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The Best Racquets for the One-Handed Backhand

by TN

Here are the Best Racquets for the One-Handed Backhand and the characteristics that make them work well for that shot.

I got a question on YouTube about listing the best racquets for the one-handed backhand and I like to listen to my readers/subscribers and hope to create the kind of content you want to read/see. Like with everything tennis, it’s a personal thing but I base this post on some of my observations from other players, but also what I have encountered in my own racquet reviews and experience.

The Best Racquets for the One-Handed Backhand – Characteristics

In the video, I identify a few key characteristics for racquets that will work well for players using a one-handed backhand. The one-handed backhand is a shot that requires more preparation, better balance and gives less room for improvisation than the two-hander. It can be a spectacular weapon in the hands of the right player, but it can be a liability for many players worldwide. If the backhand is a glaring weakness in your game I recommend a few things:

  1. Work on it with a coach and/or ball machine
  2. Look for a racquet where it feels as natural as possible
  3. Use the slice as a backup as it’s an easier shot

Number 3 works for players like Dan Evans, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Gonzalez, Steffi Graf and Ash Barty, so it’s a viable strategy.

Characteristics to look for

95-98 sq inch head size for good maneuverability
Thin beam for reduced wind drag (23 mm or less)
Medium stiffness 62-66 RA strung (helps on off-center shots)
Standard length (again maneuverability)

Suggested racquets for the one-handed backhand

There are a few racquets that slot into the characteristics above and I think are great for one-handed backhand players.

Yonex VCORE 95 a very forgiving racquet for a 95 sq inch head size. The VCORE Pro 97 is also good.
Babolat Pure Strike 98
HEAD Prestige MP
HEAD Radical Pro
Wilson Pro Staff 97 including the RF97 Autograph
Wilson Ultra Pro
ProKennex Ki Black Ace Pro 305
Angell TC 97 Custom
Tenx Pro Xcalibre
Dahcor K97S
Pacific X Tour 97
Tecnifibre Tfight RS 305
Tecnifibre TF40
Volkl Powerbride Mid
Dunlop CX 200 Tour

I might have missed a few, but these are all excellent on the one-hander. Do you have any personal favorites for the one-handed backhand?

If you want to buy any of the racquets above, please consider doing this through my affiliate links with Tennis Warehouse, which will send a small commission to Tennisnerd at no cost to you. Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Warehouse Europe, Tennis Only.

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Mark Moore July 2, 2021 - 00:01

You hit on all of my favorites, except the Wilson Blade 98 (also favored by Tsitsipas, who has a real nice backhand). I have tried and used many of these and would agree with your picks. I currently play with the Babolat Pure Strike 98 and like that one best of the bunch. Great article! Thank you.

Xavier July 2, 2021 - 10:56

I think my present Volkl C10 pro is very well suited to my one handed backhand. I never hitted it with as much confidence as now. Many years, one of the reasons to play with Prince Exo 3 Tour 100 16×18 was the feeling I had with myb one-handed backhand.

Jingo July 3, 2021 - 20:00

Tsitsipas plays with a customized 2013 Blade (more head-light, a bit more static weight) so that’s not really an endorsement for the current mainstream line of Blade. The Blade pro stock is far more common but is tweaked so much by one-hander players that touting it as a great one-hander stick would be misleading (on those grounds). That said, the regular Blades are common among college players, some of whom have one-handers (though it is more commonly seen with two-handers for the reasons discussed here).

Karol July 19, 2021 - 11:14

Dear TN, maybe you could recommend 100 sq racquet for one handed backhand (I’ve got 3-3,5 ntrp) and also it should be arm friendly. I know high expectation 🙂

TN July 20, 2021 - 10:17

Hi Karol, I offer a consultation service for proper racquet and string recommendations. I’d try the Phantom 100X 305.

Karol July 20, 2021 - 13:45

Many thanks for Your offer, in the meantime I did some research, I also need a grip 5 and those in my country are offered by Head and Babolat. Head Gravity is gone, because I tested the MP and I did not play well. Babolates are stiff. So I can only consider Extreme MP, Instinct MP and Speed MP. The parameters show that I should take Speed… and probably this will be your advice 🙂

Steve August 27, 2021 - 04:56

Thankyou for this article. I am 51. Just taking up tennis again after 25 (!) years away, having gotten the itch after playing with my teenage son. Was a 4.5/5.0 in college. (Just a Div 3 school, but was their #1 player–then my 3rd year I blew out my shoulder/rotator cuff on a high crosscourt OHB shot which I simply swung too hard at. I was a flatter trajectory hard hitter type–70% baseline/30%volley. Shoulder was never the same–never knew when it would partially dislocate (subfluxate) on even the simplest OHB shot. Only good thing was I developed a great 2nd serve–kinda modeled after Stefan Edberg–as I couldn’t hit a more speedy, flat-faced 1st serve anymore due to that shoulder instability. After college, I quit the game, got into lifting weights and golf. So, you might not remember rackets back in the late 80’s, but I played with a Dunlop Max 300i (a stiffer version of McEnroe’s Max 200g), string fairly tight for control. Ok, up to the present: my shoulder is fine, strong from weights, though I will be careful on the OHB’s lest I mess up my shoulder again and just know I’ll probably have to just hit slices from that side to be safe. I guess at this point I’d be a 4.0 player for being away so long. Do you think that Dunlop CX 200 Tour you listed might do the trick for me? If so, would it be too much to opt for the 18×20 string pattern for the added control you get? (Or am I crazy for wanting such an advanced racket, eat my glory days pride, and buy a noodle?) Any reply is much appreciated!

TN August 27, 2021 - 22:43

Welcome back to tennis! I think you can find something in between, like a Blade 98 or a Tecnifibre Tfight RS 305. The 200 Tour is nice, but demanding. Best idea is to demo!

TENNIS FAN September 13, 2021 - 06:22

I know the Prince Phantom 93p 18×20 does not hit the specs you listed. But, it is an awesome racquet if someone has the technique to master it.

Chris P May 21, 2022 - 08:59

Jonas, what are your thoughts about the Head Pro Tour 2.0 for a one-handed backhand? I have just taken delivery of one today, but haven’t hit with it yet. I’m currently playing with a Yonex VCore Pro HD, but found it too flimsy to return big serves and it lacked some plow-through

Kevin August 9, 2022 - 21:07

If you have arm issues I recommend pro kennex ki q 300 or 315. That said, if you want the most out of your back hand you really should practice your strokes as Jonas said. When I haven’t worked on my Top Spin backhand in a while my confidence goes down and I rely on the old slice.


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