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  1. #1

    The Two-Handed Backhand

    from "Play Better Tennis In 2 Hours" by Oscar Wegner:

    "A two-handed backhand provides power similar to a one-handed backhand but with a shorter stroke, making it easier to make minute adjustments. Because it works the left side of the body, it also develops a more balanced body. The only disadvantage is a slight reduction in reach compared to the one-handed bakchand, but this is offset by several advantages. If you hit the two-handed bakchand in an open stance, it's easier to recover toward the center. It also can be hit powerfully with almost no backswing. And your arms can be bent, which makes returning a ball close to your body or a high bouncing ball easier. Both of these are more difficult to return with a one-handed bakchand. Most top players who use a two-handed bakchand also employ a one-handed backhand slice (chop under the ball with the racquet) to reach a ball that is too far away for a two-handed stroke. Hitting a two-handed bakchand is like hitting a forehand with your left hand while keeping the right hand on the racquet. The left hand does most of the work while the right hand steadies the racquet."

    For details on how to execute the two-handed backhand with Oscar's Modern Tennis Methodology, refer to his book, chapter five pp. 104-113 or his DVD's with complete video instruction and drills www.tennisteacher.com

  2. #2
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    TWO-HANDED IS SUPERIOR TO ONE-HANDED BACKHAND

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


    INTRODUCTION

    There were times when two handed backhand was an exception
    Before 70¨s it would be completely inappropriate to have such a discussion.Nobody even spoke about two handed backhand.It did not appear even in the tennis handbooks.Than few players came to the stage such as: Jimmy Connors,Chris Evert ,and later Bjorn Borg who made such success using two handed backhand that from than on more and more players have used it. In today professional tennis is prevailing;especially in women's tennis.I think that this is valid enough reason to find out which one of the two and why is better.Furthermore this is very important to the coming future stars streaming to make mark in professional tennis because it can save them time to figure it themselves out and put them on the right track rightaway.


    THE COMPARISON OF THE TWO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Balls hit directly at the body-here one hander has advantage because by two hander second hand stops upper body from moving away from incoming ball
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-03-2009 at 09:58 AM.

  3. #3
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    THE TRENDS IN MODERN TENNIS

    To further value one or the other;it is very important to give a few hints where the game of tennis is heading to:
    - newcomers will be physically stronger compared to todays players (faster,more powerful,more agile) which translates into faster ball exchanges overall
    - based on this trend more and more balls will be hit from dynamic balance (from movement)
    - more and more balls will be hit from the air and on the rise
    - more and more balls will be hit(on both wings) from open stance in order to recover as soon as possible for the next ball
    - opening of the point will play even greater role (solid return will be must)
    - trend of slower playing surfaces will cause the balls to bounce higher


    THE DESCRIPTION OF THE TWO

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


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




    ONE HANDED BACKHAND SLICE AS MANDATORY

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


    CONCLUSION

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


    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 06-29-2009 at 06:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Wow, what a comprephensive analysis!
    How good can your game get? You too can play like the Pros with The Wegner Method.
    Discuss The Wegner Method here at TW in the MTM forum or visit www.tennisteacher.com for more info.

  5. #5
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    good analysis, but i disagree with you on quite a few of those points. transition to the net for one is much better with a one hander.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeFaB View Post
    good analysis, but i disagree with you on quite a few of those points. transition to the net for one is much better with a one hander.
    +1

    good work otherwise Bubo

  7. #7
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    Two handed backhand gives move control of ball placement, but one handed backhand is easier to prepare.
    Why am I fighting to live, if I'm just living to fight
    Why am I trying to see, when there aint nothing in sight
    Why am I trying to give, when no one gives me a try
    Why am I dying to live, if I'm just living to die?
    -Tupac Shakur

  8. #8
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    Over the past 20 years, in the men's game, the only two handed #1 players were Nadal, Agassi, Courier, Wilander, and Rios (there may have been others who held the spot for 15 minutes) and all of them were for a very limited time. As for the answer to this question, which is better, neither is better. They both have their advantages and faults, but I wouldn't put a moniker of better or worse on either one of them. If the one hander were worse, I guess that Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe, Federer, and Kuerten would have been dominated by the two handed players. As for the women's game, I think Navratilova, Graf, and Henin did quite a job of holding the #1 spot with their one handers, but developing the back of the deltoid muscle on a woman is tougher than it is on a man, thus the two hander is easier for a woman. Both can be weapons when trained properly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Over the past 20 years, in the men's game, the only two handed #1 players were Nadal, Agassi, Courier, Wilander, and Rios (there may have been others who held the spot for 15 minutes) and all of them were for a very limited time. As for the answer to this question, which is better, neither is better. They both have their advantages and faults, but I wouldn't put a moniker of better or worse on either one of them. If the one hander were worse, I guess that Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe, Federer, and Kuerten would have been dominated by the two handed players. As for the women's game, I think Navratilova, Graf, and Henin did quite a job of holding the #1 spot with their one handers, but developing the back of the deltoid muscle on a woman is tougher than it is on a man, thus the two hander is easier for a woman. Both can be weapons when trained properly.
    Or you could look at like this: imagine how good Federer would be had he used a two-hander.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    developing the back of the deltoid muscle on a woman is tougher than it is on a man, thus the two hander is easier for a woman. Both can be weapons when trained properly.
    "In absolute terms (i.e., total weight lifted), the average woman is about two-thirds as strong as the average man.

    In relative terms (i.e., based upon identical areas of cross-sectional muscle), the strength-gain potential between women and men is identical.

    Women tend to be weaker than men in the chest, shoulders, and arms because they have less overall muscle tissue in these areas.

    Coaches must understand that female and male muscle tissue is uniform, indicating that the ability of muscle tissue to gain strength and produce power is independent of gender." source: STRENGTH TRAINING FOR FEMALE ATHLETES, The Free Online Library

    On the 1HBH the the delts move the arm away from the body, but it is the traps that provide the power in the stroke by squeezing the soulder blades together. Alternately, it is the opposing muscles, the pecs, together with the biceps and brachialis that function on the forehand to bring the arm in and across at impact to impart power.
    How good can your game get? You too can play like the Pros with The Wegner Method.
    Discuss The Wegner Method here at TW in the MTM forum or visit www.tennisteacher.com for more info.

  11. #11
    Bubo notes: "One just has to look at the forehand side and its evolution(different stances,different impact points,=hitting from dynamic balance)."

    The evolution of the forehand has been mirrored in the 2HBH as Oscar Wegner has taught it for the past 40 years. In the near future more and more players will realize they can apply the open stance, hitting below the center and dynamic movement to the 2HBH as well. However, Bubo's predictions about the future may not be complete. There is a whole other evolution that is soon to emerge as we move "Tennis into The Future"...
    How good can your game get? You too can play like the Pros with The Wegner Method.
    Discuss The Wegner Method here at TW in the MTM forum or visit www.tennisteacher.com for more info.

  12. #12
    Well, as many advantages as it may have, i, for one, will never adopt the 2-handed backhand. Not under threat of torture, not if you told me i could win Wimbledon. Why?
    Because it is graceless, so ridiculously inelegant compared to the 1-handed backhand. Look at Djokovic, easily the most elegant 2-handed backhander out there - and then compare him with Gasquet. The fact is that Djokovic looks clumsy and compact, while Gasquet looks to have the grace of a ballerina.
    For the sake of the beauty of the game, i do hope this one point of Wegner's wins no broader accept than it already has.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusEffect View Post
    Well, as many advantages as it may have, i, for one, will never adopt the 2-handed backhand. Not under threat of torture, not if you told me i could win Wimbledon. Why?
    Because it is graceless, so ridiculously inelegant compared to the 1-handed backhand. Look at Djokovic, easily the most elegant 2-handed backhander out there - and then compare him with Gasquet. The fact is that Djokovic looks clumsy and compact, while Gasquet looks to have the grace of a ballerina.For the sake of the beauty of the game, i do hope this one point of Wegner's wins no broader accept than it already has.
    lol, that's borderline gay. jk

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    lol, that's borderline gay. jk
    Lol, yeah He does, though

  15. #15
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    Wow, what a comprehensive analysis!
    Totally biased, oftentimes wrong, but well thought out and presented.
    Great communications skills, but too one sided for anyone to seriously believe.

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