View Full Version : what is the meaning behind the term eastern, western, etc. (grips)

10-27-2009, 08:58 PM
I find remembering the grip names very confusing. I can easily do a google search and discover what an eastern forehand is, or an eastern backhand or a semi-western, etc.

but what on earth is with the naming? Does it have something to do with the bevel orientation? If so, then why isn't the eastern backhand called the northern backhand (since the base of index knuckle is on the 1st bevel). And shouldn't the western forehand grip be called the southern grip, since it's on the bottom (5th) bevel?

either I'm really dumb, or we are living with the historical remnants of a really bad naming system.

10-27-2009, 08:59 PM
ask jeeves.

10-27-2009, 09:02 PM
ask tro... i mean jeeves

10-27-2009, 09:03 PM
It has to do with where the grip originated, with what group of players.

Fearsome Forehand
10-27-2009, 10:20 PM
Has nothing to do with the bevels.

Eastern was named for the Eastern USA. A grip used on the lawn courts there.

Western was named Western USA. A grip used on the higher bouncing concrete courts of the Western USA.

Continental was named for the European Continent. A grip used on the very low bouncing grass courts of Europe.

Semi-Western is between a full Western and an Eastern grip.

These terms are old and go back at least to the 1920's if not earlier.

10-28-2009, 04:08 AM
^ Yup, this is the way I've heard the naming of grips developed. However, the names don't make a lot of sense in today's world. The full Western grip appeared to be somewhat popular more than 80 yrs ago but fell out of favor for quite a while. It has made something of a comeback in recent years. It is ironic that it is very popular on the clay courts of Europe where the Continental grips are said to have been popular in the past.

In non-clay areas, the SW has evolved as the dominant FH grip.