One-Handed vs. Two-Handed Tennis: 10 Pros and Cons

One-Handed Vs. Two-Handed Tennis: 10 Pros And Cons

One-handed tennis versus two-handed tennis is a subtle debate, as the oxford comma; you can do with it what you like, it’s all about preference.

But the thing is, there are some hidden benefits to two-handed, and some downsides as well that we’ll discuss in this guide.

Whatever style you’re currently using, you’re probably doing pretty well with.

You listen to the natural instincts in the dominant aspects of your body, whether it’s one hand or one specific subset of muscles.

If you can retrain your muscle memory, you can find a different way to make better, stronger shots, or retain better control.

1. Con: Two-Handed Has Less Control

Two Handed Backhands

You’ve got the power, but you don’t have the level of control that you need.

Better grip on the handle?

Sure, but a better grip doesn’t define better control.

The way that you move the racket when your hands are on it will dictate your center of gravity, which has a very big impact on how your swings perform.

Smaller rackets that are more lightweight are designed for single-handed use, or two-handed guiding for a big shot but with only one hand on the handle (basically when you see a tennis player with their thumb and index on the curve of the racket base).

If you’re not keen on making direct hits, two-handed will be difficult to master.

2. Pro: Two-Handed Has More Power

Two Handed Power

When you hit a ball, the pressure of your racket strings collides with the kinetic energy stored in the tennis ball.

To put some context in, the fastest forehand ever recorded was 120 MPH, and the fastest serve was 155 MPH.

You could be dealing with a ridiculous fastball coming at you (even if you’re not up against Andy Roddick).

Two-handed swings will allow you to challenge that power, and strengthen your forehand so you can hit it back towards your opponent with excellent force.

3. Pro: One-Handed Has More Control

One handed Swing Tennis Controls

Simply put, when you’re only using one hand, you have more control.

This isn’t innate though; you have to earn it. If you had never picked up a racket in your life, it’s going to feel flimsy and odd in your hand, and you may be tempted to grab it with two hands like a baseball bat.

Avoid doing this. Using it one-handed quickly teaches you how to control it and strengthen your wrist muscles, which will help when you’re returning fast serves.from worthy opponents.

Control comes down to maneuverability and precision above all else.

We would attribute a two-handed grip to be better handling, but that’s a different category.

4. Con: One-Handed Has Less Power

One-Handed Has Less Powers

When you’re hitting one-handed, you possess less power; you can simply swing harder and faster with two hands.

That being said, it’s a different approach entirely.

With a one-handed return, you’re leaning into the shot and cracking against the ball as fast as you can.

You have more mobility, which is something else we’ll talk about in a moment.

You’re not relying on a standstill position to be able to hit the ball, but you won’t be able to lob it as fast.

This is where you need to look at higher weight ratings on tennis rackets for more single-handed power.

5. Con: Two-Handed Has Less Mobility

Less Mobility

You just can’t move around as much when you have to plan on hitting a two-handed shot.

There’s a lot more physical change in your stance and slower movements that go into play, which just, unfortunately, prohibits good mobility.

This can be an advantage for your opponent if they notice that you rely on two-handed hits.

They’ll be able to plan out angling to account for the fact that you’re moving slower, and it’s going to mess you up in the long run.

6. Pro: One-Handed Has More Mobility

Tennis One handed mobility

The ying to the yang, one-handed has more maneuverability.

It’s not as simple as just moving around though; your entire series of body movements ease up.

With two-handed hits, you have to put your shoulders into it a lot, but with one-handed you’re relying on a single shoulder movement, and you use the non-dominant side of your body as a counterweight.

That’s going to be powerful when you have to hit fast shots because your opponents are able to serve like machines.

7. Con: Two-Handed is Harder to Time

Mobility One Handed

You need to time your shots appropriately, and that’s going to prove pretty difficult when you go two-handed.

Timing is everything.

A ball is coming at you at over a hundred miles per hour, so you need to have the reaction speed as if this thing were a car and you had to clear its path (you know, only in reverse).

You need time on your side, and that’s going to prove difficult when you’re constantly combating the slower speed of having to move both shoulders to get the job done.

8. Pro: One-Handed Has a Shorter Learning Time

one handed swing easier to learn

There’s a learning curve when you go two-handed, and it’s not pretty.

One-handed tennis, in all aspects, is how the game was designed to be played.

There’s less complicated movements, more mobility, speed, and precision.

The thing is that when you swing a racket with two hands, you’re going to rely on more muscles to move.

That’s two elbows that have to sync up, two rotator cuffs, you get the point.

One-handed allows for more dynamic movements, and that’s a fact.

9. Pro: One-Handed Reduces Fatigue

Fatigue Reduced by one handed swing

This is a simple exercise you can prove right now.

Take a pen or a cup, and hold it with two hands.

Move it side to side, ten times on each side, and stop.

Wait a minute and do the same thing but with one hand. Can you feel the difference?

Fewer muscles are being engaged, so you’re not feeling fatigued as quickly.

In sports, part of the benefit is the grind, the ability to feel that burn and improve your body.

But tennis isn’t about being the most dominant when it comes to pec size; you’re trying to reduce fatigue for those long, drawn-out matches that just take a lot out of you.

If you’ve ever noticed the sheer amount of sweat on tennis players face during a pro event, that’s indicative of what it does to your body without being two-handed. Imagine the impact if you were intentionally increasing the fatigue you felt.

10. Pro: One-Handed Has Better Reach

One handed Balls

Simply put, one-handed tennis has a far better reach to actually meet the ball when it’s traveling over the net.

You’ll be able to span your arms out and lean into those shots, giving you a better chance of actually hitting it and returning the ball to the sender.

No shot should ever make you fall, but you can learn in pretty deep and save yourself from letting your opponent score.

Can You Hit Forehand With Two Hands?

Yes, you absolutely can hit a forehand with two hands.

Forehand hits will vary depending on the skill level of the player, but two-handed backhands are something that can be used at any skill level.

We’ve talked a lot about power being the main reason for two-handed moves, and sometimes you just need that bit of extra oomph to get the job done.

Why is it Recommended to Hit Backhand with Two Hands?

Backhand power

It’s not advised against, at the very least.

Backhand hits have less power in them; your hand is designed to move one way, the same way you’ve always moved it, and in our normal lives we’re not backhanding anything.

Your muscles don’t give you as much power for a backhand, so you can absolutely use a two-handed backhand.

Flick to it and then back to one-handed to return other shots to keep a versatile game going.

What Are Some Benefits of Two-Handed Strokes?

It really only comes down to power.

You could crack off a shot that slides right past your opponent because you possess the ability to send it at faster speeds.

All the benefits come back to power in the shots, and that’s basically where it ends.

The occasional double backhand can come in handy to confuse your opponent, but it’s not a long-term tennis strategy.

Better Control, Stronger Swings

Two Handed Stroke

In the end, playing one-handed has far more benefits.

A two-handed backhand from time to time and trip up your opponent, but it should never be your primary or even secondary strategy.

It’s an ace in the hole you can pull out because most of its value is in the element of surprise.

Once your opponent knows you predominantly play two-handed, they’re at an immediate advantage and they stand to control the court.

Stick to one-handed to retain dominance over the court, and you’ll see your game improve.

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