In the world of tennis, the most entertaining shot for the public is the one coming from the best one-handed backhand tennis players.
And who was the best one-handed backhand in the tennis players pro in both ATP and WTA tournaments? We have shortlisted the best ones in the world, in 2023 and the last 30 years.
Best One-handed Backhand Tennis Players in ATP
#1: Roger Federer
When we all dream of a one-hand backhand in a tennis player, surely the first name coming to your mind is Roger Federer.
Roger Federer, a Swiss ex-professional player is famous all over the world to have been one of the best players tennis has ever seen. On top of this, all experts recognize him as the best one-handed backhand in the world of tennis, ever. His game, and his debut in the early 2000s when still Sampras and Agassi were around, not to count Boris Becker was a total game-changer for the whole circuit.
His matches where he went God mode with his shot are a lot to remember but the one against Rafael Nadal during the opening event of the year, the Australian Open in 2017. In that match Roger against Rafael Nadal, the Swiss goat showed all his skills at the age of 36 years old and won the final playing one of the opponents he played against the most in his 20 years of career at the top level.
In his career, he won 20 Slam titles being only behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic with 22 in March 2023. The tournament where he achieved the most victories is Wimbledon which suited his playing style perfectly.
In 2022 he called off his career and invited all the best players in the world in a huge event that saw him playing alongside Nadal.
#2. Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss professional tennis player who is widely regarded as having one of the most spectacular one-handed backhands in the game. Known for his powerful strokes, Wawrinka’s one-handed backhand is a thing of beauty that has often left spectators in awe.
Wawrinka’s one-handed backhand has been a key factor in his success on the professional tennis circuit. He has won three Grand Slam singles titles, including the Australian Open in 2014, the French Open in 2015, and the US Open in 2016. In each of these tournaments, his one-handed backhand was a dominant force that helped him to defeat some of the world’s top players.
#3. Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Greek God as he’s called in Greece is the top-ranked Greek player of all time. Being 24 years old in 2023 it is however time for Stefanos Tsitsipas to show that apart from his great one-handed backhand he can also be strong mentally.
His technique is definitely on the top 3 of all times however hitting most of the shots with his one-handed backhand backfires him sometimes as he’s using it also to return every shot from the opponent’s service.
In 2022, He reached twice the Slam finals losing to Djokovic twice while he won a total of 9 ATP finals making him the most winning player in Greek history.
#4. Lorenzo Musetti
The Italian well gifted Lorenzo Musetti entered the ATP world in 2019 with a lot of hopes behind him. His technique is a joy to watch, a clean movement with the one-hand backhand often ending up in a winning point.
Musetti remarked that single-handed backhand came naturally to him. He also disclosed that he has not changed after trying the single-handed backhand for the first time.
Surprisingly, Musetti used to admire David Nalbandian, a double-handed backhand player, for his near-perfect technique on his backhand. Even if he ended up doing with one hand that was a great inspiration for him.
His performances at the end of 2022 allowed him to reach the top 30 and we will check whether he can improve his standing using his great one-hand backhand.
#5. Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov, The most famous Canadian player altogether with his Davis cup partner, Felix Auger- Aliassine ,has a stunning one-handed backhand. The speed on the hit is one of the fastest in the circuit and he needs to build his gameplay around it to achieve great results in the future.
What make Shapovalov different from others is he is left-handed one-handed backhander. Which make trouble to his opponents. The exciting shot is jumping while hitting backhand.
In 2022 he won a Davis Cup with Canada and 1 Atp title but he has time to grow and achieve further development as he was born in 1999.
#6. Dominic Thiem
The Austrian-born player, Dominic Thiem helped surely his country in the growth of the tennis game. Not featuring any top player in Austria for a long time he managed to achieve the top 3 and even won a Slam, Us Open in the final vs Medvedev as the best result of his career.
Dominic Thiem still nowadays is a respected player with a fantastic one-handed backhand that he had to change in the style following the serious injury on his wrist in 2020. Since then, he has been struggling to return to the top of the form.
#7. Grigor Dimitrov
Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov was for a long time called the new Federer, the next big thing, and so on. His one-handed backhand slice is fabulous in terms of technique and quality, where he lacks in his game is the forehand.
He achieved 3 major tournament wins and was number 3 in the world as the best ranking. As he’s 31 in 2023 he might not get more chances to get back into the top 3, however, is still a very respected player for his technique and quality.
#8. Richard Gasquet
The French prodigy as they call him in France was one of the best of his generation. Born in 1986 he reached the peak of his career when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were at their peak as well.
He won 16 ATP titles and 2 times a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2007 and 2015.
In a recent interview, taken in late months of 2022 he said his one-handed backhand is second to few players but Wawrinka is in there.
Best Female Tennis Players with One-handed Backhand
#1. Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and her backhand was one of the key components of her game. Her backhand was unique in that she used a short backswing, allowing her to generate power and accuracy with a quick, compact motion. This allowed her to hit winners from all areas of the court, including from deep in the backcourt or from a short angle.
Graf’s backhand was instrumental in her winning 22 Grand Slam singles titles, including seven Wimbledon championships, six French Open titles, five US Open titles, and four Australian Open titles. Her backhand was particularly effective on the grass courts of Wimbledon, where she won the title seven times, often hitting scorching backhand winners down the line or crosscourt.
#2. Justine Henin
The Belgian player, Justine Henin was at the top of her career after Steffi Graf, in the first decade of the 2000s but she still left a mark in tennis.
Her stylish one-handed backhand reminded many experts of the one of Steffi Graf. She used it to attack and to slow down the game in different areas of the court, timewise the last top player to use so effectively with one hand.
She won 7 Grand Slams and a gold medal at the Olympic Games of Athens in 2004. Navratilova Martina, another great player of the best described her as the women’s version of Federer, in 2007 she was dominating on every court. She got injured and retired at only 28 years old in 2011.
#3. Amélie Mauresmo
Amélie Mauresmo is still considered today a legend of tennis and sport in France. She was the divine executor of the one-handed backhand, and she dominated the scenes in the early 2000s with her charismatic presence on the court and the quality of her tennis.
She won 2 Grand Slam titles and lost the final of the single Olympic Games against Justine Henin in 2004 in Athens. She reached as her best ranking, number 1 in the WTA in September 2004. Her quality in the games was visible to everyone. Some quality games are still to be watched with Amelie Mauresmo drawing spectacular one-handed backhands on the court.
To sum it up the game of tennis consists of different styles of playing however we are certain the one-handed backhand is one of the most difficult to imitate and more spectacular to see on a tennis court.
The list above tried to put together the best ‘’actors’’ of this beautiful discipline but hopefully, in the future, there will be more. With the tennis game-changing and becoming less qualitative and more quantitative with the number of powerful shots down at the very last cm of the courts it’s become rare to see a nice one-handed backhand.
What is your best one-handed backhand tennis players in ATP and WTA?
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1 thought on “Best One-handed Backhand Tennis Players”
Cannot leave out Gustavo Kuerten. Also Tommy Haas had an excellent backhand