Marcelo Rios invented the two hand backhand jumpshot


A couple of months ago there was some dispute about who invented the two hand backhand jump shot, some claim it was Michael Chang, but the general consensus is that it was Marcelo Rios, in the 90’s, who created the innovative shot that is widely used in tennis today, by both male and female players.

Here is some proof that Rios deserves the credit…

At the 200l Australian Open Marat Safin was asked by journalist Tom Tebbutt if he copied Rios…

Q. Marat, when you hit your backhand and jump up on one foot, where did that come from? Why do you like to hit that shot?

MARAT SAFIN: Because it’s high balls. It’s sometimes you have to — because sometimes you win some time. You win a time there, because the ball is coming, it’s like a lob and the ball bounce and you have to until it’s gonna get down and there’s a long wait for the other guy, the opponent. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. If everybody’s trying to do this, I think it’s a good shot. Also, I think the spectators, they like it.

Q. Did you copy Rios or anybody?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I don’t think so. Because we start to make it from a long time ago when Rios wasn’t born. (Laughter.)

Then David Ayme from the Bollettier Academy said (Excerpt from my Rios book)…

“He started the running jump shot backhand. He’d jump off the right leg and hit it in the air. Not only did he start the shot, it was an effective shot. Because it’s taken so early. And with his timing, he’d actually generate a lot of pace. The first time I saw it, Whooaa. I didn’t over-react. Whoa. He made a great shot. He missed it very little. Inside the court is where he used it. He would hit the jumping backhand from on the baseline or inside. Nick, to his credit, was smart enough not to discourage it but say that’s the right time to do it. And that’s underestimated. You can get into battles with theory in tennis and you can over-coach in tennis. Or over-analyze. And with great players sometimes it’s best to backup and say, With your style it actually works. Nick didn’t take that creativity away, he encouraged it.”

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  • Patrick · September 23, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I don’t remember anybody using it before Rios. Delpo uses it a lot.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 23, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Patrick, Other imitators of Rios – Chang, Safin, Nalbandian, Stepanek, and many of the WTA players too. Wonder what will be the next new invented pro tennis shot? Pancho Segura says there will be a player who can serve both lefty and righty and use those angles.



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