Andy Murray has become a force to be reckoned with on the men’s tour and so has his double-handed backhand. The Andy Murray backhand really is a classic stroke and certainly a great example for youngsters to emulate.
So what’s so good about it?
Andy has so many good points about his backhand it’s difficult to know where to start.
His movement has improved massively over the past year. His tuning around the ball and his general court coverage and retrieving is first class.
He can do so much with his drive – it’s scary! His timing is sweet and his racket head control is full of snap. He has the ability to really impose this shot in a rally, due partly to the way he climbs all over the ball striking it very early after the bounce. This, of course, gives the opponent very little time between shots and is very tiring for the opponent to play.
He abbreviates his technique one minute and winds up with a full-blown shot the next. He naturally mixes the pace to stop his opponent finding a comfortable rhythm.
He has a classic straight right arm on take back, with slightly flexed arms on impact. Lovely! He plays many shots around the baseline with an open stance and with great weight transference. His balance is superb, very rarely collapsing on impact.
My favourite part of Andy’s drive is the tremendous racket head speed he generates. He really lets the tip of the racket overtake the grip with ferocious speed. As a result, he finishes the shot with his arms and racket wrapped over his shoulder.
Andy plays his slice as a classic one-handed shot and has a textbook take back and follow-through. He often incorporates this shot into his rallies for change of pace, change of spin and for approach shots. He sometimes just floats his slice backhand deep, without much pace and other times zips it over the net low and fast. He also uses a lovely short cut shot that phizzes low.
As a result of his really natural slice backhand, the drop shot is an easy progression for Andy. He uses this shot to great effect, especially as he has recently improved his ability to decide when it’s a good time to play the shot.
Andy can be seen week in and week out taking his returns early, constantly returning to the feet of the incoming server. His excellent ability to abbreviate his technique makes his return a real weapon. He moves forward, does a split step and then pounces on the ball. His great racket head control means that the flicks and clipped shots are a breeze.
Even when the opponent is staying back on the baseline, Andy is constantly nailing balls into the corners, off the return.
Andy Murray most definitely is the real deal!