Should I use a one handed backhand or two handed backhand in Tennis?

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.

Although it isn’t impossible to switch from using a one handed backhand to a two handed backhand or vice versa, whatever backhand you choose to begin with is likely to be the one you stick with.

Should I Use a One Handed Backhand or Two Handed Backhand

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.

Even ATP pros like the great Roger Federer have had issues with this e.g. when he played Rafa Nadal, who was great at hitting high topspin shots to Federer’s one handed backhand.

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.

Even Tennis Pros like Federer, who have used a single handed backhand for their entire career, also recommend that kids start out with a two handed backhand.

For adult males, I would recommend a one handed backhand as you should have the necessary strength to hit an effective one handed backhand.