One-Handed Backhand – 003

Connect 3

The Perfect Meeting Place for the One Hander

If you’ve read the forehand section (and ideally, you should have), you’ll find that my Connect 3 Principle is the same for the one handed backhand… almost.

So what’s different? ‘

View this image of Guga again and note that on a backhand, the arm is now to the front of the body (whereas on a forehand, it is behind the body).

Consequently, contact point needs to be further forward of your body, because, as on the forehand, we want to connect forward of the hitting shoulder – only this time the shoulder is out in front of the body – it’s roughly the width of your shoulders further forward than on a forehand.

Connect 1

Always meet the ball forward of your turned body – more precisely, your hitting shoulder.
Owing to the absence of bendiness in the arm on a one-handed backhand, there is no room for negotiation, particularly for thumb-under topspin.

Steffi Graf

Connect 2

Out to the side of your body, allowing for a racket that is parallel to the ground, as on a forehand.

Gabriela Sabatini

Connect 3

At a manageable height, usually around waist height.
Some players opt to get more low-to-high topspin bite by taking a higher ball, which is what Sampras does in his Connect 3 (below).

Pete Sampras

Thumb Tuck Contact

The further under you go with the thumb, the more the racket face is angled towards the ground.
So, to compensate for this physical reality, on more extreme thumb-under grips (see Guga, Vilas and Tim below), it is a requirement that your contact point be further forward of your shoulder, to provide the required right-angles racket face at contact.

With the thumb this far under, the contact needs to be this far forward.

Get the picture?

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