Guruvi Tennis

Is Your Backhand a Liability?

For the vast majority of people, including the pros, their forehand is stronger than their backhand. But how do you determine if your backhand is a liability and costing you the match? Certainly, it is a liability if someone runs around every backhand to instead hit forehands, but we’re sure this doesn’t apply to any of our readers.

If you want to determine if your backhand is a liability, start by looking at your winners and errors breakdown. The Guruvi Tennis app provides these breakdowns for every match. Read the percentage of errors caused by backhands and the percentage of winners caused by forehands. If the backhand errors percentage is more than 2 times the backhand winners percentage then you’re backhand is probably a liability and you should focus on improving it.

We used the Guruvi Tennis app to score the 2011 Australian Open men’s finals. The table below shows the backhand error and winner percentages for Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Remember that our app doesn’t distinguish between forced and unforced errors in order to simplify the data entry.

Player BH Error % BH Winner % Ratio
Djokovic 42% 23% 1.8
Murray 50% 13% 3.8

In that match Djokovic easily beat Murray in straight sets. Murray’s backhand error percentage to winner percentage was an astonishing 3.8, implying his backhand was a real liability to him (and if you saw the match, you would probably agree.) The bigger the ratio the more the backhand is a liability.