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Grigor Dimitrov Espouses the “Pure Beauty” of the Dying Breed One-Hander

The Bulgarian spoke passionately about the one-handed backhand on Saturday at Indian Wells.

By Tennis Now | @Tennis_Now | Saturday March 9, 2024

Indian Wells – Grigor Dimitrov is aware of the fact that there are currently ZERO one-handed backhands inside the ATP’s Top 10 for the first time since the ATP rankings began. But the Bulgarian still believes in the beauty of the shot and wants to do his best to “hold down the fort” for tennis’ much-loved endangered species.

After he defeated Frances Alexandre Muller 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday at Indian Wells, the World No.13 said his piece about a shot that is clearly near and dear to his heart.

“For now we’re holding the fort, let’s just put it that way,” he said of players like himself, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Stan Wawrinka and others that are well-known for hitting the one-handed backhand. “For sure I’m counting on every guy that’s still out there with one hand to keep on pushing and playing for that. Of course I will probably be the biggest supporter of that shot.”

At the moment there are ten one-handed backhands inside the Top 100, and that number is likely to dwindle in the coming years.

“When it comes to a different generation, yeah, we’re going to see less and less,” Dimitrov said. “I mean, I feel the game has changed so much, it has evolved, of course, and I think from generation to generation the players traditionally have changed a lot. You see them stronger, bigger, so you need that extra help [that the two-hander gives].”

It’s the harsh reality of an ATP Tour that has so much power across the board that the only way to counter it is with the machine-like precision or the stabler two-handed backhand.

But that doesn’t stop Dimitrov for campaigning for the one-hander.

“I would love to see more people with one hand,” he said. “Just how it is for me. To be able to hit a slice, backhand with one hand, I mean, it’s just a pure beauty. I think every time you try to hit that shot and you make it, the feeling is, I mean, simply stunning for me.”

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