Can You Change Hands In Tennis? (Rules Explained)
A popular question that often comes up in all racket sports is whether you can change hands in the middle of the game or not, and does the rules allow it? In this article, I will walk you through how you can change hands in tennis and the benefits or downsides.
You can change hands in tennis as no rules state against it. If you notice that both of your hands are quite capable of operating the racket, then, change hands during a match and make use of it. Most people need years of training which takes more useful learning time from the dominant hand.
For example, a former USTA national champion Marty Devlin used the two-hand technique and could use two forehands in the match, which was really beneficial. Who knows how long Marty trained for that skill, or was it more natural for him because of such strong both hands.
For most people, the difference between the dominant hand and the other is so big that learning to play with two hands is a long, long process that takes practice away from the dominant hand, so the question is, why would someone sacrifice that? There is one reason above all.
- Why would someone play with two hands in tennis?
- How hard is it to switch hands in tennis?
- Are you allowed to use two hands in tennis?
- Is being left-handed an advantage in tennis?
- Who is the best left-handed tennis player?
- Can you hit the ball with your hand in tennis?
- My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Why would someone play with two hands in tennis?
Playing with two hands which are also called ambidextrous, or completely changing the hand you play with, is often the result of two reasons. Let’s take a look at what they are.
1. Only forehand strikes
If a tennis player plays tennis with two hands, it is often to gain an advantage on the court by striking the ball with a forehand strike from both sides. Usually, a player needs to use forehand and backhand, but if you can change hands, you can strike the ball with the forehand side each time!
This really gives you a huge advantage if you can do it well. When you play with one hand, you will need to strike with the backhand side, which makes your torso rotate more, and it’s overall more awkward and tough to hit than a forehand strike.
Take a look at the video below so you can get an idea of how beneficial it can be.
2. Tennis elbow pain
Another reason if a player starts to use another hand or starts training with the non-dominant hand completely, it’s because of the tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that makes the outside of your elbow hurt especially when you do the same repeated movement.
A tennis elbow is caused by a repeated movement of your forearm muscles which then strains your joints. If you get a tennis elbow, it usually goes away with time and correcting your technique. However, if it doesn’t go away and you can’t continue playing tennis with your hand that has the tennis elbow, you need to start from the beginning by using your non-dominant hand. Luckily, this is really rare.
In most cases, a tennis elbow player plays with the non-dominant hand for a while as the hand heals or uses the hurt hand just a little bit. I don’t recommend this because if you play even slightly with a tennis elbow, it will only make it worse and prolong your recovery.
How hard is it to switch hands in tennis?
Depending on the person trying to learn to switch hands in tennis, it can be relatively easy, especially on the beginner level, or it can take years of practice. In most cases, it takes huge amounts of time to learn the basics, and most people will never be able to use both hands at a competitive level.
If you are a serious player, you need to acknowledge that every second you practice using your non-dominant hand and try to implement it in your tennis routine is a second lost from a practice that really gets your skill levels to rise.
However, if you have the time and are confident that you could make it happen, then, by all means, make it a part of your training because if you master it, it can really give you an advantage as it did for Marty Devlin.
If you are a recreational player, you can really train whatever you want without the stress of hitting your goals in time, so if you feel like switching hands in tennis, go for it, train, and maybe surprise yourself.
I have tried it personally, and I can say it’s not for me because I really sucked at it.
Are you allowed to use two hands in tennis?
You can use two hands in tennis because no rules state against it, but know that it is really difficult and won’t probably be easy. With a little or a lot of practice, you can get your second hand into the game, at least in the early stages of tennis. However, at a competitive level, very few players can do it.
Is being left-handed an advantage in tennis?
Being left-handed is an advantage in tennis. This is because most people are right-handed; thus, people are used for serves, strikes, and spins coming to form them. However, it is less known when a left-handed person does these things, which creates an advantage.
In fact, being left-handed is an advantage in other sports, such as table tennis, badminton, and cricket. The reason is the same as in tennis. Left-handed people play mostly against right-handed people, and so do right-handed people. That’s why when a leftie comes as an opponent, the playstyle is less known, which is an advantage for them.
Who is the best left-handed tennis player?
Rafael Nadal is by far the best, well-known, and accomplished left-handed tennis player. In fact, Rafael Nadal is tied first with Roger Federer as a person with the most Grand Slam victories (20). Also, Rafale Nadal is the third tennis player in all-time career earnings with 120 million dollars.
Can you hit the ball with your hand in tennis?
In tennis, you can hit the ball with your hand if it is your racket hand, and the ball hits below your wrist. Tennis law 2.5.7 states that you can hit a tennis ball with any part of your racket and racket hand below the wrist. Learn more about tennis laws from ITF Rules of Tennis.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.