A Brief Guide on How to Hit a Backhand in Tennis


People love to play tennis, because of the different, difficult, and interesting strokes involved in it. There are so many terms, definitions, rules, and shots involved in the game and one interesting and important shot with the tennis game is the backhand hit. A backhand in tennis is one of the types of groundstroke and it can either be a one-handed stroke or a two-handed stroke. Let us discuss the backhand hit in a tennis game in detail here.

What is a Backhand Tennis Stroke?

The backhand is a type of groundstroke in Tennis. It carries the same swing pattern as that of the forehand. The basic swing pattern starts from one side of the body and moves across and forward and finally ends at the other side of the body. But one major differentiating factor is that the backhand shot is hit with the back of the dominant hand, and by facing the direction of the stroke.

How to Hit a Backhand in Tennis

Few Basic Tips to Master the Hit

The tennis backhand is one of the most practiced shot by tennis players. It is one of the major shots as that of the forehand Before we get to the details of how the backhand hit is done in the tennis game, let us discuss few important tips that come in handy to handle the shot like a professional tennis player.

  1. Offensive tool: The tennis backhand hit can be used as an excellent offensive tool and by putting a slight spin to it, it is possible to scare off the opponent.
  2. Ball contact: Practice backhand hits by maintaining excellent contact with the ball. Make sure that the ball is slight at the front. 
  3. Racquet face: Make sure to have excellent racquet face control to have good control over the ball. Be mindful of how to hold the racquet and make necessary changes in the direction of the strings. Focus on controlling the racquet face when it creates contact with the ball.
  4. Grip: Players hold the racquet in many ways. But with backhand hit, the grip depends on whether you are using one hand shot or two hand shot. In the two-hand shot, make sure that the dominant hand is at the bottom of the handle and the non-dominant hand is on top. Make the maximum use of the grip, to gain control over the shot. 
  5. Swing: Harder is the swing, farther will be the reach of the ball. But make sure to keep the ball in the court. This is important for beginner tennis players.
  6. Footwork: While attempting the backhand hit in tennis, make sure to stay as light as possible on the foot. 

Check out: Top 5 Best Tennis Racquets for Beginners

Executing the Backhand Hit with One Hand

If you choose to attempt a backhand hit with one hand, then make sure to use only the dominant hand. Compared with the two-hand shot, the one-hand shot renders ample power for stability and reach. Here is the step by step guide on how to go about with the one-handed backhand hit.

  • Prepare for the shot by gaining ambient balance. You can take a light split step to achieve this.
  • Rotate the upper body for the take-back while preparing for the balancing position. Move the feet to a closed side-on position to help gain strength and rotation.
  • Check if you are in the right position by analyzing your right shoulder. It should be pointing at the ball.
  • Your arm should also be dropping down as you start swinging and rotating towards the ball.
  • As you rotate back around, your arm will whip forward and make contact with the ball.
  • Finish the backhand hit by extending the arm to the right and completing the motion. You should land with the bodyweight channeled towards the dominant side. 
  • It is okay to maintain a slight bend in the arm, to help prevent injury. 
  • Beginners should aim for a balanced, simple, and relaxed swing. 
  • Focus on getting the basics right, before advancing to rapid improvements in the backhand hit.

Must Check: 5 Best Tennis Racquets for Control

Executing the Two-Handed Backhand Hit in Tennis

To execute a backhand shot with two hands, it is important to hold the bottom of the racquet at the grip with the dominant hand. The non-dominant hand should be near the T-joint, where the handle meets the racquet head. The inclusion of the second hand gives the player excellent control and power and also helps them to maximize the reach. Follow these steps for an efficient backhand hit.

  • Split both legs to stand one foot apart as you get ready to hit the ball.
  • Move into the required position while simultaneously taking the racquet back.
  • While in position, use the racquet on the non-dominant side. Make sure the shoulder is angled towards the ball.
  • Rotate the hips and the shoulders to make contact with the ball. 
  • Make sure that the body is facing the net and ensure to render equal racket control on both the arms.
  • End the stroke by swinging the racket to the non-dominant side, with the bodyweight staying at the dominant side.

Backhand Hit for Intermediate and Advanced Tennis Players

Intermediate players should first master the basic stroke, before advancing to use the rapid backhand hits. Intermediate players will now incorporate their different body parts for the swing. They will also be taking the hit a little faster and a little longer. Intermediate players generally experiment with the shot before they get comfortable with it. 

And most importantly, they will now advance to get the hit more competitive for the opponent by including spins in it. make sure to understand the different racquet face angles, that produce each of the spins, while using the backhand shot. 

For a topspin, brush the ball from a lower to a higher position, on the path of the racquet face. Similarly, for the underspin or the slice shot, do the opposite. Slide backhand shots are generally hit with one hand shots.

Mistakes to Avoid with the Backhand Shots

The following are some of the common mistakes made in backhand shots and specifically in two hand hits. 

1. Avoid leaning into the backswing:

Keep the shoulders’ level parallel to the ground as you swing to transfer the weight towards the shot.

2. Lack of rotation:

Effective groundstroke in tennis requires to make use of the entire body. Using only the arms to hit the ball will result in inefficient and flawed strokes. 

3. Pointing towards the target:

At all times, it is mandatory to follow through with the backhand by pointing the racquet towards the target. This technique will also help in hitting through the shot.

Bottom Line

Thus, the secrets behind the backhand shot are strenuous practice and maintaining proper body position, and channelizing energy towards the ball. It is important to follow a proper grip, stance, footwork, and swing to hit the backhand with more power. Do not forget to include the spin element in the shot to make it tough and challenging for the opponent. We hope our guide on backhand hits in tennis will help you improve your game performance and enhance your stance as a tough player on the tennis court.



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