How to prevent a one-handed backhand from degrading during match play? [Archive] -

How to prevent a one-handed backhand from degrading during match play?

04-25-2007, 08:34 PM
Hi everyone. I finally joined the forum and first wanted to say hello. I am a 38 year-old 3.75 player, having taken up the game about 11 years ago at about the time Pete Sampras beat Corretja in that epic US Open quarterfinal match. Maybe being a Pete fan has been a curse, because, like him, I like attacking tennis and short points but the talent isnít always there to back it up. Anyway, hereís my question, and thanks in advance for your help.

I have a one-handed backhand. In practice, or during lessons, I can hit respectable topspin drives. And I understand the mechanics of the shot. But in match play, even if Iím not nervous, my racquet speed drops, I donít uncoil through the shot, and the result is an unimpressive and rather flat slow shot that soon becomes a liability. Or, I fall back to using the slice. I canít tell if this is a result of not having confidence or is due to a fitness issue since the shot requires getting low and using good footwork, which can be difficult when fatigue sets in. Or maybe it's a lack of flexibility that lets me down.

Regardless, itís driving me mad because I know what I am capable of, but canít seem to deliver the goods nearly as often as Iíd like. If anyone has any tips or advice to prevent this bad habit, Iíd sure appreciate it.


07-07-2007, 11:48 PM
You don't feel nervous, but you are probably worried about missing the shot. Don't worry about missing. Everybody does it and the less you worry about it the less you miss. All of this is related to your confidence in your backhand. You know how to hit it, so don't worry about it. Trust yourself and you'll be fine.

07-09-2007, 09:28 PM
for experimental sake try keeping the offhand off the racket so that at the takeback stage its only the griphand that's wielding the racket. i use the one handed backhand too and when i miss i know its because my preparation was tardy or clumsy. wielding the racket with only the griphand forces me to be more quick and less clumsy during my takeback stage. rod laver did this and there's a link on this site under blast from the past category which might help.