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Nicolas Almagro: Backhand


Originally published on: 15/04/13 00:00

There are three elements that Nicolas Almagro demonstrates superbly in these pictures that are crucial to a player of any standard hitting a consistent one-handed backhand. Players must try to achieve a full shoulder turn, must focus on getting their weight transfer on to the front foot as they execute and must try to make contact with the ball out in front of their body with full extension through the shot. 

1. Almagro starts with a full shoulder turn to rotate through the ball.
He lets his arm and racket follow naturally with his wrist cocked
upwards. Weight is on his back foot. 

2. He begins his loop with his left hand on the throat of the racket,
helping him to stabilise the frame. He has planted his front foot to
provide a solid base while executing.

3. As he comes down through the swing, he drops the racket below 
the level of the ball before contact to generate the spin necessary
for the shot. His weight is transferring to his front foot with hips ready
to rotate. 

4. The contact point is in front and to the left of his forward foot.
His arm is now fully extended at contact. He has set his feet and 
timed the backhand perfectly. 

5. His 'wrist roll' to the side indicates the end of a so-called
"windshield wiper" follow through. He has generated excellent 
topspin and all his weight is on his right foot. 

6. Almagro's body opens up naturally to face his opponent. He brings
his left foot around to allow him to push off from his foot and get into
the appropriate position for the next shot. 


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.