Two-handed backhand and serve questions. - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Hi everyone.

I've been playing tennis for two years now and I'd like to think I'm a pretty decent player. Although I'm a male, I've modelled my game after Serena Williams because she was the first tennis player I was introduced to.

I've had private lessons in the past, and group lessons, and so I know HOW to hit proper strokes, and my groundstrokes can be quite punnishing when I'm on my game, but sometimes I collapse and I'm wondering if its my technique.

Serve

I've always always struggled with the second serve. It's just not something I really ever worked on. I'm hitting a second serve somewhere in between a slice and a kick. My private instructor was trying to teach me the slice, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. You use the continental grip, correct? (I'm right handed). It seems like everytime I hit it it has absolutely no pace on it and I'm lucky if it goes in.

Backhand

I'm just confused on the backhand side. My instructor when he taught me the two handed backhand had me hold my right hand on the grip more to the left (towards the "lefty" side) of a continental and my left hand (on top) in more of an eastern forehand for a lefty (I think). This grip seems awkward for me, and I keep wanting to switch my right hand to the regular continental.

He also told me to keep my arms straight at impact.. I just can't do this, but when I do, I hit better. When I don't, I'm more likely to mishit it or hit it out. Serena bends her arms for what seems like the entire time. Why can't I?

Anyone have any tips? I'd appreciate it.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 04:10 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinnet
Hi everyone.

I've been playing tennis for two years now and I'd like to think I'm a pretty decent player. Although I'm a male, I've modelled my game after Serena Williams because she was the first tennis player I was introduced to.

I've had private lessons in the past, and group lessons, and so I know HOW to hit proper strokes, and my groundstrokes can be quite punnishing when I'm on my game, but sometimes I collapse and I'm wondering if its my technique.

Serve

I've always always struggled with the second serve. It's just not something I really ever worked on. I'm hitting a second serve somewhere in between a slice and a kick. My private instructor was trying to teach me the slice, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. You use the continental grip, correct? (I'm right handed). It seems like everytime I hit it it has absolutely no pace on it and I'm lucky if it goes in.

Backhand

I'm just confused on the backhand side. My instructor when he taught me the two handed backhand had me hold my right hand on the grip more to the left (towards the "lefty" side) of a continental and my left hand (on top) in more of an eastern forehand for a lefty (I think). This grip seems awkward for me, and I keep wanting to switch my right hand to the regular continental.

He also told me to keep my arms straight at impact.. I just can't do this, but when I do, I hit better. When I don't, I'm more likely to mishit it or hit it out. Serena bends her arms for what seems like the entire time. Why can't I?

Anyone have any tips? I'd appreciate it.
One the serve, you shouldn't be using a slice serve as a second serve. Use should master the kick serve. Kick can be found my tosing the ball directly over your head and brushing up the back of the ball. That kick will allow you to hit the ball very hard on a second serve but still keep the ball in.


Learning the kick serve...as seen in the picture above.

As for the backhand...male players mostly do to their natual upper body strength, do not use double flexed elbow two handed backhands. When you flex both elbows it gives you more power but robs you of contol. If you want to put more power on your bh try laying your wrists back futher. Achieving the laid back wrists can be found by pointing the button cap of the racquet at the on coming ball. Then before impact whip the racquet head foreward into contact.



Andre Agassi lays back his wrists very well to moment just before impact.

As for finding the comfortable place for your elbows, it has to be whatever comes natural to you. Although I would recommend only slighly flexing both elbows, or keeping one elbow straight and slightly flexing another, or finally keeping both elbows straight. These combination are the ones all the pro male players use.


Carlos Moya keeps one elbow flexed and one straight on impact.


Juan Carlos Ferrero keeps both elbows flexed on impact.


The extreme opposite Andy Roddick keeps both elbows straight on the backhand, at impact Roddick breaks his elbow on the right side.



Quote:
Originally Posted by leng jai View Post
Anyone who says any player has no chance against Dolgopolov is clearly trolling.
That's the gospel.

Last edited by Fumus; 03-10-2005 at 04:20 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 04:39 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Marat's two handed backhand is the best

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 06:51 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Nalbandian's backhand (one of the bests 2 handed backhands in the world) with an elbow flexed and one straight on impact...



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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 08:05 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

the one straight and one flexed is probably most popular, and works well. But the most importanat thing is that you feel comfortable. I suggest trying trying all the ways shown above, and ten trying them. Then se which one makes you feel more comfortable.
The kick serve, is a difficult serve to hit. All i can say is practice-practice-practice. I know you dont want me to tell you that- but its the truth- i spent literally hours trying to master the kick serve.

Nieminen- The lucky lefty of tennis.
Sampras- The hairy champion of tennis.
Ferrero- The mosquito of tennis.
Srichaphan- The Thai- ger of tennis.
Safin - The of tennis.
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Lopez- IS my hair right? IS my lipstick right?
Moya- The tatoo and muscles of tennis (although nadal kicks his ass in that department).
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 08:10 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Ferrero's backhand is also awesome

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 08:16 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

there is no technique that u absolutely have to employ for any shot. just hit the ball well and dont worry what your coach says if he tells u 'u must do this....u must do that.' McEnroe is the classic example of doing whatever works for u. berasategui was hardly textbook either grip-wise. if your shots are good enough trust them.

and the second serve? how many pros have a great second serve? very few is the answer to that
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 08:32 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

I think most pros like to have the same toss for all of their serves, so as to have better disguise. That's why they can't hit as effective a kick serve as they could.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 09:32 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billabong
Ferrero's backhand is also awesome
yeah, right....
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 10:30 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Kafelnikov and Agassi with both elbows straight...


Coria and Cañas with both elbows flexed on impact...


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 11:01 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Listen to Fumus, he knows what he is talking about. He gave me pretty good advice for my son.

All the other tips are pretty sound too.

I don't play myself but watching my son play I know that, beside learning from a professional, you should follow your natural movements. Not everyone has the same approach to shots. So you should listen to your coach and follow what comes to you naturally. You should be very comfortable going for your shots and how you execute them.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 11:38 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Let me tell you my story about my serve.

I always thought I was spinning it in. I started to suspect about a month ago that my grip was seriously causing my serve to occassionally breakdown. It turns out my grip was semi-western, and I was flatting them in.

Make sure you're really using a continental grip! Try to utilize a shoulder turn (ie. try to use your WHOLE body, not just the arm).
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 03:33 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandoura
Listen to Fumus, he knows what he is talking about. He gave me pretty good advice for my son.

All the other tips are pretty sound too.

I don't play myself but watching my son play I know that, beside learning from a professional, you should follow your natural movements. Not everyone has the same approach to shots. So you should listen to your coach and follow what comes to you naturally. You should be very comfortable going for your shots and how you execute them.

Why thank you....years of reading and studying pay off..lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by leng jai View Post
Anyone who says any player has no chance against Dolgopolov is clearly trolling.
That's the gospel.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 04:15 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

I like the way Safin, Martin, and Chang hit their 2 handed backhands. Do you have any pics of these players hitting?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 05:04 PM
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Re: Two-handed backhand and serve questions.

Marat Safin's backhand is similar to Ferreros'. With both elbows slightly flexed at impact Marat can generate enormous amounts of pace. What makes his backhand the best in the world however is his ability to the ball early and change direction on the ball. This has to do with Marat's preperation, he takes the racquet back incredibly early...this is a good lesson to any club player out there looking to make improvements on their backhand. Early preperation leads to better shots!


Marat Safins slightly flexed elbows give him power and control but it's his amazing preperation that gives him the best backhand in tennis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leng jai View Post
Anyone who says any player has no chance against Dolgopolov is clearly trolling.
That's the gospel.
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