Choosing whether to use a one or two handed backhand in tennis can be a difficult decision for beginners as each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a One Handed and Two Handed Backhand in Tennis
Below we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of using a one handed and two handed backhand in tennis.
Advantages of a One Handed Backhand
More Power – Some people may disagree with me on this point, but in my opinion, it is much easier to generate a powerful shot with a one handed backhand (just think of Pro players like Stan Wawrinka)
Better Slice – Generally speaking, one handed tennis players have a better slice than players using a two handed backhand as they are used to hitting the ball with one hand.
Better Reach – You will have much better reach on your one handed backhand as if you have a two handed backhand, your hands are much closer to your body so you won’t have the same reach as someone with a one handed backhand.
Disadvantages of a One Handed Backhand
High Balls – A common complaint of one handed backhand players is that they struggle to hit balls that are hit high to their backhand as they often feel like they can’t hit a topspin groundstroke on these balls and instead are forced to hit a slice.
Over Reliance on Slice – At the recreational level, one handed backhand tennis players tend to over rely on their slice as they are afraid to hit their topspin backhand.
Harder to execute – The one handed topspin backhand is definitely harder to hit consistently than a two handed backhand as there are more moving parts in a one handed backhand when compared with a two handed backhand.
You also need to hit the ball out in front of your body to get a good shot.
This is in comparison with a two handed backhand where you can sometimes get away with hitting the ball when it is level with your body or even sometimes a little behind your body.
Advantages of a Two Handed Backhand
Easier to learn – In my opinion, it is much easier to learn the two handed backhand (especially for kids and adult beginners) as the technique is much more simple to execute than a one handed backhand.
High Balls – Unlike a one handed backhand, high balls are less of a problem for two handed backhand players as they can use their two hands to be more aggressive on high balls.
Greater Consistency – As the technique for a two handed backhand is more simple than the technique for a one handed backhand, it is more likely that you will have greater consistency on your backhand shots as fewer things can go wrong.
Disadvantages of a Two Handed Backhand
Poorer Reach – As your hands are closer to your body on a two handed backhand, your reach won’t be as good as you would get with a one handed backhand and you may be forced to hit a one handed slice if you want to get the ball back.
Slice – Two handed backhand players generally aren’t as comfortable hitting a one handed slice and at the recreational level players are more likely to have a slice that floats.
So should you use a one handed backhand or two handed backhand
At the end of the day, whether you choose a one handed backhand or two handed backhand is not going to stop you from developing a solid tennis game.
But if you want a recommendation then I would recommend a two handed backhand for female tennis players and kids as having a second hand for your backhand will help you generate more power on your shots.
For adult males, I would recommend a one handed backhand as you should have the necessary strength to hit an effective one handed backhand.