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!