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Pro Tip to Find Someone’s Weaker Backhand

Female tennis player in the middle of a backhand swing

By Stephen Huss, Program Director, Huss 75 76 Tennis at Crooked Creek

Two of the traits that I typically see at the recreational level of tennis is that players have a weaker backhand, and players hit slice serves and not kick serves.

Based on these things, here are a couple of tips to more consistently find your opponent’s weaker backhand.

When serving to the deuce side, improve your angle to your opponent’s backhand (a right hander) by standing right next to the middle marker on the baseline, and serve down the T. This makes it much harder for the returner to run around and find a forehand, and also helps you as the server move onto your forehand for your own serve plus your first shot after the serve.

When serving to the ad side, use your slice serve down the T to your opponent’s forehand (wait a minute what???), so you can then play your own serve +1 into their weaker backhand side for their second shot. I used this tactic at the pro level against Fernando Gonzalez who had a forehand the size of Stone Mountain, but not nearly as good a forehand return. When your opponent then hits their weaker backhand for their own second shot, you will have an opportunity to attack them, or hit it at their partner.

The net player should be aware a likely lob is coming off their backhand so I hope you have been practicing your overheads as mentioned in one of my earlier tips!


Stephen HussAbout Stephen: Stephen Huss is from Melbourne, Australia. He was an All American in singles and doubles at Auburn University and is a former National Women’s coach. He has coached Sofia Kenin, Jennifer Brady, and Caroline Dolehide. Huss is a former assistant coach at Virginia Tech (men’s tennis) where the team earned a #12 national ranking. He also is the 2005 Wimbledon Men’s Doubles Champion. Huss has competed in 37 grand slams, won 4 ATP titles, 17 Challenger Titles, and 8 Future Titles. Stephen runs his Elite Tennis Program, Stephen Huss 75 76 Tennis out of Crooked Creek. More info: sceneytennis.net/stephen-huss-75-76-tennis

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