Backhand knee bend – the secret ingredient

Backhand knee bend – the secret ingredient

Connors, Henin, Agassi, Cash, etc etc all have something in common – great backhand knee bend. Connors was the master at anchoring his legs low down when ripping his backhand drive.

Why is this important?

Knee bend on all low shots is so important because it enables the technique to be more secure. So much of the power of the modern shot comes through the body from the legs. My coach was a huge advocate of good knee bend and in fact, if ever I was playing below par (too often I’m afraid), I would use this as my first port of call. “Are you bending your knees enough”? I’d ask myself mid match – invariably this reminder would help to get things back on track.

Some years back I was coaching a very good British Davis Cup player who regularly practised with Pat Cash. When on court with them I was amazed at how well Pat got down to the ball. At times on low backhands and low backhand volleys his left knee was nearly on the ground (just like Korea’s HT Lee in this picture). If ever you want to see an example of great backhand knee bend, watch a re-run of Cash beating Lendl in the Wimbledon final. Amazing!

Remember this! Bad knee bend = flimsy technique.

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