Tennis Two-Handed Backhand
The two-handed backhand groundstroke is one of my favorite shots in tennis although I find it takes more energy to hit. Due to having both hands on the racquet your footwork needs to be on point, otherwise it can feel overwhelming. Check out the prior post titled Tennis Backhand Groundstroke Ultimate Guide to catch up on the movement and preparation required to hit an effective backhand. With that being said let’s begin!
Two-Handed Backhand Groundstroke: Unit Turn
On the two-handed backhand when you begin your backswing you want to do as what is referred to as a unit turn. Think of the upper body, the shoulder, the arm, and the hand as a unit. When taking back the racquet the shoulder initiates and performs the turn and the elbows and arms stay fixed. Before accelerating the racquet forward you want to drop the head of the racquet so that your arms are extended and your racquet head is below the ball.
Tennis Two-Handed Backhand: Backswing
The backswing and the load on the back foot happen at the same time. Once both are complete, your racquet butt should be pointed toward the net and the racquet head will have dropped back so that the racquet head is hidden from your opponent but not so far back that the head of the racquet is behind your body. Once complete, it’s time to initiate the body weight and racquet head forward into the ball.
Two-Handed Backhand: Weight Transfer
There are a few components that lead to a fundamentally sound swing prior to contact on the backhand. The weight transfer happens by taking your last step forward into the ball with your right leg (assuming your right handed, the left leg if you are a lefty). Your racquet will accelerate from low to high, rising as it approaches toward the ball. Hit the ball with the swing of your arm initiated by your shoulder, not your wrist. Your racquet should make a right angle, with some wiggle room, with your arms throughout the swing.
Two-Handed Backhand Groundstroke: Contact Point
Your ideal contact point is around hip height and the dominate arm should be extended when you meet the ball slightly out in front of your body. As you accelerate your racquet head forward, your wrists stay laid back, during and after contact your hands extend forward naturally into the court.
Tennis Two-Handed Backhand: Follow Through
After you contact the ball think of extending your racquet forward through the court as if someone was pulling your hands forward after contact. This will help ensure you make solid contact and keep you from bending your elbows prematurely. On the follow through you will find that your elbows stay off of your chest and the racquet head finishes high around your right shoulder if you are right handed and around your left shoulder if you are a lefty.
Two-Handed Backhand Groundstroke: Pro Tip
If you find your elbows touch or rest on your chest after contact you may want to focus on extending your arms further out into the court after contact. My coach growing up would say to think about hitting through six balls rather than one.
If you found value in this guide follow the link provided for a complete list of guides on tennis technique.
Lastly, what would you add to the two-handed backhand groundstroke? If you have found something that works for you and want to share your best practices or have any questions please leave a comment below and I will make sure to respond. Cheers!