One Handed Backhand - A Dying Art?

For all of us who have admired the greatest of all time, Roger Federer, we cannot help but awe at his signature one-handed backhand. Earlier this year, we were all left speechless watching Stan Wawrinka assault his opponents with his ferocious one-handed backhand.

The question that continues to boggle me is how come a stroke that is so elegant to watch and still as powerful as a cannon is rapidly on the decline. Why is it that the majority of upcoming juniors all around are choosing to go with a double-handed backhand? Is there a relation between the decline of one-handed backhand and players not being good net players anymore (including top professionals)? Do the tennis coaches really see the one-handed backhand as a liability?

I spoke to a few fellow coaches and they all seem to think that in the past 15 years or so, a greater emphasis has been placed on return-of-serve, and also that kids are picking up the sport at an earlier age. It’s really not practical to start a young five or six year old with a one-handed backhand before he has gained the strength to handle it. As the child progresses he chooses to stick to it rather than exploring to change to a one-handed shot. The theories are endless!

Hence, I conclude that no matter what your level is and no matter what type of backhand you hit, just try out a one-hand backhand just for the sake of it…you will be surprised, you might pick up a new sneaky skill in the process!!!

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Gulph Mills Tennis Club

610 S. Henderson Rd
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Tel: 610.265.3677

Fax: 610.265.3678



Narberth Tennis Club

612 Montgomery Ave.
Narberth, PA 19072



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The club is open 7 days a week. From 7 am to 10.30 pm.  

The club requires 24 hour notice of cancellation or full payment is due. Clinic groups and matches are formed according to ability and age. We ask that you please respect the pro’s evaluation in matching you with other players. Proper tennis attire is required on court. Shoes must have non-marking soles. The club reserves the right to dismiss without refund anyone whose conduct is detrimental to the enjoyment of the other players. There is one make-up clinic allowed per session. There are no carryovers to the next season.


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