Fast Backhand Loop Against Backspin


By: Richard McAfee, USATT National Coach

For most players, trying to generate a powerful backhand loop against backspin is the most challenging stroke in the game. Since the stroke is naturally shorter than its forehand counterpart and pulled across the body, it requires very good timing to generate good speed.

Key Elements
  1. The starting position for the racket is low and towards the left hip (for right handers)
  2. Contact the ball at the top of its bounce
  3. Contact the ball slightly below the center of the ball
  4. The racket should make about an equal amount of force (forward) and friction (spin) contact with the ball
  5. Your weight should shift from your left leg (right-handers) to your right leg.

Practice Techniques

Set your Newgy Robot to deliver a deep backspin ball to your backhand side. Start off by simply pushing back a few returns and notice how low on the face of the ball you need to touch the ball to have it clear the net. Now alternate between pushing one ball and fast looping the next. Remember not to let the ball start to descend before you make contact and to contact the ball just below the center.

Now let’s watch one of the best fast backhand loops off backspin in the country. Didi de Souza from Atlanta demonstrates his superb backhand loop.

(Editor’s note: Also please notice how Didi steps slightly forward from his neutral position to push the ball quickly off the bounce and then takes a slight step backward before he begins his backhand loop. This back step is needed to give Didi the distance he needs to take a powerful swing at the ball when it is at the top of its bounce.)

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  • Jena Newgarden
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