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Date: 01 Feb 2009 08:59:26
From: topspin
Subject: The death of the single-handed backhand?
I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
choice, for the foreseeable future.

On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.

Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
changes.




 
Date: 02 Feb 2009 03:57:52
From: topspin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 2 Feb, 11:46, p...@me.not.invalid wrote:
> topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> writes:
> > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> Based on the result of this one AO final or the state of the FedNad
> rivalry?

Not exclusively. Based on the trend (look at eg ATP and WTA December
#1-10 rankings year by year, and look at the trends) the trend to 2hbh
is inescapable.

One thing that could change te trendt is for a dominant player to show
that a 1hbh can compete. Federer was the last ray of hope for that,
since Blake/Haas/and Gasquet have fallen away. A year ago you could
make the case for a 1hbh, but the cumulative results against Nadal,
combined with Murray/Verdasco etc. just seem to point away from that,
certainly for any young players who will be champions of the future.
It would be a brave call to go for a 1 hbh now.


> > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> Doesn't mean that other 1Hers would have the same problems that Federer
> has. Kuerten, Gaudio, Sanchez, Costa, Costa, ... and numerous others
> dealt with the high bouncing balls.
>
> Some 2Hers have problems with Nadal as well.

Of course, because he is a great player. You would expect that. But
when the best of his opponents, and a recently dominant champion, has
problems, it makes you consider.

> > With the preponderance of high
> > bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> > where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> > backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> > Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> > is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> > changes.
>
> If you start tennis at much later than around six, there's a good chance
> you won't be playing pros. At that age the 2Her is almost a no brainer
> regardless of who's the current who.

True, hence the trend towards 2hbh. Federer's dominance was a chance
the trend could be reversed, especially if he were to be followed by
another 1hbh. That is not going to happen.


  
Date: 07 Feb 2009 00:28:39
From:
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
topspin <goolagongfan@hotmail.com > writes:

> On 2 Feb, 11:46, p...@me.not.invalid wrote:
>> topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> writes:
>> > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
>> > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>>
>> Based on the result of this one AO final or the state of the FedNad
>> rivalry?
>
> Not exclusively.

But it does figure in? If it does, there's a slight smack of
generalising from Federer's BH to the 1H BH in general in the gloomy
aftermath of the final.

> Based on the trend (look at eg ATP and WTA December
> #1-10 rankings year by year, and look at the trends) the trend to 2hbh
> is inescapable.

The top 10 is a rather narrow indicator, but yes the trend is there. But
is it for the reasons stated in this thread, the supposed lack of
viability of the 1H BH at the top or something else?

The 2Her probably does have an advantage with higher or the high
ROS, assuming ... that the handedness is the only, let alone the most
important parameter. The others could be preparation in general,
"seeing" things, mindset, confidence ... or just plain bad
judgement. When you see Federer shank a few BHs, hit some overly
passively, or just standing in the headlights, what is the reasoning
that makes the handedness make the headlines?

> One thing that could change te trendt is for a dominant player to show
> that a 1hbh can compete. Federer was the last ray of hope for that,
> since Blake/Haas/and Gasquet have fallen away. A year ago you could
> make the case for a 1hbh, but the cumulative results against Nadal,
> combined with Murray/Verdasco etc. just seem to point away from that,
> certainly for any young players who will be champions of the future.
> It would be a brave call to go for a 1 hbh now.

To an extent I agree. However, I don't believe any of the disadvantages
of the 1Her (or the 2Her, for that matter) are insurmountable. That's
why I gave Kuerten, Gaudio, etc as counter examples. I also believe
*technical* issues are tier 2 explanations for the outcomes of
professional tennis matches.

>
>
>> > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
>> > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
>> > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
>> > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>>
>> Doesn't mean that other 1Hers would have the same problems that Federer
>> has. Kuerten, Gaudio, Sanchez, Costa, Costa, ... and numerous others
>> dealt with the high bouncing balls.
>>
>> Some 2Hers have problems with Nadal as well.
>
> Of course, because he is a great player. You would expect that. But
> when the best of his opponents, and a recently dominant champion, has
> problems, it makes you consider.

Federer's issues are, I believe, far removed from ball striking. But
this has already been hashed and rehashed so many times by now, so I'm
happy to leave it at that ...

>> > With the preponderance of high
>> > bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
>> > where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
>> > backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>>
>> > Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
>> > is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
>> > changes.
>>
>> If you start tennis at much later than around six, there's a good chance
>> you won't be playing pros. At that age the 2Her is almost a no brainer
>> regardless of who's the current who.
>
> True, hence the trend towards 2hbh. Federer's dominance was a chance
> the trend could be reversed, especially if he were to be followed by
> another 1hbh. That is not going to happen.



 
Date: 02 Feb 2009 13:46:20
From:
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
topspin <goolagongfan@hotmail.com > writes:

> I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> choice, for the foreseeable future.

Based on the result of this one AO final or the state of the FedNad
rivalry? I doubt that.

> On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).

Doesn't mean that other 1Hers would have the same problems that Federer
has. Kuerten, Gaudio, Sanchez, Costa, Costa, ... and numerous others
dealt with the high bouncing balls.

Some 2Hers have problems with Nadal as well.

> With the preponderance of high
> bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> changes.

If you start tennis at much later than around six, there's a good chance
you won't be playing pros. At that age the 2Her is almost a no brainer
regardless of who's the current who.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 21:55:37
From: zcarenow@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?

>
> You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> Federer's patience to an extreme.

This is especially true at the FO where Fed can't do anything against
that high bouncing topspin that Nadal generates on clay. Just
remarkable really.



 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 20:24:58
From: RahimAsif
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 4:48=A0pm, "*skriptis" <skrip...@post.t-com.hr > wrote:
> Look bad, I agree. Also serve died too. volleying. SHBH might die as well=
.

Serve hasn't died - its just that the return game has gone up several
notches. Volleying, you are correct...


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 23:48:08
From: *skriptis
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
topspin wrote:
> I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> changes.

Look bad, I agree. Also serve died too. volleying. SHBH might die as well.




 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 14:46:41
From: topspin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 Feb, 22:41, Sakari Lund <sakari.l...@welho.com > wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 14:30:02 -0800 (PST), topspin
>
>
>
> <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >On 1 Feb, 21:40, Sakari Lund <sakari.l...@welho.com> wrote:
> >> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 08:59:26 -0800 (PST), topspin
>
> >> <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >> >I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> >> >choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> >> >On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> >> >factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> >> >Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> >> >Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> >> >bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> >> >where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> >> >backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> >> >Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> >> >is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> >> >changes.
>
> >> Well, if up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see,
> >> there should be many juniors who emulate Federer and Henin. All the
> >> juniors didn't start just now...
>
> >I agree, except I have noticed that the young players have been
> >emulating Nadal rather than Federer for the past couple of years, even
> >though Federer has been more dominant. I think he has appealed to them
> >more, being the younger player. I am not sure about young female
> >players, and Henin was never really dominant.
>
> She was in 2007.

I doubt one year is going to decide a generation of players.

In fact looking at the women's game it seems like a lot of them tried
to emulate Kournikova, tennis-wise.'Quite' good but not good enough at
the highest level...!!

:-)


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 14:44:12
From: topspin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 Feb, 22:35, Joe Ramirez <josephmrami...@netzero.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 5:30=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On 1 Feb, 21:40, Sakari Lund <sakari.l...@welho.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 08:59:26 -0800 (PST), topspin
>
> > > <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > > >I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> > > >choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > >On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > >factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > > >Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > >Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> > > >bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> > > >where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> > > >backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> > > >Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> > > >is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> > > >changes.
>
> > > Well, if up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see,
> > > there should be many juniors who emulate Federer and Henin. All the
> > > juniors didn't start just now...
>
> > I agree, except I have noticed that the young players have been
> > emulating Nadal rather than Federer for the past couple of years, even
> > though Federer has been more dominant. I think he has appealed to them
> > more, being the younger player. I am not sure about young female
> > players, and Henin was never really dominant.
>
> Henin has (had) zero charisma, which can be just as important as skill
> and championships in influencing young players. Also no glamour, which
> can also count. I would think young girls would want to emulate the
> Williams sisters or Sharapova. Nadal of course has lots of charisma,
> causing kids to copy him even though his style is quite extreme.
>
> Joe Ramirez

Very true. It is as much about what they want to be like in total, not
just as winners.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 14:35:09
From: Joe Ramirez
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 5:30=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com > wrote:
> On 1 Feb, 21:40, Sakari Lund <sakari.l...@welho.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 08:59:26 -0800 (PST), topspin
>
> > <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > >I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> > >choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > >On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > >factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > >Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > >Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> > >bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> > >where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> > >backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> > >Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> > >is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> > >changes.
>
> > Well, if up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see,
> > there should be many juniors who emulate Federer and Henin. All the
> > juniors didn't start just now...
>
> I agree, except I have noticed that the young players have been
> emulating Nadal rather than Federer for the past couple of years, even
> though Federer has been more dominant. I think he has appealed to them
> more, being the younger player. I am not sure about young female
> players, and Henin was never really dominant.

Henin has (had) zero charisma, which can be just as important as skill
and championships in influencing young players. Also no glamour, which
can also count. I would think young girls would want to emulate the
Williams sisters or Sharapova. Nadal of course has lots of charisma,
causing kids to copy him even though his style is quite extreme.

Joe Ramirez


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 14:30:02
From: topspin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 Feb, 21:40, Sakari Lund <sakari.l...@welho.com > wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 08:59:26 -0800 (PST), topspin
>
> <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> >choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> >On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> >factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> >Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> >Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> >bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> >where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> >backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> >Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> >is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> >changes.
>
> Well, if up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see,
> there should be many juniors who emulate Federer and Henin. All the
> juniors didn't start just now...

I agree, except I have noticed that the young players have been
emulating Nadal rather than Federer for the past couple of years, even
though Federer has been more dominant. I think he has appealed to them
more, being the younger player. I am not sure about young female
players, and Henin was never really dominant.


  
Date: 02 Feb 2009 00:41:08
From: Sakari Lund
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 14:30:02 -0800 (PST), topspin
<goolagongfan@hotmail.com > wrote:

>On 1 Feb, 21:40, Sakari Lund <sakari.l...@welho.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 08:59:26 -0800 (PST), topspin
>>
>> <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> >I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
>> >choice, for the foreseeable future.
>>
>> >On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
>> >factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
>> >Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
>> >Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
>> >bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
>> >where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
>> >backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>>
>> >Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
>> >is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
>> >changes.
>>
>> Well, if up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see,
>> there should be many juniors who emulate Federer and Henin. All the
>> juniors didn't start just now...
>
>I agree, except I have noticed that the young players have been
>emulating Nadal rather than Federer for the past couple of years, even
>though Federer has been more dominant. I think he has appealed to them
>more, being the younger player. I am not sure about young female
>players, and Henin was never really dominant.

She was in 2007.




 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 23:40:51
From: Sakari Lund
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 08:59:26 -0800 (PST), topspin
<goolagongfan@hotmail.com > wrote:

>I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
>choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
>On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
>factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
>Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
>Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
>bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
>where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
>backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
>Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
>is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
>changes.

Well, if up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see,
there should be many juniors who emulate Federer and Henin. All the
juniors didn't start just now...


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 12:35:12
From: Joe Ramirez
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 2:08=A0pm, "Ted S." <tedsten...@myrealbox.com > wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 09:49:59 -0800 (PST), Joe Ramirez wrote:
> > "Seemiller grip" tennis must
> > have disappeared quickly when the game speeded up, since I don't think
> > anyone important used that technique in Tilden's time. So if one style
> > of tennis backhand can be rendered obsolete by the evolution of the
> > sport, why not another?
>
> Didn't Berasetegui have a bizarre grip that had him using the same face
> of the racket for FH and BH?

I think the situation with Berasategui was that he used an extreme
Western grip forehand, but his backhand grip was essentially normal.
My impression of Brookes, based on Collins' explanation and
demonstration, was that he used a more or less normal forehand grip,
but his backhand was flipped over. So Brookes' backhand would have had
little power and very little reach -- basically good only for hitting
balls right in front of your body -- while Berasategui had a regular
backhand.

Joe Ramirez


  
Date: 01 Feb 2009 23:15:34
From: pltrgyst
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 12:35:12 -0800 (PST), Joe Ramirez
<josephmramirez@netzero.com > wrote:

>I think the situation with Berasategui was that he used an extreme
>Western grip forehand, but his backhand grip was essentially normal.

I think that he and numerous other players who use the extreme western forehand
use the same racquet face for both strokes. Try it yourself -- I have. A really
extreme forehand is the same as a normal one-handed topspin backhand grip.

To change from the extreme western forehand to a backhand grip with the knucke
over the opposite side flat would require a shift of at or almost 180 degrees.
Why would you do that when you can shift 15 degrees or less and use the same
racquet face?

-- Larry


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 12:29:49
From: xamigax@gmail.com
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 f=E9v, 20:08, "Ted S." <tedsten...@myrealbox.com > wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 09:49:59 -0800 (PST), Joe Ramirez wrote:
> > "Seemiller grip" tennis must
> > have disappeared quickly when the game speeded up, since I don't think
> > anyone important used that technique in Tilden's time. So if one style
> > of tennis backhand can be rendered obsolete by the evolution of the
> > sport, why not another?
>
> Didn't Berasetegui have a bizarre grip that had him using the same face
> of the racket for FH and BH?
>
> --
> Ted Schuerzinger
> tedstennis at myrealbox dot com
> If you're afraid of the ball, don't sit in the front row. --Anastasia
> Rodionova

Yep, I managed to copy his grip.
Not that uneasy, what is harder is to add speed/weight to the ball.
Plus you have no much room for average footwork, since there are
little positions that allow you to hit such things.
And again, bigger racquet is helping
Quite funny, indded when you start getting that grip & positionning
working.
BTW, I am a "natural" one hand backhand player.
By natural I only mean that the first time I handled a racquet in
order to play a bh, I found it easier to play it without my left hand
involved.

Share & Enjoy,
Manolo


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 11:55:39
From: robin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 Feb, 19:48, "smip...@yahoo.com" <smip...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 11:35=A0am, Joe Ramirez <josephmrami...@netzero.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 1, 12:24=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon=
of
> > > > > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > > > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > > > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear th=
at
> > > > > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > > > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> > > > You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> > > > liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> > > > Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> > > > About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> > > > 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.
>
> > > I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
> > > the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
> > > SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
> > > Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
> > > fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went t=
o
> > > Federer's backhand.
>
> > > Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
> > > hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
> > > game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
> > > certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
> > > slower bouncing.
>
> > I agree -- Federer will be the last no. 1 with a one-handed backhand.
> > The two-hander previously had two key disadvantages: a lack of reach
> > and a lack of variety/flexibility. The first has been addressed simply
> > by breeding speedier players. :) The second has been dealt with by two-
> > handers' adoption of one-handed technique as dictated by tactics.
> > Nowadays it is a routine matter for a two-handed player to drop off a
> > hand now and then. Almost every top two-handed player has an adequate
> > one-handed slice backhand: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Roddick.
> > These shots may lack the elegance of Federer's slice, but they work
> > well enough. Single-handed players, however, never add the other hand
> > when they need extra strength and/or stability. Ironically, therefore,
> > the variety/flexibility factor now favors the two-hander. Given
> > today's court speeds, the two-handed backhand is the better choice for
> > just about everyone.
>
> > Joe Ramirez
>
> It also follows that since young kids come into the game, they are
> encouraged to use two hands because they have weaker wrists. This
> habit then carries on as the kids develop(or not) into serious junior
> players. The speed of the game is also a factor, although I find it
> boring as hell to watch a singles match wherein the players seem to
> take turns hammering serves at each other. S/V tennis has indeed been
> a victim of a faster game; it's hard to understand how fans can be
> satisfied with three-shot "rallies" rather than matches with longer
> rallies involving tactical finesse.
>
> Although there has been talk about slower courts, balls, and rackets,
> consideration of the elements of the game itself are overwhelmed by
> the needs of the TV producers. It's hard to assault the viewers of a
> tournament with teasers if the action(already sped up) doesn't appear
> to be almost too fast to follow.
>
> Tom P.

Either I am misunderstanding what you are saying, or I completely
disagree with you. The game has been slowed down. Slower and higher
bouncing courts combined with heavier balls have resulted in longer
rallys than you would have seen ten years ago. Contrast the 2008
Wimbledon final with the 1998.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 11:48:28
From: smipypr@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 11:35=A0am, Joe Ramirez <josephmrami...@netzero.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 12:24=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon o=
f
> > > > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > > > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> > > You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> > > liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> > > Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> > > About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> > > 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.
>
> > I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
> > the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
> > SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
> > Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
> > fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went to
> > Federer's backhand.
>
> > Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
> > hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
> > game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
> > certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
> > slower bouncing.
>
> I agree -- Federer will be the last no. 1 with a one-handed backhand.
> The two-hander previously had two key disadvantages: a lack of reach
> and a lack of variety/flexibility. The first has been addressed simply
> by breeding speedier players. :) The second has been dealt with by two-
> handers' adoption of one-handed technique as dictated by tactics.
> Nowadays it is a routine matter for a two-handed player to drop off a
> hand now and then. Almost every top two-handed player has an adequate
> one-handed slice backhand: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Roddick.
> These shots may lack the elegance of Federer's slice, but they work
> well enough. Single-handed players, however, never add the other hand
> when they need extra strength and/or stability. Ironically, therefore,
> the variety/flexibility factor now favors the two-hander. Given
> today's court speeds, the two-handed backhand is the better choice for
> just about everyone.
>
> Joe Ramirez

It also follows that since young kids come into the game, they are
encouraged to use two hands because they have weaker wrists. This
habit then carries on as the kids develop(or not) into serious junior
players. The speed of the game is also a factor, although I find it
boring as hell to watch a singles match wherein the players seem to
take turns hammering serves at each other. S/V tennis has indeed been
a victim of a faster game; it's hard to understand how fans can be
satisfied with three-shot "rallies" rather than matches with longer
rallies involving tactical finesse.

Although there has been talk about slower courts, balls, and rackets,
consideration of the elements of the game itself are overwhelmed by
the needs of the TV producers. It's hard to assault the viewers of a
tournament with teasers if the action(already sped up) doesn't appear
to be almost too fast to follow.

Tom P.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 10:08:08
From: robin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 Feb, 17:35, Joe Ramirez <josephmrami...@netzero.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 12:24=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon o=
f
> > > > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > > > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> > > You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> > > liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> > > Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> > > About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> > > 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.
>
> > I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
> > the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
> > SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
> > Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
> > fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went to
> > Federer's backhand.
>
> > Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
> > hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
> > game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
> > certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
> > slower bouncing.
>
> I agree -- Federer will be the last no. 1 with a one-handed backhand.
> The two-hander previously had two key disadvantages: a lack of reach
> and a lack of variety/flexibility. The first has been addressed simply
> by breeding speedier players. :) The second has been dealt with by two-
> handers' adoption of one-handed technique as dictated by tactics.
> Nowadays it is a routine matter for a two-handed player to drop off a
> hand now and then. Almost every top two-handed player has an adequate
> one-handed slice backhand: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Roddick.
> These shots may lack the elegance of Federer's slice, but they work
> well enough. Single-handed players, however, never add the other hand
> when they need extra strength and/or stability. Ironically, therefore,
> the variety/flexibility factor now favors the two-hander. Given
> today's court speeds, the two-handed backhand is the better choice for
> just about everyone.
>
> Joe Ramirez

I remember that Haas briefly experimented hitting 2 handed returns.



 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:49:59
From: Joe Ramirez
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 12:41=A0pm, gregor...@hotmail.com wrote:
> On Feb 1, 5:35=A0pm, Joe Ramirez <josephmrami...@netzero.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 1, 12:24=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon=
of
> > > > > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > > > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > > > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear th=
at
> > > > > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > > > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> > > > You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> > > > liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> > > > Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> > > > About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> > > > 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.
>
> > > I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
> > > the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
> > > SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
> > > Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
> > > fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went t=
o
> > > Federer's backhand.
>
> > > Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
> > > hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
> > > game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
> > > certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
> > > slower bouncing.
>
> > I agree -- Federer will be the last no. 1 with a one-handed backhand.
> > The two-hander previously had two key disadvantages: a lack of reach
> > and a lack of variety/flexibility. The first has been addressed simply
> > by breeding speedier players. :) The second has been dealt with by two-
> > handers' adoption of one-handed technique as dictated by tactics.
> > Nowadays it is a routine matter for a two-handed player to drop off a
> > hand now and then. Almost every top two-handed player has an adequate
> > one-handed slice backhand: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Roddick.
> > These shots may lack the elegance of Federer's slice, but they work
> > well enough. Single-handed players, however, never add the other hand
> > when they need extra strength and/or stability. Ironically, therefore,
> > the variety/flexibility factor now favors the two-hander. Given
> > today's court speeds, the two-handed backhand is the better choice for
> > just about everyone.
>
> I proposed here before that one-handers should be given a few points a
> set against two-handers to offset the handicap they are playing
> with ... :-)

Maybe the two-handers could have one hand tied behind their backs? :)

Follow up note on backhand evolution: The cup awarded to the AO men's
champion is named after Sir Norman Brookes, an Aussie who won
Wimbledon in 1907. According to Bud Collins -- Bud is still great for
this kind of info, which you won't find in Wikipedia -- Brookes used
the same face of the racket for both forehand and backhand. In other
words, he played with the Seemiller grip! :) See
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.sport.tennis/msg/f7b7b00a66a245b6
Since my brother and I use this grip in table tennis, when we were
kids we used to experiment with it in tennis as well. Believe me when
I tell you it's basically impossible with any halfway modern version
of the game. The fact that Brookes could be successful with such a
stroke indicates that the 1907 version of the game must have been more
akin to badminton than to today's tennis. "Seemiller grip" tennis must
have disappeared quickly when the game speeded up, since I don't think
anyone important used that technique in Tilden's time. So if one style
of tennis backhand can be rendered obsolete by the evolution of the
sport, why not another?

Joe Ramirez


  
Date: 01 Feb 2009 14:08:35
From: Ted S.
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 09:49:59 -0800 (PST), Joe Ramirez wrote:

> "Seemiller grip" tennis must
> have disappeared quickly when the game speeded up, since I don't think
> anyone important used that technique in Tilden's time. So if one style
> of tennis backhand can be rendered obsolete by the evolution of the
> sport, why not another?

Didn't Berasetegui have a bizarre grip that had him using the same face
of the racket for FH and BH?

--
Ted Schuerzinger
tedstennis at myrealbox dot com
If you're afraid of the ball, don't sit in the front row. --Anastasia
Rodionova


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:41:28
From:
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 5:35=A0pm, Joe Ramirez <josephmrami...@netzero.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 12:24=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon o=
f
> > > > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > > > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> > > You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> > > liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> > > Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> > > About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> > > 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.
>
> > I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
> > the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
> > SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
> > Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
> > fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went to
> > Federer's backhand.
>
> > Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
> > hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
> > game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
> > certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
> > slower bouncing.
>
> I agree -- Federer will be the last no. 1 with a one-handed backhand.
> The two-hander previously had two key disadvantages: a lack of reach
> and a lack of variety/flexibility. The first has been addressed simply
> by breeding speedier players. :) The second has been dealt with by two-
> handers' adoption of one-handed technique as dictated by tactics.
> Nowadays it is a routine matter for a two-handed player to drop off a
> hand now and then. Almost every top two-handed player has an adequate
> one-handed slice backhand: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Roddick.
> These shots may lack the elegance of Federer's slice, but they work
> well enough. Single-handed players, however, never add the other hand
> when they need extra strength and/or stability. Ironically, therefore,
> the variety/flexibility factor now favors the two-hander. Given
> today's court speeds, the two-handed backhand is the better choice for
> just about everyone.
>

I proposed here before that one-handers should be given a few points a
set against two-handers to offset the handicap they are playing
with ... :-)



 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:35:32
From: Joe Ramirez
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 12:24=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com > wrote:
> On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> > > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> > You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> > liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> > Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> > About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> > 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.
>
> I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
> the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
> SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
> Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
> fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went to
> Federer's backhand.
>
> Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
> hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
> game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
> certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
> slower bouncing.

I agree -- Federer will be the last no. 1 with a one-handed backhand.
The two-hander previously had two key disadvantages: a lack of reach
and a lack of variety/flexibility. The first has been addressed simply
by breeding speedier players. :) The second has been dealt with by two-
handers' adoption of one-handed technique as dictated by tactics.
Nowadays it is a routine matter for a two-handed player to drop off a
hand now and then. Almost every top two-handed player has an adequate
one-handed slice backhand: Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, even Roddick.
These shots may lack the elegance of Federer's slice, but they work
well enough. Single-handed players, however, never add the other hand
when they need extra strength and/or stability. Ironically, therefore,
the variety/flexibility factor now favors the two-hander. Given
today's court speeds, the two-handed backhand is the better choice for
just about everyone.

Joe Ramirez


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:24:10
From: topspin
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 Feb, 17:10, "arnab.z@gmail" <arnab.zah...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> > choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> > On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> > factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> > Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> > Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).
>
> You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
> liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
> Federer's patience to an extreme.
>
> About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
> 1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.

I agree about the flexibility, but those flicks don't compensate for
the deficiencies. I am with all those who aesthetically prefer the
SHBH, but today I definitely got a fin-de-siecle feeling. Having seen
Murray beat Nadal at the US, then Verdasco give him a real tough
fight, today it looked like whenever he needed a break it just went to
Federer's backhand.

Just as I've said that in retrospect Sampras looks like the last
hurrah of s/v tennis, with Federer transitioning to the new baseline
game, so Federer may well be seen as the last hurrah for the SHBH,
certainly for slam-winning contenders, unless the courts are made
slower bouncing.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:17:24
From: kaennorsing
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On 1 feb, 17:59, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com > wrote:
> I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> changes.

I see it as the death of tennis. It takes away the beauty of the game.
IMO this should be an indication to the ATP to start a move back to
more lower bouncing surfaces.


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:10:46
From: arnab.z@gmail
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 10:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com > wrote:
> I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley).

You are probably right. Federer's single handed backhand is a huge
liability for him against Nadal's high bouncing balls. It must test
Federer's patience to an extreme.

About the main question, I don't know. It's not that bad to have a
1hbh. Look at all those beautiful flick bh winners Federer makes.


  
Date: 01 Feb 2009 20:28:57
From: Joe Ramirez
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 11:15=A0pm, pltrgyst <pltrg...@spamlessxhost.org > wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 2009 12:35:12 -0800 (PST), Joe Ramirez
>
> <josephmrami...@netzero.com> wrote:
> >I think the situation with Berasategui was that he used an extreme
> >Western grip forehand, but his backhand grip was essentially normal.
>
> I think that he and numerous other players who use the extreme western fo=
rehand
> use the same racquet face for both strokes. Try it yourself -- I have. A =
really
> extreme forehand is the same as a normal one-handed topspin backhand grip=
.

Yes, that's what I meant. But the important point is the nature of the
resulting backhand stroke. As I've tried to explain, I think
Berasategui had a normal backhand stroke compared to what Brookes must
have used.

Joe Ramirez


   
Date: 02 Feb 2009 15:48:52
From: Edward McArdle
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
One of my minor obsessions is that I think the modern style of play is
ruining tennis *for the average player*.

To be a top player you have to use the more extreme grips, changing for
each shot. But if you are a bit inaccurate you can do an air shot! (i.e.,
miss completely, as I saw one of the women in the AO do.)

It might be better for coaches to identify their better charges and coach
them in the modern style, and the less gifted players in the old style.
The problem in that is that most coaches have never even seen the old
style.

--
Edward McArdle


 
Date: 01 Feb 2009 09:10:38
From:
Subject: Re: The death of the single-handed backhand?
On Feb 1, 4:59=A0pm, topspin <goolagong...@hotmail.com > wrote:
> I am wondering if we are seeing the death of the SHBH as a weapon of
> choice, for the foreseeable future.
>
> On the women's side Henin has gone, and Mauresmo is fading as a
> factor. On the men's side against Nadal it is absolutely clear that
> Federer has problems on the bh side that others don't (Murray,
> Verdasco, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley). With the preponderance of high
> bouncing surfaces now extending even to Wimbledon, it is hard to see
> where the old advantage of being able to dig out low shooters, or
> backhand volleying, can justify it as stroke choice.
>
> Since up-and-coming young players emulate the champions they see, it
> is hard to see where a SHBH is going to come from, unless something
> changes.

I totally agree - playing with a two-hander gives a big advantage now.
It allows you to be aggressive off nearly all shots since you don't
have to get your feet totally right and you can use your hands to
generate the required pace.

A single-hander requires a bit more footwork to set up and so you
either have to back up a bit to give time (e.g. Gasquet) or play a lot
of half-volley type shots which are very difficult and which cannot
get much pace (e.g. Federer).

There are very few juniors I see who play a single-hander and if you
look at the top 20 there are only a few left (Federer, Blake,
Wawrinka), mostly older players who once they retire will likely be
replaced by two-handers.

Personally I see this as a shame as it is better to watch but that's
the way the game is ...