Nadal-Federer and Sampras-Agassi are two of the biggest tennis rivalries of the last 25 years. They are icons looked up to by young tennis players. Both rivalries have a player that hits a 1 handed backhand and the other hits with 2. It’s no surprise that people don’t know whether to hit their backhands with one or two hands on the racquet. Tennis coaches tell most youth players to hit with two because it’s hard to hit a one-handed backhand at such a young age. As people get older, however, some learn to use one-hand. Like choosing your tennis raquet, it’s all about preference. There is no definitive answer to which technique is better. Here are a couple pros and cons to each style. It’s up to you to decide which one is better for your game. 

One-handed Backhand: The main benefit of a one-handed backhand is reach. Many people find that once they master the stroke they have more reach and can hit through the tennis ball more easily. It’s often easier to attack the net and move forward with your shot if you hit with one hand, because you hit a one-handed backhand further in front of you. Also a one-handed backhand hides a slice better, which keeps your opponent guessing. Finally, since backhand volley are hit with one hand, people who hit a one-handed backhand tend to have better feel and fluidity with them.

Two-handed backhand: The reason most tennis coaches teach young players the two-handed backhand is because the second hand gives more stability and power to your shot. As you get older and stronger, you may think you don’t need a second hand. This might be true for waist-high balls, but people who use a one-handed backhand usually struggle hitting balls up around their shoulder. This is something that your opponent can take advantage of. With a two-handed backhand you can also get away with poorly timed shots and recover more easily than you would with a one-handed backhand.

There are advantages and disadvantages of both the one-hand and two-hand backhands. Players at the highest level use both, so it is not a matter of right and wrong. To master either technique takes a lot of work and you should train with a good coach who knows how to hit whichever shot you choose.

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