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Tennis Backhand: One handed Backhand or Two Handed Backhand?

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Tennis players need to know how to use the right shot in different situations so that they can win points from their opponents. It is inevitable that you have to use tennis backhand in a rally. When you are learning tennis, you have the choice of learning two types of backhand and they are the one-handed backhand or the two handed backhand. So which one do you choose?

Before I go on, always remember that the backhand stroke is made from the non-dominant side of your body. Therefore, right-handers use the left side while left-handers use the right. Both backhands have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Here is what you need to know about both the tennis backhands:

One Handed Backhand

Before the 1970s, only the one handed backhand was known. Some of the advantages of this backhand are that it is easy to hit a ball heading below your knees and you have a longer reach as well. Also, you can hit a better one-handed slice backhand and your body won’t feel constricted with this shot. Last but not least, one handed backhand helps you improve your volley skills. Do note that the best volleyers in history like John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter and Pete Sampras were using one-handed backhands.

However, many consider the one-handed backhand very difficult to learn. Personally, I believe that it differs from individual to individual. But I agree with the fact that it is harder to produce topspin with it and that you need to generate more power to keep the racquet stable. It can also cause strain on your dominant arm, which is the leading cause of tennis elbow.

Two Handed Backhand

Two handed backhand has gained an immense amount of popularity this decade. Simply look at the famous and top tennis players of today such as Rafael Nadal, Serena and Venus Williams, Andre Agassi and many more. No wonder, many tennis coaches are teaching two handed backhand to their students.

The biggest advantage of two handed backhands is that you don’t need to worry about generating power for the shot unlike its counterpart. In addition, you can hit with a wider stance with this shot. The main disadvantage of using two handed backhand is the limited reach as compared to the one handed backhand. Also, some beginners may have problems adjusting the change of grip at the initial stage.

Bottom Line

Learn both tennis backhands so that you can use them in the right situation. For example one handed backhand creates the perfect slice and backhand volleys while two handed backhand is good for generating topspin backhand shots.

Due to reflexes and the fact that most of us are comfortable using one hand, chances are that you will only be able to adopt one of these shots well. However, keep practicing both of them, because both are handy for different reasons which would increase the chances of you winning a game.

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