Top 5 One-Handed Backhands in Tennis

Nick Nemeroff@NNemeroffCorrespondent IIJanuary 1, 2012

Top 5 One-Handed Backhands in Tennis

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    The one-handed backhand is truly an art. Combining grace and precision, the one-handed backhands of some of the top pros are truly masterpieces.  

    Possessing a two-handed backhand in my own tennis game and having attempted to switch to a one-handed backhand, I am fully aware of the high level of accuracy and mechanics necessary to develop a solid one-hander.

    In this list, I am going to power rank the top five one-handed backhands on the ATP Tour.  I based my rankings on fluidity, precision and effectiveness.    

    Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with my rankings and who you think was left out.

1. Richard Gasquet

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    Richard Gasquet possesses the most technically sound one-handed backhanded on the ATP World Tour. Combining grace and precision, Gasquet's backhand is absolutely lethal.  

    Gasquet's backhand makes up for his unorthodox and often unreliable forehand.    

2. Stanislas Wawrinka

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    Stanislas Wawrinka's career has been overshadowed Roger Federer.  In their head-to-head, Federer leads 10-1 most recently conquering Wawrinka in the Basel semifinals.   

    Despite being severely outmatched by Federer in almost every facet of the game, I must give Wawrinka the edge on the backhand side.  While Federer provides more variety off the backhand wing, Wawrinka just makes it look so effortless and free-flowing.   

3. Roger Federer

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    Roger Federer has a technically sound and efficient backhand.  Although the backhand has plagued the Swiss on clay against Nadal,  Federer's backhand is part of an elite class and has done its fair share of damage throughout the last decade.

    The best part about Federer's backhand is his ability to mix it up.  To that end, he can throw in the slice backhand very potently and effectively steps in front of the baseline to take the ball early and flatten it out. 

4. Nicolas Almagro

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    With the rapid influx of Spanish players at the top of the men's game, one of the least talked about is Nicolas Almagro. This short, stocky Spaniard can hit the cover off the ball and has proven to be a formidable force breaking into the Top 10 in 2011.    

    Almagro is able to generate an incredible amount of topspin on his backhand which is very useful on high bouncing clay courts.  In addition, Almagro has an uncanny ability to drive and flatten out his backhand, creating tons of penetration through the court.  

5. Mikhail Youzhny

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    Mikhail Youzhny does not have the most powerful or lethal backhand around, but in terms of fluidity and smoothness, Youzhny's backhand is unparalleled.  Youzhny is extremely capable of varying direction and pace often throwing his unsuspecting opponents off balance.