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Old 03-27-2007, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default How to return a shot with lots of topspin with your one-handed backhand

Yesterday I realized that I have a problem with my one-handed backhand. I played a guy who puts lots of topspin on his shots. Once the ball bounces it starts going higher and higher. Even if I use a two-handed forehand I had no problems controlling his shots with my forehand. I could take the ball at the level of my shoulders or my head and strike the ball parallel to the floor or even from up to down if I was closer to the net. But it was impossible to do the same with the backhand. The only thing I´m able to do when the ball is so high is to slice the ball, but the ball was so heavy, with so much spin, that it was very difficult to control the slice. So I had to go 2 meters behind the baseline to strike the ball when it was falling (when it was at the level of my waist). This way he started dominating the rally. Luckily I could win the match, but I had tons of UEs with my backhand. I´d like to know what´s the best strategy for the next time I face him.
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to return a shot with lots of topspin with your one-handed backhand

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Originally Posted by SBruguera View Post
Yesterday I realized that I have a problem with my one-handed backhand. I played a guy who puts lots of topspin on his shots. Once the ball bounces it starts going higher and higher. Even if I use a two-handed forehand I had no problems controlling his shots with my forehand. I could take the ball at the level of my shoulders or my head and strike the ball parallel to the floor or even from up to down if I was closer to the net. But it was impossible to do the same with the backhand. The only thing I´m able to do when the ball is so high is to slice the ball, but the ball was so heavy, with so much spin, that it was very difficult to control the slice. So I had to go 2 meters behind the baseline to strike the ball when it was falling (when it was at the level of my waist). This way he started dominating the rally. Luckily I could win the match, but I had tons of UEs with my backhand. I´d like to know what´s the best strategy for the next time I face him.
Two-hand forehand? I would seriously not recommend using that... No reach, and IMO one-hand allows way more power and in the end result, control. JM Gambill proves that two-hand forehand is weaker than one-hand.

Now back to your problem. How old are you? Because at the junior level, I don't see many super topspin players, and the ones that do punch a lot of topspin, usually don't put much pace. And I don't see how slicing a heavily topspin ball is hard, because it is already spinning the way you want it, all you need to do is block it back.

Heck, today I played someone who hit really deep heavily topspin shots. I attacked his backhand first of all since that side is harder to generate massive topspin and I hit his balls on the rise (it can be hard to time from pace and spin, but after a while you should get used to it). I also found that attacking the net was sometimes a good idea, but only when he was hitting the ball on the run. If I basically gave him the ball and went to the net, he would hit it over me with a load of topspin, giving me no chance to go back and return.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to return a shot with lots of topspin with your one-handed backhand

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Originally Posted by HKz View Post
Two-hand forehand? I would seriously not recommend using that... No reach, and IMO one-hand allows way more power and in the end result, control. JM Gambill proves that two-hand forehand is weaker than one-hand.

Now back to your problem. How old are you? Because at the junior level, I don't see many super topspin players, and the ones that do punch a lot of topspin, usually don't put much pace. And I don't see how slicing a heavily topspin ball is hard, because it is already spinning the way you want it, all you need to do is block it back.

Heck, today I played someone who hit really deep heavily topspin shots. I attacked his backhand first of all since that side is harder to generate massive topspin and I hit his balls on the rise (it can be hard to time from pace and spin, but after a while you should get used to it). I also found that attacking the net was sometimes a good idea, but only when he was hitting the ball on the run. If I basically gave him the ball and went to the net, he would hit it over me with a load of topspin, giving me no chance to go back and return.
Thanks for the advice. Maybe I had a bad day on slicing the ball. Next time I´ll try to hit his balls on the rise as you said, trying to put some spin on it because is very difficult to flatten this kind of balls. If the ball is getting too high I´ll try to slice better this time. Everything but trying to be defensive (I´m much more comfortable on the attack than on defense). And yes, you´re right, he generated less topspin with his backhand. And he had a flat serve too. That´s how I managed to beat him the last time.

About my two-handed forehand, everybody tells me the same thing. But I have played like this for the last 12 years and I´m not going to change now. It´s an extremely natural strike for me, very consistent even if it´s quite flat. Of course there is the reaching problem. But, when I cannot reach the ball I hit a one-handed forehand without problems (I always use a single-handed forehand on the run).

This is a piece of an interview to Fabrice Santoro:

I notice that you hit with a double-handed stroke on both your forehand and backhand. Why and how did you decide to utilize the double-handed stroke rather than the single-handed one?
Joachim Gay (Singapore)
When I first picked up a racquet when I was six years old it was the same weight as the racquet I use today. It was far too heavy for me so picked it up with two hands. Had I started playing with one of the children’s racquets that you can buy today I probably would have played with one hand. And I probably wouldn’t be on the tour!

http://www.cincytennis.com/en/news/a...ews2355_rx.asp
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to return a shot with lots of topspin with your one-handed backhand

Take it early - Very hard.
Move back - and return with a lot of topspin
Slice it - keep it low, therefore its harder for your opponent to get as much topspin and height over the net.
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to return a shot with lots of topspin with your one-handed backhand

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Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
Take it early - Very hard.
Move back - and return with a lot of topspin
Slice it - keep it low, therefore its harder for your opponent to get as much topspin and height over the net.
lol, I was going to write it out but it was well put here, lol.

I cant slice the high spin balls very well, it does require quite a bit of strength.


I use to move back and wait for the ball hitting it back with alot of spin, but I prefer to just get it early now and hit the shit out of it lol, you have to hit it hard to get it back well so dont be afraid to hit it out, usually when I play those shots more timid I end up missing them...
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to return a shot with lots of topspin with your one-handed backhand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
Take it early - Very hard.
Move back - and return with a lot of topspin
Slice it - keep it low, therefore its harder for your opponent to get as much topspin and height over the net.
Well said, I prefer slicing the ball and keeping it as low as possible. It´s actually a very enjoyable shot because you don´t need much power, just control. Keep slicing and wait for a good opportunity to do something else! A good slice backhand is an underrated shot!
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