The Open-Stance Backhand

The Open-Stance Backhand


* Hingis starts her preparation with the racket head above the wrist using a look with her backswing. Williams starts her preparation with the racket head below the wrist using a straight back and slightly downward backswing.






* At this stage both players determined that they are not going to have time to get to the on-coming ball, set up, and transfer their weight into the shot. They are now preparing their feet to set up for the open- stance backhand.






* Hingis takes a shorter backswing than Williams. This is a difference in style, however the shorter backswing will facilitate more control and the longer backswing will generate more power.







* Their body position, in particular their open hips, allows them to produce a number of different shots. A closed-stance would lock the hips and inhibit them from hitting crosscourt or a loop shot effectively. Both players have a strong lateral momentum pulling them toward the sidelines. the center of gravity is shifting about the players’ legs. They could lose their balance if they don’t adjust their feet. Hingis already has started to do a hop/half recovery step with the left leg.




* Hingis’ head is still slightly past contact as the racket accelerates forward. Stillness in the head during contact helps control the upper body and generates more racket head acceleration by creating a stop action for the shoulders and torso. It helps a player stay focused on the shot as opposed to rushing and looking down the court. With the open-stance backhand on the wide balls, players will stay down during and after the hit. This is contrary to the forehand where most players will explode up with the legs into the shot, propelling them off the ground.




* Both players display a classic wrap around follow-through. They have planted the left leg and are starting to recover. Williams, who is taller that Hingis, is showing good form but is not yet ready to explode in the opposite direction.





* Hingis already has her racket back out in front of her body and is “out of the block” in full recovery while maintaining perfect balance.
* Williams also displays good upper body posture and overall balance as she pushes off and recovers for the next shot.