival wrote:
> > Sasidharp wrote:
> > > two handers are much superior in terms of offensive ability but the one
> > > hander affords more variety.
> > >
> > > Djokovic's backhand may be 10 times better *offensively* than
> > > Federer's, but I think Federer's backhand is better defensively.
> > >
> > > Nadal's backhand is aite -- but it is nowhere near second best. Even
> > > though it is unfortunate that he isn't playing well nowadays, Safin has
> > > the best backhand I have seen. Even if the rest of the game breaks
> > > down, his backhand remains rock solid.
> > >
> > > Gasquet's backhand looks overrated when compared to massive two handers
> > > like Djokovic's and Safin's -- but it is an excellent shot.
> > >
> > I agree with you on Gasquet's bh being overrated; I saw Gasquet vs. Fed
> > for the first time this W, and was surprised to see how often Roger was
> > able to out back-hand Richard with power, angle, and consistency. It's
> > a good looking stroke and he can crack a monster from that side every
> > now and then, but I think Rich's wind-up is much to long which hurts
> > him on faster courts.
> >
> > As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
> > bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
> > shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
> > really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
> > take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
> > it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
> > especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.
> >
> > As Wilander has shown, however, it's possible to have both a good dhb
> > for topspin shots, and shb for slice.

It all depends on the surface and the opponent's style.

If the surface is low-bouncing (grass), or the opponent keps the ball
low (slice), or forces you to be at the net, then a one-hander is
better.

So all those great-looking backhands rely on the opponent 'feeding'
them in some way. Same for one-handers.

For every advantage, there is a tactic. That is how and why tennis
keeps evolving....



30 Jul 2006 03:31:16
Adam Thirnis
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

If any of this were true then virtually none of the best players on the
open era would have a one-hander. As it is in terms of great players we
have federer, sampras, mcenroe, lendl, becker, edberg with 1 handers
while on the 2 handed side there is borg, connors, agassi, wilander and
maybe nadal.



30 Jul 2006 06:25:35
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Adam Thirnis wrote:
> If any of this were true then virtually none of the best players on the
> open era would have a one-hander. As it is in terms of great players we
> have federer, sampras, mcenroe, lendl, becker, edberg with 1 handers
> while on the 2 handed side there is borg, connors, agassi, wilander and
> maybe nadal.

The key though is that what all of the players with one-handed
backhands you mention have in common is that they were great servers
and in most cases players with great or above average backhand volleys.
On their service games they would typically blast a first serve and
then win the point with either a big forehand or a volley. How often
were any of them hitting backhand winners, with the possible exception
of Eddy? While the two-handers you mention were much more reliant on
their backhands to win lots of baseline rallies even on their own
serves.

But I definitely agree with ccrevival that what really makes the
two-hander superior is the ability to defend, as is most blatantly
obvious during Fed-Nadal matches, both on clay and hard, which accounts
for 90% of the tournaments out there. Nadal just picks on Fed's
backhand with high, heavy top and Federer just can't defend his
backhand with enough spin, depth, etc to keep Rafa from dictating play.
I'll give you that on grass Fed can defend his backhand much better
because the ball stays lower but I still think the two-hander is better
on that surface as well. Federer does have a very good one-hander - as
do Gasquet, Haas and a few others - but if it weren't for Federer's
serve and forehand being so extraordinary, he really would not have any
chance against Nadal.

Other points: When Agassi was first talking about Nadal, he compared
him to Muster, with the difference being that Nadal "defends the
backhand way better." I can't imagine Nadal with a one-handed backhand.
As great an athlete/competitor as he is, there's no way he could be
effective and execute his game with a one-hander. Also, of the young
up-and-coming players - Djokovic, Monfils, Berdych, Verdasco, Tursunov,
Baghdatis, Murray, Querrey - they are all two-handed backhand players.
They all look like top 20 or top 10 players and will probably be
pushing aside people like Gaudio, Gonzo and possibly even Ljubicic and
Blake.

I don't think this is just a trend and we can expect the one-handed
backhand to make a comeback. The one-hander is only superior in one
sense - it helps a player's backhand volley. So back in the days when
players actually volleyed it made sense. But now that the courts have
slowed down and the new racquets have brought the near-extinction of
serve-and-volley, the next endangered species may be the one-handed
backhand.



30 Jul 2006 07:13:39
Adam Thirnis
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

If the one-handed back hand were so fundamentally inferior there's no
way there could be so many great players with one-handers - it would
be a weakness that would be simply torn apart by opponents. There may
be some validity to the view that 2 hands is steadier and more
consistent especially on clay - but even then there have been plenty of
recent french winners playing one-handed (guga, gaudio, muster, lendl,
costa, gomez).

The real point is how weak a 2 handed bh is on faster surfaces. The
strength on that side shown by all-court players like federer, mcenroe
and sampras bewilders opponents for whom steadiness is no substitute
for avriety when it comes to finishing rallies quickly.



30 Jul 2006 07:45:19
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Adam Thirnis wrote:
> If the one-handed back hand were so fundamentally inferior there's no
> way there could be so many great players with one-handers - it would
> be a weakness that would be simply torn apart by opponents. There may
> be some validity to the view that 2 hands is steadier and more
> consistent especially on clay - but even then there have been plenty of
> recent french winners playing one-handed (guga, gaudio, muster, lendl,
> costa, gomez).
>
> The real point is how weak a 2 handed bh is on faster surfaces. The
> strength on that side shown by all-court players like federer, mcenroe
> and sampras bewilders opponents for whom steadiness is no substitute
> for avriety when it comes to finishing rallies quickly.

The 2-hander isn't weak at all on fast surfaces. Look at this year's
Wimbledon - 14 out of the 16 players in the round of 16 were two
handers - and besides Federer the only other one-hander was
monster-serving Max Mirnyi. I'll grant you that great players like
Federer and Sampras can win in spite of their slight weaknesses on the
backhand side. That's only because their strengths in other areas of
the game are so overwhelming. Do you really think Sampras was
"bewildering" Agassi from the baseline with his one-handed backhand? If
he really was, he never would have even lost a set. Instead he
dominated his own service games with his great serve and volleys and
Agassi dominated the majority of the baseline rallies. Somehow I don't
think Sampras would have wanted to have played Agassi, or Fed play
Nadal for that matter, "out of the hand" with no serve involved.

As far as surfaces, I think for players with one-handed backhands
without really big serves, their best bet is clay. Most of the players
you mentioned - Guga, Gaudio, Muster, Costa, Gomez (we'll leave the
huge serving, huge forehand Lendl out) did little or anything on fast
surfaces mainly because it was easier for opponents to attack their
backhands. On clay they have more time to prepare for the shot and
aren't as rushed. Nowadays three of the better one-handed clay-courters
are Robredo, Acasuso and Almagro, none of whom can be expected to do
much of anything on a fast court. By contrast, two-handed "clay-court"
players like Ferrer and Verdasco can adapt much better because they can
defend their backhands so well.

Certainly some excellent one-handers are beter than some mediocre
two-handers: Federer's backhand is better than Roddick's; Gasquet's is
better than Moya's; Ljubicic's is better than Grosjean's. But, overall,
considering the entire Tour, I think the clear edge is with the
two-hander on every surface.



30 Jul 2006 12:00:16
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


ccrevival wrote:
> As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
> bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
> shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
> really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
> take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
> it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
> especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.

No, Fed's problem is that he tries the LATTER too much against Nadal.
The one time he really tried to incorporate the former (Rome) he was
able to give Nadal all sorts of problems.

As to the original post - this is retarded. Both backhands have their
pros and cons. The 2h is generally seen as the more powerful and
'safer' shot, in terms of being able to hit late and still generate
good pace and control. The 1h is the more versatile shot, better for
defense, better for deception, etc... Gasquet's backhand I think is
only overrated because he's mentally inconsistent. When he's on, such
as his win over Federer in MC last year, he can crack it with
unbelievable pace on every single shot.

In my opinion, over the next 5-10 years we are going to see the 1hbh
rise gradually in status. When you think about it, the development of
the 1h as a true offensive weapon occurred quite recently - really
within the last 10 years at most. Now that people have seen what one
can do with it, and realize that the 2hbh is not necessarily the way to
go, I think we will see more progress in technique and mechanics until
it becomes a far better shot, on avergae, than it is today.



30 Jul 2006 12:28:33
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Habib wrote:
> ccrevival wrote:
> > As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
> > bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
> > shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
> > really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
> > take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
> > it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
> > especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.
>
> No, Fed's problem is that he tries the LATTER too much against Nadal.
> The one time he really tried to incorporate the former (Rome) he was
> able to give Nadal all sorts of problems.
>
> As to the original post - this is retarded. Both backhands have their
> pros and cons. The 2h is generally seen as the more powerful and
> 'safer' shot, in terms of being able to hit late and still generate
> good pace and control. The 1h is the more versatile shot, better for
> defense, better for deception, etc... Gasquet's backhand I think is
> only overrated because he's mentally inconsistent. When he's on, such
> as his win over Federer in MC last year, he can crack it with
> unbelievable pace on every single shot.
>
> In my opinion, over the next 5-10 years we are going to see the 1hbh
> rise gradually in status. When you think about it, the development of
> the 1h as a true offensive weapon occurred quite recently - really
> within the last 10 years at most. Now that people have seen what one
> can do with it, and realize that the 2hbh is not necessarily the way to
> go, I think we will see more progress in technique and mechanics until
> it becomes a far better shot, on avergae, than it is today.

Two main points: How in the world is the 1-hander better for defense?
Over the past 15 years or so, it's always the 2-handed guy who is known
for great defense - Chang, Hewitt, Coria and now the greatest defensive
player ever - Nadal. It's not just that they're fast but also that pace
and spin to their backhands bother them less because of the extra
support with the additional hand on the racquet. Among the current
one-handed players, I think we've already established on this thread
that only Federer is a top-notch defensive player and even he does not
defend the backhand adequately against the heavy top of Nadal.

Secondly, I don't know where you see this new rise of the 1-handed
backhand considering that every up-and-coming player with the possible
exception of Gasquet is a two-handed player: Djokovic, Berdych,
Monfils, Murray, Tursunov. They're the future of the sport along with
Nadal and I would just expect more players like that.

Again, it's not that we're never going to see good players with
one-handed backhands in the future and it's certainly better to have a
good 1-hander than a lousy 2-hander. But as a general rule, those
1-handed players will probably be guys like Sampras, Becker, Rafter,
Krajicek, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Mirnyi, etc. whose success in the sport
was mainly attributable to having a big serve and a big forehand or
great net game. The 2-handed players will continue to be the players
who rely on their steadiness, power and defense on that side to win
them matches.



31 Jul 2006 06:24:17
Whisper
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Isaza wrote:
>
> Certainly some excellent one-handers are beter than some mediocre
> two-handers: Federer's backhand is better than Roddick's; Gasquet's is
> better than Moya's; Ljubicic's is better than Grosjean's. But, overall,
> considering the entire Tour, I think the clear edge is with the
> two-hander on every surface.
>



2-handed bh is far inferior.



30 Jul 2006 13:36:21
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Another point, maybe the really good one handed players have such big
forehands because they run around their backhands a lot -- and have a
lot of practice at hitting a lot of forehands in match situations.

Just a thought....

Isaza wrote:
> Habib wrote:
> > ccrevival wrote:
> > > As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
> > > bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
> > > shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
> > > really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
> > > take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
> > > it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
> > > especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.
> >
> > No, Fed's problem is that he tries the LATTER too much against Nadal.
> > The one time he really tried to incorporate the former (Rome) he was
> > able to give Nadal all sorts of problems.
> >
> > As to the original post - this is retarded. Both backhands have their
> > pros and cons. The 2h is generally seen as the more powerful and
> > 'safer' shot, in terms of being able to hit late and still generate
> > good pace and control. The 1h is the more versatile shot, better for
> > defense, better for deception, etc... Gasquet's backhand I think is
> > only overrated because he's mentally inconsistent. When he's on, such
> > as his win over Federer in MC last year, he can crack it with
> > unbelievable pace on every single shot.
> >
> > In my opinion, over the next 5-10 years we are going to see the 1hbh
> > rise gradually in status. When you think about it, the development of
> > the 1h as a true offensive weapon occurred quite recently - really
> > within the last 10 years at most. Now that people have seen what one
> > can do with it, and realize that the 2hbh is not necessarily the way to
> > go, I think we will see more progress in technique and mechanics until
> > it becomes a far better shot, on avergae, than it is today.
>
> Two main points: How in the world is the 1-hander better for defense?
> Over the past 15 years or so, it's always the 2-handed guy who is known
> for great defense - Chang, Hewitt, Coria and now the greatest defensive
> player ever - Nadal. It's not just that they're fast but also that pace
> and spin to their backhands bother them less because of the extra
> support with the additional hand on the racquet. Among the current
> one-handed players, I think we've already established on this thread
> that only Federer is a top-notch defensive player and even he does not
> defend the backhand adequately against the heavy top of Nadal.
>
> Secondly, I don't know where you see this new rise of the 1-handed
> backhand considering that every up-and-coming player with the possible
> exception of Gasquet is a two-handed player: Djokovic, Berdych,
> Monfils, Murray, Tursunov. They're the future of the sport along with
> Nadal and I would just expect more players like that.
>
> Again, it's not that we're never going to see good players with
> one-handed backhands in the future and it's certainly better to have a
> good 1-hander than a lousy 2-hander. But as a general rule, those
> 1-handed players will probably be guys like Sampras, Becker, Rafter,
> Krajicek, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Mirnyi, etc. whose success in the sport
> was mainly attributable to having a big serve and a big forehand or
> great net game. The 2-handed players will continue to be the players
> who rely on their steadiness, power and defense on that side to win
> them matches.



30 Jul 2006 13:45:19
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Isaza wrote:
> Two main points: How in the world is the 1-hander better for defense?
> Over the past 15 years or so, it's always the 2-handed guy who is known
> for great defense - Chang, Hewitt, Coria and now the greatest defensive
> player ever - Nadal. It's not just that they're fast but also that pace
> and spin to their backhands bother them less because of the extra
> support with the additional hand on the racquet. Among the current
> one-handed players, I think we've already established on this thread
> that only Federer is a top-notch defensive player and even he does not
> defend the backhand adequately against the heavy top of Nadal.

Because it gives you better reach and better variety? Traditionally,
the one-handed players have been more offensive minded whereas the
two-handers have preferred sitting at the baseline, hence you think you
see two-handers employ better defense. But the truth of the matter is
that the extended reach of the shot allows you to return balls that
would be out of reach to a two-hander. Now, you can make the argument
that two-handed users still switch to a one-hander in desparate
situations, but the full-time one-handers have far better control when
it comes to that situation. Of course, the other reason there are so
many great 2hbh defenders that is that there are simply more 2hbhers in
total.

> Secondly, I don't know where you see this new rise of the 1-handed
> backhand considering that every up-and-coming player with the possible
> exception of Gasquet is a two-handed player: Djokovic, Berdych,
> Monfils, Murray, Tursunov. They're the future of the sport along with
> Nadal and I would just expect more players like that.

Of course, most players even rising through the ranks nowadays use
two-handers, as the trend was made virtually standard practice with
young players in the mid-to-late 80s. However, it also true that the
one-hander has only recently become seen as a viable offensive weapon,
thanks to players like Guga (talk about great defense, jesus), Haas,
Federer, Gasquet, etc...

My point, therefore, isn't that there are suddenly a lot of 1hbh users
now, but rather that there will be far more of them in the near future
due to the fact that people can now accept it as a possibility
(obviously you can't, but thankfully some can). Moreover, as technique
improves - due to the additional attention the stroke will receive -
the power generated and the things one can do with it will improve as
well.

> Again, it's not that we're never going to see good players with
> one-handed backhands in the future and it's certainly better to have a
> good 1-hander than a lousy 2-hander. But as a general rule, those
> 1-handed players will probably be guys like Sampras, Becker, Rafter,
> Krajicek, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Mirnyi, etc. whose success in the sport
> was mainly attributable to having a big serve and a big forehand or
> great net game. The 2-handed players will continue to be the players
> who rely on their steadiness, power and defense on that side to win
> them matches.

No, your example of the "general rule" is faulty because all of the
players you mention, with the possible exception of Ljubicic, use
one-handed backhands as a means to facilitate approaching the net, not
as an aggressive baseline shot (although Sampras would generate some
nice winners with his go-for-broke approach). This is what I would deem
the 'old' view of the one-hander, ie: a shot which complements nicely a
serve/volley game.

Now, you have guys like Blake, and Haas, as two examples, who don't
have huge serves, but who can hit absolutely punishing one hand
backhands. Many people still see Blake's backhand as his weak side, but
if you actually pay attention to his matches nowadays, he can really
fucking crack them as hard or harder than most two-handers in the game
with the exception of the really fantastic ones (Safin, Nalbandian to
an extent).

How about some more examples - Gaudio, Acasuso, even Olivier Rochus,
whose backhand would possibly be the most impressive shot in tennis if
he wasn't 5 feet tall.

What I find interesting, is that from what I have observed, the ratio
of 1hbh to 2hbh in the ATP top-50 is far greater than that same ratio
among club, or even recreational players. Mind you this is anecdotal
evidence gained from observations I've made, but there are, IIRC,
something like 11 or 12 1-handers in the top 50 right now, and I think
you'd be hard pressed to find a 5-1 ration of 2h to 1h among the
general tennis playing public, which would suggest that, by and large,
the one handers achieve success at a greater rate.

Hell, there are 4 one-handers in the top 10 right now, and they are all
baseliners with, at best, barring Ljubicic, very good serves.



30 Jul 2006 16:27:11
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Habib wrote:
> Isaza wrote:
> > Two main points: How in the world is the 1-hander better for defense?
> > Over the past 15 years or so, it's always the 2-handed guy who is known
> > for great defense - Chang, Hewitt, Coria and now the greatest defensive
> > player ever - Nadal. It's not just that they're fast but also that pace
> > and spin to their backhands bother them less because of the extra
> > support with the additional hand on the racquet. Among the current
> > one-handed players, I think we've already established on this thread
> > that only Federer is a top-notch defensive player and even he does not
> > defend the backhand adequately against the heavy top of Nadal.
>
> Because it gives you better reach and better variety? Traditionally,
> the one-handed players have been more offensive minded whereas the
> two-handers have preferred sitting at the baseline, hence you think you
> see two-handers employ better defense. But the truth of the matter is
> that the extended reach of the shot allows you to return balls that
> would be out of reach to a two-hander. Now, you can make the argument
> that two-handed users still switch to a one-hander in desparate
> situations, but the full-time one-handers have far better control when
> it comes to that situation. Of course, the other reason there are so
> many great 2hbh defenders that is that there are simply more 2hbhers in
> total.
>
> > Secondly, I don't know where you see this new rise of the 1-handed
> > backhand considering that every up-and-coming player with the possible
> > exception of Gasquet is a two-handed player: Djokovic, Berdych,
> > Monfils, Murray, Tursunov. They're the future of the sport along with
> > Nadal and I would just expect more players like that.
>
> Of course, most players even rising through the ranks nowadays use
> two-handers, as the trend was made virtually standard practice with
> young players in the mid-to-late 80s. However, it also true that the
> one-hander has only recently become seen as a viable offensive weapon,
> thanks to players like Guga (talk about great defense, jesus), Haas,
> Federer, Gasquet, etc...
>
> My point, therefore, isn't that there are suddenly a lot of 1hbh users
> now, but rather that there will be far more of them in the near future
> due to the fact that people can now accept it as a possibility
> (obviously you can't, but thankfully some can). Moreover, as technique
> improves - due to the additional attention the stroke will receive -
> the power generated and the things one can do with it will improve as
> well.
>
> > Again, it's not that we're never going to see good players with
> > one-handed backhands in the future and it's certainly better to have a
> > good 1-hander than a lousy 2-hander. But as a general rule, those
> > 1-handed players will probably be guys like Sampras, Becker, Rafter,
> > Krajicek, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Mirnyi, etc. whose success in the sport
> > was mainly attributable to having a big serve and a big forehand or
> > great net game. The 2-handed players will continue to be the players
> > who rely on their steadiness, power and defense on that side to win
> > them matches.
>
> No, your example of the "general rule" is faulty because all of the
> players you mention, with the possible exception of Ljubicic, use
> one-handed backhands as a means to facilitate approaching the net, not
> as an aggressive baseline shot (although Sampras would generate some
> nice winners with his go-for-broke approach). This is what I would deem
> the 'old' view of the one-hander, ie: a shot which complements nicely a
> serve/volley game.
>
> Now, you have guys like Blake, and Haas, as two examples, who don't
> have huge serves, but who can hit absolutely punishing one hand
> backhands. Many people still see Blake's backhand as his weak side, but
> if you actually pay attention to his matches nowadays, he can really
> fucking crack them as hard or harder than most two-handers in the game
> with the exception of the really fantastic ones (Safin, Nalbandian to
> an extent).
>
> How about some more examples - Gaudio, Acasuso, even Olivier Rochus,
> whose backhand would possibly be the most impressive shot in tennis if
> he wasn't 5 feet tall.
>
> What I find interesting, is that from what I have observed, the ratio
> of 1hbh to 2hbh in the ATP top-50 is far greater than that same ratio
> among club, or even recreational players. Mind you this is anecdotal
> evidence gained from observations I've made, but there are, IIRC,
> something like 11 or 12 1-handers in the top 50 right now, and I think
> you'd be hard pressed to find a 5-1 ration of 2h to 1h among the
> general tennis playing public, which would suggest that, by and large,
> the one handers achieve success at a greater rate.
>
> Hell, there are 4 one-handers in the top 10 right now, and they are all
> baseliners with, at best, barring Ljubicic, very good serves.


Well, I guess I've used up all my arguments without convincing you.
I'll acknowledge that there are a few 1-handers in the top 10 now. IMO,
none of those backhands are as good as the best two-handers in tennis.
Djokovic, Nadal (because of how amazingly well he defends it),
Nalbandian, etc. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad shots - but Fed
has a few too many backhand breakdowns, especially on clay, Blake's bh
has improved but it's still not near the best. It's a little unfair
with Ljubicic, who has an excellent bh, because he just doesn't move
well enough to compare. Robredo's bh doesn't hold up on fast courts.

Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot? 2. Do you think in
10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
there are now?



30 Jul 2006 17:15:49
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

>
> Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
> in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot?

Its an easier shot to learn and control -- the 2-handed backhand is
much easier for the beginner and people generally tend to stick with
what they have learnt.

I myself started with a 2 hander. It took a muscle pull in my waist to
make me change it to a one handed backhand.

> 2. Do you think in
> 10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
> there are now?
>

Yes.. I think I should qualify it by saying that it depends a bit on
Federer's success. After seeing Federer be so successful with his
shot, I think more and more beginners will try to emulate that
beautiful shot.

Sampras's backhand was nice but no where near the artistic marvel that
Federer's is.

Also, if you notice up until now -- the top players - the so called
tier 1 and tier 2 players are mostly one handers -- I think it speaks a
little for its effectiveness.



30 Jul 2006 19:08:52
ccrevival
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sasidharp wrote:
> >
> > Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
> > in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot?
>
> Its an easier shot to learn and control -- the 2-handed backhand is
> much easier for the beginner and people generally tend to stick with
> what they have learnt.
>
> I myself started with a 2 hander. It took a muscle pull in my waist to
> make me change it to a one handed backhand.
>
> > 2. Do you think in
> > 10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
> > there are now?
> >
>
> Yes.. I think I should qualify it by saying that it depends a bit on
> Federer's success. After seeing Federer be so successful with his
> shot, I think more and more beginners will try to emulate that
> beautiful shot.
>
> Sampras's backhand was nice but no where near the artistic marvel that
> Federer's is.
>
> Also, if you notice up until now -- the top players - the so called
> tier 1 and tier 2 players are mostly one handers -- I think it speaks a
> little for its effectiveness.

There is a trend that I see when it comes to s vs. d hb: players that
are good on slower courts tend to use dhb, while faster court players
tend to stick with shb.

On the slow clay, the standard rally is two right handed players
trading dhb topspin shots until one makes a mistake or takes a chance
and goes down-the-line. Since the ball also travels slower, they have
more time to prepare for those shots. If this is the standard rally,
then shb players are at a distinct disadvantage since dealing with high
bouncing toppers is it's biggest weakness. (OTOH, Nadal, Muster, and
Vilas were so successful on clay because they were/are lefties which
completely threw this standard dhb rallies out of whack.)

Also notice that very few of these "dirtballers" have even a half-way
decent slice. The fact is, the slice is least effective on clay and can
sometimes even be a detriment as it often sits up (instead of skid) on
this rough surface and allow opponents to tee-off on. This puts shb
players on an even more disadvantage since many rely on the slice to
stay in rallies. If you have a dhb and have time, it is better to
always hit with topspin on clay.

On faster surfaces like grass, you see players hit with the shb slices
more because it's where it's most effective, can handle the low
skimming shots since you can hit under the ball, and better defensively
when handling faster approaching shots. Wilander finally won the AO
(grass), the USO, and made the semis at W when he implemented his sh
slice. Without that extra time, most dhb end up hitting the ball
flatter and with less control than usual, allowing oppenents to tee off
on those shots.

Now, obviously there are exceptions: Borg won W 5 times with a dhb and
Lendl and Kurerten won the FO a couple of times. In Borg's case, his
footwork was so good (probably the best of all time) he was still able
to hit the ball effectively without a slice on grass. Lendl was
incredibly strong and was able to hit the bh down-the-line shot better
than anyone I've seen while Guga placed tremendous body rotation and
torque on his bh. The problem Fed has is that he's naturally not that
strong to consistently pound away topspin shb's and he happens to
always meet Nadal who's both a lefty and has a dhb.



31 Jul 2006 12:54:37
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Isaza wrote:
> Well, I guess I've used up all my arguments without convincing you.
> I'll acknowledge that there are a few 1-handers in the top 10 now. IMO,
> none of those backhands are as good as the best two-handers in tennis.
> Djokovic, Nadal (because of how amazingly well he defends it),
> Nalbandian, etc.

I suppose this depends entirely on how you define "good." Haas, for
example, probably hits at least as many backhand winners as either
Nadal or Djokovic. Federer probably hits as many backhand winners as
Nalbandian.

> Don't get me wrong, they're not bad shots - but Fed
> has a few too many backhand breakdowns, especially on clay, Blake's bh
> has improved but it's still not near the best. It's a little unfair
> with Ljubicic, who has an excellent bh, because he just doesn't move
> well enough to compare. Robredo's bh doesn't hold up on fast courts.

Federer has a few too many backhand breakdowns on clay only against
Nadal, when you think about it. And even that mainly because of how
high the ball kicks up. On faster courts, and/or in situations where he
steps into the court to take it early, his backhand is remarkably
effective, and at Wimbledon he was giving Nadal plenty of problems
chasing it down whenever he chose to take the shot early rather than
letting it get high. In general, there are few enough players at the
upper echelon which use that shot that it's hard to really make a good
comparison. When you think about it, there are plenty of top players
who have, at best, an average 2hbh - such as Roddick, Stepanek,
Grosjean, Coria, etc...

Also, let's keep in mind that plenty of players have far more solid
one-handers which not only don't break down, but are at least as
capable as their 2-handed cousins of generating heavy shots in
defensive situations, pinning their opponents down and producing
winners - Gaudio and Kuerten are but two examples of this.

Moreover, focusing once again on defensive abilities, I think that,
just as one example, Federer would not be the great defensive player he
is without his 1hbh. The extra reach and the extra variety simply
allows him to return balls that he otherwise wouldn't be able to put a
racquet on. Sure, a 2-hander allows you to perhaps hit a heavier off of
a defensive reach, but if you are half a foot short of the ball, you're
gonna wish you had a 1-hander.

> Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
> in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot?

Simply because it's the easier shot for children to learn, as it
requires less strength to hit and demands less intensive footwork to
get in position for. Once these kids get older and develop the strength
and speed to properly position themselves and hit one-handed backhands,
very, very few are willing to take the time to make the change. This is
understandable, as it would require either taking time off from the
game or playing with an inferior shot for however long it takes you to
learn the new mechanics and whatnot. But this is the main reason the
shot is so prevalent now, and not because it's inherently superior to
the 1-hander.

> 2. Do you think in 10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 > than there are now?

Yes, I do. Let's face it, the rapid rise in popularity of the 2-hander
in the 80's was due in main part to the sudden success of players using
that shot - Borg, Mecir, Agassi, Connors, etc.. I think, as I said
earlier, that as people begin to see that the 1-hander can challenge
the 2-hander in effectiveness within the modern game, more coaches will
be teaching it to new players, and more new and, perhaps, even existing
players will be driven to adopt it as their backhand shot of choice.



31 Jul 2006 20:24:10
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Dedalus" <indelibo@gmail.com > writes:

>I don't play a lot of tennis but don't most dbh players also play with
>sbh when hitting other more defensive shots? So if we can agree that
>the two hander is better offensively shouldn't a player who plays dbh
>have an advantage over sbh players in the backhand side?

In my opinion, they have a distinct advantage when one considers the
effect over a period of 3-5 sets.


>ccrevival wrote:
>> Sasidharp wrote:
>> > two handers are much superior in terms of offensive ability but the one
>> > hander affords more variety.
>> >
>> > Djokovic's backhand may be 10 times better *offensively* than
>> > Federer's, but I think Federer's backhand is better defensively.
>> >
>> > Nadal's backhand is aite -- but it is nowhere near second best. Even
>> > though it is unfortunate that he isn't playing well nowadays, Safin has
>> > the best backhand I have seen. Even if the rest of the game breaks
>> > down, his backhand remains rock solid.
>> >
>> > Gasquet's backhand looks overrated when compared to massive two handers
>> > like Djokovic's and Safin's -- but it is an excellent shot.
>> >
>> I agree with you on Gasquet's bh being overrated; I saw Gasquet vs. Fed
>> for the first time this W, and was surprised to see how often Roger was
>> able to out back-hand Richard with power, angle, and consistency. It's
>> a good looking stroke and he can crack a monster from that side every
>> now and then, but I think Rich's wind-up is much to long which hurts
>> him on faster courts.
>>
>> As much as I like shb's, it's difficulty in dealing with the high
>> bouncing toppers will always be it's bane. The dhb can crack those
>> shots back with relative ease, but shb must either try to hit the ball
>> really early and on the rise (which is difficult to do consistently),
>> take a step or two back and hit the ball as it falls, or simply slice
>> it back defensively. Fed tries the first option way too often,
>> especially against Nadal, which ultimately hurts him.
>>
>> As Wilander has shown, however, it's possible to have both a good dhb
>> for topspin shots, and shb for slice.



31 Jul 2006 20:38:29
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Adam Thirnis" <adam.thirnis@gmail.com > writes:

>If the one-handed back hand were so fundamentally inferior there's no
>way there could be so many great players with one-handers - it would
>be a weakness that would be simply torn apart by opponents. There may
>be some validity to the view that 2 hands is steadier and more
>consistent especially on clay - but even then there have been plenty of
>recent french winners playing one-handed (guga, gaudio, muster, lendl,
>costa, gomez).

Hooo boy. If Gaudio had played anyone but Coria, hsi name wouldn't be on
that list.

>The real point is how weak a 2 handed bh is on faster surfaces. The
>strength on that side shown by all-court players like federer, mcenroe
>and sampras bewilders opponents for whom steadiness is no substitute
>for avriety when it comes to finishing rallies quickly.

I don't think you know much about tennis.

THe strength of 2HBH is empahsized on faster surfaces. Why? Because on
faster surfaces you frequnetly get to the ball late, and it is much easier
to play the ball late, and still generate either a neutral, or even
offensive shot with a 2H BH than it is with a 1h BH.

Also, many 2H BH players tend ot hit flatter than 1h BH, and the flatter
shot on fast courts is more penetrating.

You seem to think that because Nadal does well agaist Federer on slower
surfaces, and because Nadal has a 2H BH and Federer has a 1H BH, that
makes 2H BH better on slow surfaces. That's a lot like the Music Man
logic, where "...and that starts with 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and
that stands for POOL!". All that's happening is that on slow
courts Nadal is working over Federer's BH with his FH, making Federer play
the BH higher than he wants to.

Where 1H BH has an advantage is the ability to slice in the course of a
rally (see Wimbledon 2006 men's finals), or to slice an approach. I have
yet to see people use 2H BH to do either of these shots consistently and
effectively.


31 Jul 2006 20:53:20
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Habib" <alhabib@gmail.com > writes:

>Isaza wrote:
>> Two main points: How in the world is the 1-hander better for defense?
>> Over the past 15 years or so, it's always the 2-handed guy who is known
>> for great defense - Chang, Hewitt, Coria and now the greatest defensive
>> player ever - Nadal. It's not just that they're fast but also that pace
>> and spin to their backhands bother them less because of the extra
>> support with the additional hand on the racquet. Among the current
>> one-handed players, I think we've already established on this thread
>> that only Federer is a top-notch defensive player and even he does not
>> defend the backhand adequately against the heavy top of Nadal.

>Because it gives you better reach and better variety? Traditionally,
>the one-handed players have been more offensive minded whereas the
>two-handers have preferred sitting at the baseline, hence you think you
>see two-handers employ better defense. But the truth of the matter is
>that the extended reach of the shot allows you to return balls that
>would be out of reach to a two-hander.

When that happens, they through out a one-handed slice--JUST EXACTLY THE
SAME AS A !H BH PERSON DOES.

I'm saying that it's silly to think that when the ball is hit really wide
to the 2H BH player they think: "Oh, well. I can't reach the ball with two
hands on the racquet, so I'll just let it go by..."

That's not what happens. They do the same thing a 1H BH player does when
they're in that kind of trouble: they reach out as far as they can ans
throw up a slice of a lob, and hope to get back into the point.

> Now, you can make the argument
>that two-handed users still switch to a one-hander in desparate
>situations, but the full-time one-handers have far better control when
>it comes to that situation.

No, it is *marginally* better since this only happens when the player is
pushed out to the extreme. I'm saying that any ball that I 1 H player can
get to in time to hit it even semi-offensively, a 2 H BH player can, too,
and it will tend ot be more offensive from any given position on the
court.

Only when the ball is far wide do they go 1 handed, and this is jst as
marginal for a 1h BH player, they are 'way out there where they can only
hit slice or lob.

>Of course, the other reason there are so
>many great 2hbh defenders that is that there are simply more 2hbhers in
>total.

>> Secondly, I don't know where you see this new rise of the 1-handed
>> backhand considering that every up-and-coming player with the possible
>> exception of Gasquet is a two-handed player: Djokovic, Berdych,
>> Monfils, Murray, Tursunov. They're the future of the sport along with
>> Nadal and I would just expect more players like that.

>Of course, most players even rising through the ranks nowadays use
>two-handers, as the trend was made virtually standard practice with
>young players in the mid-to-late 80s. However, it also true that the
>one-hander has only recently become seen as a viable offensive weapon,
>thanks to players like Guga (talk about great defense, jesus), Haas,
>Federer, Gasquet, etc...

>My point, therefore, isn't that there are suddenly a lot of 1hbh users
>now, but rather that there will be far more of them in the near future
>due to the fact that people can now accept it as a possibility
>(obviously you can't, but thankfully some can). Moreover, as technique
>improves - due to the additional attention the stroke will receive -
>the power generated and the things one can do with it will improve as
>well.

Specifically, what techniques might be exploited for the 1 H BH that are
not exploited now? The 1h BH relies on being ot the ball early enough to
get your foot around, get down, and take the ball farther out in front.
You really don;t have to do any of this to hit a decent 2H BH, and *that*
was why 2H Bh became big.


>> Again, it's not that we're never going to see good players with
>> one-handed backhands in the future and it's certainly better to have a
>> good 1-hander than a lousy 2-hander. But as a general rule, those
>> 1-handed players will probably be guys like Sampras, Becker, Rafter,
>> Krajicek, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Mirnyi, etc. whose success in the sport
>> was mainly attributable to having a big serve and a big forehand or
>> great net game. The 2-handed players will continue to be the players
>> who rely on their steadiness, power and defense on that side to win
>> them matches.

>No, your example of the "general rule" is faulty because all of the
>players you mention, with the possible exception of Ljubicic, use
>one-handed backhands as a means to facilitate approaching the net, not
>as an aggressive baseline shot (although Sampras would generate some
>nice winners with his go-for-broke approach). This is what I would deem
>the 'old' view of the one-hander, ie: a shot which complements nicely a
>serve/volley game.

>Now, you have guys like Blake, and Haas, as two examples, who don't
>have huge serves, but who can hit absolutely punishing one hand
>backhands. Many people still see Blake's backhand as his weak side, but
>if you actually pay attention to his matches nowadays, he can really
>fucking crack them as hard or harder than most two-handers in the game
>with the exception of the really fantastic ones (Safin, Nalbandian to
>an extent).

I agree that the power possible not any less (and maybe more) from 2H BH,
but you must hit it from a much smaller envelop than 2h BH.

>How about some more examples - Gaudio, Acasuso, even Olivier Rochus,
>whose backhand would possibly be the most impressive shot in tennis if
>he wasn't 5 feet tall.

>What I find interesting, is that from what I have observed, the ratio
>of 1hbh to 2hbh in the ATP top-50 is far greater than that same ratio
>among club, or even recreational players. Mind you this is anecdotal
>evidence gained from observations I've made, but there are, IIRC,
>something like 11 or 12 1-handers in the top 50 right now, and I think
>you'd be hard pressed to find a 5-1 ration of 2h to 1h among the
>general tennis playing public, which would suggest that, by and large,
>the one handers achieve success at a greater rate.

>Hell, there are 4 one-handers in the top 10 right now, and they are all
>baseliners with, at best, barring Ljubicic, very good serves.




31 Jul 2006 20:55:44
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Isaza" <correodemauricioisaza@hotmail.com > writes:


>Habib wrote:
>> Isaza wrote:
>> > Two main points: How in the world is the 1-hander better for defense?
>> > Over the past 15 years or so, it's always the 2-handed guy who is known
>> > for great defense - Chang, Hewitt, Coria and now the greatest defensive
>> > player ever - Nadal. It's not just that they're fast but also that pace
>> > and spin to their backhands bother them less because of the extra
>> > support with the additional hand on the racquet. Among the current
>> > one-handed players, I think we've already established on this thread
>> > that only Federer is a top-notch defensive player and even he does not
>> > defend the backhand adequately against the heavy top of Nadal.
>>
>> Because it gives you better reach and better variety? Traditionally,
>> the one-handed players have been more offensive minded whereas the
>> two-handers have preferred sitting at the baseline, hence you think you
>> see two-handers employ better defense. But the truth of the matter is
>> that the extended reach of the shot allows you to return balls that
>> would be out of reach to a two-hander. Now, you can make the argument
>> that two-handed users still switch to a one-hander in desparate
>> situations, but the full-time one-handers have far better control when
>> it comes to that situation. Of course, the other reason there are so
>> many great 2hbh defenders that is that there are simply more 2hbhers in
>> total.
>>
>> > Secondly, I don't know where you see this new rise of the 1-handed
>> > backhand considering that every up-and-coming player with the possible
>> > exception of Gasquet is a two-handed player: Djokovic, Berdych,
>> > Monfils, Murray, Tursunov. They're the future of the sport along with
>> > Nadal and I would just expect more players like that.
>>
>> Of course, most players even rising through the ranks nowadays use
>> two-handers, as the trend was made virtually standard practice with
>> young players in the mid-to-late 80s. However, it also true that the
>> one-hander has only recently become seen as a viable offensive weapon,
>> thanks to players like Guga (talk about great defense, jesus), Haas,
>> Federer, Gasquet, etc...
>>
>> My point, therefore, isn't that there are suddenly a lot of 1hbh users
>> now, but rather that there will be far more of them in the near future
>> due to the fact that people can now accept it as a possibility
>> (obviously you can't, but thankfully some can). Moreover, as technique
>> improves - due to the additional attention the stroke will receive -
>> the power generated and the things one can do with it will improve as
>> well.
>>
>> > Again, it's not that we're never going to see good players with
>> > one-handed backhands in the future and it's certainly better to have a
>> > good 1-hander than a lousy 2-hander. But as a general rule, those
>> > 1-handed players will probably be guys like Sampras, Becker, Rafter,
>> > Krajicek, Ljubicic, Karlovic, Mirnyi, etc. whose success in the sport
>> > was mainly attributable to having a big serve and a big forehand or
>> > great net game. The 2-handed players will continue to be the players
>> > who rely on their steadiness, power and defense on that side to win
>> > them matches.
>>
>> No, your example of the "general rule" is faulty because all of the
>> players you mention, with the possible exception of Ljubicic, use
>> one-handed backhands as a means to facilitate approaching the net, not
>> as an aggressive baseline shot (although Sampras would generate some
>> nice winners with his go-for-broke approach). This is what I would deem
>> the 'old' view of the one-hander, ie: a shot which complements nicely a
>> serve/volley game.
>>
>> Now, you have guys like Blake, and Haas, as two examples, who don't
>> have huge serves, but who can hit absolutely punishing one hand
>> backhands. Many people still see Blake's backhand as his weak side, but
>> if you actually pay attention to his matches nowadays, he can really
>> fucking crack them as hard or harder than most two-handers in the game
>> with the exception of the really fantastic ones (Safin, Nalbandian to
>> an extent).
>>
>> How about some more examples - Gaudio, Acasuso, even Olivier Rochus,
>> whose backhand would possibly be the most impressive shot in tennis if
>> he wasn't 5 feet tall.
>>
>> What I find interesting, is that from what I have observed, the ratio
>> of 1hbh to 2hbh in the ATP top-50 is far greater than that same ratio
>> among club, or even recreational players. Mind you this is anecdotal
>> evidence gained from observations I've made, but there are, IIRC,
>> something like 11 or 12 1-handers in the top 50 right now, and I think
>> you'd be hard pressed to find a 5-1 ration of 2h to 1h among the
>> general tennis playing public, which would suggest that, by and large,
>> the one handers achieve success at a greater rate.
>>
>> Hell, there are 4 one-handers in the top 10 right now, and they are all
>> baseliners with, at best, barring Ljubicic, very good serves.


>Well, I guess I've used up all my arguments without convincing you.
>I'll acknowledge that there are a few 1-handers in the top 10 now. IMO,
>none of those backhands are as good as the best two-handers in tennis.
>Djokovic, Nadal (because of how amazingly well he defends it),
>Nalbandian, etc. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad shots - but Fed
>has a few too many backhand breakdowns, especially on clay, Blake's bh
>has improved but it's still not near the best. It's a little unfair
>with Ljubicic, who has an excellent bh, because he just doesn't move
>well enough to compare. Robredo's bh doesn't hold up on fast courts.

>Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
>in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot? 2. Do you think in
>10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
>there are now?

I think that it takes a superiuor athlete to compete successfully with a
1h BH. I would expect to see superior athletes in the top 10. And I would
say that in most cases, they are in the top *in spite* of having a 1 H BH
rather than a 2H BH.



31 Jul 2006 20:57:25
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Sasidharp" <sasidharpv@gmail.com > writes:

>>
>> Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
>> in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot?

>Its an easier shot to learn and control -- the 2-handed backhand is
>much easier for the beginner and people generally tend to stick with
>what they have learnt.

>I myself started with a 2 hander. It took a muscle pull in my waist to
>make me change it to a one handed backhand.

>> 2. Do you think in
>> 10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
>> there are now?
>>

>Yes.. I think I should qualify it by saying that it depends a bit on
>Federer's success. After seeing Federer be so successful with his
>shot, I think more and more beginners will try to emulate that
>beautiful shot.

And because they are not the athlete that Federer is, they would have done
better to stick with the 2h BH.


>Sampras's backhand was nice but no where near the artistic marvel that
>Federer's is.

>Also, if you notice up until now -- the top players - the so called
>tier 1 and tier 2 players are mostly one handers -- I think it speaks a
>little for its effectiveness.

Not necessarily.




31 Jul 2006 14:09:31
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Sawfish wrote:
> "Sasidharp" <sasidharpv@gmail.com> writes:
>
> >>
> >> Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
> >> in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot?
>
> >Its an easier shot to learn and control -- the 2-handed backhand is
> >much easier for the beginner and people generally tend to stick with
> >what they have learnt.
>
> >I myself started with a 2 hander. It took a muscle pull in my waist to
> >make me change it to a one handed backhand.
>
> >> 2. Do you think in
> >> 10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
> >> there are now?
> >>
>
> >Yes.. I think I should qualify it by saying that it depends a bit on
> >Federer's success. After seeing Federer be so successful with his
> >shot, I think more and more beginners will try to emulate that
> >beautiful shot.
>
> And because they are not the athlete that Federer is, they would have done
> better to stick with the 2h BH.
>
>
> >Sampras's backhand was nice but no where near the artistic marvel that
> >Federer's is.
>
> >Also, if you notice up until now -- the top players - the so called
> >tier 1 and tier 2 players are mostly one handers -- I think it speaks a
> >little for its effectiveness.
>
> Not necessarily.

The one handed backhand is also useful for greater variety -- Federer's
slice, and I don't mean the defensive one, is really useful in changing
up the rally and setting up some of his shots.

The slice approach is also better for the one hander.

So, though the two hander may have greater power, the one hander has
greater variety.



31 Jul 2006 14:32:09
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> When that happens, they through out a one-handed slice--JUST EXACTLY THE
> SAME AS A !H BH PERSON DOES.

Right, but the one-handed players naturally handle the one-handed slice
far better than the two-handed bludgeoners.

> I'm saying that it's silly to think that when the ball is hit really wide
> to the 2H BH player they think: "Oh, well. I can't reach the ball with two
> hands on the racquet, so I'll just let it go by..."
>
> That's not what happens. They do the same thing a 1H BH player does when
> they're in that kind of trouble: they reach out as far as they can ans
> throw up a slice of a lob, and hope to get back into the point.

Right, but as I said above, the full time one-handed players, as a
rule, have far better control over their one handed slice, making it a
far, far more useful and variable shot. It's a rare case that a
2-hander will achieve the same mastery of the slice as a 1-hander even
if they practice it.

> No, it is *marginally* better since this only happens when the player is
> pushed out to the extreme. I'm saying that any ball that I 1 H player can
> get to in time to hit it even semi-offensively, a 2 H BH player can, too,
> and it will tend ot be more offensive from any given position on the
> court.

It is not marginally better. A full time one-hander develops much
better muscle control on their backhand side with that one arm, IMO.
This is what makes switching to a one-hander so daunting for 2-handed
players.

> Only when the ball is far wide do they go 1 handed, and this is jst as
> marginal for a 1h BH player, they are 'way out there where they can only
> hit slice or lob.

But, again, they generally hit the slices much better. I think you
simply can't compare the average slice of a 2-hander to the average
slice of a 1-hander.

> Specifically, what techniques might be exploited for the 1 H BH that are
> not exploited now? The 1h BH relies on being ot the ball early enough to
> get your foot around, get down, and take the ball farther out in front.
> You really don;t have to do any of this to hit a decent 2H BH, and *that*
> was why 2H Bh became big.

Ok, first of all, the fact that you have to hit a 1hbh farther in front
is totally irrlevant to the discussion of how 1hbh technique can
evolve. While it's a disadvantage in terms of positioning, it's an
advantage because it allows you to hit a sharper cross court angle than
with a 2-hander. As to your question - it's rather hard to answer, for
the very reason that it's hard to predict where evolution in technique
will go. As I said earlier, the one handed backhand has only recently
become seen as a viable offensive weapon. Prior to this, people didn't
use it as such for a number of reasons, one of them being it's
traditional use as more of a facilitator of coming to net, and another
being that very few people had ever really used it as a reliable
offensive tool. This began to change as recently as 8 years ago with
the rise of players such as Kuerten, whose backhand side was at least
as good as his forehand, and never really broke down. Now you have guys
like Gasquet, who, when his head is on right, can hit one-handed
backhands as hard as anyone can hit a 2-hander. This shows people that
the one hander can be hit with comparable pace, it gives them an idea
of where they can go with the stroke. I don't understand why it's so
hard to imagine that if people see that you can hit a great shot with a
one-hander, that more people will use the one-hander, and that this
increased usage will result in a faster development of newer, more
evolved shot mechanics. Hell, look at the evolution of the forehand. 15
years ago, I doubt many people thought that the forehand could be hit
over 100mph. Yet this is exactly what were are seeing now, and it's due
as much, if not less, to racquet technology as it is to advancements in
analysis and technique.

> I agree that the power possible not any less (and maybe more) from 2H BH,
> but you must hit it from a much smaller envelop than 2h BH.

Sure, but similar arguments can be made about Western grips (which have
to be hit farther out in front) as compared to Eastern grips, and yet
there are advantages to the latter which result in people using it.



31 Jul 2006 14:32:16
=?iso-8859-1?q?Javier_Gonz=E1l
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Sawfish wrote:
> Hooo boy. If Gaudio had played anyone but Coria, hsi name wouldn't be on
> that list.

but if he had lost the final, it wouldn't have been because of his
backhand - Gaudio has an excellent one.



31 Jul 2006 14:34:14
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> I think that it takes a superiuor athlete to compete successfully with a
> 1h BH. I would expect to see superior athletes in the top 10. And I would
> say that in most cases, they are in the top *in spite* of having a 1 H BH
> rather than a 2H BH.

Honestly, you can say the exact same thing about most of the people in
the top-10, and in the top-50, and in the top-100, regardless of how
many hands they use on their backhand side.



31 Jul 2006 14:38:06
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> Hooo boy. If Gaudio had played anyone but Coria, hsi name wouldn't be on
> that list.

Sure, but that's a mental issue, not a physical one. When his brain is
working, Gaudio's backhand is top-10 in the game.



31 Jul 2006 15:53:13
Adam Thirnis
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> "Adam Thirnis" <adam.thirnis@gmail.com> writes:
>
> >If the one-handed back hand were so fundamentally inferior there's no
> >way there could be so many great players with one-handers - it would
> >be a weakness that would be simply torn apart by opponents. There may
> >be some validity to the view that 2 hands is steadier and more
> >consistent especially on clay - but even then there have been plenty of
> >recent french winners playing one-handed (guga, gaudio, muster, lendl,
> >costa, gomez).
>
> Hooo boy. If Gaudio had played anyone but Coria, hsi name wouldn't be on
> that list.

gaudio won the fo. end of story.

> >The real point is how weak a 2 handed bh is on faster surfaces. The
> >strength on that side shown by all-court players like federer, mcenroe
> >and sampras bewilders opponents for whom steadiness is no substitute
> >for avriety when it comes to finishing rallies quickly.
>
> I don't think you know much about tennis.
>
> THe strength of 2HBH is empahsized on faster surfaces. Why? Because on
> faster surfaces you frequnetly get to the ball late, and it is much easier
> to play the ball late, and still generate either a neutral, or even
> offensive shot with a 2H BH than it is with a 1h BH.
>
> Also, many 2H BH players tend ot hit flatter than 1h BH, and the flatter
> shot on fast courts is more penetrating.

yet wimbledon and us open is usually won by a one hander - much more so
than the 2 slams played on slower courts

> You seem to think that because Nadal does well agaist Federer on slower
> surfaces, and because Nadal has a 2H BH and Federer has a 1H BH, that
> makes 2H BH better on slow surfaces. That's a lot like the Music Man
> logic, where "...and that starts with 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and
> that stands for POOL!". All that's happening is that on slow
> courts Nadal is working over Federer's BH with his FH, making Federer play
> the BH higher than he wants to.

what are you talking about? where did I refer to the fed/nadal h2h?

> Where 1H BH has an advantage is the ability to slice in the course of a
> rally (see Wimbledon 2006 men's finals), or to slice an approach. I have
> yet to see people use 2H BH to do either of these shots consistently and
> effectively.

you figured out it's hard to slice with 2 hander? wow you get a star.



31 Jul 2006 15:58:18
Adam Thirnis
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:

> I think that it takes a superiuor athlete to compete successfully with a
> 1h BH. I would expect to see superior athletes in the top 10. And I would
> say that in most cases, they are in the top *in spite* of having a 1 H BH
> rather than a 2H BH.

that's very dumb. if a 1 handed backhand were so fundamentally inferior
at the very top of the sport absolutely noone would be using it.



31 Jul 2006 16:01:14
Adam Thirnis
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:

> I think that it takes a superiuor athlete to compete successfully with a
> 1h BH. I would expect to see superior athletes in the top 10.

ljubicic is one of the "superior athletes" in tennis? lol



31 Jul 2006 16:09:52
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Adam Thirnis wrote:
> ljubicic is one of the "superior athletes" in tennis? lol

Hahaha good point. :-p



01 Aug 2006 03:53:16
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Sasidharp" <sasidharpv@gmail.com > writes:

>Sawfish wrote:
>> "Sasidharp" <sasidharpv@gmail.com> writes:
>>
>> >>
>> >> Two final questions: 1. Why do you think there are so many 2-handed bhs
>> >> in the top 100, if it's not simply the better shot?
>>
>> >Its an easier shot to learn and control -- the 2-handed backhand is
>> >much easier for the beginner and people generally tend to stick with
>> >what they have learnt.
>>
>> >I myself started with a 2 hander. It took a muscle pull in my waist to
>> >make me change it to a one handed backhand.
>>
>> >> 2. Do you think in
>> >> 10 year's time there will be many more 1-handed bhs in the top 100 than
>> >> there are now?
>> >>
>>
>> >Yes.. I think I should qualify it by saying that it depends a bit on
>> >Federer's success. After seeing Federer be so successful with his
>> >shot, I think more and more beginners will try to emulate that
>> >beautiful shot.
>>
>> And because they are not the athlete that Federer is, they would have done
>> better to stick with the 2h BH.
>>
>>
>> >Sampras's backhand was nice but no where near the artistic marvel that
>> >Federer's is.
>>
>> >Also, if you notice up until now -- the top players - the so called
>> >tier 1 and tier 2 players are mostly one handers -- I think it speaks a
>> >little for its effectiveness.
>>
>> Not necessarily.

>The one handed backhand is also useful for greater variety -- Federer's
>slice, and I don't mean the defensive one, is really useful in changing
>up the rally and setting up some of his shots.

This is true, but...

>The slice approach is also better for the one hander.

Completely true.


>So, though the two hander may have greater power, the one hander has
>greater variety.

True, but the trouble with the rally slice is that it is a shot with a
great deal of potential to cause disaster. It is essentailly a touch shot,
in that applying more spin *won't* tend to keep it in the court. It is
controlled as far as depth by height over the net and speed. It has to
drop in, basically.

Added to that, if it is not hit precisely, it sits up, just beginning for
your opponent to go offensive.



01 Aug 2006 04:15:48
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Habib" <alhabib@gmail.com > writes:


>Sawfish wrote:
>> When that happens, they through out a one-handed slice--JUST EXACTLY THE
>> SAME AS A !H BH PERSON DOES.

>Right, but the one-handed players naturally handle the one-handed slice
>far better than the two-handed bludgeoners.

Not that much better for the shot that they are forced to hit: both of
them.

Let me make this clear. For any ball within "normal" range of play, the 2H
BH guy and the 1h BH guy will hit the ball just as they have practiced a
jillion times.

But when the ball is out of the normal range, they are forced to hit what
amounts to a ball that is little more than a prayer. My contention is that
there is no ball within the normal range of play for a 1h BH that is not
alos with the normal range of play for a 2H BH. Think about it: the 1h BH
guy has to step and cross over, there is no chance to hit an effective 1h
BH from an open stance. However, this open shoy is well within the range
of a 2h BH guy, so if anything, his normal range is somewhat briader than
the 1H BH.

When the ball is outside of this range, bith guys basically through the
racquet head at the ball (it's often well behind the optimum strike point
for either a 1H or a 2H), and either do a desperation slice, or a lob.
They are equally weak shots with no menaingfui advantage gong to the 1H
BH.

>> I'm saying that it's silly to think that when the ball is hit really wide
>> to the 2H BH player they think: "Oh, well. I can't reach the ball with two
>> hands on the racquet, so I'll just let it go by..."
>>
>> That's not what happens. They do the same thing a 1H BH player does when
>> they're in that kind of trouble: they reach out as far as they can ans
>> throw up a slice of a lob, and hope to get back into the point.

>Right, but as I said above, the full time one-handed players, as a
>rule, have far better control over their one handed slice, making it a
>far, far more useful and variable shot.

Not when it's far enough out to make a two-hander go with one hand. They
are both up shit's creek at that point.

>It's a rare case that a
>2-hander will achieve the same mastery of the slice as a 1-hander even
>if they practice it.

>> No, it is *marginally* better since this only happens when the player is
>> pushed out to the extreme. I'm saying that any ball that I 1 H player can
>> get to in time to hit it even semi-offensively, a 2 H BH player can, too,
>> and it will tend ot be more offensive from any given position on the
>> court.

>It is not marginally better. A full time one-hander develops much
>better muscle control on their backhand side with that one arm, IMO.
>This is what makes switching to a one-hander so daunting for 2-handed
>players.

We're talking about 2 diffent things, I'm afraid.

What I've seen with 2H BH players I've played is that it is *harder* to
get the 2hBH player to go to one hand than it is to break down a good 1H
BH player's BH. You cna usually break down even a good 1H BH player by
driving your forehand deep to their BH corner. The depth alone will force
them to either get 'way behind the baseline so as to have time to play the
ball in formt of them, or they will have to hit the ball a lot later than
is optimum, usually a slice.

It takes a lot more than this to break down a decent 2H BH.

>> Only when the ball is far wide do they go 1 handed, and this is jst as
>> marginal for a 1h BH player, they are 'way out there where they can only
>> hit slice or lob.

>But, again, they generally hit the slices much better. I think you
>simply can't compare the average slice of a 2-hander to the average
>slice of a 1-hander.

A "rally slice" of a 1H BH is better, as you say, but the kind of 1h BH
that a 2H BH player hits is pure desperation because it is hit so wide.
And guess what? This is the exact same ball that a 1H guy plays the same
way: slice/lob and pray.

>> Specifically, what techniques might be exploited for the 1 H BH that are
>> not exploited now? The 1h BH relies on being ot the ball early enough to
>> get your foot around, get down, and take the ball farther out in front.
>> You really don;t have to do any of this to hit a decent 2H BH, and *that*
>> was why 2H Bh became big.

>Ok, first of all, the fact that you have to hit a 1hbh farther in front
>is totally irrlevant to the discussion of how 1hbh technique can
>evolve. While it's a disadvantage in terms of positioning, it's an
>advantage because it allows you to hit a sharper cross court angle than
>with a 2-hander.

Only if the ball is far enough out in front. Other wise, you need to hit
it down the line or to the middle.

>As to your question - it's rather hard to answer, for
>the very reason that it's hard to predict where evolution in technique
>will go.

That's because there's not much else to be done as regards placement, how
early to hit it, how high to hit it, even in grip variations.

>As I said earlier, the one handed backhand has only recently
>become seen as a viable offensive weapon. Prior to this, people didn't
>use it as such for a number of reasons, one of them being it's
>traditional use as more of a facilitator of coming to net, and another
>being that very few people had ever really used it as a reliable
>offensive tool.

Don't you remember ashe, vilas, newcombe, or laver? Edburg, Becker, for
god's sake?

>This began to change as recently as 8 years ago with
>the rise of players such as Kuerten, whose backhand side was at least
>as good as his forehand, and never really broke down. Now you have guys
>like Gasquet, who, when his head is on right, can hit one-handed
>backhands as hard as anyone can hit a 2-hander.

I agree that the ability to hit the ball hard is not diminished with the
1H BH.

> This shows people that
>the one hander can be hit with comparable pace, it gives them an idea
>of where they can go with the stroke. I don't understand why it's so
>hard to imagine that if people see that you can hit a great shot with a
>one-hander, that more people will use the one-hander, and that this
>increased usage will result in a faster development of newer, more
>evolved shot mechanics. Hell, look at the evolution of the forehand. 15
>years ago, I doubt many people thought that the forehand could be hit
>over 100mph. Yet this is exactly what were are seeing now, and it's due
>as much, if not less, to racquet technology as it is to advancements in
>analysis and technique.

Disagree here. It is primarily racquet technolgy and possibly the
evolutionary climb of the ball bounce as TS took over.

>> I agree that the power possible not any less (and maybe more) from 2H BH,
>> but you must hit it from a much smaller envelop than 2h BH.

>Sure, but similar arguments can be made about Western grips (which have
>to be hit farther out in front) as compared to Eastern grips, and yet
>there are advantages to the latter which result in people using it.

No. The envelop for a forceful 1H BH is much smaller than for a western
FH. And as long as a western FH guy is playing a western FH guy, he'll
never see the biggest weakness of the western FH grip: the low ball.

And if a 1H BH has an advantage, it is right there: you have to hit a
slice (risky shot what requires great talent) that keeps the western FH
guy from gettng the racquer head under the ball with the face open enough
to get the ball over the net with spin.


31 Jul 2006 21:20:01
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


> True, but the trouble with the rally slice is that it is a shot with a
> great deal of potential to cause disaster. It is essentailly a touch shot,
> in that applying more spin *won't* tend to keep it in the court. It is
> controlled as far as depth by height over the net and speed. It has to
> drop in, basically.
>
> Added to that, if it is not hit precisely, it sits up, just beginning for
> your opponent to go offensive.

Oh yes.. I totally agree. The slice, to be used offensively, needs to
be hit a lot flatter than a traditional slice with a lot of spin.
However, if someone slices a ball with a lot of spin, it does sit up --
so it needs to be hit deep in the court to avoid disaster. And, even
then, one gives up the advantage in the rally, unless that someone is
Federer :)



01 Aug 2006 04:21:42
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Adam Thirnis" <adam.thirnis@gmail.com > writes:


>Sawfish wrote:
>> "Adam Thirnis" <adam.thirnis@gmail.com> writes:
>>
>> >If the one-handed back hand were so fundamentally inferior there's no
>> >way there could be so many great players with one-handers - it would
>> >be a weakness that would be simply torn apart by opponents. There may
>> >be some validity to the view that 2 hands is steadier and more
>> >consistent especially on clay - but even then there have been plenty of
>> >recent french winners playing one-handed (guga, gaudio, muster, lendl,
>> >costa, gomez).
>>
>> Hooo boy. If Gaudio had played anyone but Coria, hsi name wouldn't be on
>> that list.

>gaudio won the fo. end of story.

>> >The real point is how weak a 2 handed bh is on faster surfaces. The
>> >strength on that side shown by all-court players like federer, mcenroe
>> >and sampras bewilders opponents for whom steadiness is no substitute
>> >for avriety when it comes to finishing rallies quickly.
>>
>> I don't think you know much about tennis.
>>
>> THe strength of 2HBH is empahsized on faster surfaces. Why? Because on
>> faster surfaces you frequnetly get to the ball late, and it is much easier
>> to play the ball late, and still generate either a neutral, or even
>> offensive shot with a 2H BH than it is with a 1h BH.
>>
>> Also, many 2H BH players tend ot hit flatter than 1h BH, and the flatter
>> shot on fast courts is more penetrating.

>yet wimbledon and us open is usually won by a one hander - much more so
>than the 2 slams played on slower courts

Yep. and that's because 1H BH guys come to the net because they have a BH
slice that the 2H guys don't have. If they are foolish enough ot rally
with 2H BH guys, they had better be Federer.

And *that's* why 1h BH guys have often won at Wimbledon.

As for the US, is this actually the case over the last 20 years? Maybe...

>> You seem to think that because Nadal does well agaist Federer on slower
>> surfaces, and because Nadal has a 2H BH and Federer has a 1H BH, that
>> makes 2H BH better on slow surfaces. That's a lot like the Music Man
>> logic, where "...and that starts with 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and
>> that stands for POOL!". All that's happening is that on slow
>> courts Nadal is working over Federer's BH with his FH, making Federer play
>> the BH higher than he wants to.

>what are you talking about? where did I refer to the fed/nadal h2h?

Then make your point. On what basis do you think that a 2H BH is waeker on
fast surfaces?

>> Where 1H BH has an advantage is the ability to slice in the course of a
>> rally (see Wimbledon 2006 men's finals), or to slice an approach. I have
>> yet to see people use 2H BH to do either of these shots consistently and
>> effectively.

>you figured out it's hard to slice with 2 hander? wow you get a star.



01 Aug 2006 04:22:49
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Adam Thirnis" <adam.thirnis@gmail.com > writes:


>Sawfish wrote:

>> I think that it takes a superiuor athlete to compete successfully with a
>> 1h BH. I would expect to see superior athletes in the top 10. And I would
>> say that in most cases, they are in the top *in spite* of having a 1 H BH
>> rather than a 2H BH.

>that's very dumb. if a 1 handed backhand were so fundamentally inferior
>at the very top of the sport absolutely noone would be using it.

Oh, it has advantages, but not many are good enough athletes to stay in
the point long enough to use them.



01 Aug 2006 04:23:50
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Habib" <alhabib@gmail.com > writes:


>Adam Thirnis wrote:
>> ljubicic is one of the "superior athletes" in tennis? lol

>Hahaha good point. :-p

Yep, he's on his way out.




01 Aug 2006 02:21:00
topspin
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
<SNIP a very interesting discussion >

I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
(arbitrarily) chosen here....

I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.

I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.

So, the question is, why?

Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
suits their preferred style?

or

Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?

Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
prefeerred technique?



01 Aug 2006 02:56:51
topspin
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


topspin wrote:
> Sawfish wrote:
> <SNIP a very interesting discussion>
>
> I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
> round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
> (arbitrarily) chosen here....
>
> I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
> top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
> invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.
>
> I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.
>
> So, the question is, why?
>
> Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
> suits their preferred style?
>
> or
>
> Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
> otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?
>
> Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
> prefeerred technique?

PS Let me make this clear. I am considering players who, at their very
best, are closely matched. Otherwise you are comparing a good player
with Xhbh against a better player with Yhbh - a comparison of players
rather than the technique. So...

Clusters who IMO can be considered closely matched at their best:

Federer/Safin/Nadal/Hewitt/Roddick (I know, I know, but let it ride!)
Ljubicic/Nalbandian/Davydenko/Blake/Gasquet (assuming injury-free and
head screwed on)
Mauresmo/Clijsters/Henin-Hardenne/Davenport/Sharapova
Graf/Seles
Becker/Lendl/Wilander
Navratilova/evert/Court/king
Borg/McEnroe/Connors



01 Aug 2006 05:41:32
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


topspin wrote:
> Sawfish wrote:
> <SNIP a very interesting discussion>
>
> I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
> round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
> (arbitrarily) chosen here....
>
> I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
> top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
> invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.
>
> I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.
>
> So, the question is, why?
>
> Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
> suits their preferred style?
>
> or
>
> Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
> otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?
>
> Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
> prefeerred technique?


I think it's going to far to say that "when two closely matched,
high-level players play ... then almost invariably the 1hbh is the
aggressor."

To cite a few examples from matches I've seen this year:

Acasuso v. Verdasco at Hamburg quarterfinals: Acasuso had his normal
positioning several feet behind the baseline and let Verdasco dictate
but played excellent defense and let the Spaniard beat himself.

Ljubicic v. Monaco at French 3rd round: Ljubicic basically won this
five-setter on defense. True, he did hit plenty of big serves, but
Monaco was dictating play from the baseline and Ljubicic played good,
smart defense to win.

Robredo v. Davydenko at Bastad finals: Even more exaggerated example.
Robredo did almost nothing offensively the entire match, but killed
Davy, who was basically trying to hit a winner within two or three
shots on every point and couldn't keep the ball in the court.

Haas v. Tursunov at L.A. finals: Another example of the 1-hander
getting on the defense to frustrate a bigger-hitting opponent from the
baseline. Incidentally in this match, I didn't think either one of them
did that much offensively with the backhand, but Tursunov's forehand is
clearly the bigger weapon than Haas'

Of course, it's easy to cite examples the other way as well. But I just
thought the word "invariably" was taking it too far.



01 Aug 2006 13:58:56
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"topspin" <goolagongfan@hotmail.com > writes:


>Sawfish wrote:
><SNIP a very interesting discussion>

>I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
>round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
>(arbitrarily) chosen here....

>I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
>top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
>invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.

>I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.

I think you are correct.

>So, the question is, why?

>Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
>suits their preferred style?

In part mabe this is true.

If you serve and volley, there will be many times, on serve or off, that
you will want to approach the net. The very best approach shot, in my
opinion, is (assume right hand) a slice BH down the line. This is
bread-and-butter. It may not work all the time, but it is a very high
percentage of "best chance".

So, if this is true, I would expect to see almost no S&V 2H BH. They do
not have this shot, unless the have developed it separately, it not being
a part of the standard 2H arsenal.

>or

>Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
>otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?

I think there are elements of truth in this, as well. If you get trapped
at the baseline and cannot get them to give you a FH (or a shorter BH) to
hit aggressively, you may be in trouble.

>Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
>prefeerred technique?

I wonder how many 1H BH players evolved into S&V so that they wouldn't
have their BH's worked over? If you are playing another 1H BH, it's a
wash. But if you play a 2h BH, the rally advantage goes to them, in most
cases, all else being equal.

Good discussion!!




01 Aug 2006 07:20:11
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

topspin wrote:
> Sawfish wrote:
> <SNIP a very interesting discussion>
>
> I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
> round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
> (arbitrarily) chosen here....
>
> I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
> top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
> invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.
>
> I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.
>
> So, the question is, why?
>
> Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
> suits their preferred style?
>
> or
>
> Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
> otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?
>
> Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
> prefeerred technique?

Interesting.. well, I think that its a mixture of two things.

I think even the 2hbh player tries to be aggressive when they first
start out with it - but they quickly realise that the 2hbh is more
effective on the baseline for counterpunching, that may explain why
2hbh are not very aggressive.

OTOH, the 1hbh player simply *cannot* possibly counterpunch (with a few
exceptions here and there) from the baseline with a 2hbh player as the
2hbh is simply a safer, more powerful stroke.

Thus, since the 1hbh cannot win from the baseline consistently, the
1hbh player is the first to try and break the status quo by throwing in
slices or coming in to net. The player will try to gain any advantage
early in the rally by using the variety of the 1hbh. Essentially,
since the 1hbh is at its worst when its on the defensive, he tries to
maximise his backhand's strengths and minimise its weaknesses by being
aggressive.

Actually, this aggressive outlook which stems from the inherent
weakness of the backhand helps the entire game of the 1hbh player since
the player will look to be aggressive with his forehand as well, while
the 2hbh will be content by rolling it in nice and deep.

Oh I think that the 2hbh player can be aggressive as well but his
natural niche is on the baseline counterpunching.

And, about whether an aggressive player chooses the 1hbh style or
whether the style fosters aggressiveness -- I think there are examples
of both, but IMO the former is true more often than not. IMO even if a
counterpunching player starts out with a 1hbh, he will abandon it for
the most part since it does not suit his type of game at all.



01 Aug 2006 09:05:27
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Isaza wrote:
> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> best.

I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....



01 Aug 2006 09:06:15
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

Isaza wrote:
> topspin wrote:
> > Sawfish wrote:
> > <SNIP a very interesting discussion>
> >
> > I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
> > round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
> > (arbitrarily) chosen here....
> >
> > I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
> > top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
> > invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.
> >
> > I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.
> >
> > So, the question is, why?
> >
> > Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
> > suits their preferred style?
> >
> > or
> >
> > Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
> > otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?
> >
> > Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
> > prefeerred technique?
>
>
> I think it's going to far to say that "when two closely matched,
> high-level players play ... then almost invariably the 1hbh is the
> aggressor."
>
> To cite a few examples from matches I've seen this year:
>
> Acasuso v. Verdasco at Hamburg quarterfinals: Acasuso had his normal
> positioning several feet behind the baseline and let Verdasco dictate
> but played excellent defense and let the Spaniard beat himself.
>
> Ljubicic v. Monaco at French 3rd round: Ljubicic basically won this
> five-setter on defense. True, he did hit plenty of big serves, but
> Monaco was dictating play from the baseline and Ljubicic played good,
> smart defense to win.
>
> Robredo v. Davydenko at Bastad finals: Even more exaggerated example.
> Robredo did almost nothing offensively the entire match, but killed
> Davy, who was basically trying to hit a winner within two or three
> shots on every point and couldn't keep the ball in the court.
>
> Haas v. Tursunov at L.A. finals: Another example of the 1-hander
> getting on the defense to frustrate a bigger-hitting opponent from the
> baseline. Incidentally in this match, I didn't think either one of them
> did that much offensively with the backhand, but Tursunov's forehand is
> clearly the bigger weapon than Haas'
>
> Of course, it's easy to cite examples the other way as well. But I just
> thought the word "invariably" was taking it too far.

I think you bring up a good point here -- the 1hbh being more
aggressive than the 2hbh is true most of the time but I think that if
you have players like Tursunov or Safin or Davydenko in that match with
Robredo -- basically, a player who goes for winners and big shots --
clearly that player is going to be the aggressor.

This also brings up a nice point -- when the two handed player is ultra
aggressive like a Safin, who has such a beautiful backhand (I naturally
have a predeliction towards 1hbhs but his is just too good), then the
player has the potential to basically blow the other player off the
court.

This brings up interesting points about the aggressive potential of the
2hbh.



01 Aug 2006 16:06:09
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Sasidharp" <sasidharpv@gmail.com > writes:

>topspin wrote:
>> Sawfish wrote:
>> <SNIP a very interesting discussion>
>>
>> I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
>> round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
>> (arbitrarily) chosen here....
>>
>> I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
>> top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
>> invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.
>>
>> I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.
>>
>> So, the question is, why?
>>
>> Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
>> suits their preferred style?
>>
>> or
>>
>> Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
>> otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?
>>
>> Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
>> prefeerred technique?

>Interesting.. well, I think that its a mixture of two things.

>I think even the 2hbh player tries to be aggressive when they first
>start out with it - but they quickly realise that the 2hbh is more
>effective on the baseline for counterpunching, that may explain why
>2hbh are not very aggressive.

>OTOH, the 1hbh player simply *cannot* possibly counterpunch (with a few
>exceptions here and there) from the baseline with a 2hbh player as the
>2hbh is simply a safer, more powerful stroke.

I think that this is very well analyzed--and not merely because I agree
with your conclusion.

I've had this same discussion on rst for several years. What I've had
real trouble doing is to convey the idea that yes, a 1h BH can be hit as
hard (or harder, maybe) than a comparable 2h BH, and yes, it can be every
bit as effect, on a shot-by-shot basis, but over the course of 3-5 sets,
the 2h BH *will* be able to hit the ball more effectively,
percentage-wise.

The way I view it, you hit the ball with any one of three basic
attributes: offensive, neutral, or defensive. I would estimate that out of
any 100 shots to the backhand during a competitive match, the 2H BH will
hit a higher percentage of offensive shots than the 1h BH. By this I mean
that the shot will be deep and well-placed, with decent pace. A shot that
has a chance of making the opponent hit a defensive or neutral shot, but
in very rare cases can they convert it to an offensive shot.

This is not to say that the 2H BH player's strategic game is more
offensive, merely that the BH will tend to have more characteristics of an
offensive shot, more frequently, than a 1H BH player. And I would agree
that the canny 1H BH knows this and will attempt to force the point to a
conclusion more quickly than a 2h BH player.

As a general rule...

>Thus, since the 1hbh cannot win from the baseline consistently, the
>1hbh player is the first to try and break the status quo by throwing in
>slices or coming in to net. The player will try to gain any advantage
>early in the rally by using the variety of the 1hbh. Essentially,
>since the 1hbh is at its worst when its on the defensive, he tries to
>maximise his backhand's strengths and minimise its weaknesses by being
>aggressive.

>Actually, this aggressive outlook which stems from the inherent
>weakness of the backhand helps the entire game of the 1hbh player since
>the player will look to be aggressive with his forehand as well, while
>the 2hbh will be content by rolling it in nice and deep.

>Oh I think that the 2hbh player can be aggressive as well but his
>natural niche is on the baseline counterpunching.

>And, about whether an aggressive player chooses the 1hbh style or
>whether the style fosters aggressiveness -- I think there are examples
>of both, but IMO the former is true more often than not. IMO even if a
>counterpunching player starts out with a 1hbh, he will abandon it for
>the most part since it does not suit his type of game at all.

Good discussion!



01 Aug 2006 09:24:16
topspin
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:

> >And, about whether an aggressive player chooses the 1hbh style or
> >whether the style fosters aggressiveness -- I think there are examples
> >of both, but IMO the former is true more often than not. IMO even if a
> >counterpunching player starts out with a 1hbh, he will abandon it for
> >the most part since it does not suit his type of game at all.
>
> Good discussion!

Just one other comment, and again I'm willing to be proved wrong.

I get the feeling that with a 1 hbh you hit more of a 'stinging' shot,
while with a 2hbh you hit a 'heavier' shot. The difference is, I think,
because you have to hit the 1 hander more cleanly, getting the timing a
bit better. The clean hit means less secondary vibrations, and spin,
which is what makes a shot 'heavy'. I can't explain it better than
that.

Over a long match will that heaviness wear an opponent down, or wear
out the hitter? it depends on the two players, I guess..



01 Aug 2006 09:36:25
topspin
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Isaza wrote:

> Acasuso v. Verdasco at Hamburg quarterfinals: Acasuso had his normal
> positioning several feet behind the baseline and let Verdasco dictate
> but played excellent defense and let the Spaniard beat himself.
>
> Ljubicic v. Monaco at French 3rd round: Ljubicic basically won this
> five-setter on defense. True, he did hit plenty of big serves, but
> Monaco was dictating play from the baseline and Ljubicic played good,
> smart defense to win.
>
> Robredo v. Davydenko at Bastad finals: Even more exaggerated example.
> Robredo did almost nothing offensively the entire match, but killed
> Davy, who was basically trying to hit a winner within two or three
> shots on every point and couldn't keep the ball in the court.

> Of course, it's easy to cite examples the other way as well. But I just
> thought the word "invariably" was taking it too far.

OK, I accept! One other question the above raises is why did Robredo go
1-handed and Verdasco 2, when both are Spanish, presumably learnt on
clay, had similar competitive exposure when young, yet.....?



01 Aug 2006 10:01:14
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


topspin wrote:
> OK, I accept! One other question the above raises is why did Robredo go
> 1-handed and Verdasco 2, when both are Spanish, presumably learnt on
> clay, had similar competitive exposure when young, yet.....?

Probably personal comfort level. I actually think the one-hander is the
more "natural" shot (racquet ball coaches will actually tell you the
backhand is a much simpler and more biomechanically natural shot than
the forehand, it just seems harder because we're not used to using our
arms that way), and the two-hander often requires a coach applying the
technique, although there are always exceptions. In this case, it may
be a matter of what the player was comfortable with when they started,
or it may have been a matter of a coach imposing their view (whichever
that may have been).



01 Aug 2006 17:38:03
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"UC" <uraniumcommittee@yahoo.com > writes:


>Isaza wrote:
>> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
>> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
>> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
>> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
>> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
>> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
>> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
>> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
>> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
>> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
>> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
>> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
>> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
>> best.

>I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
>and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....

That's exactly what I'd expect from a sound 1H BH game: slice BH approach,
often down the line and wide, drifting out, and follow it in. Less often
down the middle and deep, and even less often to their BH, crosscourt.

I would not expect a baseline BH duel. This would play your relative
weakness against their relative strength.


01 Aug 2006 17:47:28
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Habib" <alhabib@gmail.com > writes:


>topspin wrote:
>> OK, I accept! One other question the above raises is why did Robredo go
>> 1-handed and Verdasco 2, when both are Spanish, presumably learnt on
>> clay, had similar competitive exposure when young, yet.....?

>Probably personal comfort level. I actually think the one-hander is the
>more "natural" shot (racquet ball coaches will actually tell you the
>backhand is a much simpler and more biomechanically natural shot than
>the forehand, it just seems harder because we're not used to using our
>arms that way), and the two-hander often requires a coach applying the
>technique, although there are always exceptions. In this case, it may
>be a matter of what the player was comfortable with when they started,
>or it may have been a matter of a coach imposing their view (whichever
>that may have been).

I think people often repeat truisms without questioning them in depth.

I agree that they 1 H BH is a more "natural", less constricted stroke than
the FH. The probelm is that to hit that beautiful, flowing stroke, you
have to work 'way harder to get there and get set up than you do on the
FH. You can get there late, hit open, hit when the ball is back closer
than is optimum, basically muscle the ball back pretty effectively.

And everything I just said about the FH is also pretty much descriptive of
the 2H BH, too. You can just get away with a lot more, and over the course
of 3-5 sets, this can make a big difference, all else remaining equal.

As far as I'm concerned, hitting a good 1H BH is a lot like throwing a
frisbee in the conventional manner. Just try throwing the frisbee from an
open stance, and that easy flowing motion takes a hike.


02 Aug 2006 06:11:10
Whisper
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

UC wrote:
> Isaza wrote:
>
>>At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
>>one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
>>clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
>>Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
>>tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
>>well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
>>say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
>>best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
>>against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
>>Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
>>the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
>>five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
>>this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
>>best.
>
>
> I kill people with two-handers.

What, literally? The bumrooter serial killer...?


01 Aug 2006 22:19:01
One
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Isaza" <correodemauricioisaza@hotmail.com > wrote in
news:1154220942.393474.226450@m79g2000cwm.googlegroups.com:

> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> best.


Of the last 40 slams played 22 have been won by one-handers. So the 2
handed bh does not rule - simple as that.



01 Aug 2006 22:23:46
One
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

One <One@hotmail.com > wrote in news:Xns9812D8EF7A1B5One@217.22.228.20:

> "Isaza" <correodemauricioisaza@hotmail.com> wrote in
> news:1154220942.393474.226450@m79g2000cwm.googlegroups.com:
>
>> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
>> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
>> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
>> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
>> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
>> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
>> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
>> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
>> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
>> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
>> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
>> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
>> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
>> best.
>
>
> Of the last 40 slams played 22 have been won by one-handers. So the 2
> handed bh does not rule - simple as that.
>

And of the last 100 - 62 have been won by one handers.



01 Aug 2006 14:13:36
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


One wrote:
> One <One@hotmail.com> wrote in news:Xns9812D8EF7A1B5One@217.22.228.20:
>
> > "Isaza" <correodemauricioisaza@hotmail.com> wrote in
> > news:1154220942.393474.226450@m79g2000cwm.googlegroups.com:
> >
> >> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> >> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> >> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> >> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> >> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> >> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> >> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> >> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> >> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> >> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> >> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> >> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> >> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> >> best.
> >
> >
> > Of the last 40 slams played 22 have been won by one-handers. So the 2
> > handed bh does not rule - simple as that.
> >
>
> And of the last 100 - 62 have been won by one handers.

See, the two-handers are catching up!! Anyway, most of those wins are
Sampras and Fed, with a little Rafter thrown in. Neither of those 3
players would be on anyone's top 5 list for backhands.



01 Aug 2006 14:16:40
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> "Sasidharp" <sasidharpv@gmail.com> writes:
>
> >topspin wrote:
> >> Sawfish wrote:
> >> <SNIP a very interesting discussion>
> >>
> >> I am enjoying this discussion very much, with lots of good points all
> >> round. I am not sure which thread to add this comment to, so I have
> >> (arbitrarily) chosen here....
> >>
> >> I think it is a truism that where you have two closely matched,
> >> top-level, players and one is a 1hbh and the other is 2hbh, then almost
> >> invariably the 1hbh is the aggressor.
> >>
> >> I am happy for counter-examples, but I think it is mostly true.
> >>
> >> So, the question is, why?
> >>
> >> Is it because a naturally aggressive player finds the 1hbh technique
> >> suits their preferred style?
> >>
> >> or
> >>
> >> Is it that a player with a 1hbh technique has to be aggressive,
> >> otherwise the 2hbh will dominate?
> >>
> >> Which comes first - the player's preferred style of play, or their
> >> prefeerred technique?
>
> >Interesting.. well, I think that its a mixture of two things.
>
> >I think even the 2hbh player tries to be aggressive when they first
> >start out with it - but they quickly realise that the 2hbh is more
> >effective on the baseline for counterpunching, that may explain why
> >2hbh are not very aggressive.
>
> >OTOH, the 1hbh player simply *cannot* possibly counterpunch (with a few
> >exceptions here and there) from the baseline with a 2hbh player as the
> >2hbh is simply a safer, more powerful stroke.
>
> I think that this is very well analyzed--and not merely because I agree
> with your conclusion.
>
> I've had this same discussion on rst for several years. What I've had
> real trouble doing is to convey the idea that yes, a 1h BH can be hit as
> hard (or harder, maybe) than a comparable 2h BH, and yes, it can be every
> bit as effect, on a shot-by-shot basis, but over the course of 3-5 sets,
> the 2h BH *will* be able to hit the ball more effectively,
> percentage-wise.
>
> The way I view it, you hit the ball with any one of three basic
> attributes: offensive, neutral, or defensive. I would estimate that out of
> any 100 shots to the backhand during a competitive match, the 2H BH will
> hit a higher percentage of offensive shots than the 1h BH.

Utter bullshit. You have no fucking clue what you are talking about.

> By this I mean
> that the shot will be deep and well-placed, with decent pace. A shot that
> has a chance of making the opponent hit a defensive or neutral shot, but
> in very rare cases can they convert it to an offensive shot.
>
> This is not to say that the 2H BH player's strategic game is more
> offensive, merely that the BH will tend to have more characteristics of an
> offensive shot, more frequently, than a 1H BH player.

Bullshit. No me!

> And I would agree
> that the canny 1H BH knows this and will attempt to force the point to a
> conclusion more quickly than a 2h BH player.
>
> As a general rule...

Moron...
>
> >Thus, since the 1hbh cannot win from the baseline consistently, the
> >1hbh player is the first to try and break the status quo by throwing in
> >slices or coming in to net. The player will try to gain any advantage
> >early in the rally by using the variety of the 1hbh. Essentially,
> >since the 1hbh is at its worst when its on the defensive, he tries to
> >maximise his backhand's strengths and minimise its weaknesses by being
> >aggressive.
>
> >Actually, this aggressive outlook which stems from the inherent
> >weakness of the backhand helps the entire game of the 1hbh player since
> >the player will look to be aggressive with his forehand as well, while
> >the 2hbh will be content by rolling it in nice and deep.
>
> >Oh I think that the 2hbh player can be aggressive as well but his
> >natural niche is on the baseline counterpunching.
>
> >And, about whether an aggressive player chooses the 1hbh style or
> >whether the style fosters aggressiveness -- I think there are examples
> >of both, but IMO the former is true more often than not. IMO even if a
> >counterpunching player starts out with a 1hbh, he will abandon it for
> >the most part since it does not suit his type of game at all.
>
> Good discussion!



01 Aug 2006 14:18:33
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> "UC" <uraniumcommittee@yahoo.com> writes:
>
>
> >Isaza wrote:
> >> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> >> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> >> clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> >> Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> >> tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> >> well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> >> say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> >> best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> >> against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> >> Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> >> the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> >> five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> >> this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> >> best.
>
> >I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
> >and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....
>
> That's exactly what I'd expect from a sound 1H BH game: slice BH approach,
> often down the line and wide, drifting out, and follow it in. Less often
> down the middle and deep, and even less often to their BH, crosscourt.
>
> I would not expect a baseline BH duel. This would play your relative
> weakness against their relative strength.

I hardly ever rally from the baseline. It's immediately to the net!



01 Aug 2006 14:47:03
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


UC wrote:
> I hardly ever rally from the baseline. It's immediately to the net!

Which basically reinforces his point.



01 Aug 2006 22:42:34
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"Habib" <alhabib@gmail.com > writes:


>UC wrote:
>> I hardly ever rally from the baseline. It's immediately to the net!

>Which basically reinforces his point.

Show a little mercy. That might cause him to think...



01 Aug 2006 16:26:35
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


UC wrote:
> Isaza wrote:
> > At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> > one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> > clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> > Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> > tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> > well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> > say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> > best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> > against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> > Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> > the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> > five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> > this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> > best.
>
> I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
> and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....


But what happens when you execute the same play to 1-handers? If your
slice approach is that good, you no doubt get sitter volleys from them
too.

Who would you rather hit a knifing approach shot against, Haas or Nadal?



01 Aug 2006 22:15:56
drew
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Isaza wrote:
> At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> clearly superior.

Yeah. How many guys who hit the backhand with one hand have a backhand
that is as good or better than their forehand?

Federer is like Sampras in as much as players will start to succeed
against him by hitting to his backhand all the time.



02 Aug 2006 05:58:02
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Isaza wrote:
> UC wrote:
> > Isaza wrote:
> > > At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> > > one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> > > clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> > > Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> > > tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> > > well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> > > say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> > > best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> > > against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> > > Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> > > the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> > > five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> > > this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> > > best.
> >
> > I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
> > and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....
>
>
> But what happens when you execute the same play to 1-handers? If your
> slice approach is that good, you no doubt get sitter volleys from them
> too.
>
> Who would you rather hit a knifing approach shot against, Haas or Nadal?

I don't know Haaa or his game. You have to slice with pace. A lot of
pros today put too much backspin on the ball. I'm talking about a
hard-hit slice (made by leaning into the shot), not a wimpy shot.



02 Aug 2006 15:07:22
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"UC" <uraniumcommittee@yahoo.com > writes:


>Isaza wrote:
>> UC wrote:
>> > Isaza wrote:
>> > > At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
>> > > one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
>> > > clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
>> > > Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
>> > > tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
>> > > well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
>> > > say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
>> > > best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
>> > > against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
>> > > Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
>> > > the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
>> > > five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
>> > > this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
>> > > best.
>> >
>> > I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
>> > and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....
>>
>>
>> But what happens when you execute the same play to 1-handers? If your
>> slice approach is that good, you no doubt get sitter volleys from them
>> too.
>>
>> Who would you rather hit a knifing approach shot against, Haas or Nadal?

>I don't know Haaa or his game. You have to slice with pace. A lot of
>pros today put too much backspin on the ball. I'm talking about a
>hard-hit slice (made by leaning into the shot), not a wimpy shot.

I know what you're talking about, but just want to make it clear that
you're describing what is perhaps the single biggest advantage that 1H BH
has over 2H BH: a low slicing approach shot off of a shot that alows you
to start coming in and punch that slice low and hard.

For me, the best brand of this was a moderately short ball to my BH that
allowed me to come in, slice the ball down the line--running away form a
righthander's FH, and just keep coming on in to set up for the first
volley.

I'm not sure I've ever seena 2H BH player use this consistently. I don;t
think they can, without a lot of additional work.

But if you want to rally, it's another story, entirely.


02 Aug 2006 08:32:56
topspin
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:

> For me, the best brand of this was a moderately short ball to my BH that
> allowed me to come in, slice the ball down the line--running away form a
> righthander's FH, and just keep coming on in to set up for the first
> volley.
>
> I'm not sure I've ever seena 2H BH player use this consistently. I don;t
> think they can, without a lot of additional work.
>
> But if you want to rally, it's another story, entirely.

Two comments

I agree with the above completely, and I would add the other advantage
is the half-volley pickup, and transitioning into the volley. A
2-hander is just much more awkward, or you have to change from 2 hands
to 1, and it is just much easier if you don't have to think about it.

OTOH

I think UC is kidding himself! He can slice low and wide if his
opponent allows him, by hitting the shot you describe above. I maintain
if that is the case, he is not playing a good player, and if they are
closely matched.....

How does a 1-hander deal with a high kicking serve to his backand,
which is at his shoulder or above, especially from a lefty? Either
he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
impossible, or he/she takes it high, when the hard under slice is again
impossible. The only options are to hit a topspin early and low, or a
side-slice floater late, from high.

I maintain my original thesis - neither the 1-hander or the 2-hander is
the best. They depend on surface, and style match-ups. A 2-hander looks
great when the ball arrives between waist and shoulder, within a step
or two. Similarly a 1-hander looks great at knee level, or lower.
Outside those parameters....



02 Aug 2006 14:10:39
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> "UC" <uraniumcommittee@yahoo.com> writes:
>
>
> >Isaza wrote:
> >> UC wrote:
> >> > Isaza wrote:
> >> > > At the risk of being crucified by all of you who love stylish-looking
> >> > > one-handed backhands, I have to say that the two-handed backhand is
> >> > > clearly superior. I've had the chance to watch a little of Novak
> >> > > Djokovic play recently and I have to say he has the best backhand in
> >> > > tennis. He drives winners all over the court; he defends it supremely
> >> > > well, he has a great drop shot. To quote Sergi Bruguera, I'd have to
> >> > > say Djokovic's backhand is "10 times better" than Federer's!!! Second
> >> > > best backhand, I'd give to Nadal. It was amazing how well he hit it
> >> > > against Roger in the Wimbledon final. Also up there are Nalbandian and
> >> > > Tomas Berdych. Gasquet, by the way, isn't in those players' league on
> >> > > the backhand because he defends it so poorly. I think Fed lost about
> >> > > five points on his serve when they played at Indian Wells. Not that
> >> > > this is any scoop, but Federer's backhand also isn't close to being the
> >> > > best.
> >> >
> >> > I kill people with two-handers. I just slice low and wide, then come in
> >> > and volley the puffball away. Piece of cake....
> >>
> >>
> >> But what happens when you execute the same play to 1-handers? If your
> >> slice approach is that good, you no doubt get sitter volleys from them
> >> too.
> >>
> >> Who would you rather hit a knifing approach shot against, Haas or Nadal?
>
> >I don't know Haaa or his game. You have to slice with pace. A lot of
> >pros today put too much backspin on the ball. I'm talking about a
> >hard-hit slice (made by leaning into the shot), not a wimpy shot.
>
> I know what you're talking about, but just want to make it clear that
> you're describing what is perhaps the single biggest advantage that 1H BH
> has over 2H BH: a low slicing approach shot off of a shot that alows you
> to start coming in and punch that slice low and hard.
>
> For me, the best brand of this was a moderately short ball to my BH that
> allowed me to come in, slice the ball down the line--running away form a
> righthander's FH, and just keep coming on in to set up for the first
> volley.
>
> I'm not sure I've ever seena 2H BH player use this consistently. I don;t
> think they can, without a lot of additional work.

It's not a typical shot for them.
>
> But if you want to rally, it's another story, entirely.



02 Aug 2006 14:14:03
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


topspin wrote:
> Sawfish wrote:
>
> > For me, the best brand of this was a moderately short ball to my BH that
> > allowed me to come in, slice the ball down the line--running away form a
> > righthander's FH, and just keep coming on in to set up for the first
> > volley.
> >
> > I'm not sure I've ever seena 2H BH player use this consistently. I don;t
> > think they can, without a lot of additional work.
> >
> > But if you want to rally, it's another story, entirely.
>
> Two comments
>
> I agree with the above completely, and I would add the other advantage
> is the half-volley pickup, and transitioning into the volley. A
> 2-hander is just much more awkward, or you have to change from 2 hands
> to 1, and it is just much easier if you don't have to think about it.
>
> OTOH
>
> I think UC is kidding himself! He can slice low and wide if his
> opponent allows him, by hitting the shot you describe above. I maintain
> if that is the case, he is not playing a good player, and if they are
> closely matched.....
>
> How does a 1-hander deal with a high kicking serve to his backand,
> which is at his shoulder or above, especially from a lefty?

I'm short. Nothing curess that. I can try to pick it up early and
either top it or slice it.

>Either
> he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
> impossible, or he/she takes it high, when the hard under slice is again
> impossible. The only options are to hit a topspin early and low, or a
> side-slice floater late, from high.

We were discussing BH slice approaches. Are you lost?
>
> I maintain my original thesis - neither the 1-hander or the 2-hander is
> the best. They depend on surface, and style match-ups. A 2-hander looks
> great when the ball arrives between waist and shoulder, within a step
> or two. Similarly a 1-hander looks great at knee level, or lower.
> Outside those parameters....



02 Aug 2006 16:10:30
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


drew wrote:
> Yeah. How many guys who hit the backhand with one hand have a backhand
> that is as good or better than their forehand?

Edberg. Henman. Olivier Rochus. Gasquet. Haas, arguably. Acasuso.
Ljubicic. Gaudio, arguably. Bracciali, from what I've seen, which
hasn't been much. Kuerten is a close call, as well. Me. Mauresmo. :-P

How many guys who hit their backhand with two hands have a backhand
that is as good or better than their forehand?

> Federer is like Sampras in as much as players will start to succeed
> against him by hitting to his backhand all the time.

Sure, but Sampras and Federer aren't the best examples as their
forehands are not only miles ahead of their backhands, but miles ahead
of virtually everyone else's forehands, as well. Going to their
forehands is/was basically a death sentence, so of course people will
focus on the backhand - which is a relative weakness, not necessarily a
glaring one (except when considering high, high kicking balls and, in
Sampras' case, consistency).



02 Aug 2006 18:14:43
Sasidharp
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

>
> I'm short. Nothing curess that. I can try to pick it up early and
> either top it or slice it.
>

Take it early and SLICE IT?!!!! Wow, I would love to see that one -- I
don't think even the pros go near that shot. It isn't just difficult
its nigh impossible.

> >Either
> > he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
> > impossible, or he/she takes it high, when the hard under slice is again
> > impossible. The only options are to hit a topspin early and low, or a
> > side-slice floater late, from high.
>
> We were discussing BH slice approaches. Are you lost?
> >
> > I maintain my original thesis - neither the 1-hander or the 2-hander is
> > the best. They depend on surface, and style match-ups. A 2-hander looks
> > great when the ball arrives between waist and shoulder, within a step
> > or two. Similarly a 1-hander looks great at knee level, or lower.
> > Outside those parameters....

I agree partiallly with your premise i.e. I think that you are right
about the comfort zones, but I think the 2-hander spans a greater range
of shots. The low ball is tougher to hit but Agassi did it decently,
imo the disadvantages of the 1-hander outweigh that of the 2-hander's.



03 Aug 2006 06:17:53
UC
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sasidharp wrote:
> >
> > I'm short. Nothing curess that. I can try to pick it up early and
> > either top it or slice it.
> >
>
> Take it early and SLICE IT?!!!! Wow, I would love to see that one -- I
> don't think even the pros go near that shot. It isn't just difficult
> its nigh impossible.

Not if you take it early.

>
> > >Either
> > > he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
> > > impossible, or he/she takes it high, when the hard under slice is again
> > > impossible. The only options are to hit a topspin early and low, or a
> > > side-slice floater late, from high.
> >
> > We were discussing BH slice approaches. Are you lost?
> > >
> > > I maintain my original thesis - neither the 1-hander or the 2-hander is
> > > the best. They depend on surface, and style match-ups. A 2-hander looks
> > > great when the ball arrives between waist and shoulder, within a step
> > > or two. Similarly a 1-hander looks great at knee level, or lower.
> > > Outside those parameters....
>
> I agree partiallly with your premise i.e. I think that you are right
> about the comfort zones, but I think the 2-hander spans a greater range
> of shots. The low ball is tougher to hit but Agassi did it decently,
> imo the disadvantages of the 1-hander outweigh that of the 2-hander's.



03 Aug 2006 12:14:48
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


topspin wrote:
> Sawfish wrote:
>
> > For me, the best brand of this was a moderately short ball to my BH that
> > allowed me to come in, slice the ball down the line--running away form a
> > righthander's FH, and just keep coming on in to set up for the first
> > volley.
> >
> > I'm not sure I've ever seena 2H BH player use this consistently. I don;t
> > think they can, without a lot of additional work.
> >
> > But if you want to rally, it's another story, entirely.
>
> Two comments
>
> I agree with the above completely, and I would add the other advantage
> is the half-volley pickup, and transitioning into the volley. A
> 2-hander is just much more awkward, or you have to change from 2 hands
> to 1, and it is just much easier if you don't have to think about it.
>
> OTOH
>
> I think UC is kidding himself! He can slice low and wide if his
> opponent allows him, by hitting the shot you describe above. I maintain
> if that is the case, he is not playing a good player, and if they are
> closely matched.....

I agree with this. If I see such a ball come my way, it means my
opponent has made a mistake (or I have forced one), and I had better
take advantage of it ASAP, since they may not let me see anoth chance
like this often.

>
> How does a 1-hander deal with a high kicking serve to his backand,
> which is at his shoulder or above, especially from a lefty? Either
> he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
> impossible,

I thik you can slice this ball, but being lower than the net when you
hit it, it will impart spin that will make it sit up.

> or he/she takes it high, when the hard under slice is again
> impossible. The only options are to hit a topspin early and low,

That's hard to do consistently, off of a good serve!

> or a
> side-slice floater late, from high.
>
> I maintain my original thesis - neither the 1-hander or the 2-hander is
> the best. They depend on surface, and style match-ups. A 2-hander looks
> great when the ball arrives between waist and shoulder, within a step
> or two. Similarly a 1-hander looks great at knee level, or lower.
> Outside those parameters....

Right. I agree. My only point was that *I* believe that the envelop for
1H BH is smaller than for 2H BH.



03 Aug 2006 12:43:50
drew
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Habib wrote:
> drew wrote:
> > Yeah. How many guys who hit the backhand with one hand have a backhand
> > that is as good or better than their forehand?
>
> Edberg.

Agreed. Forehand was not so good.

Henman.

I don't think so.

Olivier Rochus.

I'll have to pay attention.

Gasquet.

Yes, beautiful one-hander.

Acasuso.

Who?


> How many guys who hit their backhand with two hands have a backhand
> that is as good or better than their forehand?

Me for sure. Most guys have better control with their two handed
stroke than their one hander. Safin, Connors, Agassi come to mind
immediately. When slice was the primary backhand stroke it was
different. Hitting aggressive backhands with topspin or flat with one
hand is tough. So much easier to do it with two hands.


>
> > Federer is like Sampras in as much as players will start to succeed
> > against him by hitting to his backhand all the time.
>
> Sure, but Sampras and Federer aren't the best examples as their
> forehands are not only miles ahead of their backhands, but miles ahead
> of virtually everyone else's forehands, as well.

I think they are good examples because they are two of the best ever
who use one hand and yet their backhands are/were less effective than
some lesser players. Coincidence? Maybe not.



03 Aug 2006 12:48:44
Isaza
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule



>
> Olivier Rochus.
>
> I'll have to pay attention.

> Acasuso.
>
> Who?

Acasuso does have a great one-hander, at least on clay. He can rip
down-the-line winners from about five feet behind the baseline. Rochus
also has a great one-hander but his forehand is so good too that I
don't know if I'd say the backhand is better.



03 Aug 2006 16:16:27
pltrgyst
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

On 3 Aug 2006 12:14:48 -0700, mtn@sawfish.com wrote:

>
>topspin wrote:
>> Sawfish wrote:
>>
>> How does a 1-hander deal with a high kicking serve to his backand,
>> which is at his shoulder or above, especially from a lefty? Either
>> he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
>> impossible,
>
>I thik you can slice this ball, but being lower than the net when you
>hit it, it will impart spin that will make it sit up.

Taking it early doesn't necessarily mean lower than the net. If it's a high
kicker, you can play it at any height you want. I'd take it at waist-high or
slightly above, weight forward, arm locked, to slice it right back at the
server. Often it will come in at his feet if he's coming to net. So long as it's
struck firmly and flat, it will not sit up; it will skid, and stay lower.

Going down the line with this return is a very low percentage shot.

-- Larry



03 Aug 2006 13:25:57
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

drew wrote:
> > Edberg.
>
> Agreed. Forehand was not so good.

More than that - his backhand was fantastic.

> Henman.
>
> I don't think so.

It is - his forehand is far more prone to breaking down.

> Olivier Rochus.
>
> I'll have to pay attention.

Do so, he hits a beautiful 1hbh, often launching himself into the air
to rip winners.

> Acasuso.
>
> Who?

His backhand almost single-handedly (HAH!) beat Roddick at the FO last
year.

> > How many guys who hit their backhand with two hands have a backhand
> > that is as good or better than their forehand?
>
> Me for sure. Most guys have better control with their two handed
> stroke than their one hander. Safin, Connors, Agassi come to mind
> immediately.

And to an extent Fish, Nalbandian, etc..., the point is that, IMO,
there is no large discrepancy between 1h and 2h backhanded players when
it comes to backhand effectiveness vs. forehand effectiveness.

> > Sure, but Sampras and Federer aren't the best examples as their
> > forehands are not only miles ahead of their backhands, but miles ahead
> > of virtually everyone else's forehands, as well.
>
> I think they are good examples because they are two of the best ever
> who use one hand and yet their backhands are/were less effective than
> some lesser players. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Eh, I don't know about this argument, Drew. Statistically, even the
best players will have at least one aspect of their game which isn't
that great - for Sampras it was his backhand, his stamina, and, to an
extent, his movement (don't get me wrong he was a fantastic mover, but
there were lesser players who still moved better). Federer has, IMO, a
better backhand than Sampras, and one which stacks up far better
against the competition. During their meeting at IW, Blake's brother
even commented at one point in the match that Federer was going
backhand-vs-forehand against James, and winning most of those
encounters.

In any case, my main point is that, as I mentioned earlier, for the
most part, when looking at percentages, there are just as many
one-handers with a better backhand than forehand as there are
two-handers. In fact, considering how many out of the current top 50 or
even top-100 have a better backhand side, one could even make the
argument that one-handers are more prone to have a better backhand than
forehand than two-handers are.



03 Aug 2006 20:05:21
drew
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Habib wrote:
> In any case, my main point is that, as I mentioned earlier, for the
> most part, when looking at percentages, there are just as many
> one-handers with a better backhand than forehand as there are
> two-handers. In fact, considering how many out of the current top 50 or
> even top-100 have a better backhand side, one could even make the
> argument that one-handers are more prone to have a better backhand than
> forehand than two-handers are.

Those who can successfully master the one-handed backhand tend to use
it effectively. I don't like Federer's backhand. His slice is good
but the topspin is short and lacks pop. Sampras' backhand was OK early
career and degenerated into something ugly in the last 3 or 4 years of
his career. Who knows why. It amazes me still that Graf was so
effective with so little confidence in the topspin backhand. She could
hit it but did so rarely in a rally.

Most of the guys who play at club level have difficulty ripping a
one-handed backhand while they may have decent slice backhands. There
are always exceptions. I played a guy who was probably 3.5 in singles
and he had a great topspin backhand one-handed. Like the rest of his
game it was inconsistent but the form was perfect.



04 Aug 2006 15:10:54
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

pltrgyst <pltrgyst@spamlessxhost.org > writes:

>On 3 Aug 2006 12:14:48 -0700, mtn@sawfish.com wrote:

>>
>>topspin wrote:
>>> Sawfish wrote:
>>>
>>> How does a 1-hander deal with a high kicking serve to his backand,
>>> which is at his shoulder or above, especially from a lefty? Either
>>> he/she steps in early, when the sort of slice UC describes is
>>> impossible,
>>
>>I thik you can slice this ball, but being lower than the net when you
>>hit it, it will impart spin that will make it sit up.

>Taking it early doesn't necessarily mean lower than the net. If it's a high
>kicker, you can play it at any height you want. I'd take it at waist-high or
>slightly above, weight forward, arm locked, to slice it right back at the
>server. Often it will come in at his feet if he's coming to net. So long as it's
>struck firmly and flat, it will not sit up; it will skid, and stay lower.

>Going down the line with this return is a very low percentage shot.

All of this is within the realm of possibility, but is fairly difficult to
do. I'd agree that if you are facing an effective server you will quickly
develop skills like you describe, or you'll lose to them.

I also agree that taking a serve early is a great advantage. By default, I
will start a match crwoing the service line for returning the serve, and
only move back off of it if forced to.



04 Aug 2006 15:28:25
Sawfish
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule

"drew" <drew@technologist.com > writes:


>Habib wrote:
>> In any case, my main point is that, as I mentioned earlier, for the
>> most part, when looking at percentages, there are just as many
>> one-handers with a better backhand than forehand as there are
>> two-handers. In fact, considering how many out of the current top 50 or
>> even top-100 have a better backhand side, one could even make the
>> argument that one-handers are more prone to have a better backhand than
>> forehand than two-handers are.

>Those who can successfully master the one-handed backhand tend to use
>it effectively. I don't like Federer's backhand. His slice is good
>but the topspin is short and lacks pop. Sampras' backhand was OK early
>career and degenerated into something ugly in the last 3 or 4 years of
>his career. Who knows why. It amazes me still that Graf was so
>effective with so little confidence in the topspin backhand. She could
>hit it but did so rarely in a rally.

Sampras's easrly backhand looked to me like he had modelled it off of
Lendl's.

What amazed me about Graf on the BH side was how often she got away with
that slice. It was a good rally shot in part because her opponents seldom
attacked it. It wasn't all that low or penetrating, but was at least deep
most of the time.

For a very pretty, but questionable BH, try Sabatini. Very deep and loopy,
but not a shot that was offensive. She seldom got anyone introuble with
that shot, but was seldom beaten up because of it either.

And her backhand appeared to me to have been modelled after Vilas'.

>Most of the guys who play at club level have difficulty ripping a
>one-handed backhand while they may have decent slice backhands. There
>are always exceptions. I played a guy who was probably 3.5 in singles
>and he had a great topspin backhand one-handed. Like the rest of his
>game it was inconsistent but the form was perfect.

Yes. I understand. Hiting these great driving 1H BH with some amount of TS
requires getting there in time to get turned and to take the ball farther
in front than is necessary for a slice. That's why (I think) you see more
slice or flat at the club level than effective, consistent TS.

I don't think the mechanics of the 1H TS BH are all that hard: crank your
grip around to an eastern BH, roll your wrist over about halfway and lock
it, hit the ball waist high or lower (to knees) well in front of you, and
it does what it's supposed to *with a natural tendency to go x-court*.
Some guys (not me) can take the ball down the line or inside out with the
wrist alone, but since my wrist is essentially locked until the beginning
of the follow-thru, I need to change up my feet somewhat to do the
inside-out (and hope that the opponent doesn't see this in time!). If you
get caught late, you can lay your wrist back with this same grip and slice
almost as well and a continental grip.

But the optimum envelop for a good ripping TS 1H BH is pretty small, I
think.



04 Aug 2006 11:40:18
Habib
Re: Two Handed Backhands Rule


Sawfish wrote:
> But the optimum envelop for a good ripping TS 1H BH is pretty small, I
> think.

Someone asked, earlier in this thread or perhaps in the other one, what
possible developements could be made to a 1HBH. Well, an increased
strike zone is one such aspect. The strike zone for a 1hbh is no longer
at the knees. For example, I can hit an effective backhand at virtually
shoulder height - the technique is slightly different, but my strike
zone is now basically anything from 2 inches off the ground to
somewhere around head level (and mind you, I'm 5'8, so a lot of shots
are head level).

How? Airborne backhands. :-) Olivier Rochus is probably the master of
these on the tour, likely because, as in my case, he is so short that
many balls end up bouncing over his shoulders and he's had to adapt to
this by evolving his technique. The one-handed backhand, because of how
the legs are set and how the body coils, lends itself quite well to a
leaping stroke in a way that the 2-hander does not, as it rather limits
your range of motion and plays funny things with your balance. Not to
mention that a well-timed and executed leap adds significant power to
the stroke.

This, I think, is one way in which the stroke will evolve over the next
5-10 years - you will see more people going airborne in order to strike
high bouncing balls, or get better angles on balls they could still
reach at ground level. Gasquet already does this to an extent, which
I'm sure is one reason why he can generate the pace he does.