Oftentimes people will focus on or notice the differences from pro to pro or from pro to recreational player. In this section we will focus on the similarities as well as point out the differences. Pro’s do have some variances in their ready positions, but for the majority of the key points they will be the same. The main variance (and its still not incorrect as they keep the racquet below eye level) is that they keep their racquet lower than I recommend. But pro’s get their racquets up to the right position while doing the unit turn part of the swing (without swinging their racquets) so its acceptable. The pro’s usually “correct” any variances of the ready position very early into their swing.
First we will look at two handed backhand players.
Two Handed Backhands
The first example is Venus Williams. Of the 13 Key Points for a two-handed backhand Venus does all 13. Another interesting point is that you can tell that Venus uses a semi-western forehand grip by looking at the racquet head angle. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Venus Williams – Ready Position
The next pro is Andy Murray. Of the 13 key points for a two-handed backhand Andy does 12. The only one he does not do in the picture is keep his elbows away from his body. He keeps the elbows close to his side. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Andy Murray – Ready Position
Once Andy starts his swing he brings his elbows out and away from his body so he does get his elbows into the right position, he just does it later in the swing. Here is Andy Murray after he has moved his elbows off his body a little into the unit turn part of the swing. Hover over the image to see the his elbows come off his body.
The next example is Caroline Wozniacki. Of the 13 Key Points for a two-handed backhand Caroline does all 13. In fact I do not see any variances in her ready position. Though her forehand grip is not obvious because we cannot see her hand, from her racquet position we can tell she is using a semi-western forehand grip. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Caroline Wozniacki – Ready Position
The next example is Novak Djokovic. Novak does 12 of the 13 key points. The most glaring difference is that Novak leaves his left hand up on the throat of the racquet instead of keeping it on the handle. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Novak Djokovic – Ready Position
Novak does slide his hand down onto the throat as he starts his unit turn. Hover over the image to see the top hand go to the handle.
Once again, just like with Murray, he does this fairly early into the unit turn.
One Handed Backhands
One handed backhands are becoming more obsolete on both the men’s and women’s tour. There are several reasons for this that are discussed in another section.
The first example of a ready position for a person who hits a one handed backhand is Justine Henin. Justine does all 13 of the key points. The only one with a slight variance is the racquet slightly below eye level. She keeps the racquet slightly lower. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Justine Henin – Ready Position
The next Example is Roger Federer. Roger does 12 of the 13 key points. The one he does not do is keep the racquet centered. He carries the racquet off to the left side. This is very common for right handed players. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Roger Federer- Ready Position
Next, here is Richard Gasquet. Richard does all 13 of the key points although there is a slight holding of the racquet to his left it is still relatively centered. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Richard Gasquet – Ready Position
Finally here is Nicolas Almagro. Nicolas does 11 of the 13 key points. Like, Federer, he does not center his racquet. Nicolas also does not keep the racquet off his body. You can see his right hand is pretty close to his right hip. Hover over the image to see the key points highlighted.
Nicolas Almagro – Ready Position
Here is another view of Nicolas’ ready position. You can see the racquet is not off the body, but once again like the other pro’s he quickly makes the change early into his unit turn. Hover over the image to see it happen.