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Thiem: No One-Handed Revival

INDIAN WELLS—Dominic Thiem switched from a two-handed backhand to a one-hander during his younger years.

The two-time Roland Garros semifinalist owns one of the most electric one-handers in the game, but doesn’t envision one-handers returning to mass prominence on the pro tour anytime soon.

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Four of the world’s Top 11-ranked players—world No. 1 Roger Federer, fourth-ranked Grigor Dimitrov, Thiem and 11th-ranked Stan Wawrinka—wield one-handers.

Acapulco champion Juan Martin del Potro developed a one-handed slice after three surgeries to his left wrist. Rising young stars Denis Shapovalov and 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas also play one-handed backhands.

These are good days for one-handers, but Thiem, the son of tennis coaches, does not expect a one-handed revival.

“I would say not really,” Thiem said today when asked if we’re witness a one-handed renaissance. “Now there are some young guys like Denis and Tsitsipas with a one-handed backhand. But if it’s really coming back like it once was, I don’t really think so.”

The left-handed Shapovalov has said he’s tried to model his one-hander on Thiem’s backhand and while the sixth-ranked Austrian is flattered by the thought he doesn’t see similarities.

“It’s nice. I think it looks pretty different so he did a bad job copying, I would say,” Thiem said with a chuckle. “And he’s also lefty so it’s not really comparable. We are kind of good friends and it’s nice to hear it from him.”

Photo credit: Guillermo Sanchez