We have all watched the professionals play and seen them swap effortlessly from one hand to two during not just a game but a point.
For those amateur players who can just about master a single-handed backhand or forehand then you will probably ask why do certain players favour the double-handed shot on occasions.
The Evolution of the Double-Handed Backhand
Tennis has changed dramatically over the years, from the rules and regulations to the type of shots being practised. The 1970’s brought about a dramatic way certain shots were played, and Chris Evert and Bjorn Borg were instrumental in introducing two hands instead of one.
Why Is Two Better Than One
Wally Masur commented that two hands give a big advantage on return. To return with heavy topspin needs a really strong grip therefore two hands is definitely better than one. Plus shots that have to be taken over the shoulder are difficult for single handed players, the left hand provides so much more strength.
Does The Single Hand Have Advantages
The single handed player tends to be more versatile and their secret weapon is spin, which is easier to perform single handedly.
For the average player, the single-handed backhand can be a difficult stroke to master, particularly given that it often detracts from power. But if the player is experiencing a touch game often single handed is better.
Is The Single Hander Being Phased Out?
A question has arisen, will there be a time that two handed domination completely spreads through the pro tour? Leaving no single handed players.
Ex pro, Wally Masur thinks not, he agrees that the double handed player is more common, but perhaps two of the best ever players, Sampras and Federer both favoured one hand. Perhaps single players will still exist but they will be fewer.
One Hand or Two?
Masur recommends the two handed approach, but with the proviso that whilst learning the game there is a strong emphasis of developing a strong slice leading to a strong backhand volley. With the new strings, serves are getting bigger, players are hitting with more spin, so that is the reason why more players are using two hands.
Developing a two handed game should be done in tandem with your lessons and private coaching sessions. A two handed game is not the most natural way to play, and learners would be better adapting by choosing particular shots to utilise the new technique.
Perhaps starting with a two-handed backhand would be the best way to approach a two handed game, introduce it into your social games and keep on practising it, once mastered then you can adapt other two handed shots into your repertoire.