Young 193 cm (6’4”) tall Greek-Russian Stefanos Tsitsipas (*98 / GRE) belongs to the biggest talents on the men’s tennis tour. He has been developed and is being coached mainly by his father Apostolos.
Stefanos made his first real international breakthrough at the 2014 Orange Bowl, where he came surprisingly all the way to the finals, which he lost in 3 sets (after winning the first set 6/2) to Stefan Kozlov (apparently * 98 / USA), who seemed to profit from a massive undue support of a small spectator group clearly putting Stefanos off, mainly in the second set.
This defeat and the pressure of expectations seemed to influence well-behaved Stefanos in the coming years and he was for quite long not able to book any big junior title to his name. He lost also the 2015 Orange Bowl finals, to Miomir Kecmanovic (*99 / SRB), and was not able to win any of the junior Grand Slam titles. In the end, he finished his junior career with the win at the 2016 Trofeo Bonfiglio (ITA) and with the 2016 U18 title won at the European Junior Tennis Championships in Klosters (SUI).
Stefanos started with the gradual transition to the men’s tour quite early during his junior years and as about the end of June 2017, he has won 5 ITF Features singles titles and reached #186 on the ATP tour already. He also qualified for the main draw at both the 2017 French Open and the 2017 Wimbledon but failed to win any main draw Grand Slam match yet.
The one-handed backhand can be considered as Stefanos’ signature stroke. He belongs to the rather small group of the young players playing the one-handed stroke on the backhand side. In general, the one-handed backhand variety gives a better chance for acceleration but can be rather challenging while receiving (absorbing) powerful strokes and mainly services of the opponents. Only players with excellent stroke technique (Tennis 3.0) based on a good use of the core muscles and an early impact like for example Roger Federer (SUI) and Stan Wawrinka (SUI) can well cope with this situation. Full supination coming from the shoulder activity (rotation) is one of the main principal conditions for a powerful one-handed backhand. The other advantage of the one-handed backhand is then in the rather easier switching between the topspin and slice, both physically and mentally.
The bellow-shown comparisons of Stefanos’ topspin backhand during the 2014 Orange Bowl finals and during the 2017 French Open as well as 2017 US.Open qualifications show that the core stroke elements have been well-established during his junior years already.
This article covers certain aspects of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ one-handed backhand and the one-handed backhand in general only! Further extensive photo galleries and more distinct details about his one-handed backhand and other strokes as well as about the strokes of other players are available upon a qualified request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com. Some significant information/details of this kind, necessary for the peak performance in modern tennis as well as for a sustainable tennis training/development in general, are being discussed also in the seminar “TENNIS 3.0 – Future of the Game”, which is available worldwide upon request – www.tennis30.com / www.tennis30.cz
Photos (December 2014, May 2017 & August 2017) & text (July 2017 & January 2018) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch. Any further publication of either any of the photos and/or text with the explicit written permission from the author/copyright owner only! All instruction provided reflects just the personal opinion of the author and neither the author nor the CPTA accepts any responsibility for potential damages, direct or implied, of any kind!!