Tennis Backhand

A photo of the Tennis Backhand.

The Backhand in Tennis is another groundstroke used on the opposite side of the forehand. As the forehand usually applies to the dominant hand, the backhand is on the side with the non-dominant hand. For example, a right-handed player's backhand would be on his left. In contrast with the forehand, the backhand tends to have more people hitting it with two hands than with one. There are a few main differences to each backhand, however these do not always apply as they may differ based on player.

The Two-Handed BackhandEdit

The Two-Handed Backhand tends to have the capabilities of:

  • Accuracy. The two-handed backhand employs the dominant arm as a guide, allowing for greater accuracy than the one-handed backhand.
  • Hitting Points. The hititng point for a two-handed backhander tends to be a higher, allowing for high balls to be hit more easily than a one-handed backhand.
  • Stance. The two-handed backhand is able to be hit with an open stance, in contrast to the one-handed backhand which usually requires a closed stance.

The One-Handed BackhandEdit

  • Reach. The one-handed backhand allows for greater reach than the two-handed backhand does because it is not held back by the dominant arm.
  • Accuracy. The one-handed backhand employs the dominant arm as the only part on the racket at contact, which allows the one-handed backhand to hit low balls, and give them much more pace and penetration.
  • Net play. The one-handed bakchand allows for greater forward momentum. In addition, it has more preference to muscle memory to the preferred type of backhand volley.

The SliceEdit

Again, like the forehand, the backhand also has a slice. The slice is usually a preference for balls that the other backhand groundstrokes cannot hit. However, some players have utilized the slice as their only backhand, which allows them to hit high and low balls with underspin, or as some know it to be, backspin.

The slice is normally hit with the continental grip or the eastern backhand grip. The slice is meant to be swung straight downwards, or with a little sidespin in order to give a slow and low skidding ball.


Several different grips have been employed in the past for both the two-handed and one-handed backhand. Starting off with the two-handed backhand, is the Continental grip on top of the racket with the dominant hand, and the non-dominant hand on the bottom, towards the top of the grip with a Semi-western grip.

The one-handed backhand tends to have the Eastern Backhand Grip, but can be modified to the Continental grip, or other grips. Justine Henin, stated to be one of the greatest one-handed backhanders of the current era is known to use a modified Eastern Backhand Grip which leans more toward the Semi-western grip to prove that the exactly Eastern Backhand grip is not required to hit a one-handed backhand. Although Justine Henin's height may have to do with her grip.

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