Two-Handed Backhand – 004

Perfect Contact

Connect 3 on the Two-Hander

You fluffed a perfect contact, but nevertheless managed to hit a winning shot?
In that case it is merely good luck or improvisation, not good technique, and neither luck nor improv make a foundation on which to build a quality stroke.

Connect 1: Forwardness

Strokes need a perfect contact to succeed.
On both the forehand and the one handed backhand, we make contact with the ball forward of the hitting shoulder.

But now we have two shoulders – so which shoulder?

Although both hands play a role in the balance of a two-hander, the stroke’s dominant hand is usually the extra one: – the hand with forehand type force.

Jennifer Capriati – forward of both hitting shoulders… just.

Consequently, a contact forward of the extra (forehand?) shoulder is all-important, like Jenny above.

And as on the one-hander, the further under with the thumb (of the natural playing hand), the further forward of the body contact should be.

Connect 2: Height

In this frame Rafa makes contact at chest height, which is slightly higher than Jenny and better for topspin (because you have more low-to-high distance over which to gain head speed).

Rafa Nadal backhand – further under the palm, further forward the contact?

Anywhere between thigh and shoulder height can be managed comfortably, though beginners might be advised to let the ball fall to the lower end of this scale (and advanced players often opt for head height).

Connect 3: Parallel Awayness

I’m inventing words again, but awayness emphasizes that groundstrokes only flourish (manageably) away from the body.


For starters, a racket parallel to the ground is required to follow fully through.

Think about it: if you get too close, the racket head drops, and you will be forced to scoop the ball upwards – I call it Spooning – ‘Are you playing tennis, or spooning soup?’

Lleyton Hewitt – comfortable awayness

In the third image, Lleyton demonstrates the breathing space provided by this comfortable awayness, as do Jenny and Rafa previously.

Connect 3 = Perfect Contact every time.

Two-Handed Backhand 005

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