The higher the ball is, the further in front you need to catch it.5) The differences are small. What the image above seems to suggest however is that Federer truly isn’t seeing the contact itself in the way that people think. Gasquet can do it all because he is a phenomenally talented ball striker with a technically fantastic backhand. This keeps his head locked in place, a positive thing for any budding tennis players to copy.Almagro (left) and Gasquet (right) mid-way through their follow-throughThe arm positions of both players here are remarkably similar.
Gasquet and Almagro both have relatively high hand positions in this frame.Wawrinka (left) and Federer (right) in the chamber position on their one-handed backhandsIt is a little uncanny just how identical Wawrinka and Federer’s positions are at this point in the swing.
Richard Gasquet and Fernando Gonzales use the strong eastern grip effectively for extreme topspin and pace.
The preparation phase finishes in what I like to call the ‘chamber’ – where everything is prepared and ready to fire.Almagro (left) and Gasquet (right) in their chambered positions on the backhandA couple of things to notice quickly here about the differences in their chamber positions. Meanwhile scientists claim that the moment of impact happens so quickly that it cannot be captured by the naked eye. Both players have straight arms, and whereas Wawrinka has begun to raise his gaze and hence his head, Federer’s vision is still locked in on the same space it was a moment before. Although Almagro might make more mistakes off that wing at times, his are less likely to be mishits and are rather just missed targets resulting from a significantly more aggressive attitude off that side than Federer is wont to swow.Subscribe today to keep up with the latest instruction and analysis from Tactical Tennis The point of today’s article is really two-fold: 1) to give people a better understanding of the key positions in a classic one-handed backhand and 2) to hopefully point out the subtle differences in the stroke of these four players so we can understand why they have different outcomes on the court.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in.Before we get too much into the technical aspects of the stroke, let’s establish a couple of ideas regarding the four backhands we will examine.
Then there is Gasquet, who has probably the highest ‘top end’ of the four with the ability to hit pretty much everything with it – he can drive the ball with great pace, he can hit incredible spin for a one-hander, and everything in-between.
He is almost past an eastern backhand grip, with the first knuckle of his index finger approaching the back-diagonal bevel of his grip. It also creates a slightly less consistent stroke path compared to the other three.3) Keep the hips closed until right before contact, and only open them a little. This is where the player puts the pieces in place for the kinetic chain that will soon be initiated.
This dropping of the racket head is critical for generating the topspin needed to hit the ball with real velocity and keep it in play.Almagro (left) and Gasquet (right) at the bottom of their swingsHere we can see both players have extended their arm to either straight (Almagro) or a micro-bend (Gasquet) as they dropped the racket head down. Most players will lift their head to track the ball off the strings but Federer’s gaze lingers considerably longer.
This is designed to serve as a counter-weight to the arm and racket rotating in the opposite direction and helps anchor the hips in place to stop them from opening.1) Get the racket up during your backswing. We will talk about that one later.And when the ball is too low, you’re in luck because this is the most common grip for the The natural contact point is close to the body, so it is very easy to time.James Blake and Feliciano Lopez hit backhands very close to a full continental grip. So let’s take a look at the strokes and see what makes them tick. Speaking of hips, Almagro’s have opened slightly from the chamber and dropped positions.In the previous frame we had pointed out the greater bend in Federer’s arm compared to the other three. This opens the racket face up more, and together with the increased tilt in the racket head will provide for a more whip-like motion through the backswing generating more spin. The Semi-Western Grip. However it also forces his hips into a slightly more open position at contact, something we can see in the picture also. This is the most extreme grip on the backhand side. Today we’re going to look at one-handed backhands.