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How to hit a Tennis Backhand

Updated on May 20, 2015

Backhand Grip Style

Once again I'm going to say this to all tennis lovers. "copying someone's grip style does not make you a better player" PERIOD!. people have to realise that its all about how the player feels, and NOT about how the players feel. If the grip feels right for you then adopt it and start using it. you can variate your backhand if you like but I highly suggest that you add gym workout to your daily routine.

Many people have said that having a specific grip size and grip holding style will improve your tennis game. that is not true. I myself used to use a single backhand, then I switched to a double backhand and finally came back to my original single backhand. I also got a callus on my lower left palm, which was very painful, and this was due to my ignorance and lack of knowledge of the game. My coach gave me a simple advice which I follow up till this day, and that is to "Respond To Your Feelings". If you feel that you need to change your grip when you perform a backhand, then do it.

Gasquet Backhand Contact

Perfect Backhand

Every backhand has a method of perfection in which only the player can truly master. For example Richard Gasquet has a very unique backhand in where he relies on the flick/momentum of his wrist to generate the power for the backhand. He literally snaps his wrist towards the sweet-spot of the racquet with great speed. There are others who have a good single back hand such as Wawrinka, Federer, Kholshrieber, etc... A perfect backhand requires good balance and technique. Power and accuracy are the secondary factor. Perfection of the backhand is not an easy task and requires a lot of mental effort.

Key Points In a Single Backhand

1 - balance

2 - Step in towards the ball

3 - when the ball goes low you go low

4 - thrust your shots from below to above (weight transfer)

5 - follow through the shot to acquire perfection or the final touches to your backhand

The Full Backhand Motion (Single)

I will try my level best to show you the key points in how a backhand should be performed. I advise every player whose keen in this approach to study the technique SLOWLY. Slow and steady wins the race, is the concept that we should follow in tennis. Eventually with practice you will be able to perform the backhand with ease, but it requires patience.

Now if you look below you should get a few indications on how a single backhand should be performed. Steady balance and wrist snapping are very important keys to remember in a single backhand. The step in towards to the single backhand is the part where you just start to execute the motion of the single backhand from the back side of the torso, acceleration out to wards the contact zone of the racquet.

Single Backhand Motion

The Full Backhand Motion (Double)

The double backhand in my opinion is a much tougher shot to execute, though it is debatable. To make things clear for the audience out there, I want you guys to know that a double backhand is simply a left forehand (if you a righty), because you generate all the pace from you non - dominant hand. unlike the single backhand in where you shift weight from below to above, in a double backhand you shift it from back to front, so you can put a lot of power into the shot. Below I have shown a full motion double backhand shot of Rafael Nadal. double backhand's power are usually generated from the twist of the torso into the left arm and then into the racquet.

Double Backhand Motion

Staniles Wawrinka Flying Backhand

Kei Nishikori Air Backhand

The Flying Backhand

This is a very interesting development in the 20th century in the tennis world, where people are starting to introduce new type of shot like the tweener, banana shot, etc... The flying backhand also comes in that selection of shots. The flying backhand has been used by many players on tour such as Roger Federer, Staniles Wawrinka, Kei Nishkori, Jo - Wilfred Tsonga, and many more.

Right Picture Explained (K-AIR)

Kei Nishikori's flying backhand or air backhand has been very popular in the tennis tour and is a weapon which he utilises frequently. The picture shows that he is in the air when he's executing the double backhand motion. it's a a sudden twist and turn of the torso towards the ball, giving it a slap motion to it.

Best Backhand Poll

Who Backhand is the best in Tennis?

See results

The Federer Slice

The Backhand Slice

The backhand slice is a very technical shot in the tennis world. It requires great footwork and balance to create a heavy slice. Roger Federer's slice is one of the most prominent in the game. Dolgopolov also has a very unique backhand slice. The main purpose of the backhand slice is to prevent the opponent from coming into the net, it also creates space between the player and you. These kind of shots usually accumulate on the latter stages of the game to confirm victory of the match. In tennis every point counts. There is also another type of slice which is called the drop shot slice, which is very rarely used by players. This kind of shot has greater error margin then the normal backhand slice. But overall the backhand slice is a lethal weapon to add to your arsenal.

Double Backhand Simple Explanation

Understanding the Double Backhand

People should understand and realise that professional players use their weight to their advantage. Being 80kg does not make you a sluggish tennis player. But if you use that weight correctly you can demonstrate and compensate for the lack of speed with your power. Coach Kyril explains it very clearly that the power being generated comes from your non - dominant arm and the other arm is just a guide.

Single Backhand Simple Explanation

Understanding the Single Backhand

Once again a very good video on how to do a simple single backhand. take note that a single backhand grip is usually placed on the racquet with your fingers spread apart, so you can create a pivot point form more control on your shots.

Backhand Follow Through

The Follow Through

The follow through of the single or double backhand shows that you know where the ball will land in the court without even looking at the projectory. You can say that the follow through of the backhand is the final touch for perfection. It also indicates that you have practised your motion and technique very thoroughly.


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