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Last call for the gotta play tennis podcast

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

REFLECTIONS...is it time for double trouble?

One thing has always been a constant in most people's tennis games. The common thread? "What to do about the backhand." When growing up, the one-handed backhand was the norm. On the odd occasion, you had players like Connors or Borg burst onto the scene with a two-hander. But these again were the exception rather than the rule. Now the roles have been reversed. Four of the five players at the top of the ATP tour are two-handed backhand players. Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Soderling wield the double-fisted weapon. Only Federer keeps the single-handed stroke alive.

As we move down the list to round out the top 10, we see Ferrer, Monfils, Fish, Berdych and Roddick all keeping a grip with two hands. Clearly this is a sign. The real question for all of us to answer now is, if we grew up with the one hander, do we consider a switch to two hands on the frame? And if so, what would be our justification?

I may want to cover this in a podcast in more depth, but it certainly is a head scratcher. My main interest relates to a key point for each of the two hands. First, when battling the high humidity we get on the east coast presumably due to our proximity to the ocean, my grip on the backhand side tends to slip creating an errant ball that misses it's mark too often. An additional hand on the wheel would more than likely eliminate that as an issue. Secondly, one can hit an effective groundstroke with an open stance using the two hander. This is extremely difficult to do with one. This stance allows for less commitment to one side and helps facilitate quicker recovery to the center or even opposite corner of the court. These are two really good reasons for considering a switch. Just don't expect me to ever lose my deadly accurate slice easily produced with one hand. It's a keeper for sure.

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