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Novak Djokovic Backhand Analysis

November 4, 2019


Hey everyone. This is Florian from onlinetennisinstruction.com.
Today, I want to take a look at Novak Djokovic’s two-handed backhand. I’ll show you some of
the fundamentals that make his backhand so great and that are also really important for
your own two-handed backhand. Novak begins his motion with the upper body turn or what’s
often called the unit turn. This basically means he turns the upper body and he does
not use the arms. He’s just getting the upper body into position andas you can see here,
his arms do absolutely nothing. That way he gets into this crucial position right here
where as you can see, he has coiled his shoulders more than his hips. So from this position,
he can later uncoil and generate a lot of power. Very few recreational players turn
the shoulders enough into this position. So from this position, we’ll see Novak drop the
racket into the slot position. He is basically just letting the racket fall into slot which
is close to the body as you can see right here. From the slot, we’ll see him swing inside
out to the context. So his hands are now close and they will then move away from the body.
Have a look right here. That’s how he gets to contact. Let’s have at that one more time
in really slow motion. Swinging inside out to contact, and now we can see how he got
to the contact point. The contact point is slightly in front of his right hipand at around
waist height as you can see right here. The next thing I want you to pay attention
to is Novak’s head position and how he’s fixating his eyes at the contact point. He has his
head slightly tilted so that he can keep his on the contact point. And that will remain
so throughout the contact phase. This is a very fundamental position that you will also
see with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and most of the other top players. This can really
help you to make clean contact with the ball. A lot of times, players turn their head too
early, and as a result mishit shots. Now have a look at the contact phase one more
time. As you can see, his eyes remain pointing towards the contact point and his head has
not moved a single inch. From here, Novak continues to move his arms and racket out
the target forward and upward. This gives him great depth and penetration on his shots.
Have a look at how far away his hands are from his body in this position. Now Novak
follows through and releases his arms naturally. Let’s have a look one more time at the whole
backhand sequence in super slow motion. So those are some of the fundamentals that
make Novak Djokovic’s two-handed backhand so great. If you enjoyed this video, I’d like
to ask you to click the Like button below and also subscribe to my YouTube channel if
haven’t done so yet because then you’ll receive all of the newest videos.

36 Comments

  • Reply Naibafer June 18, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Im a advanced player but i have never learned to look a the contact point hitting the ball. I tried it several times in my training but I hit the ball not so good then without looking at it. It feels like that I watch out for the contact point to early or loose the eye contact to the ball before / after the shot. Dont know what to do.

  • Reply Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier June 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Hi Fabian. It is not so much about looking at the contact point. It is really more about keeping your head still and your eyes focused in the direction of contact. It is not possible to see the ball contact the strings so it really is more about having the head point in that direction and keeping it relatively still around contact

  • Reply JacquesCousteauful July 29, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I have always admired Djokovic's ability to hit deep and with pace on the back (mine are usually too shallow). It seems that you are saying the depth on the shot comes from how much he extends his arms forward and continues the rotation after contact? Is this correct?

  • Reply colin0622 September 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I would like to know whats the way he hold the racket. Continental ?!

  • Reply TNToncourt October 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I have finally got a good 2hbh.I relax my arms,get under the ball and use my left hand to violently spin the ball on contact.Forget your non dominent arm,just think about catching and throwing with your hand.i'm right handed by the way.

  • Reply 74neverlast October 11, 2013 at 7:49 am

    nice video – good commenting just one thing regarding: "turning the shoulders" more than your hips, this will put tension on your back. (mid/long term) So better be careful with this and take a stance that is less open.

  • Reply Duc Nguyen November 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    At 3:03 he inflates his cheeks, that makes a powerful backhand too.

  • Reply tennisman2k March 11, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    great meeting you today ! as I said, your the best tennis instructions on you tube .. You have helped me upped my game this season to the next level 

  • Reply Nachiket Bhagwat April 1, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I am not getting proper length on backhand. Maybe because I start backhand at waist level and then it gets hard to end at shoulders. Do you think, starting a little below, like Novak does in the video help a little more?

  • Reply tracy pham April 3, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Hi Florian,
    I would like Novak Djokovic forehand analysis from you as well. Could you please? Thanks so much.

  • Reply Mash Eclokin May 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I tried Novaks technique & it helped me heaps! thanks for explaining florian.

  • Reply GOLDEN_GAMER June 11, 2014 at 2:22 am

    what grip does Novak use on his back hand?

  • Reply VIRENDRA DR July 15, 2014 at 11:30 am

    excellent analysis.Why Novak does not coil his Hip..?Only shoulder!

  • Reply Chris Kirkman July 16, 2014 at 3:13 am

    Good video but what's missing is mentioning that his DOMINATE arm is his LEFT hand as if he's swinging a left handed forehand. This is where most people can't manage to understand what they're doing wrong. Also the grip is hugely important. Eastern left hand and continental right hand.

  • Reply John July 16, 2014 at 6:09 am

    I agree with Chris below. It gets confusing to think about shoulder turn, head position, backswing, etc. It's better to concentrate on basically just hitting a lefty forehand, with the right arm doing virtually nothing. Once I started doing that, all the other things just followed almost by necessity.

    One thing I did learn from this video. Look at the racquet face just after contact. It is angled backward almost like a slice. He does not hit "over the top" of the ball at all.

  • Reply TheAfteryesterday September 16, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Literally transformed my backhand from a liability into a devastating weapon after 4 hours of practice. You are SO right about the body turn (similar concept as a "one piece takeaway" in golf). The power I'm generating feels like I'm firing a sniper rifle every time I crack a backhand!! I tried a few forehands using the same concept, complemented with a more western grip and I'm really excited to see the how far this takes me. GREAT analysis!

  • Reply Ron Sheeley February 5, 2015 at 2:26 am

    turning the shoulder makes all the difference.

  • Reply Sougata Dasgupta February 13, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    i wanna learn double handed back hand from this video

  • Reply Pedro DaSiva March 15, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Nice interpretation Florian. Thanks. I look forward to using this…uni-turn with hands starting close to the body…generating head speed starting close to the body, then extending toward the strike point.

  • Reply Lesley Strik July 10, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I really think you're missing a crucial step in this: his stepping in (seen from .18 to .22), This is the point where a tennis player can get his mass and momentum from giving the ball enough controle and pace he needs to give a return or whatever enough pressure

  • Reply LHG 1111 August 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Great analysis.  Interesting you didn't mention how when he takes the racquet back, the face of the racquet is quite closed.  Is this something you advise for most players?  Also, would you say Novak's backhand is essentially left hand dominant?

  • Reply Hung Phan October 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    just hit like a LH golf player and you have a perfect 2HBH

  • Reply zaina powell April 3, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    that video was helpful hopefully I get better at it ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Rivendell Bongard August 12, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    great pointers for my daughter who is mastering the stroke.

  • Reply Gregor Baum November 16, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    this viedo is very good and very helpfull its can helpyou if you like this in frond of a mirrow and practis a littel bit there at the same time i like it very much i would like to have this kind of explination for every hit

  • Reply Andrew J November 29, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I hit my leg every now and then on the low backhand..

  • Reply Dario Ramirez-Pico December 30, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Should the wrists be relaxed or firm?

  • Reply J February 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Florian – Michael Chang just dropped the racket from moment of unit turn – he did not raise racket and then "drop it into slot." Sometimes I do this also. Can you please comment on the benefit of using the Chang backhand? Certainly quicker to just drop racket head. maybe less power though? Please explain as this is a crucial issue.

  • Reply NemDannys March 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Hi there, I would like to know what type of grip does he use on his right hand when hitting backhand,is it continental?

  • Reply Daniel Burke March 10, 2017 at 1:41 am

    He also hits the sweet spot consistently… something only practice will cure.

  • Reply Daniel Burke March 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Nearly all the online "coaches" tell you to swing the left foot and all this other nonsense. Djok and most pros stand like statues.

  • Reply roadman1823 March 24, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    This is like a golf swing

  • Reply Jamie Vardy June 15, 2017 at 9:57 am

    What backhand? Didnt know he had one?

  • Reply Jack Anderson September 8, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Well done video.

  • Reply Petteri Aittola November 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Keeping his head that long at the contact point, restricts his shoulder turn. I’m vry much in belief, that rec players does not have the felxibility to stqre that long to the point, ball took off. And also head orientation is on key elements in moving the body. If not practiced enough the body basically follows the head and sight.

  • Reply הוنᄀバコᄂᄃɸฅจـهـ母表จาøนحöܠʢܢחق한국어י January 27, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    How did the ridiculous term "continental" get into tennis grip vocabulary?? Which continent are we talking about here? Africa? Asia? Antarctica?

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