Two-Handed Backhand Fundamentals: Perfect Your Technique

If you’re a tennis player, you know that the two-handed backhand is one of the most powerful and consistent shots in the game. With the right technique, this shot can be a formidable weapon that can help you win matches against even the toughest opponents. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, learning how to hit a two-handed backhand can take your game to the next level.

The two-handed backhand is a popular shot among players of all levels, including professionals. It’s a versatile shot that can be hit with power and precision from anywhere on the court. With a solid technique, you can hit a two-handed backhand that is both accurate and powerful, allowing you to dominate your opponents and win more matches.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the two-handed backhand and provide you with tips and techniques to help you master this important shot. We’ll cover everything from the basics of grip and stance to advanced techniques for adding spin and power to your shot. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, read on to learn how to hit a two-handed backhand like a pro.

Fundamentals of the Two-Handed Backhand

If you are looking to improve your tennis game, mastering the two-handed backhand is essential. This shot is a fundamental part of any tennis player’s arsenal, and it can make a big difference in your overall performance. In this section, we will cover the key fundamentals of the two-handed backhand, including grip, stance, and footwork.


The grip is one of the most important aspects of the two-handed backhand. You need to have a strong grip to generate power and control the ball. For your dominant hand, use either the continental or eastern backhand grip. For your non-dominant hand, use a semi-western forehand grip. This will help you get the right amount of spin and control when hitting the ball.


The stance you use for your two-handed backhand will depend on your personal preference and playing style. There are three main options: closed, semi-open, and open stances. A closed stance is when your feet are parallel to the baseline, a semi-open stance is when your front foot is slightly turned towards the net, and an open stance is when your front foot is turned more towards the net.

Each stance has its own benefits. A closed stance is great for generating power and control, while a semi-open stance is good for hitting the ball early and getting into position quickly. An open stance is best for hitting balls that are far away from your body.


Footwork is essential for any tennis shot, and the two-handed backhand is no exception. You need to be able to adjust your position quickly and pivot your body to generate power. When hitting a two-handed backhand, take small adjustment steps to get into the right position. As you start your swing, pivot your back foot and load your body weight onto your front foot. This will help you generate more power and control when hitting the ball.

Stroke Execution

When executing a two-handed backhand, there are several key elements to keep in mind to ensure that the shot is executed with proper technique. Below are the four main components of the stroke, along with tips on how to execute each one effectively.

Unit Turn and Shoulder Rotation

The first step in executing a two-handed backhand is to initiate a unit turn by rotating your torso early. This helps to generate power and allows you to keep your non-dominant shoulder pointing towards the target. By doing so, you will be able to maintain balance and stability throughout the shot.

Racquet Preparation and Swing Path

When preparing for the shot, it is important to have a smooth, looped backswing. This will help you to generate more power and spin on the ball. Additionally, it is important to understand when to use a compact swing versus an extended swing, depending on the situation you are facing. For example, a topspin shot will typically require a more extended swing than a slice shot.

Weight Transfer and Power Generation

To generate power on your two-handed backhand, it is important to use ground reaction forces and transfer your weight from your back leg to your front leg. This will help you to generate a strong hip drive and body rotation, which will in turn help you to generate more power on your shots.

Contact Point

The ideal contact point for a two-handed backhand is slightly in front and to the side of your body. This will help you to generate more power and spin on your shots. Additionally, it is important to understand how your contact point affects the trajectory of the ball. For example, hitting the ball slightly higher on the racket will typically result in a higher ball trajectory.

By keeping these tips in mind and practicing regularly, you can improve your two-handed backhand and become a more effective player on the court. Remember to experiment with different grips, such as the continental grip or eastern grip, to find the one that works best for you. Additionally, watching two-handed backhand videos and studying the techniques of top players in the ATP rankings can be a great way to improve your skills.

Follow-Through and Recovery


When executing a two-handed backhand, it is important to ensure that you complete a full follow-through across your body. This will allow you to generate maximum power and control on your shot. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain racket head stability throughout the follow-through, as this will help you to maintain control and accuracy on your shot.

Recovery Steps

After completing your follow-through, it is important to quickly move your feet into position and anticipate the next shot. This will help you to maintain a strong defensive position and be ready to respond to your opponent’s next move. In particular, you should focus on quick footwork and maintaining a balanced stance, as this will allow you to quickly react to any changes in your opponent’s shot.

When practicing your two-handed backhand technique, it is important to avoid common mistakes such as failing to complete a full follow-through or failing to maintain proper racket head stability. Additionally, it is important to pay attention to your dominant shoulder, as this will help you to generate maximum power and control on your shot.

Variations of the Two-Handed Backhand

If you’re looking to improve your two-handed backhand, there are a few variations you can try. Here are some of the most common variations that you can experiment with:


The topspin backhand is one of the most popular variations of the two-handed backhand. To execute this shot, you need to brush upward on the ball trajectory. You can also adjust your grip to get more topspin. The high-to-low swing path is essential for generating topspin on the ball. This variation is great for hitting shots with more power and spin.


The slice backhand is another popular variation of the two-handed backhand. To execute this shot, you need to cut underneath the ball and make slight grip modifications. You should also try to impact the ball slightly later out in front. This variation is great for hitting shots with less pace and more control.


The flat backhand is a variation that focuses on power and precision. This variation has minimal spin, and you should focus on hitting the ball with a neutral hitting surface. A compact swing is also essential for executing this shot. This variation is great for hitting shots with pace and accuracy.

Experimenting with these variations can help you develop a more versatile two-handed backhand. You can mix and match these variations to suit your playing style and strengths. Remember to practice each variation until you feel comfortable executing them in a match.

Drills and Training

If you’re looking to improve your two-handed backhand, there are several drills and training exercises you can incorporate into your practice routine. Here are a few you can try out:

Shadow Swings

Shadow swings are a great way to reinforce muscle memory and stroke mechanics. To perform shadow swings, stand in front of a mirror or an imaginary opponent and practice your swings without a ball. Focus on your footwork, racquet head position, and follow-through. You can also try practicing your shadow swings in slow motion to help you develop better control and precision.

Wall Practice

Wall practice is an excellent way to develop consistency and focus on technique. Find a wall and hit the ball against it, trying to keep the ball in play as long as possible. You can also practice hitting the ball at different heights and angles to simulate different game situations.

Partner Feeding Drills

Partner feeding drills are a great way to practice situational shots and target specific areas of the court. Have a partner feed you balls to your backhand side, and practice hitting different shots, such as cross-court, down the line, and backhand volleys. You can also practice hitting shots on the run and from different positions on the court.

Point Play

Point play is an excellent way to apply your skills in match-like scenarios. Play points with a partner or against a wall, focusing on using your two-handed backhand. Try to incorporate your footwork, racquet head position, and non-dominant arm into your game. You can also practice your open stance and prepare for your next shot.

By incorporating these drills and training exercises into your practice routine, you can improve your two-handed backhand and become a more well-rounded player. With consistent practice and dedication, you can take your game to the next level and compete at the highest levels of tennis, including grand slams. Plus, with instant access to these drills, you can start improving your game today!

Advanced Techniques

If you have mastered the basics of the two-handed backhand, you may want to explore some advanced techniques to take your game to the next level. Here are some techniques that you can use to surprise your opponent and gain an advantage on the court.

One-Handed Slice Variation

One way to add variety to your two-handed backhand is to incorporate a one-handed slice variation. This shot can be particularly effective when you are on the defensive and need to change the pace of the rally. To execute this shot, you will need to change your grip on the racquet, moving your non-dominant hand to the bottom of the handle and using a continental grip. From there, you can slice the ball with a downward motion, causing it to spin and drop low over the net. This can be a great way to throw off your opponent’s rhythm and force them to adjust their positioning.

Disguising Shot Direction

Another advanced technique for the two-handed backhand is to disguise the direction of your shot. To do this, you will need to use an identical preparation for different shot choices. For example, you can prepare for a cross-court shot and at the last moment, redirect the ball down the line. This can be a great way to catch your opponent off guard and create an opening for a winner.

Angles and Depth Variation

Strategic shot selection is key to gaining an advantage in a match, and the two-handed backhand can be a versatile tool for creating different angles and depths. By adjusting your swing path and follow-through, you can hit high-bouncing shots that force your opponent to hit from an uncomfortable position, or low, skidding shots that stay low and are difficult to return. You can also use different angles to open up the court and create more space to hit winners. By mastering these advanced techniques, you can become a more complete player and take your two-handed backhand to the next level.

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Dominic Thiem are some of the top players who have a strong two-handed backhand. However, incorporating a one-handed slice variation, disguising shot direction, and varying the angles and depth of your shots can give you an edge over your opponents and make your two-handed backhand a formidable weapon on the court.

Common Mistakes and Adjustments

When learning the two-handed backhand technique, it’s common to make mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes and adjustments you can make to improve your two-handed backhand stroke:

Gripping the Racket

One of the most common mistakes is gripping the racket too tightly. This can lead to a lack of power and control, as well as unnecessary tension in your arm and shoulder. To fix this, try loosening your grip on the racket and using a more relaxed grip.


Another common mistake is not positioning your feet correctly. Your back foot should be slightly behind your front foot, and your weight should be evenly distributed between both feet. This will help you generate more power and control in your stroke.

Non-Dominant Side

Your non-dominant side can also cause problems when hitting a two-handed backhand. To fix this, try focusing on keeping your non-dominant arm straight and using it to guide the racket through the swing.

Practice and Analysis

To master the two-handed backhand, consistent practice is key. Consider filming your strokes and analyzing them for areas of improvement. This will help you identify and correct any mistakes you may be making.


The two-handed backhand, like any skill in tennis, is a journey of constant refinement. Don’t become complacent with what works today. Challenge yourself to explore new variations, adjust to different opponents, and always seek those small improvements that make a big difference on the court.



Q: Why is the two-handed backhand so popular in tennis?

A: The two-handed backhand offers several advantages that make it popular for players of all levels:

  • Power: Using both hands allows for greater power generation, especially against high, heavy balls.
  • Stability: The extra hand provides better control and reduces twisting of the racket on contact.
  • Versatility: It’s effective for hitting topspin, slice, and flat shots.
  • High Balls: Ideal for handling high-bouncing balls that might be difficult for a one-handed backhand.


Q: What’s the best grip for a two-handed backhand?

A: The most common grip combinations are:

  • Dominant Hand: Eastern backhand or continental grip.
  • Non-Dominant Hand: Semi-western forehand grip.

Experiment to find what feels comfortable and provides the best results. Slight adjustments can be made depending on the type of shot you intend to hit (slice, topspin, etc.).


Q: How do I add topspin to my two-handed backhand?

A: To hit a topspin backhand:

  • Grip: Use a semi-western grip on your dominant hand.
  • Swing Path: Start your swing low and finish high, brushing up the back of the ball.
  • Contact Point: Try to hit the ball slightly in front of your body.
  • Follow-through: Extend your arms out and up towards your target.


Q: I struggle with timing on my two-handed backhand. Any tips?

A: Here’s how to improve your backhand timing:

  • Footwork: Focus on small, quick adjustment steps to get in the ideal position.
  • Early Preparation: Start your backswing the moment you recognize the ball is coming to your backhand side.
  • Wall Practice: Practice consistently against a wall to develop a feel for contact point and timing.

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