Top 5 One Handed Backhands on the ATP Tour

AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa

Top 5 One Handed Backhands on the ATP Tour

The one-handed backhand was on its way out in the late 80s and into the 90s, as super stars like Andre Agassi were ripping two handed backhands all over the court. If you looked around, nobody seemed to have the classic one-handed backhands anymore. Fast forward 20 years or so, and you’re seeing youngsters with one handed backhands. The reason? Well, I’d bet that the rise of Roger Federer gave rise to the modern one handed backhand. And in today’s game, there’s plenty of firepower coming from that wing. So, who’s got the best one-handed backhands on tour?


5. Shapovalov has a ripper of a backhand. His backhand looks like a Wawrinka backhand on steroids. He’s even got a crazy one hander where he’s fully airborne and rips it through the court. He generates power of the wing, can take it on the rise, and puts plenty of top spin on it. Truly masterclass.


4. Dominic Thiem. Few people can handle Nadal going to the backhand wing, but Dominic can handle that RPM’s off Nadal’s forehand to his backhand. I’d love to see a rematch of the French Open 2019 final. Thiem’s improving backhand may very well win him the French Open in 2020. 


3. Stefanos Tsitsipas. An amazing back hand for someone that stands at 6, 6’ and reminds me a lot of Gustavo Kuerten in the way he sometimes hits the back hand with an open stance. When he gets behind the ball on the backhand side, look out! Federer learned that lesson during their semifinal match at the ATP Finals.


2 Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka generates an incredible amount of power on this wing, probably more than anybody else on this list. His down the line backhand is probably the deadliest in the history of the sport, and probably one of the reasons he holds three Grand Slams.


1.Roger Federer. The man who started it all has an incredible one handed backhand, he can power through the court, but also he can hit you deep and push you back with the shot, and then he can also mix it up really nicely between the back hand slice and top spin. I believe his best angle on his backhand has to be his deep cross court top spin back hand.


So, if you’re going to style your backhand around anybody, the five guys on this list will serve you well. Pretty soon you’ll be hitting rippers all over the court from the backhand wing. 


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I agree with TennisPAL Privacy Policy

Comments: 3

  1. MCB

    Richard Gasquet didn’t even make the top 5? Any serious discussion of “best one-handers” can’t, in good faith, leave out the Frenchman.

    • PA

      ^agreed. Gasquet for sure top 5 one-handers. I’d argue that at their peaks, Gasquet and Wawrinka fight for number 1 spot, but gotta give the edge to Stan for those epic GS final performances crushing backhands down the line. Although, Neo Roger’s backhand was nuts (especially 2017 AO, IW, Miami) I think overall, it takes the third spot on the list. Just my two cents lol.

  2. v

    My Rating:

    Stan Wawrinka
    Roger Federer