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The backhanded approach
I'm having some problems with my approach backhand, I have a one handed western top spin backhand, it's not one of my better attack strokes but it can still hold its own in a rally and pull of the occasional cross court winner once in a blue moon. The problem with it comes when I start making an approach to the net, this backhand is based on a solid stance and draws its power and stability straight from the ground, when I am running up to the net I can't afford to stop, get a good stance and hit all the while when there is less distance before the ball gets to me. I was wondering if there are any good one handed approach backhands that would be good for hitting a ball around a little lower than waist height.
Okay, the key to this one is to shorten the backswing and stay turned while moving through the ball. The racquets needs to stay on a solid path through the ball and your head MUST stay on the contact point. That will keep you turned and a bit more stable. Now, to help a little more, approach down the line. It will keep you from pulling up early on the ball and you will not pull out of the shot trying to get in position for your volley. Start slow while practicing and get a feel for the shot as you move through the shot at a controlled pace. Most people want to go from not being able to do it to being great at it in a one hour lesson. Take your time a build it. Oh yes, and don't do it in a competitive situation. Many times, people will get out there and practice with their biggest competitor who trys to hit winners and then the person practicing gives up. Non-competitive practice followed by using it in match situations is the key......
Originally Posted by g_windsor
isn't your grip just a bit extreme? I always thought the most effective one handers used eastern-extreme eastern backhands.
If you plan to move towards the net, better to underspin it, giving you more time to cover the angles, giving your better control and DEPTH (the most important characteristic of a successful approach), giving a low, skidded off center ball that is hard to pass for your opponent. Hitting flat or topspin just gives your opponent more time and pace, with less variance, to pass you with.
Big plus also is that once you establish inside service line position, you need the continental volley grip anyways, so why not use that to approach? That grip also gives you the overhead grip AND the one handed backhand overhead grip..,kinda covers all net basics, eh?