Suarez Navarro reveals Federer's 'trademark shot' is about to disappear

The former Spanish tennis player analyzed how the one-handed backhand is destined to disappear

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Suarez Navarro reveals Federer's 'trademark shot' is about to disappear
© Mike Hewitt / Staff Getty Images Sport

One of the greatest experts who have performed the one-handed backhand is the former tennis player Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard talked about the increasingly probable disappearance of this shot, Roger Federer's trademark, in an interview with Punto de Break.

The former WTA No.6 explained how this change is due to the evolution in the playing style.

"On the women's tour, if he hasn't disappeared already, he's disappearing now. I remember that when I played there were about 6-7 players with a one-handed backhand, but in ten years it's likely that there won't be any more, it's a shot that will no longer exist. It's what marked the evolution of tennis, before we played with wooden rackets, everything was calmer, more peaceful, but now everything has changed," said Navarro.

"I'm from 1988; when I started to feel comfortable with this shot as a child you still saw a lot of one-handed backhands, but now it's different. Then it happens that one comes out, but that child sees that his teammates play with two hands and, therefore, that they have more structures to hit and defend.

That child, when he plays backwards, will have many problems. It's wrong for me to say this, but if you were to play tennis again, you would play with a two-handed backhand. Holding Serena's serves or Sabalenka's shots for two hours is very difficult," she added.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer© Ian Walton / Staff Getty Images Sport

Suarez Navarro finally noted that for a child who approaches tennis today it is increasingly difficult to start playing this shot, especially because there are no longer sources of inspiration like Roger Federer, who made the one-handed backhand his trademark

"It's a shame, for me it was one of the most beautiful shots in tennis, if not the most beautiful. We have to accept it, those of us who are romantic, of the old school, will hurt, but the reality is that the one-handed backhand is destined to disappear.

Right now I think it's very difficult for a tennis school to teach the one-handed backhand. The children who are being born now, when they grow up, will not see that shot on television, they will have no one to imitate, they will have to watch videos of Federer and Henin. But they won't be able to see it live," Carla analyzed.

The disappearance of the one-handed backhand

The one-handed backhand is a shot that is increasingly becoming extinct, and the epochal turning point came at the beginning of this week, when for the first time in history there was no tennis player with this type of fundamental in the ATP Top 10.

A blow to the heart for lovers of aesthetics, who grew up admiring the beauty of a shot that is as spectacular as it is incisive. In modern tennis, however, this shot has become less and less effective, thanks to the evolution of tennis into a sport based on power and intensity.

If you consider the current men's top 100, only ten players still use this shot, but in the women's game the situation is even more critical. Tatjana Maria (No. 54), Diane Parry (No. 63) and Viktorija Golubic (No. 71) are the only three women in this group who belong to the one-handed backhand club.

Suarez Navarro