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View Full Version : Serve Grip - square 1


tennisplayer20002000
03-22-2004, 11:59 AM
...as in back to square 1.

due to injuries the wall and solo practice has revealed an interesting dilemma on the serve grip and I'm wondering if anyone can help here.

I've never had what I would call a great serve and overhead. Good power but never enough control. Moving my index knuckle onto bevel-3 (eastern forhand) allows me to hit the serve more above me and direct it better, i'm also seeing an arc on my heavy balls that i've never seen before, like a topspin on the serve, apparently due to a much faster snap. It also allows me to take overheads in line with my body and snap them down, instead of resorting to spin.

But everything I've seen endorses the continental for serves and overheads. The serve - using a continental grip (bevel-2), I take the racquet above me with a firm grip. Note how the face is angled slightly; net | \ racquet. Hitting the ball further in front of the body will only increase the angle, so will moving the toss more above me. To offset this angle, I start with my back more toward the net and snap toward the fence generating 8-2 or 7-1 spin. I am unable to flatten and really snap hard with a firm feel this way.

I cannot seem to incorporate a strong pronation and flatten out the ball on the serve with a continental. It doesn't feel like I'm getting a full range of pronation either, as in laying the wrist back pronated and twisting the forearm and wrist through. It feels like loading up for a karate chop, no way to get the wrist to lay back for a quick snap.

I think about how my forhand (eastern forehand) is easy to lay back and pronate with a firm grip.

Thanks in advance!

Bungalo Bill
03-22-2004, 12:25 PM
FOr one thing the continental and the Eastern backhand grip is better suited for natural topspin which is why it is the preferred grip by almost all players.

The Eastern forehand grip gives a better flat serve and you will have to play with the arm or stance to allow it hit topspin. I dont recommend this.

The serving grip is looser then your normal groundstroke grip which allows the wieght of the racquet freedom to gain momentum before it hits the ball from a loose wrist.

I will say this over and over again, pronation will happen naturally when all the elements of a good serve are in place. YOu dont need to think much about it. Just hit the ball on the spot you need to hit it for the spin you want. If you want more spin and less power or vice versa, then you will need to practice and practice.

If you want to get used to anything new in tennis no matter what it is - the first thing is to hit balls slowly or hit slow balls.

I usually hit balls with my feet pointed in a 45 degee angle this is usually towards the net posts. Then I practice hitting a variety of spins and placements using slow tehnique. I will gradually add power and pace to the swing to lock it in.

tennisplayer20002000
03-24-2004, 12:28 PM
BBill,
Keeping a looser grip makes sense. I think pronation can occur naturally but the lack of great servers suggests it doesn't necessarily come naturally. I recall learning a forehand and having to make a conscious effort to load up so I could pronate. After further practicing with the eastern and continental grips on the serve I found that I was able to serve well with both. I believe it's more an issue with leverage now. The eastern grip allowed me to feel a full range of snap with leverage. I then was able to move my grip toward continental until I lost the ability to snap over my head, flush with the ball. Wallah, a continental grip on the racquet that still feels strong like the eastern. I think that I'm onto something good here, based on the results.

Thank you for the informative post, I'm sure it will help others too.