Tennis world erupts over video of 12-year-old 'switch-hitter'

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Teodor Davidov, pictured here hitting forehands with both hands.
Teodor Davidov can hit forehands with both hands. Image: Twitter

The tennis world is marvelling over a viral video of 12-year-old Teodor Davidov, who doesn't appear to have a backhand in his arsenal.

And that's simply because he doesn't need it.

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The youngster possesses two forehands - one he uses with his right hand and the other with his left.

Davidov serves left-handed but when the ball is hit to his natural backhand side, he simply switches the racquet between hands and hits a right-handed forehand.

Video of the remarkable feat went viral recently after Davidov played at a junior tennis tournament in the US.

“To have two forehands and to hit them both this well is amazing,” tennis pundit Blair Henley commented.

“To be a true switch hitter on the *serve* is next level. He’s in the (under) 12s?!”

Australian great Paul McNamee said: “I’ve always felt that is the next development in tennis... having two ‘King’ (Nadal) forehands.

"Just imagine facing Rafa’s forehand on both sides ... too good.”

Coach and analyst Brad Gilbert labelled the skill “tremendous”, while AFL reporter Mark Stevens wrote: “The future.”

Video of Davidov in action has been viewed more than 320,000 times on Twitter.

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'Switch-hitting' not unprecedented in professional tennis

Veteran tennis writer Christopher Clarey said Davidov reminded him of Yevgeniya Kulikovskaya, who he says is “the last all-forehand player to make it to a grand slam tournament”.

Kulikovskaya made it as high as World No.91, winning eight titles on the ITF tour.

The Russian also won four doubles titles at WTA level with her ability to 'switch-hit'.

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“I feel like a horse in the circus, running and people are looking at you do stuff,’’ Kulikovskaya told the New York Times in 2003.

“Sometimes, I’m getting crazy, because people come and see me, and they point their finger at me: ‘Look! Look! Look, how she plays!’

“I understand it’s different, and people will react, but sometimes I can’t stand it.’’

Michael De Jong, the former coach of two-time grand slam winner Mary Pierce, said about Kuikovskaya: “Two forehands is the dream”.

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