The Demise of the Aesthetic Classic: The Decline of One-Handed Backhands in Tennis

The sports day top ten are clear: the aesthetic classic is dying in tennis

February 19, 2024, 11:40 p.m

An era ends: For the first time since the world rankings were introduced in 1973, no professional with a one-handed backhand is in the top ten of the ATP rankings. Until Monday, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas was the last representative to hold the flag of the rare species high, but has now fallen back to eleventh place and indirectly caused the turning point.

  • Steffi Graf, Boris Becker, Roger Federer – many of the sport’s great icons achieved their success with the classic, often praised as aesthetic, one-handed backhand.
  • When the world rankings were introduced, nine of the ten best men’s players in the world played this variant – the only exception was Jimmy Connors.
  • But that would change over time. The 18-time Grand Slam winner Chris Evert from the USA was considered a pioneer of the double-handed backhand in the 70s and 80s, followed by stars such as Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and today’s Grand Slam record champion Novak Djokovic.
  • The one-handed backhand has also disappeared from the top ten among women.

2024-02-19 22:44:51
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