A former star snubs Roger Federer's backhand: "The best is Wawrinka"

A former tennis player analyzed how in modern tennis there is little space for players who use the one-handed backhand. And speaking of the bests in using this shot, he preferred other players to Federer

by Lorenzo Ciotti
A former star snubs Roger Federer's backhand: "The best is Wawrinka"
© Sean M. Haffey / Staff Getty Images Sport

The former Italian tennis player Paolo Bertolucci analyzed how the one-handed backhand is now a prerogative of very few tennis players. Speaking to the Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport, Bertolucci also expressed about Roger Federer's one-handed backhand: "The two-handed backhand is easier to teach and children feel more confident.

With grip they can make up for the lack of athletic strength in a phase of growth in which they are not yet muscularly developed. Over time, the advantage of better control of the shot and the ability to apply more power is added.

If I had to draw up a ranking of the best one-handed backhands for thirty years now, that is, since the change started to become unstoppable, even more than Roger Federer I would award Stan Wawrinka and I would also include Dominic Thiem - who, moreover, as a boy he was two-handed - and Richard Gasquet.

Speaking of Stan, who manages to give the shot an extraordinary whip, it would be nice to own a time machine and go back to his beginnings, convincing him to play the shot with two hands. I am convinced that we would have found ourselves faced with a war machine capable of rivaling it with the Big Three more than I have been able to do with excellent satisfaction," explained Bertolucci.

But how many tennis players are there today in the ATP ranking who play the one-handed backhand?

Over time, the backhand has become a shot played by most tennis players with a two-handed grip. There are rare cases in this modern tennis where players play their backhand the old fashioned way, with one hand.

There are just 4 players in the current Top-40 in the world, who play and replicate the great champion Roger Federer, who absurdly built a career with his one-handed backhand, along with his other legendary skills. Federer probably played his best match with his one-handed backhand at the Australian Open 2017, when, in the final against Rafael Nadal, he defeated his friend/rival especially thanks to this shot.

Roger Federer