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Photo Study of the Rafael Nadal Backhand

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High Point of Backswing
High Point of Backswing
Mike Hewitt / Getty Images
Rafael Nadal uses a standard backswing on this two-handed backhand in the following regards:
  • Wrists laid back
  • Racquet face slightly closed
  • Racquet pointing at back fence
The grip position of Nadal's dominant (left) hand is the most common one: Continental. His right hand, however, is close to a Semi-Western grip, which favors heavy topspin more than the Eastern forehand grip most players use for the non-dominant hand. The non-dominant hand (the left hand for right-handers) provides most of the power on a two-handed backhand, and a two-handed backhand is a lot like a forehand with your non-dominant arm, so if you're used to a Semi-Western grip on your forehand, you might want to use it for your non-dominant hand like Nadal does. If you have trouble getting the ball over the net, though, try the Eastern forehand position instead. Few players swing upward as ferociously and hit as much topspin as does Rafael Nadal.
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