View Full Version : Does (did?) Sampras serve with a backhand grip??

03-08-2004, 09:26 AM
I read it somewhere that Sampras serves using a backhand grip (index knuckle on the plane immediately conterclockwise to that used on the Continental grip). Is that really so? Wouldn't it seriously strain the arm to serve so powerfully with that grip?

03-08-2004, 10:41 AM
In the video clips of him serving on tennisone.com, It looks to me like the base of his index knuckle is on the first bevel and the heel of his hand is on the top. To me this is a strong continental, not an eastern backhand.

However, there are many varying definitions of each grip out there, and it's possible that these are older video clips and he's since changed his grip.


03-08-2004, 11:05 AM
Vin, great answer. You perfectly described the grip I've been trying but that feels very awkward - index knuckle on first bevel and heel of hand on top. I mentally refer to it as a "twisted" grip. It is actually what I had imagined Sampras does, but wasn't sure, . I figured it out from the way he holds his racquet pointed inwards right at the beginning of his motion. It seems like it is what makes the "whipping" action possible (chill out you all, I know there is no actual whipping).

03-08-2004, 11:12 AM
I use this grip also. Give it time and you'll become accustomed to it. In my opinion, it allows stronger pronation and better wrist movement.


03-08-2004, 11:20 AM
Vin, what level are you (please feel free to decline from answering)? I ask you this because I seldom, if ever, see a 4.0 or below player serving this way. I suppose it is in fact a grip associated with an advanced serve. I'm a 4.0 myself and still need a LOT of hard work to master this grip, but I'm sure it will lead my serve to a new dimension.

03-08-2004, 03:03 PM
I currently play USTA 3.5

03-08-2004, 11:01 PM
I'm not only about a 4.0, but also a girl and I use an eastern back hand grip for top spin/kick serves. I think it just feels strange at the beginning, I don't think it's really "advanced". I think the advanced part of the kick is getting the timing, the body and the swing motion coordinated, but the eastern grip is is a big help in just getting an easy top spin serve into the box.

03-15-2005, 11:11 AM
hi i whant to know what is the diferense between the strings 1:30 and 1:25 which is better and why???
my e-mail is pete_sampras@abv.bg

03-15-2005, 11:24 AM
hi i whant to know what is the diferense between the strings 1:30 and 1:25 which is better and why???
my e-mail is pete_sampras@abv.bg
why are you posting in this thread and not in the Strings forum?

03-16-2005, 11:14 AM
sorry but i put it because i whant to know whit what string play SAMPRAS??

03-16-2005, 11:15 AM
What is USTA????

03-16-2005, 04:24 PM

Welcome to our world from Bulgaria.

1.3 and 1.25 refer to string guage. The lower the number, the thinner the string. 1.3 is either 16g or 15Lg. 1.25 is typically 17g. I believe that Sampras used 17g mains with 18g crosses.

I am sure there is a post here somewhere about it.

Typically 17g will give you better playability, but if you hit heavy spin will break more/faster. 16g is the current industry standard, and has decent playability and life. 15L will last forever but tends to be less playable.

03-16-2005, 04:25 PM
USTA stands for United States Tennis Association

03-16-2005, 05:13 PM
I serve using that grip. Its difficult trying to explain to people how to hit it...I just started hittin like that and feels more natural to me.

03-18-2005, 08:41 AM
Thank you very much for all .And what do you think about tha HEAD liquidmetal prestige 630 (the black one), because i have and play with them but i want to change them and i don't know with what??

03-18-2005, 10:39 PM

Mahboob Khan
03-19-2005, 01:36 AM
I have seen the above pictures and have been following Sampras since his junior days. He does not serve with eastern forehand grip. He serves with a version of continental grip. On the second serve his continental grip is a bit extreme.

Boris Becker served with close to eastern fh grip NOT Pete Sampras.

03-21-2005, 12:07 AM
Wouldn't it seriously strain the arm to serve so powerfully with that grip?

It would seem so. But there is much less strain on the arm if you swing up into the ball rather than thru the ball. The natural pronation will give it plenty of pace and the upward motion plenty of topspin to make it consistently land in the service box.

Note that in addition to disguise, one of Pete's great service attributes was his uncanny ability to hit the lines with his serve. Accuracy and placement.
Pace really was way down the list of reasons his serve was perhaps the greatest of all time. (Tilden fans might disagree)

04-12-2005, 03:29 AM
See The Reply For Pete Sampras Here !!!!!

04-12-2005, 03:30 AM
WHIT SEARCH write SAMPRAS for the player and the writer!!!

04-12-2005, 06:24 AM
That is how I serve as well. My "flat serve" (its never flat, but hard) I use a continental, than an even more severe continental for my kick serve.

04-12-2005, 01:47 PM
(...) He does not serve with eastern forehand grip. (...).

Mr. Khan,
I was actually referring to eastern BACKhand. I agree with you. To me he does seem to serve with a continental grip.

By the way,
did any of you realize the original post is over a year old? I was surprised when I read my name on it, since I didn't remember having written it.

04-12-2005, 01:51 PM
I say its closer to a eastern backhand than a continental. Not quite eastern but pretty close to it.

04-16-2005, 09:40 AM

Bungalo Bill
04-16-2005, 10:09 AM
Yup, no eastern forehand grip for Sampras even in those pictures he was in a Continental.

Sampras did use an Eastern backhand grip for some of his serves. The base knuckle moves over the bevel edged between a continental and a full eastern backhand.

04-21-2005, 02:49 AM