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How to return to sender like Murray


Originally published on: 20/04/12 00:00


Everyone has their opinion about who has the greatest two-handed backhand on the men's and women's professional tours, but for me there’s no argument who has the most natural – Britain's Andy Murray.

He has an open stance which means the server has no idea where the ball is going. He could hit it down the line or fire an ‘off’ return. He has a perfect shoulder turn and the back leg is loaded so he can get on top of the ball by driving up.

Andy will know where he is aiming, but even now his opponent will be guessing as he can’t read it from this stance. The wrists have ‘broken’ and as the racket comes forward he will be able to quickly increase the racket head speed.

Notice his great contact point out in front of his body. It allows his head to remain still which increases his chance of timing the ball perfectly. The racket head is ever so slightly closed to stop the ball from flying long.

Strong use of his legs sees Andy power up and leave the court surface as he contacts the ball, driving through the shot. His left hand does nearly all the work to send the ball in the direction he wants it to go.

His left leg is stretched behind him which allows for greater balance as he isn’t spinning around on the shot. He uses a short follow through as he has used the pace of the serve to create his power after taking the ball on the rise.



'How to return to sender' features in the January 2012 issue of tennishead magazine. Subscribe or purchase the back issue here.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.