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5 Tips For Playing More Effectively Against A Strong Two-Handed Backhand Player

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Strategy & Tactics

5 Tips For Playing More Effectively Against A Strong Two-Handed Backhand Player

The one-handed/two-handed backhand debate is pretty fierce. Personally, I don’t think either one makes a player any better, just different.

I’ve got a solid two-handed backhand is one I’m proud to have in my arsenal. When at the baseline, I hit hard and deep (usually flat, sometimes with topspin), and when I’m at the net, I can either use a two-handed backhand volley, or this wicked one-hand-release, seriously angled shot that I’ve developed over the years. And my biggest weapon is a surprise shot that I learned by “accident” – I quickly switch hands and hit a defensive lefty forehand! It may not be as strong as my two-handed backhand, but it’s stronger than my one-handed backhand, lol! and it does keep the ball in play.

All of these are shots which help me win more matches than not – and I like to win! But that doesn’t mean I won’t share some secrets on how to take us two-handers down.

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And why would I reveal such precious secrets? Because I don’t discriminate when it comes to giving out tennis tips – and it makes the competition more fun!

So here are 5 tips on how to play more effectively against an opponent with a strong two-handed backhand:

  • Hit your serves and groundies deep and out wide, to their backhand side. Opponents with a two-handed backhand can’t stretch out as wide because their right arm can reach cross their bodies only so far, and if they actually do hit a one-handed backhand, it will no doubt be weak.
  • Try to jam your opponent by hitting into the body, and a little to their left. If your ball is hard and deep enough, she won’t have time to run around it for a forehand, and will be forced to hit an awkward shot. For two-handers, it’s very difficult to hit a ball that’s coming right at them. And if you can add some tricky side-spin, that’s even better!
  • Hit drop shots to their backhand side. Those are tough to return for two-handed backhand players who have to run to get them.
  • Hit low and deep. The deep slice approach shot is a particularly good shot choice, because when two-handers have to hit a low ball, they either have to bend at the knees which puts their legs in the way of their swing, or at the waist which puts them off balance.
  • If your opponent also volleys with two hands, try all of the ideas above when she’s at the net. Balls that are low, wide, and at the body are all especially tough to hit effectively with a two-handed volley.
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Do you have a one-handed or two-handed backhand? Do you find that it’s more of a weapon or a hindrance? Let’s discuss in the comments section below!

4.5 USTA rated/open champion level tennis player, vegan, fitness freak, animal lover, and smart ass who firmly believes that champagne is anathema for all ills. Right now I'm either up to my eyeballs in paint swatches and fabric samples, or kicking some butt on a tennis court (hopefully the latter).

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sam

    October 2, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    I use both a one handed and two handed depending on whom I’m playing with. If I’m playing a very undeveloped player, I like to get some practice in with the one handed backhand. I feel like its just more adjustable. And my friends with one handers have exceptional control of the ball.

    • Jen Campbell

      October 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      That’s a great tip, Sam! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amy

    June 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I have a serious 2 handed backhand–I consider it a weapon if you are at the net..lol. I have had the above tips used on me and they have made my single back hand stronger…but not as good as 2 hands.

    • Jen

      June 30, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Amy :-)

      That’s awesome! I don’t have the coordination for a one-handed backhand. The ball always flies off the racket in it’s own direction, lol!

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