Which shot is right for you? Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. (AP)

It’s one of the first big decisions for any developing player. Which shot is right for you? Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of each approach:

The One-Hander
 

Pluses

1

Variety

The one-hander and the slice backhand go hand in hand. The slice makes it easier to hit approach shots and move forward to finish points at the net. It also forms the foundation for strong defensive lobs,
drop shots, one-handed backhand volleys, change-of-pace floaters, and backhand overheads.

2

Reach

One-handers have the edge when it comes to handling balls out wide. Their backhand extends farther, and they can hit more easily from a wider stance, making it even easier for them to get to shots that pull them
off the court.

Minuses

1

Lack of Strength

It’s much harder to hit the ball through the court with a one-handed backhand, especially on a slower surface. To hit a powerful one-hander, you must be strong. Few players have the strength and skill necessary to play first-strike tennis with a one-hander
on the return of serve.

2

Tough to Time

Because the one-handed backhand requires a bigger backswing, your timing has to be nearly perfect; there’s little room for error. If you are off-balance or attempting to compensate for a bad bounce, it’s much trickier with a one-hander.

The Two-Hander

Pluses

1

Power

Having an extra hand on the racquet makes it easier to generate power. Strength is a big factor in the one shot where the two-handed backhand really shines: the service return. It’s a naturally shorter stroke than the one-handed backhand, which is a big asset when receiving fast serves.

2

Control

The two-hander has the edge in control because it’s easier to make last-second adjustments. Also, the two-handed backhand has the built-in element of disguise, because you can hide your intentions more effectively.

Minuses 

1

Lack of reach

The biggest problem with the two-handed backhand is that it limits your reach. You have to be a step closer to the ball to get it into your strike zone. Over the course of a match, that’s a lot of extra steps you wouldn’t have to take if you used a one-handed backhand.

2

Fewer options

Generally speaking, players with two-handed backhands have fewer options on the backhand wing. Two-
handers often lack solid one-handed slice backhands, which means their approach shots and their backhand volleys are comparatively weak.