The Decline of the One-Handed Backhand: A Turning Point in Tennis History

Tennis is entering unknown territory and starting this week it will experience a situation never seen before, which could mark a turning point in the history of this sport. Not a single player in the top 10 of the ATP ranking plays a one-handed backhand, something that constitutes a significant fact to explain the decline of this beautiful shot.

Nothing will be like before. One of the few things that had remained unchanged over time, technological changes and the evolution of the sport was a detail that could have gone unnoticed by many, such as the fact that since 1973, there has always been at least one tennis player with one hand backhand in it top-10 del ranking ATP. This shot is one of the most beautiful, harmonious and elegant in our entire sport, but it has seen how the two-handed backhand gradually took over. It is increasingly difficult to find players who sacrifice the solidity and control that both hands provide to bet on a more complicated execution that requires great coordination.

– There are only 5 players in the current top-50 with a one-handed backhand

Hitting the backhand with one hand you have less control and it is more difficult to respond to the incisive blows that come from the other side of the court. Only with natural talent, hand speed to hit the ball very far in front and an innate ability to change grips, can you have a one-handed backhand that is not a hindrance in today’s tennis, prolific in powerful hits and with less and less time to structure plays and put together tactics. Stefanos Tsitsipas It has been the last bastion of resistance in a top-10 from which it has been left out, just like Grigor Dimitrov. Greek and Bulgarian are the only tennis players in the current top-20 who use the backhand with one hand, and you have to go back to 26th position to find the next one: Lorenzo Musetti.

Other players who continue to compete with one-handed backhands and remain in the top 50 are Christopher Eubanks y Daniel Evans. The list ends there. Gone are the times when tennis players like Gasquet, Wawrinka or Thiem were among the best, while one of the great young bastions of the one-handed backhand, such as Denis Shapovalov, is in a bad moment in his sports career. It is not at all easy to glimpse a young tennis player who has decided to play one-handed backhand and can make a great qualitative leap; Perhaps this stroke is not yet in danger of extinction, but the truth is that it is very unusual to see children challenging the prevailing current of thought and making the decision to demand that their coaches teach them the one-handed backhand, something that they do not. This is done until they have enough strength to hold and move the racket with one arm.

– Of the 28 number 1s in history, a total of 10 wielded one-handed backhands

In the list of 28 tennis players who have been number 1 in the world since the ATP ranking started, that is, when the Era Open, In 1973, a total of 10 players used one-handed backhands. Rafter, Muster, Newcombe, Becker, Nastase, Edberg, McEnroe, Lendl, Sampras y Federer They took this blow to the highest level and established themselves as firm representatives of the effectiveness that this blow could have. Mainstream in the 70s and 80s, it was Björn Borg who began to show the virtues of the two-handed backhand and changed the game forever.

As this accelerated, materials emerged in rackets that made the ball faster and tennis evolved into something more physical, the two-handed backhand gained ground. What will happen this Monday, February 19, may be a symbolic event and it will not take long for us to see Tsitsipas again, or even Dimitrov, in the top-10 del ranking ATPbut a streak that seemed infinite has been broken, putting our sport on notice that, perhaps in a few years, it will be almost impossible to see a one hand backhand in the best tennis players in the world.

2024-02-17 16:24:09
#Absence #onehanded #backhand #tennis #players #top10 #ATP #rankings


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