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HOW TO HIT A BACKHAND PASSING SHOT

Even though times have changed and the backhand is becoming less and less of a weakness in people's games, your opponents are more likely to come up to the net when attacking your backhand (on powerful shots that are close to the net, deep shots, and angled shots), a situation in which you'll need to pull out a passing shot.

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BACKHAND PASSING SHOT: WINNERS OR SET-UP SHOTS?

You can play your backhand passing shots in different ways:

The outright winner: You want to finish the rally off by putting the ball out of your opponent's reach to prevent them from volleying. You should look to hit a winner when you have time to position yourself to hit the ball and when your opponent is out of position at the net.

Most passing shots are hit down the line because there's a bigger area to aim for. But if you see that your opponent is anticipating that kind of shot, then look to hit a cross-court passing shot instead.

Setting-up and then hitting a winner: You're looking to give your opponent a tough volley so you can win the following point. You hit a backhand into your opponent's feet, the idea being that your next shot will sit up for you so you can put it away and win the rally.

If you know your opponent's game and you know that they play the volley well, then look to hit a winner first up because they might just give you a difficult shot if you don't.

If, however, your opponent only comes up to the net when they absolutely have to, don't hesitate to play a set-up shot first.

THE VARIOUS WAYS TO HIT THE BALL

The flat backhand: involves hitting the ball hard and low. You typically hit the ball this way for passing shots down the line.

• The sliced backhand: a slower shot that brings the ball closer to the playing surface, forcing your opponent to hit the ball from low down.

The topspin backhand: this shot makes the ball dip beneath the level of the net and can catch your opponent off guard. Perfect for cross-court passing shots.

 

There is one other winner you can hit with your backhand when your opponent comes up to the net: the lob!