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Daniil Medvedev rock-solid backhand has excelled in Australia.

Ungainly, Unteachable, Unstoppable: Medvedev's Backhand Tops The Charts

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers looks at the Russian's standout shot

The best backhand in the business.

Daniil Medvedev may very well have taken over this prestigious mantle as the 2021 season kicks off Down Under. An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Medvedev’s unbeaten run of eight matches at the ATP Cup through the second week of the Australian Open identifies a backhand par excellence.

Medvedev’s backhand does double duty. It’s equal parts brick wall and frozen rope, able to repel and attack with ease. Sometimes it looks like he is shoveling the shot. It’s ultra-flat, and it’s struck with metronomic, Russian precision.

No bells and whistles. No French flair. It’s ungainly, and it’s unstoppable.

Medvedev’s backhand starts with a simple, scooping backswing and often ends with hands and feet flying in all directions. The stroke looks unteachable. The ball flying off the strings, on the other hand, is struck with impeccable accuracy. Think of an arrow peppering a bullseye 78 feet away close to his opponent’s baseline.

ATP Cup: Backhand Metrics
Medvedev went unbeaten at the ATP Cup, defeating Diego Schwartzman, Kei Nishikori, Alexander Zverev, and Matteo Berrettini. Medvedev’s backhand was a big reason why, as he struck more than double the number of backhand winners his opponents did.

Medvedev Backhand Winners: 17
Opponent Backhand Winners: 8

Unforced Errors
Think of unforced errors as simply loose shots. They happen all the time — just as much through a lack of focus and concentration as footwork and preparation. Medvedev had precisely the same amount of unforced forehand errors as his opponents (42), but considerably fewer from the backhand side. Why? Medvedev’s backhand is a machine.

Medvedev Backhand Unforced Errors: 44
Opponent Backhand Unforced Errors: 66

Forced Errors
Medvedev once again put up identical error metrics to his opponents from the forehand side with 43 forehand forced errors. His backhand yielded approximately half the amount of forced errors. This is “Exhibit A” for the backhand brick wall analogy.

Medvedev Backhand Forced Errors: 31
Opponent Backhand Forced Errors: 57

2021 Australian Open
If anything, Medvedev’s backhand has stepped up a level at the Australian Open. He has defeated Vasek Pospisil, Roberto Carballes Baena, Filip Krajinovic, and Mackenzie McDonald to reach the quarter-finals. Up next is ATP Cup teammate Andrey Rublev. Medvedev has cleaned house off the backhand wing so far at Melbourne Park, striking almost triple the number of backhand winners as his opponents.

Australian Open Backhand Winners
Medvedev Backhand Winners: 32
Opponent Backhand Winners: 12

Australian Open Unforced Errors
Medvedev has only hit about two thirds the number of backhand unforced errors compared to his opponents so far at the Australian Open. He is once again proving too consistent from the back of the court.

Medvedev Backhand Unforced Errors: 44
Opponent Backhand Unforced Errors: 60

Australian Open Forced Errors
Trying to force a backhand error from Medvedev is fast becoming one of our sport’s toughest tasks. This is another backhand metric that Medvedev has dominated through his first four matches.

Medvedev Backhand Forced Errors: 42
Opponent Backhand Forced Errors: 55

To gain a full appreciation of just how good Medvedev’s backhand is, don’t actually watch it. Focus on the ball that explodes off his strings and the lethal mix of depth, direction and power it produces. Look to see how uncomfortable his opponent is trying to get it back into play.

Then you will understand.