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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Exclamation backhand troubles :-/

    hey everybody, im new to site - lemme just break it down 16 n on varsity tennis team at my high school in so. cal - we are in division 1 and play the best of the best - my forehand is strong and accurate - the problem is my backhand...i use one hand to backhand...the balls i hit with my backhand do 1 of three things: either 1) are hit as lobs that i do not want, 2) is hit low and with good accuracy but is very weak, 3) are hit out

    does anyone know what the problem could be? or is it just an issue of practice, practice, practice? i use a babolat pure drive team racquet, incase that helps any of you figure out a problem or way to fix this...
    because i play varsity and am in D1, a weak backhand or 1 that lobs often or goes out many times hurts my game so much and the opponent usually capitalizes on me by hitting to my backhand (which is common sense)

    i'd appreciate your thoughts/comments - THANKS!

  2. #2
    Geezer Guy Guest
    I'd say try one of two things:

    1) Work on a good consistent one-handed backhand with lots of topspin, that you hit cross-court. Don't try to go for winners - just hit it back deep and consistently. It doesn't have to WIN you points - you just don't want it to LOSE you points.

    2) Work on an inside-out forehand (that you hit from the ad court) that you can either rip cross-court or down-the-line.

    Then practice, practice, practice. Good luck.

  3. #3
    YooT0PIA Guest
    the problem is probably in your form and/or wrist causing an incorrect racket face angle which probably explains why your are popping it up and are forced to hit softly in order to hit it straight.

    you could try hitting with a more western(extreme eastern) grip for your backhand but would have to compinsate with better body control.

    keep your head down, don't pull your body up, take the racket back early, and most important footwork.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    thank you both for your comments on how to improve my backhand...

    take the racquet back early...thats a problem for me both backhand AND forehand - i usually like to wait till its right in front and scoop the ball when i hit it...i need to fix that i guess n wind up before i hit - to get more force/accuracy - ill try what u guys said! thanx again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    damnit man...i just got home from a hard loss 4-6 to a very winnable game on my part... my opponent saw my weakness in backhand n kept hitting to it n so he won - i tried being careful with my footwork and pulling my back hand back early but that just ended with a delayed bad hit and it didnt fix it any - i did get a few good cross court backhands but they were still to high and just wild many times...if anyone has any other suggestions to fix it - let me know please - i havent tried the practice practice practice yet but ill probably go over the weekend to practice backhand alot...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Tucson, AZ

    contact point

    Sorry about your tough match. Here's something you might try.

    Go to the wall or backboard and hit nothing but down-the-line backhands. Work on your contact point -- keep it the same EVERY time -- hip level or below. Catch the ball in front of you, so that you see your strings connect with the ball from the BACK, not the front, of the strings. Once you have your rhythm, RIP a crosscourt backhand. Don't try to chase it down, just raise your hands in the air and shout "Winner!"

    Do this over and over again. Don't worry about grip, or technique, simply think about getting a rhythm and consistent contact point. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Delaware, OH
    I recommend that in the offseason, practice several different backhand grips and see which one you like. But for now, since you don't want to change your strokes and lose even more confidence, use your backhand to set up your forehand. This would include deep shots and possibly slice shots.

    Hitting it deep keeps your opponent on the baseline so you keep rallying. If you extend the point this way, you'll find the forehand that you wanna hit.

    Slice shots are difficult to hit if they are effective enough. You could force some errors this way, and if they do get it back, it won't be strong enough, and you can hit your forehand.

    Also, if you have some control on your backhand, hit it down the line into the deuce corner. Players don't normally return down the line shots down the line. They will likely go crosscourt to your forehand.

    Try it out and see what happens.
    Tennis is the meaning of life.

  8. #8
    XXJ03YxX Guest
    I notice most people with a 1 handed backhand (this may only be at my school and the schools we play with) that they normally slice, which has definitly caught me off guard. I mean after awhile of playing with the person u can get use to it, but when ur in a deep rally u totally forget about it and u then see this lob coming at you and then you step back and start your swing, then next thing u no it doesnt even get near you and you sprint to it and either do one of two things, 1)don't make it. or 2)barely make it and then he returns a winner. I suggest you try a nice hard slice, a soft slice is easier to hit, as it just floats, but a hard slice stays really low and is harder to hit cuz it gets to its second bounce very fast. Then during off season, try to learn a 2 handed backhand, those are nice, and u can hit them really hard if u no what ur doing, also, if u can only do a 1 handed, try doing ur backhands in sort of the smae way as ur forehand. Go to a private lesson or 2 and ask to just work on your backhand, believe me, it works. I make my backhand very nice after just 1 lesson on my backhand. Good Luck.

  9. #9
    You know, the one-handed backhand, done right, is the best shot in tennis. Your body is completely out of the way of that swing, and you use the longest lever. It needn't be your weaker side.

    Some things that might help. You really have to get squared around. You watch the ball approach over your right shoulder. The backswing is slower though, because you wrap your arm around your body. To compensate, try taking the racket back with two hands. Also, make sure you're squaring around to the hitter (not the net) between shots. That's because, if your opponent is off to your left and you square around to the net (with your feet parallel to the baseline), you must turn farther for a backhand than a forehand. If anything, you want it to be the other way around!

    Another thing to try: Don't let your free arm move forward during the swing. In fact, move it backward so that your arms spread apart as you swing. You will notice a huge difference.

    Don't keep thinking "Get the racket back early. Get the racket back early." That's the surest way to make the opposite happen. Relax. Inhale on the backswing, and exhale on the foreward swing. Grunt if you must to establish the habit.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Unregistered Guest


    the reason your ball is sailing, and/or lacks power is your form. i bet when you follow through on your backhand your hand is above your head and not below your should, remember you must get into position to strike the ball in you strike zone keeping your head up and chest out step into the ball, but don't lean foward and swing, because that causes your stroke to rise up and above you head at the finish. try to swing keeping your stroke above your waist and below your shoulders during the entire swing.

  11. #11
    alexandra Guest


    use two hands to your backhand!!

  12. #12
    Looking at what you have written, it looks like you suffer from a very common 1-handed backhand problem (i can't be sure, of course, but check for it). Lack of upper body rotation. When you approach the ball, you want to maintain a closed stance, and if you're looking for consistency, an extreme western backhand grip. During your swing, your knees should bend as low as they comfortably can in tandem with your backswing. As you start swinging forward, push up with your knees and let your upper body rotate with the follow through. This will give you tons of power without fast, erratic arm movement, and should (with practice, practice and TONS of practice) give you a stable, to-be-feared 1-handed backhand. Also, when topspinning your backhand, the same principles apply as with your forehand. Swing up through the ball, aim 3 feet above the net.
    HOWEVER, with the extreme western backhand, you will have trouble hitting very low balls, so you will need to learn to slice as well. I can recommend learning to sidespin your slice, which not only makes it skid, it also makes it jump sideways on contact, and is therefore very unpredictable.
    Hope it helps, keep us updated!

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