In the two-handed backhand fundamentals videos, we talked about extending out in the direction that you are hitting during your follow through. One of the problems I often see is that players will make contact, then extend out, but their elbow will bend too soon. This will make them bring the racket and their arms across their body too soon. In other words, they don’t extend out as far as they should.
Behind me we have my two-handed backhand and Frank’s two-handed backhand split-screened. What you can see is that from contact we both extend out into the court, and well into our follow through our arms are still virtually straight. We’ve both really extended out into the court, and it’s not until the ball is well off our strings that we bend our elbows and bring our rackets around to the other side of our body.
Now let’s take a look at my two-handed backhand from the side. What you can see is that right before contact I establish an arm position, my “hitting arm position,” and I’m going to keep this position through contact. I drive through the tennis ball and my arm position continues to stay the same. It looks like I’m almost reaching into the tennis court.
So the key to extending out after you make contact on your backhand is to keep the same arm position you had when you made contact with the tennis ball. It’s not until my arms and racket are out in front of my body, pointing at the net, that my hitting arm position breaks down and I bend my elbow to bring the tennis racket around to the other side of my body.