Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 194 - 202

Review article
Performance Factors Related to the Different Tennis Backhand Groundstrokes: A Review
Cyril Genevois1, , Machar Reid2, Isabelle Rogowski1, Miguel Crespo3
Author Information
1 Centre de Recherche et d’Innovation sur le Sport, Université de Lyon, Villeurbanne Cedex, France
2 Tennis Australia,
3 International Tennis Federation,

Cyril Genevois
✉ UCB Lyon 1 – UFRSTAPS – CRIS EA 647, 27-29, bd du 11 novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
Publish Date
Received: 24-08-2014
Accepted: 27-11-2014
Published (online): 01-03-2015
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The backhand is one of the two basic groundstrokes in tennis and can be played both with one or two hands, with topspin or backspin. Despite its variety of derivatives, the scientific literature describing the backhand groundstroke production has not been reviewed as extensively as with the serve and the forehand. The purpose of this article is to review the research describing the mechanics of one and two-handed backhands, with a critical focus on its application to clinicians and coaches. One hundred and thirty four articles satisfied a key word search (tennis, backhand) in relevant databases and manual search, with only 61 of those articles considered directly relevant to our review. The consensus of this research supports major differences between both the one- and two-handed strokes, chiefly about their respective contributions of trunk rotation and the role of the non-dominant upper extremity. Two-handed backhand strokes rely more on trunk rotation for the generation of racquet velocity, while the one-handed backhands utilize segmental rotations of the upper limb to develop comparable racquet speeds. There remains considerable scope for future research to examine expertise, age and/or gender-related kinematic differences to strengthen the practitioner’s understanding of the key mechanical considerations that may shape the development of proficient backhand strokes.

Key words: Coaching, skill development, groundstrokes, injury prevention

           Key Points
  • One-and two-handed backhands require different motor coordination
  • Two-handed backhand strokes rely more on trunk rotation for racquet velocity generation, whereas one-handed backhand strokes rely more on segmental rotations of the upper limb
  • Players using a two-handed backhand should learn early a slice one-handed backhand because of the different co-ordination pattern involved
  • Equipment scaling is a great tool for coaches to learn early proper one-handed backhand strokes
  • Future research related to the interaction between backhand technique, gender and skill level is needed
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