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FedExpress117
01-05-2010, 11:25 AM
I'm a 3.5 and haven't really been successful changing to Semi Western. I look at Soderling and Djokovic for tips but often times I still find myself struggling with finishing off points. I get more spin but can't really drive through (but I see Soderling driving through it just fine). Should I be going for more angles and corners since I can get more spin (I realize an Eastern grip can still get more top spin than a Western)? As in using the top spin to get the ball in deep instead of driving through it (I'm trying to drive through it as if I'm using an Eastern). Then I look at someone like Nadal who just makes his opponents hit shots from the doubles alleys until he finally makes his ball outrun the player by hitting his corners and occasionally using angles. In general, what should my gameplan be for shot selection/placement with a Western to make sure experienced players don't take advantage of my shots/short balls?

supineAnimation
01-05-2010, 12:00 PM
The first question I would ask is why are you changing, I assume from an eastern grip. If it's solely for topspin, you can get plenty of top with an eastern. I direct the court's attention to Federer and Agassi.

I would suggest you focus on ensuring that your mechanics and technique are sound, and when it comes to the forehand topspin is a product most predominantly of racquet head speed and swing path. Try going to a site like Fuzzy Yellow Balls and watching their videos to first ensure that you're using your legs properly; that you're using your off-hand to ensure that your shoulders/torso are turning properly and to a great enough degree; that you're planting and pushing off with your leg properly; that your hips and core are actively involved in your strokes; that your wrist is going into extension as the racquet comes forward in the swing; that you're supinating your forearm and finishing your swing path correctly.

I teach privately and I always tell my students that everyone has a natural grip that will work best for them once they develop the proper technique and mechanics. If you can mimic the precise proper mechanics and freeze yourself right at the point where you believe you'd make contact with the ball, you can find your ideal grip by having a friend (or less ideally, using your off-hand if you're friendless) place the racquet against the open palm of your dominant hand so that the racquet face is perpendicular to the ground, and then simply closing your hand. You will probably find that your ideal grip is either a semi-western or an eastern, but in my opinion the grip should be determined by your swing mechanics and not the other way around. I personally change between an eastern, semi-western and something in-between for different forehand shot objectives, so it is possible that your grip choice doesn't have to be monolithic. Good luck.

tennisdude083
01-05-2010, 12:26 PM
The first question I would ask is why are you changing, I assume from an eastern grip. If it's solely for topspin, you can get plenty of top with an eastern. I direct the court's attention to Federer and Agassi.



He never said anything about changing grip... He wants to know how to drive the ball better with a full western grip which he is already using.

I had a similar problem where all I could hit with my western grip were loopy topspin things. I have since shifted more towards a semi-western though and have an easier time driving through the ball.

You might want to consider asking your question here
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17

Jonny S&V
01-05-2010, 12:31 PM
I'm a 3.5 and haven't really been successful changing to Semi Western. I look at Soderling and Djokovic for tips but often times I still find myself struggling with finishing off points. I get more spin but can't really drive through (but I see Soderling driving through it just fine). Should I be going for more angles and corners since I can get more spin (I realize an Eastern grip can still get more top spin than a Western)? As in using the top spin to get the ball in deep instead of driving through it (I'm trying to drive through it as if I'm using an Eastern). Then I look at someone like Nadal who just makes his opponents hit shots from the doubles alleys until he finally makes his ball outrun the player by hitting his corners and occasionally using angles. In general, what should my gameplan be for shot selection/placement with a Western to make sure experienced players don't take advantage of my shots/short balls?

To really drive through the ball with a Western, ala Soderling, requires a ball that is at least hip height (the higher the better) and the core/hips do most of the work (not the arm). If you work on your "kinetic chain" with your forehand, you'll figure out how to drive through the ball easier.

PS: You might want to put this in the "Tips and Instruction."

supineAnimation
01-05-2010, 12:43 PM
He never said anything about changing grip... He wants to know how to drive the ball better with a full western grip which he is already using.

I had a similar problem where all I could hit with my western grip were loopy topspin things. I have since shifted more towards a semi-western though and have an easier time driving through the ball.

You might want to consider asking your question here
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17
"I'm a 3.5 and haven't really been successful changing to Semi Western."

tennisdude083
01-05-2010, 06:22 PM
"I'm a 3.5 and haven't really been successful changing to Semi Western."

yes he is saying he hasn't been able to change from a full western to a semi-western. not from eastern to semi-western.

Read the post he is not asking for advice on how to change to a semi-western grip.

anirut
01-05-2010, 07:05 PM
May I suggest something quite out of the OP's intent?

Learn to use all kinds of grips for various shots. And you won't struggle in your game.

It's like having all sorts of weapons at your disposal, from a knife all the way to a cannon.

BTW, don't memorize the grips. Let them come naturally.

Cheers!

supineAnimation
01-05-2010, 08:30 PM
May I suggest something quite out of the OP's intent?

Learn to use all kinds of grips for various shots. And you won't struggle in your game.

It's like having all sorts of weapons at your disposal, from a knife all the way to a cannon.

BTW, don't memorize the grips. Let them come naturally.

Cheers!
I agree completely. It's difficult to shift from a full western to a full eastern, but certainly being able to hit eastern through semi-western allows you to apply more or less topspin for specific intents. I typically use an eastern when I'm moving forward into the court and can hit with a more closed stance, and a full-semi-western for more open stance shots and shots where there is less time to set up. And learning to change the angle of the racquet face by changing the angle your forearm (and therefore the angle of your palm and consequently the angle of the racquet face) with different grips can allow you to cover the ball more at times by closing the face and pop it up more at others by opening the face. Tennis magazine had a great breakdown of Fed's forehand a couple of years ago and it was a great illustration of how he uses different grips for different situations. I'm sure you could find the article if you searched for it. But even Nadal flattens out the ball when he needs to and I would bet his grip shifts more from western to semi-western when he does. You don't typically find players these days that hit exclusively heavy top moon balls ala Brugera these days. Even clay courters can hit flatter and lower balls, so I would try to widen your tactics and develop flatter shots to augment your loopy ones. Good luck.