Underrated but Poetic, the backhand down the line of David Goffin

Throughout his career I have loved the game of David Goffin. He plays tennis with incredible pose and a plan with his standout shot being his backhand, down the line.

A problem during his career has been injuries and consistency. He has shown he can put on a performance to beat the best but has only won 16 top ten ranked matches in his career with 53 losses. When you consider players of similar age like Dimitrov (25), Raonic (29) and Cilic (33) it has been difficult against the best.

There was a big turning point for me in 2016, having missed out narrowly for a spot in London the Belgian got his reward. Monfils’ withdrawal saw Goffin come in as an alternate but went onto lose 1-6 2-6 to Djokovic.

This was a taster for David and the challenge was next to qualify in 2017!

He did this and he made incredible moves in his game to become more of an attacking threat and a lot of it centres around his backhand. The backhand has always been a prominent shot of his but I have felt as he has progressed in the last few years as has this incredible shot.

You can see below a compilation I found on YouTube and all of the backhands in this video are from the last four years.

It kind of goes deeper than this.

When I think of David’s backhand it is up there for me with Djokovic and Murray as an example but if you watch the clips above there is definitely more snap in his shoulder rotation than those two. Why is that? It’s just down to the velocity he is attempting to hit when he releases through the backhand, it’s a shot he doesn’t want to come back.

The preparation to hit the backhand as sweet as he does requires perfect transition shifting from the centre to the left and making sure that footwork is on point.

So, let’s have a look!


1 – Backhand is being lined up. Goffin kind of stops in his movement and leans back to open up the shoulder to hit the backhand. Keep an eye on the right foot moving up.

2 – Right foot is now planted inside the baseline. The racket and arms are pulled back and straight ready to move forward and strike.

3 – Racket head has moved around, arms are straight to hit the backhand up the line with the left foot now rising helping the follow-through of the body rotation.

4 – Backhand has been hit soo smoothly for a winner down the line. The arms and foot continue to rotate and plant quite quickly before the shot has made it over the line giving him time to move if it comes back.


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