Justine Henin explains why one-handed backhand is dying on WTA Tour

Henin possessed one of the greatest one-handed backhands ever seen.

by Dzevad Mesic
Justine Henin explains why one-handed backhand is dying on WTA Tour

Former seven-time Grand Slam Justine Henin believes the one-handed backhand isn't that much popular anymore and that's the main reason why it's dying on the women's Tour. Henin, a former world No. 1, possessed one of the greatest one-handed backhands in women's tennis history.

"It's not getting popular anymore," Henin, a four-time French Open champion, told Sky Sports. "I worked a lot on my backhand. It wasn't as natural as I thought it was. "I remember when I was eight, nine, 10 years old that I had been working on it a lot.

So many people like my dad wanted me to take it on with two hands because I was not powerful enough, but again, it was another challenge. "I thought it was so beautiful. I watched Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg, even if they used more slices, but for me it was normal playing with a backhand like this.

"It took a lot of work and I can understand this for a little girl standing there waiting to play tennis. She might not have a lot of power, meaning it was important to build something which was technically very clean."

Henin acknowledges the importance of variety

"I really defend a lot the need to give as many weapons as possible to young players, to allow them to play.

Let them try things and feel things and not to be a player who just hits the same forehand and backhand all the time," Henin said. "When you have a slice and a drop shot, you can defend, you can change your rhythm, you can do a lot of things, but I'm not sure if it's going to be as popular." Nowadays, Henin works at her tennis academy in Belgium.

Henin underlined that he is not forcing her young stars to play the one-handed backhand. "I'm not here to build a player with a one-handed backhand because you need to respect the identity of the player, but here at the Academy we strongly believe we can give to the player in terms of creativity, to just try and enjoy the game," Henin said

Justine Henin