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Single-Handed Or Double-Handed Backhand?

It's the eternal question in tennis.

What is better: a single-handed or a double-handed backhand?

When talking about a single-handed backhand, most of us are thinking about the iconic single-handed backhand of Roger Federer.

But there are also many top players with a double-handed backhand, like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

It's difficult to choose between these two different backhands, both have pros and cons.

  • Especially with young kids, the racket is at the beginning too heavy for one hand, so a lot of young tennis players start with a double-handed backhand. Once you've practiced your double-handed backhand for a long time, it's not easy to switch to a single-handed backhand. When kids are starting with tennis, offer them the opportunity to practice both backhands.

  • A doubled-handed backhand ensures more stability and control during your swing, but a single-handed backhand gives you more freedom with swinging. A double-handed backhand is therefore easy to learn, while it takes more time to learn a single-handed backhand.

  • The contact points of these two backhands are different. With a single-handed backhand, the contact point is more in front of the body, while the contact point of a double-handed backhand is closer to the body. A single-handed backhand is therefore more offensive and more suitable for approaching the net.

  • With high contact points, it's easier to hit a double-handed backhand than a single-handed backhand. That's a big advantage of the double-handed backhand.

  • With a single-handed backhand, you can play topspin easier. Most of the double-handed backhands are flat shots. Flat shots mean that it's more difficult for your double-handed backhand to make angles.

  • With low contact points (slice) it's easier to hit a single-handed backhand than a double-handed backhand. It's important to practice single-handed backhand slices at a young age, so the player gets familiar with them.

  • With a double-handed backhand, the preparation time for your shot is shorter. With single-handed backhands, you must turn your body more, and this costs time. Especially with the return on high-speed serves, the double-handed backhand has an advantage.

  • With a single-handed backhand, you have more reach, when you want to hit a far ball. Even at the pro level, you see regularly players with a double-handed backhand, hitting a single-handed backhand in the run on a far ball.

  • A single-handed backhand is easier for your net game. It's easier to play backhand volleys when you are already used to playing a single-handed backhand from the baseline. But under high pressure, a double-handed backhand volley is sometimes your only option.

  • And of course, last but not least: your own preference!!!! Choose the backhand with which you feel comfortable.

Let me know your thoughts about single-handed versus double-handed backhands.

As a coach, are you practicing both backhands with beginners or do you prefer to practice one of them?

Does your own backhand style as a tennis coach influences your teaching method?

Let me know your opinion!

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