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Tennis skills: HOW TO DO A DEFENSIVE BACKHAND

If you want to be able to pull off the perfect defensive backhand, then this article is right up your street.

tennis-skills-how-to-do-a-defensive-backhand

At the risk of stating the obvious, it's very common to be attacked on your backhand side in matches. But what often happens is that your opponent doesn't then come up to the net, which allows you to continue the point or even gain the upper hand through skilled defensive play.

BACKHAND: SLICE, TOPSPIN OR COUNTERATTACK? THAT'S THE QUESTION...

If you're attacked on your backhand side, you've got 3 options:

THE SLICE RETURN:

You're in trouble and you've got a straight ball coming at you, just grazing the net, so don't hesitate to send back exactly the same ball.

Use the backhand slice (closed stance) to make the ball softer, take away its speed and bounce, but still give it plenty of distance.

This will stop your opponent from being able to finish the point. And it'll force them to have another try at a tricky shot.

the-slice-return

THE TOPSPIN BACKHAND:

You're really struggling, almost on your last legs, but the ball coming at you is quite high and powerful (between your hips and shoulder).

One good option is to use a topspin backhand. You can use the ball's height to give it even more height when it bounces, pushing your opponent higher and further.

If you're running out of steam, opt for an open stance so you're quicker to get back into the ready position.

the-topspin-backhand

THE BACKHAND COUNTERATTACK:

Are you being assaulted by powerful balls, around hip height, but without much precision? One good solution is to block the attack by using the power of your opponent's shot.

Whether in an open or closed stance, stay low and compressed as you hit.

The aim of this shot is to be fast and to surprise your opponent so that you regain the advantage and punish them for their lack of precision!

the-backhand-counterattack

So those are your three ways to defend with a backhand! You can now go practise them by letting your opponent attack... so you can win the point in style!

 

To your rackets! :)

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