Best Women’s One Handers
There’s not a whole lot of women that have reached the top of women’s tennis with a one handed backhand, but the ones that have are absolute legends. Only time will tell if we ever see another woman wielding a one hander and winning a Grand Slam. In the meantime, here’s my top five one handed backhands in the Open Era. Also, interestingly enough, most of the ladies on our list were most successful at the French Open.
- Conchita Martinez – Conchita relied on a heavy topspin backhand to push opponents back and set up the forehand. She was very effective on that wing, having the ability to hit a heavy and loopy ball which many opponents found difficult to deal with. Here’s a couple of examples of this great shot. Like Gabriela Sabatini, our number 2 backhand, she was most successful at the French Open.
- Amelie Mauresmo – this former number one had success all over the place, winning both the Australian and Wimbledon titles in 2006. Her great backhand had a lot to do with this. Out of the whole group, Amelie generated as much power as Steffi Graf off this wing, and also had a wonderful slice to back it up. Her athleticism also helped her on this wing. Check out her flying backhand winner reminiscent of Shapovalov.
- Justine Henin – standing at just 5 foot 6, and slight in build, Henin’s ability to push around opponents with her backhand was a sight to behold. She was almost like a mini Sabatini, whom I have as our number 3 one handed backhand.
- Gabriela Sabatini – Sabatini was one of the first to hit a backhand with incredible RPM’s to generate top spin, and it was deadly in her preferred clay. Although she won the US Open in 1990, her backhand was most effective at the French where she was a semifinalist five times. With her popularity, one would think that legions of girls would have chosen to mimic her technique.
- Steffi Graf – when she unleashed the top spin backhand, it was absolutely deadly. Check out a couple of return backhand winners at the Olympics in 1988. Steffi, like her husband Andre Agassi, was so quick that she was able to hit the topspin backhand one the rise and with purpose.
We can only hope that some future champion out there is hitting someone handed backhands and will soon take the WTA by storm.