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View Full Version : How to hit topspin forehand with eastern grip?


brc7
12-30-2011, 01:54 PM
Well, any tips? I watched a lot of videos of Federer hitting forehands but when it comes to apply it by myself, i just can't do it all the time. The ball tends to hit the net or my wrist twists a lot which causes pushing the ball rather than hitting it. Also i saw this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oVh-dcEFnE his swings are different from Federer's, right? i am a little confused about the swing path and how to use my wrist .

( sorry if i made any mistakes. I don't speak English )

wings56
12-30-2011, 01:58 PM
first of all, these are two completely different forehands. the video is an old style forehand. this would be easier to adapt but federer style, if perfected, would pay off in the long run. try turning the hitting face of the racquet toward the ground on your take back and swing path. you want that wrist to be turned so that the racquet face won't be too open at contact. this should help with the consistency of the swing.

Bagumbawalla
12-30-2011, 02:54 PM
Imagine 2 things as you are preparing for your stroke.

1- Imagine a direct line through the ball toward your intended placement. I uesd to think of an arrow piercing through the center of the ball aimed in the direction of the "target".

2- Imagine another line traveling at an angle-- upward and through the ball. The steeper the incline, the greater the spin you will generate.

When you strike the ball (assuming your form is otherwise correct) drive the ball in direction #1. Drive through the ball. I repeat, drive through the ball in the direction of #1. A small anount of angle #2 (low to high) will generate mostly forward momentum, with moderate topspin. The greater the angle of #2 the more power is diverted from forward momentum toward creating ingreased topspin.

With practice, you can find the optimum low to high angle to suit the situation.

It is not the grip, in itself, that creates the spin. It is the angle of the drive-through-the-ball and there is no reason you cannot drive low to high through the ball with an eastern grip.

Having said that, the more one adjusts the grip toward the "western" style, the more the "natural bending" charistics of the arm come into play.

Nadal with his western style grip can hit a "flat" ball when he wants. And, on the other hand, though an eastern grip normally generates a nore moderate topspin, there is no reason you cannot drive through the ball with more upward angle when you want.

BevelDevil
12-30-2011, 07:59 PM
If you're a beginner, do not try to copy Federer. The video you linked is fine.

brc7
12-31-2011, 03:49 AM
i am not a beginner .. Anyway those are great tips wings56 and Bagumbawalla . I will keep those in my mind while practising.. When i first started tennis ( i was 10 ) , my coach taught me how to use semi-western ( with topspin ..) .. and after 2 years of that tennis lessons, i hadn't played tennis for a few years. My next coaches always taught me using an eastern ( i sometimes switched to australian ) .. However, they were not so good when it comes to teaching topspin. Western or semi-western grips are not for me now, i just don't want to ruin my current game play by trying to switch to another grip. There may not be turning back, you know... The video i posted, doesn't look so effective, i could use it to get used to topspin though.. I hope i can make it soon :)

rkelley
12-31-2011, 09:11 AM
Well, any tips? I watched a lot of videos of Federer hitting forehands but when it comes to apply it by myself, i just can't do it all the time. The ball tends to hit the net or my wrist twists a lot which causes pushing the ball rather than hitting it. Also i saw this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oVh-dcEFnE his swings are different from Federer's, right? i am a little confused about the swing path and how to use my wrist .

( sorry if i made any mistakes. I don't speak English )

With all due respect to Brent Abel, I wouldn't spend a bunch of time copying the stroke in the video. As wings56 said, the swing path is different than the modern forehand and isn't going to give you the big topspin that you see Federer and others getting.

Also the huge topspin you see today is more a function the set-up and swing path than of the grip. As Federer has shown, you can use an E. grip and get huge topspin. The more western grips will make higher balls a bit easier, lower balls a bit harder, and you'll generally get more topspin without as much wrist pronation. Hitting through the ball is a bit trickier. The more eastern grips are the opposite. However they can all work. Djokovic uses almost a full W and Federer almost a full E. and both of those guys can do anything they want with their forehands.

For an E grip specifically you have to get good wrist pronation to get the topspin. Here's a great video from Lock and Roll tennis on a modern forehand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMNtq393tvo&feature=related

It's especially relevant here because he uses a strong E. grip (between an E and a SW), so this a very good reference to producing the modern swing path with a more E. grip. Listen to his instruction, especially the nuances in the prep like having the racquet face turned toward the side fence during set-up. Those nuances are important in allowing the racquet to dip down and then whip up during the forward swing. The whipping up and allowing the wrist to pronate is where the big topspin comes from.

He also hits with a slightly bent elbow at contact as opposed to Federer's straight elbow. Federer's shot is very effective (and darn pretty too), but the timing is trickier with the straight elbow. Most pros use the bent elbow, so I'd go with that personally.

Limpinhitter
12-31-2011, 10:36 AM
Well, any tips? I watched a lot of videos of Federer hitting forehands but when it comes to apply it by myself, i just can't do it all the time. The ball tends to hit the net or my wrist twists a lot which causes pushing the ball rather than hitting it. Also i saw this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oVh-dcEFnE his swings are different from Federer's, right? i am a little confused about the swing path and how to use my wrist .

( sorry if i made any mistakes. I don't speak English )

First, Brent Abel plays and treaches classic old school Eastern strokes. He doesn't use the modern technique in which the low to high swing path primarily involves the full suppination and pronation of the forearm. Abel openly discourages a modern stroke for rec level players.

Second, if you are hitting a modern stroke, it's the swing path, not the grip that generates topspin. You can hit just as much topspin with an Eastern grip as you can with a SW grip with a modern stroke. The difference between those two grips is the height of the ball that you will be most comfortable with. Generally, with an Eastern grip, you'll be more comfortable making contact with lower balls. With a SW grip you'll be more comfortable with higher balls. I think that explains why Fed jumps so much at his fh's.

BevelDevil
12-31-2011, 12:50 PM
Moving from an Eastern to a Strong Eastern isn't that hard. Give it a try. The benefits will be immediate.


For all practical purposes, the grip does affect the amount of spin you will put on a ball. If you are hitting a ball at, say, stomach height, a player will tend to "naturally" put more topspin on the ball if he's using an strong eastern/sw than with an Eastern.

I'll often convince players to try a stronger grip (usually from Eastern to strong eastern) and wont give any other instructions about their swing. The first thing that happens is they hit with much more topspin (and, at first, the ball tends to fall short). They will tend to adjust the swing path on their own by trying to hit deeper.

rkelley
12-31-2011, 01:17 PM
Moving from an Eastern to a Strong Eastern isn't that hard. Give it a try. The benefits will be immediate.


For all practical purposes, the grip does affect the amount of spin you will put on a ball. If you are hitting a ball at, say, stomach height, a player will tend to "naturally" put more topspin on the ball if he's using an strong eastern/sw than with an Eastern.

I'll often convince players to try a stronger grip (usually from Eastern to strong eastern) and wont give any other instructions about their swing. The first thing that happens is they hit with much more topspin (and, at first, the ball tends to fall short). They will tend to adjust the swing path on their own by trying to hit deeper.

I think we might be saying about the same thing, but just to clarify, you can get a lot of topspin with an E. grip, about as much as a W. With the E. grip you really have to get the racquet up during the prep phase and then drop it down and supinate the wrist (in prep for pronation) at the beginning of the forward swing right before you whip the racquet into and over the ball to get the big topspin. It's that swing path that gives you the topspin. If you don't do this you'll tend to hit through the ball more, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. You get the big topspin swing path a bit more for free with the more W. grips, but you have to work a bit harder to hit through the ball.

All that said, I'm personally a fan of the strong E. to SW grip. The topspin is a bit easier even without focusing on the big pronation, but you can still hit through the ball when you want to.