The two-handed backhand has become one of the most popular strokes in tennis. Let's start with the grip and work through the different stages of the shot.

The question of how to hold the racket can be very confusing. I suggest you imagine shaking hands with the handle. Place the "hitting" hand close to the butt of the racket as if you were hitting a one-handed backhand. Now shake hands with the other hand, positioning it above the hitting hand. I keep my fingers and hands close together, but not overlapping.

Be prepared to hit the ball. The two-handed backhand limits the player's natural reach more than the one-handed stroke. Because the grip change takes more time than usual, it is very important to be positioned in a good "ready" stance. Face the net, racket held in front (in the two-handed grip) and the knees loose and bent.

When the ball is approaching the backhand side, turn your shoulders and hips so that both are parallel to the sideline. Pivot on the back foot to turn the body and always stay in a low, bouncy position. The racket head should begin at shoulder level and, in a looping motion, drop to hip level. The wrists should be cocked in an "up" position rather than loose and drooping. Always move for the ball in this ready-backswing position. It will save needed time and decrease the margin for error.

As the ball bounces, step with the front foot toward it in a 45-degree angle direction, and start the racket forward. It is important that the hitting hand provide the power. The other hand should be used for strength, support and direction. Start turning the hips and shoulders, and make contact over or slightly ahead of the front knee. Make sure you look at the ball at contact (See photo).

The follow-through is key. Imagine a row of five tennis balls lined up ahead of the contact point. Swing through the first ball, sweeping across the imaginary line and finishing the stroke way out in front of you. Think of bringing the racket head toward the top of the fence. Make sure you keep the back foot on the ground at the end of the stroke. This forward stretching motion will ensure control and depth on your shot.