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Two-Handed Versus One-Handed Backhand

Roger Clarke, Hinsdale

For more than a decade, Roger Clarke of Hinsdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, has been helping tennis students improve their skills as a tennis professional at LaGrange Country Club and Hinsdale Racquet Club. In this capacity, Roger Clarke works with students of all ages and all athletic abilities in developing their strokes, including helping them to choose between using a one- or two-handed backhand.

There are two main types of backhand strokes in tennis, the one-handed backhand and the two-handed backhand.
A one-handed backhand provides players with increased reach. Once individuals are capable of performing this stroke, they find that they can hit the tennis ball more easily and from farther away. Using a one-handed backhand also makes it easier to move forward through a shot and maintain fluid movement on the court. Unfortunately, this type of stroke typically requires more preparation to complete properly.
The one-handed backhand is usually best for players who are taller and stronger, as they are more capable of handling the racket when it becomes unstable at the moment of impact with the ball. Additionally, players who struggle to coordinate both of their hands may be best suited for a one-handed backhand.
Meanwhile, shorter and less muscular players and those who have good coordination between their left and right sides may be best suited to use a two-handed backhand. This stroke is more controlled and requires less preparation. The racket is also more stable during a two-handed backhand since both hands are holding it at the moment of impact. Despite the fact that this stroke has a shorter reach, many tennis coaches focus on teaching it first because of its increased stability and power.

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