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View Full Version : Which pros use a semi western forehand?


southend
02-13-2009, 12:27 PM
While watching videos of various pros' forehands, I would think that swing path and other movements of the hands and racquet would be different for those with a semi vs full western forehand. I think I should focus on those using a semi-western forehand since that is what I use. Or does it even matter and one should be trying to follow what the pros do in most ways even though they may use different grips??

skiracer55
02-13-2009, 12:37 PM
While watching videos of various pros' forehands, I would think that swing path and other movements of the hands and racquet would be different for those with a semi vs full western forehand. I think I should focus on those using a semi-western forehand since that is what I use. Or does it even matter and one should be trying to follow what the pros do in most ways even though they may use different grips??

...probably about the best example of not only using a semi-Western on the forehand but doing something with it is, of course, Roger Federer. To me, the semi gives you the best of both worlds...good top when you need it and plenty of pace and direction to go along with it.

However, having said all that good stuff...the question is not whether you ought to be using a semi-Western, but since you already are...how is it going? Are you consistent with it? Can you hit with pace? Topspin (just having a Western or semi doesn't guarantee you topspin)? Can you move the ball around, and place it where you want? Nadal is reknowned for his heavy topspin, but IMHO, he also hits with fantastic pace and can put the ball pretty much wherever he wants it. If you don't get to answer "yes" to all these questions, before you throw out the semi-Western grip, ask yourself if your swing path is consistent and will produce the results you want. How about your footwork, and general court movement? If you can't get to the ball and set up, doesn't much matter which grip you use.

And, finally, to expand the discussion one level, who says you have to be confined to a single grip on any stroke? A slice forehand is a useful thing as an approach shot against a passer who doesn't like a low, skidding ball, so in that situation, I'll use a Continental grip and hit it like a volley. My main grip is semi-Western, but sometimes I'll sneak around toward Eastern if I want to hit it really flat. And, yes, there are times when I want some Major Topspin that I'll go almost all the way to Full Western. And if you watch closely, the pros who have variety (that's my sermon here) in their game, such as Roger Federer, will vary their grips and strokes to fit the situation.

Make sense?

LeeD
02-13-2009, 12:49 PM
Different take...
I'd bet at least 70% of pro Men's players use some variation of the basic SW grip for forehands. Some variance allowed for personal tastes, player heights, and physical differences.
Use what YOU think works for you.

Rickson
02-13-2009, 01:39 PM
Probably most of them.

halalula1234
02-13-2009, 04:09 PM
like all of them 90%

southend
02-13-2009, 05:15 PM
Thanks all. I had not nor planned to switch from semi-western. From the info provided, looks like it is safe to utilize most pro strokes for something to model my swing after.
My concern was that many might use a full western and I should or should not try to follow their motions.

LeeD
02-13-2009, 05:19 PM
And it really depends on your height, besides personal preferences.
Really tall guys never get high balls, so and Eastern or conti side of works just fine.
Really short guys, the Dibbs, Solomons, Barasetachi's all use full western, even back in 1976.
Amanda Coetzer used full westerns, at 5' and a hair.

WildVolley
02-13-2009, 08:23 PM
Both the W and SW strokes of most of the pros are very similar these days. The full western hitters probably prefer the ball a little higher and further in front, but the rest of the stroke usually follows the same pattern.

Strong unit turn, looping backswing, patting the dog, the racket lagging the hand and going butt-first at the start of the stroke, and then brushing up from under the ball and windshield wiping to some extent on the finish.

southend
02-14-2009, 09:27 AM
Both the W and SW strokes of most of the pros are very similar these days. The full western hitters probably prefer the ball a little higher and further in front, but the rest of the stroke usually follows the same pattern.

Strong unit turn, looping backswing, patting the dog, the racket lagging the hand and going butt-first at the start of the stroke, and then brushing up from under the ball and windshield wiping to some extent on the finish.
Very succinctly put. After studying various slow mo pros and college recruit videos, you have summed it up nicely. I am a 4.0 USTA player trying to get more consistency and embedding those elements into my forehand. Having played for 35+ years (old school), alot of old bad habits creep into my semi-western grip and windshield wiper forehand. Remember the old keep the racquet head above your wrist on the forehand!

southend
02-14-2009, 09:34 AM
Thanks to all for comments: At the very very end of the backswing, are there any great swing thoughts out there. Near the end of the backswing, racquet head up and butt of the club facing down, dropping the hand and getting into the pat the dog position and simultaneously getting the butt of the club pointing to the point of contact seem critical. I still struggle with getting all of this done each time and thinking about getting under the ball in an abbreviated "C" or a "Nike swoosh" foreward motion. Many seem to have little "C" or "Nike swoosh" motion, but rather get under the ball with a simple drop of the wrist and racquet head. I suppose I can't do this and prefer the "Nike swoosh" motion since I tend to not relax my wrist enough. Any swing thoughts or "must be in" positions at the end of the backswing?

Djokovicfan4life
02-14-2009, 07:14 PM
There are ways of hitting a forehand outside of the SW grip? Hadn't noticed.

amcgula
04-04-2009, 12:38 PM
For me the difference between the grips are basically where in the swing you find more or less spin. Eastern finds the flat point in the lower and later swing position, whereas western find's it in the higer and earlier. But in all cases you can compensate a lot with your legs and wrist. The full western grip finds the more natural flat point in a very aggressive position, really up and in front. That's very interesting because it's very natural for that grip to attack short and high balls flat, with a lot of consistency. The same ball with an eastern grip is a low powered sidespin unless you let it get down (less margin) or you make a very not-natural adjustment with your wrist.
On the other hand the western grip finds low balls on a extremely "spiny" position, that requires more power to have depth (if not.. short) and needs much more effort and better technique. Of course, the ball will have lots of spin.
The SW is on the middle. With little adjustments you can have both benefits.
In my opinion, the western is the best grip for a short and strong guy. The eastern becomes better in a weaker and taller player.