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naught33
06-04-2005, 09:55 PM
Hi. I'm a lefty who currently uses a semi-western grip to hit my forehand, and was wondering if anyone could help me understand how to change this so I could be hitting with a western grip and how the swing would actually look? A few of my friends tried to show me but I was getting confused so I was hoping some of the tennis gods at this site would be able to describe it in such a way that I would follow and be able to incorporate it into my game. Thanks.


naught

TwistServe
06-04-2005, 10:12 PM
Swing is almost the same, contact is slightly in front more.. To make an adjustment slightly change your grip and eventually go to full western.. It's not really a big deal.. Western and semi-western have pretty similar swing paths.

Kana Himezaki
06-04-2005, 10:57 PM
As TwistServe said, it isn't too much different. Any significant changes in it you'll find by just trying to hit the ball normally. Since you want to go Western, I'm assuming you want more topspin. Personally, I'd stick with the Semiwestern, since it's more versatile, but oh well. Your loss. :P I'll probably get a comment on that.

For topspin, you're aiming for a low to high motion. However, note that with a Western grip the ideal contact point is about shoulder height. The reason being that the wrist position feels awkward lower. Also, it's very easy to brush up the ball and load it at that point.

Do not expect to hit clean drives. That's the exact opposite of what a Western grip is designed to do. While I'm sure you won't be hitting more winners this way, you should expect to be forcing more errors, especially when hitting to people's backhands.

Expect problems with low balls and moving to the net. You can hit low balls with any grip, but a Western grip requires a large amount of supination (think of it as pointing your palm to the sky) to even get under the ball. It's especially hard when the ball is coming fast, and you don't have time. Not to mention the awkwardness in the wrist, although I figure you can get past that with practice. Low balls also make it a lot harder to put lots of topspin on, which seems like what you're aiming for with the Western grip.

And remember...personally, I'd stick with the Semiwestern. More options, you can still generate lots of topspin, and whatever. It's the main choice for pros for a reason. Of course, I'm biased since I have a mild SW grip. :P

TwistServe
06-04-2005, 11:17 PM
However, note that with a Western grip the ideal contact point is about shoulder height.

Not quite true.. hmm actually very wrong... Ideal contact for western grip is is about waist height.. if you make contact at shoulder height how you gonna get topspin? You can't go much higher and you'd have to take the ball on the inside to get sidespin..

It's the main choice for pros for a reason.(referring to Semiwestern)

Not quite true either. I'd say pros are mix, some western, some semi, some inbetween.. I wouldn't say semi is the most popular though. And a lot of the new age players (IE Next generation players) are all western: (verdasco, almagro, monfils, gasquet, nadal, etc)

Top 12 ATP Mens list:
Federer, Roger - Strong eastern
Nadal, Rafael - Western
Hewitt, Lleyton - Semi
Safin, Marat - strong semi
Roddick, Andy - Western
Coria, Guillermo - Western
Davydenko, Nikolay - Semi
Gaudio, Gaston - western
Ljubicic, Ivan - ?
Agassi, Andre - Semi
Ferrer, David - Western
Ferrero, Juan Carlos - Western

naught33
06-05-2005, 05:43 AM
thanks for the help guys, i'll have to play around w it i think when I play. Twist, I noticed it says you use an 03 tour, any experience with NXG series vs the 03 tour? I have an NXG OS but from everything I've read it sounds like the 03 tour might be better as it has just as much control and it supposedly more powerful even tohugh being shorter in length and w a smaller head size?


Also, do you know anywhere I can see the actual western grip, like a picture or something because I think when I try to grip it western I over grip it and go past the western grip, what is the easiest way for a lefty to find the western grip for the forehand, thanks

KuramaIX
06-05-2005, 09:21 AM
Doesn't Federer have a semi-western forehand grip? I've seen quite a few pictures of him hitting with that grip.

Jonnyf
06-05-2005, 10:00 AM
doesn't roddick swing xtreme western

ffrpg
06-05-2005, 10:18 AM
Not quite true.. hmm actually very wrong... Ideal contact for western grip is is about waist height.. if you make contact at shoulder height how you gonna get topspin? You can't go much higher and you'd have to take the ball on the inside to get sidespin..





You obviously haven't hit with a western forehand grip. It's very hard making contact at your waist with a western forehand grip. You can get plenty of topspin hitting it at shoulder height. The previous poster was correct and you're the one that's "very wrong."

TwistServe
06-05-2005, 12:17 PM
You obviously haven't hit with a western forehand grip. It's very hard making contact at your waist with a western forehand grip. You can get plenty of topspin hitting it at shoulder height. The previous poster was correct and you're the one that's "very wrong."

I'm all western and been hitting it for a while.. And I can tell you no one wants to ever hit a forehand at shoulder height.. thats why you either want to step in and take the ball early, or step back and wait till the ball gets lower. Making contact at the shoulders is pure stupidity, said from someone that probably doesn't hit with a western grip! Why do you think players hit kickserves.. to kick to your shoulder and make it uncomfortble to return... You see andy roddick hitting big winners off his shoulder? .. why is everyone having trouble with Nadal's shoulder height balls? It takes a lot of strength to handle shoulder height balls over a whole match.

I laugh at posters like you that think the ideal contact for a western forhand is shoulders... when you're blattently wrong it shows you don't know jack about the game, techique, or form

Here is ferrero hitting a forehand.. see how comfortble he is at waist height. His palm is poining up indicates his hitting with a western forehand.http://www.aquo02.dsl.pipex.com/Ferrero/3.jpg

Also guga's forehand .. definitely not shoulder height. http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Running%20forehand.swf

Exile
06-05-2005, 01:30 PM
Doesn't Federer have a semi-western forehand grip? I've seen quite a few pictures of him hitting with that grip.

we've fought over that a few times, we just said its between east and semiwest, ad that really seems to make sense.

now sampras, HE used eastern.
agassi = semiwest

EDIT:
Western form looks ugly!!!
Why is western catching on so much?
Eastern has more control to it, better reach, and doesn't it feel more natural?

Kana Himezaki
06-05-2005, 02:26 PM
TwistServe, I did use and was used to a Western grip for a while. The reason people have problems with shoulder balls is because those are generally at the BACKHAND side. Most players now use Semiwestern or Western grips themselves, and won't have much of a problem with those high balls.

Hitting at shoulder height is ideal for topspin. Your arm can go well over the shoulder, it's not that hard. Shoulder height is the easiest to brush up consistently without initial awkwardness.

And take the ball EARLY? Have you ever wondered why players with extreme grips aren't known for hitting on the rise? Hitting low balls requires a large amount of supination. Nobody said it's not possible, but there's a reason the pros set up and want to hit balls coming at their upper chest with Western grips.

Also note that Ferrero is right before contact and the ball is actually coming around his chest. I'd also like to point out that because he's hitting it there doesn't mean it's fricking IDEAL. Depth and powerful balls force people to hit at points they may not want to hit at.

I'd rather take personal experience, information from other advanced players, and even people like Bollettieri and Macci to point out that hitting at the waist isn't ideal for Western grips.

God, this has already moved into an argument.

TwistServe
06-05-2005, 02:37 PM
TwistServe, I did use and was used to a Western grip for a while. The reason people have problems with shoulder balls is because those are generally at the BACKHAND side. Most players now use Semiwestern or Western grips themselves, and won't have much of a problem with those high balls.

Hitting at shoulder height is ideal for topspin. Your arm can go well over the shoulder, it's not that hard. Shoulder height is the easiest to brush up consistently without initial awkwardness.

And take the ball EARLY? Have you ever wondered why players with extreme grips aren't known for hitting on the rise? Hitting low balls requires a large amount of supination. Nobody said it's not possible, but there's a reason the pros set up and want to hit balls coming at their upper chest with Western grips.

Also note that Ferrero is right before contact and the ball is actually coming around his chest. I'd also like to point out that because he's hitting it there doesn't mean it's fricking IDEAL. Depth and powerful balls force people to hit at points they may not want to hit at.

I'd rather take personal experience, information from other advanced players, and even people like Bollettieri and Macci to point out that hitting at the waist isn't ideal for Western grips.

God, this has already moved into an argument.

We're talking about ideal hitting zones, not if shoulder height balls are easy or difficult to hit with whatever grip you have. Pros don't have problems hitting the ball anywhere be it low or high, and most good players dont have problems either.. But as a beggining asking for advise, no one would tell him to catch the balls at shoulder level. That is not IDEAL even though it's doable and easier with a western grip. All pros step into the baseline when they want to attack and thereby must take the ball on the rise. If you wait your opponent has that split second to adjust. If you step in and take the ball early then you've taken that much time away. It doesn't matter if you have a western grip or eastern grip you still can take the ball early. And many pros do that.

Watch nadal or ferrero. They camp out at the back until the right time and step in.

Also short balls will never bounce shoulder height by the time you get there.. So you're saying you never catch a short ball at your ideal hitting zone? You only catch short balls at the uncomfortble areas? lol

Marius_Hancu
06-05-2005, 02:43 PM
The Integrated Approach to the Forehand (Western Grip)
http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo_03_03.html

Ferrero Forehand Analyzed
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=22111

TwistServe
06-05-2005, 02:45 PM
Hitting at shoulder height is ideal for topspin. Your arm can go well over the shoulder, it's not that hard. Shoulder height is the easiest to brush up consistently without initial awkwardness.


You can get a heck of a lot more topspin when you make contact at the waist and brush the hell up the ball and finish over your shoulder.

Oh wow whats this.. that doesn't look like a shoulder to me:
http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/images/turbo_03_03/fig15rsm.jpg

TwistServe
06-05-2005, 02:50 PM
Also note that Ferrero is right before contact and the ball is actually coming around his chest.

Hmm the video clip to the screen shot is below.. wow you're right.. it is going around his chest.. oh wait nm thats not called a chest:

http://www.aquo02.dsl.pipex.com/Ferrero.mov

I'd also like to point out that because he's hitting it there doesn't mean it's fricking IDEAL.Depth and powerful balls force people to hit at points they may not want to hit at.


It's called letting the ball drop down this his strike zone.. you can clearly see in the clip the ball bounced high and then ferrero waited for it to drop to his IDEAL strike zone.. it was not forced upon him by a "powerful" player

Again: http://www.aquo02.dsl.pipex.com/Ferrero.mov

Kana Himezaki
06-05-2005, 02:58 PM
Quoted of Marius' Page:

The Western Grip is often times the grip adopted by small children as they learn the game. This is quite understandable in that the Western Grip works best when the ball is bouncing high. For children, most balls bounce high because of their lack of height and stature. However, this grip can be very limiting on low bouncing balls. In fact, some adolescents who experience rapid growth spurts will find that their forehand seems to become a liability for a while. In time, however, they usually adjust to the change in their own height and find a way of striking the ball at a proper height.

Because of its advantage on high bouncing balls, the Western Grip is often times the preferred grip by those who play tennis on clay courts. These surfaces (red clay or green clay) usually make the ball bounce high…right in the "strike zone" for the player with the Western Grip.


Not called a chest? I classify chest/torso as above the waist and below the shoulders. Don't you? And in your own picture you put of the guy in the light blue, that's coming in around his chest.

Ideally, the ball is coming in around your upper chest. Also, the Western grip makes it extremely easy to hit those shoulder-bouncing balls. Waist? What the hell are you talking about?


edit:: The excerpt I posted came from the SAME SOURCE YOU TOOK THE PICTURE FROM. That means you agree with it, right? Chest height, easy high bouncing balls, everything. Forget your waist.

Kana Himezaki
06-05-2005, 03:10 PM
At any rate, the original poster just wanted to know how to make a Western grip work for him. He can work out his ideal contact point himself, most of it is personalized.

TwistServe
06-05-2005, 05:55 PM
At any rate, the original poster just wanted to know how to make a Western grip work for him. He can work out his ideal contact point himself, most of it is personalized.

Maybe you should rethink your "personalized" ideal strike zone when you used a western forehand.. Maybe you kept trying to hit it shoulder height, it didnt work out, and thats why you switched to the semi.

BTW Bolliterri(sp?) didn't waste his time teaching you the forehand so please don't mention his name as if you had 1 on 1 instruction. If you had 1 on 1 instruction with him then you wouldnt be posting on these boards, you'd be practicing and getting ready for the WTA.

TwistServe
06-06-2005, 12:52 PM
Another clip of guga doing a sweet topspin forehand with his western grip.. Notice the position and contact point..

http://advancedtennis.com/atrp/guga.htm

Rickson
06-06-2005, 12:59 PM
Doesn't Federer have a semi-western forehand grip? I've seen quite a few pictures of him hitting with that grip.
Federer's grip is definitely a semi western.

POGO
06-06-2005, 01:24 PM
Kana,

You stated you have "mild SW". So is your grip more western or eastern?

Very Western
06-07-2005, 07:09 AM
naught33,

If you decide to commit to the Western Grip, you should bear in mind that there is a price to pay. All the grips have their various pros, and cons, however the full Western grip has this one extra con not shared by the other grips:

You have to be FIT and STRONG to play this way. You will be wailing like a banshee on nearly all your groundstrokes, and in order to remain injury free, you will have to be a regular visitor to the weight room. Win or lose, you will most likely be more tired than your opponent after each mach.

For many people (unless they play mainly on clay), this commitment is too high a price to pay. Having said all that, good luck to you, should you decide to make the transition.

Regards,
Very Western.

DaddyMac
06-07-2005, 11:54 PM
As some others have noted, be careful what you wish for regarding the Western Grip. I learned to use one as a kid, and am now over the years trying to slip into more of a semi-western. That said, take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

I found the Western tough for two reasons:

1. Because it's more technically demanding, I found it hard often to "find" my stroke. I never really felt like I had a good handle on a consistant full-western forehand. I'd go through periods, but when I took time off, it was hard coming back.

2. Return of serve. I hated hated hated returning serve with a full western grip. Just doesn't make sense to do. You want to block it back, or punch it back, not spin it back. This always left me wondering whether I should develop some special return of serve grip/motion, which is just a bad idea. It should be your regular stroke, just shortened.

Hey, first post. Yippie.

EDIT: BTW, not sure I agree that you have to necessarily be any stronger to hit a western forehand. Fitter, yes, but lots of kids growing up were using western forehands and weren't necessarily any stronger. Not sure how strong you have to be to generate wrist snap and racquet head speed.

naught33
06-09-2005, 02:48 AM
Guys I apologize for starting a war in here, was not my intention, but thank you so much everyone for all the information.

About needing to be fit and strong, that isn't a concern of mine, I hit the weight room 5 days a week and am in good shape, I'm just trying to reform my forehand a bit and was wanting to mess around and try to learn a western grip style and see if i liked it better than my semi-western which I use right now. thx again

Noelle
06-09-2005, 06:12 AM
doesn't roddick swing xtreme western
No. Roddick uses an extreme semi-western, which means the base knuckle of his index finger is located between the bevels for semi-western and western.

ajs72us
06-09-2005, 06:27 AM
I actually picked up a western forehand later on in my tennis life. I was having problems hitting a rally shot with a semi-western. I was using so much wrist I was hitting it out. One day I just started using a western and I have been ever since. I have had numerous coaches try to change it but to no avail. It has never given me horrible problems on low balls because I am 5'8' to begin with so I do not have to go that far down. I would have to agree with one of the guys on this string. You do have to be strong in the core and in the back to produce the power needed to make this effective. Personally I am not a pro and I do not care if one grip is more beneficial than another....I just love to play tennis. :mrgreen:

naught33
06-11-2005, 09:49 PM
what is the easiest way to find the proper grip to be holding the racquet so youd be using a western grip? im a lefty. thanks

Kana Himezaki
06-11-2005, 09:51 PM
Hm...

Hold your racquet perpendicular to the floor, so the frame is pointing down and the stringbed is facing the sides.

See the flat part on top? Now go to the flat part on the bottom. Put your base knuckle there. That's a Western.

Grimjack
06-12-2005, 07:30 AM
Hm...

Hold your racquet perpendicular to the floor, so the frame is pointing down and the stringbed is facing the sides.

See the flat part on top? Now go to the flat part on the bottom. Put your base knuckle there. That's a Western.

I find the easiest explanation is: take a one-handed backhand grip with your base knuckle right on the top bevel (full eastern). Now turn it over and hit a forehand with it.

naught33
06-23-2005, 07:50 AM
thx guys! so basically hitting a western forehand is the same as hitting a one handed backhard grip wise? hmm ill try that this weekend...how long does it take to get used to this grip? would i have to change my swing at all or just keep my form the same? thx

nViATi
06-23-2005, 08:30 AM
looking at the videos it seems that the ball is around shoulder height but they sort of jump up and into the shot which makes it seem like it's waist height.

SageOfDeath
06-25-2005, 05:31 PM
I use a semi-full but i started out more extreme. I usually didn't hit the ball shoulder height because balls didn't usually come at shoulder height. In order to use a western grip you need to change your contact point which is a problem for many player starting to use this grip. What i mean is you have to hit out more than semi because the contact point is [I]away[I/] from the body. That means along with extra topspin you need extra drive to make sure you ball doesn't land short or even worse.... to the net.

As stated by someone else in here the western grip isn't that ideal for returning a serve. It gives you less time to prepare because the contact point is out in front of the body and you need good timing to be able to effectively hit the shot.

Low balls are also a problem for this grip. You really REALLY have to bend down in order to hit low balls. Semi-western i've heard is more solid than western and I've been given speeches before and blah blah blah. My dream is to play in the French Open and be on ESP2.... Anyways that was kinda off topic....

The point is Western is a bit different than Semi-western so you HAVE to hit differently. Western is a solid grip when used correctly. Asking a tennis pro in your area how to hit it correctly would be the best way to learn. You can also learn by videos of pros hitting a forehand but having someone guide you to me is more comforting. Good luck on your grip.