Single or Double-Handed Backhand?

A friend posted the question if her newborn should develop as lefty or righty, and if single handed backhand is preferred to double-handed backhand. For the first question I would say that I would let nature decide if the baby is going to be lefty or righty, and have no intervention in the process, whatsoever. Over the years we have seen many great players who are either lefties (eg: Rod Laver and Rafael Nadal) or righties (eg: Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg). Some of the second tier lefties include John McEnroe and Jimmy Conners and some of the second tier righties include Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker and many others. I do not see an advantage, either way.

Regarding single vs double handed backhand: my answer here is unequivocal. A single-handed backhand is a beautiful stroke and a feast to the eyes. Properly struck, it could be a bomb with a great angle and single-handed backhand players have a great reach, they volley better, etc. But the truth of the matter is that the double-handed backhand is a lot more consistent and can support the current way of playing a lot better than single-handed backhand. Even the best in the business, and probably even the most talented player of all time, Roger Federer, cannot hit more than 5-6 backhands in a row while the likes of Nadal, Djokovic, etc can routinely hit in excess of 20, with great accuracy and placement. My prediction is that single-handed backhand will disappear completely from the men’s game, with the next generation of players (once Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro, Murray, etc retire in 5-7 years or so). So, why would anybody reinvent an antiquited shot and not go directly to what is considered the standard of business now? You probably noticed that there is not a single woman who can hit a single-handed backhand (with one exception, Francesca Schiavone). The same thing will happen in the men’s game.

So, let us adopt the double-handed backhand as the standard of business for the future of our beloved game.

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