Adding spin in two-handed backhand for beginner players

Gaby tennis fundamentals, tennis lessons for beginner players, two-handed backhand

Check out our tennis lesson on adding spin in two-handed backhand.

In this video, our player is learning to generate topspin in a two-handed backhand stroke. This type of spin creates a downward force on the ball as it passes the net, that pulls it downward into the court. Topspin gives a player the advantage of a more powerful shot without hitting the ball out. Additionally, a good topspin causes the ball to bounce off the ground with more forward force than a flat ball. We can see if the ball has topspin by looking at its forward rotation and steep downward trajectory at the end of its parabola.

Effects on the tennis ball

Generally, there are three main types of effects that can be put on the ball depending on the way we hit it: topspin, flat (no spin) and backspin. Each of those effects gives the ball a different trajectory in the air and affects the way how it bounces.

Check out our tennis lesson on adding spin in two-handed backhand.


  • there is no rotation / spin on the ball
  • a player hits the ball with the racket head perpendicular to the coming ball, at 90º


  • has a forward rotation / spin
  • a player rotates the head of the racket over the top of the ball when hitting it


  • has a backward rotation / spin
  • a player angles his racket back and slides it underneath the ball when hitting it
We will cover the differences in movement behavior during flight of the balls undergoing different spins in future tennis lessons for beginner players.

How to create topspin

In order to hit the balls with topspin, first of all, the player has to hold the racket with a continental grip in their dominant hand and a semi-western grip in their non-dominant hand. The player should prepare the backswing by putting the racket in an upright position behind them - a horizontal position is more likely to create a flatter shot. Thanks to this upright racket position in the preparation, the rest of the swing will organically cause the player to impact the ball from low to high as they complete the movement. This is then complimented by the player pronating the the wrist and transferring their bodyweight forward.

Key takeaways

Check out our tennis lesson on adding spin in two-handed backhand.

The main learning points from this tennis lesson for beginners are:

  1. Use the continental grip in your dominant hand and eastern or semi western grip in your non-dominant hand to generate topspin.
  2. Prepare the backswing with the racket held in an upright position using both hands.
  3. Swing forwards and impact the ball from low to high by brushing the top of the ball.
  4. The ball follows a steeper downward path once it crosses the net than a flat ball.
  5. To enhance the spin, it is good to bend your knees before hitting.

By adding topspin to the ball a player can hit with more control!

In this video, Javi gives key tips to beginner players to be able to start hitting the two-handed backhand stroke with topspin. He is also demonstrating two exercises to practice adding spin to the ball when hitting backhands from the baseline.

Check out our tennis lesson on adding spin in two-handed backhand.

Exercise 1

Prepare the racket in an upright position before the shot

3 sets of 15 balls

Exercise 2

Hit underneath the ball and transfer the bodyweight forwards

3 sets of 15 balls