Summary of the Two-Handed Backhand
Let’s now look at the tennis two-handed backhand from start to finish.
Having hit his split step, Frank starts his backhand motion by pivoting with his outside foot and turning his shoulders sideways. The tennis racket is starting to come back because he is turning his shoulders sideways, not because he is using his arms to take the racket back.
Once he has pivoted and turned his shoulders, then he uses both his arms and a continued shoulder turn to get the racket all the way back behind him. At the completion of this step, he has the racket completely back and is looking over his front shoulder at the oncoming tennis ball.
Frank then begins to swing forward by dropping the racket down, and then he does three things all at the same time: He pushes off his back foot and gets the heel of that foot up, he rotates his body back towards the net, and he swings the tennis racket forward using his arms to his contact point, which is a little bit out in front of his body.
Once Frank has made contact, he extends out fully in the direction that he is hitting, then bends his arms at the elbow and wraps the racket around his shoulder in a smooth and relaxed motion.
Although the fourfundamental steps we have outlined in this section may seem simple, the fact is that very few club-level players do all five of these things correctly, so we caution you against not paying close attention to these aspects of your backhand. Once you feel like you have a very solid grasp on the fundamentals, we recommend that you explore the Advanced Tennis Backhand Techniques section of our site.
We would also like to extend a special thanks to the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis organization and Qorvis Communications. We were granted media passes in the Summer of 2008 to photograph matches and videotape player warm-ups even though we are not technically a tennis news outlet. Much of the great player hitting footage and still shots that we used in this section to teach you the tennis forehand are the fruits of the opportunity the Kastles and Qorvis offered to us. We are looking forward to next season!