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View Full Version : Anything wrong with an Eastern for modern game?


Mansewerz
01-15-2012, 06:46 PM
I decided to fiddle around with an Eastern grip recently, after learning of Fed's grip nearly two years ago, and I found it surprisingly comfortable to hit with. I could hit with spin, but my ball also had more of a linear motion through the court and, though with less spin, still felt comfortable.

So I ask, is there any real limitation I will have with Eastern? I'm thinking of trying it out even more and seeing where I go with it.

Ballinbob
01-15-2012, 06:53 PM
Its a perfectly fine grip to hit with. I hit with a lot of older guys who use that grip, and I noticed they have trouble returning high balls.

99% of juniors these days hit a heavy topspin ball. If you can take those early or find a way to deal with those then your set. Hitting a shoulder high ball with an eastern grip is tough

So just be careful of that. Good luck

BU-Tennis
01-15-2012, 07:20 PM
The level you are playing at is a major consideration when attempting to provide guidance on grip choices. If you are just a club player, messing around the 3.5/4.0 than an Eastern grip, no matter how you hit it, will be just fine, and probably preferable to a more extreme grip considering the lack of heavy topspin in these types of situations.

Now, if you are trying to play college, or higher level juniors/high school, then SW is a better choice. However, Federer has obviously had amazing success at the highest echelon of tennis, but its important to notice he uses a straight -arm technique which allows him to apply more topspin and hit the ball a little higher than a typical eastern forehand drive.

My guess is you are not playing a super high level, so stick with whatever grip is comfortable...heck i've seen club players with continental forehands who do very well for themselves!

WildVolley
01-15-2012, 07:24 PM
If you are able to adjust the racket fact to still hit topspin, it isn't a disadvantage.

I tend to think that for most people, the easiest drive topspin forehand can be hit with a grip somewhere between eastern and full western, but there are plenty of people who do fine with the eastern or the full western.

The nice thing about eastern is that it is a good grip for serve returns and blocking the ball back into play. I think it is a little more difficult to put a lot of action on the ball unless you have the wrist flexibility of a Federer, which is rare.

5263
01-15-2012, 07:32 PM
If you are able to adjust the racket fact to still hit topspin, it isn't a disadvantage.

I tend to think that for most people, the easiest drive topspin forehand can be hit with a grip somewhere between eastern and full western, but there are plenty of people who do fine with the eastern or the full western.

The nice thing about eastern is that it is a good grip for serve returns and blocking the ball back into play. I think it is a little more difficult to put a lot of action on the ball unless you have the wrist flexibility of a Federer, which is rare.

Some good stuff here, and really most of the other posts above as well.

Mansewerz
01-15-2012, 07:34 PM
Hmm, I will have to play with it more. I'm a college student, but not a college athlete. I want to get to a higher level, but we'll see how high that is.

Frank Silbermann
01-16-2012, 04:01 AM
I remember the 1960s and '70s, and I remember there was a general consensus that we were living in modern times. So the answer is obviously, yes, the eastern grip is the most appropriate forehand grip for modern times. Whether it's appropriate for _today's_ times, in contrast, is another question -- particularly if you're talking about the eastern grip as it was taught in modern times (with the heel of the hand on the short angled bevel between the broad vertical panel and the horizontal top panel).

mxmx
01-16-2012, 04:44 AM
I would say if one considers doubles as a big part of your game, that a eastern is probably better suited than lets say a extreme western...With an extreme western, it is harder to deal with the net player....and its also harder to deal with balls coming low.

I play eastern most...but sometimes switch to semi western when i want to put more force behind the shot. Higher balls i play eastern or semi western...Depending on what i want to do with the ball itsself spin wise, i can play either grip.

Its important to note that with the semi western, one has to contact the ball more in front than the eastern and even moreso with the extreme western. It is easier to be late on a western, than on a eastern contact wise. With the continental (volley grip), one can hit the ball even later (side of body)

I would call the eastern a conservative approach and a more all round approach. The changes from volley grip and serve to eastern, is easier than from the western.

rkelley
01-16-2012, 06:50 AM
I decided to fiddle around with an Eastern grip recently, after learning of Fed's grip nearly two years ago, and I found it surprisingly comfortable to hit with. I could hit with spin, but my ball also had more of a linear motion through the court and, though with less spin, still felt comfortable.

So I ask, is there any real limitation I will have with Eastern? I'm thinking of trying it out even more and seeing where I go with it.

I think the basic answer is no, there is no inherent limitation with an E. grip. There are however strengths and weaknesses. As others have said higher balls will be more a challenge until you get the technique but it's totally doable. You'll have really focus on pronation to get the big topspin, but again it can be done and you don't have to hit a straight arm forehand or be Roger Federer to do it. As you have noted it easier to hit through the ball and flatten in out, and it's a better grip to block the ball back if you need to do that.

All that said, the most popular grip on both the mens and womens tour is the SW. It's a great grip because it combines the most the advantages of the E. grip with a bit easier access to topspin and more ease at handling high balls. It's still pretty easy to flatten it out and just rip it with that grip too.

The swing path is the key. Get the modern swing path down and you can get the topspin along with the pace that the modern forehand provides with any grip from an E. to a W.

FWIW, I use a strong E. grip, between the E. and SW. It makes the topspin a bit easier than a full E., but I can hit through the ball very hard when I want to. I have no issues hanging in rallies with people with SW and W grips, other than lack of talent of course - but that's not a grip issue.

dominikk1985
01-16-2012, 08:23 AM
nothing wrong with that. however I think you need to be extremely flexible and strong in the forearm and wrist (like federer) to generate the necessary spin to succeed in todays game with that grip.

Tebow
01-16-2012, 08:27 AM
rKelley explained very well. I just have to add that sometimes on clay is extremely difficult to play with a an eastern grip. I am forced to change the grip to SW when I play on clay which is not easy to do it with the same accuracy.

rkelley
01-16-2012, 08:36 AM
nothing wrong with that. however I think you need to be extremely flexible and strong in the forearm and wrist (like federer) to generate the necessary spin to succeed in todays game with that grip.

It's not strength that needed. Like other parts of the swing, most the energy for the pronation comes from the legs and trunk. The wrist is just controlling exactly when and how the pronation happens. If you're trying force your wrist over and it requires a lot of strength, then you're doing something wrong and your going to probably hurt yourself.

Good flexibility in the wrist is important, but I don't know that it's that much more demanding than what would be required with other grips. Maybe a bit different since the exact motion of the wrist will be different.

mucat
01-16-2012, 11:19 AM
I hit tons of spins with my EFH grip. People always assume I am hitting with semi-western because of the spins. Like rkelley said, it is all in the swingpath.

BevelDevil
01-16-2012, 12:14 PM
Have you tried the strong Eastern, as rkelley mentioned? Put your knuckle on the corner between bevel 3 and 4.

As BU-tennis said, Federer's Eastern is in the context of a straight-arm stroke (and also a "pull" style stroke), so be careful about trying to emulate him. I would also add that his "Eastern" isn't a true Eastern since he's mainly holding the racket with his bottom two fingers, and this has the effect of his grip playing stronger. He also uses a very small grip for his hand size, that this also understates his grip when you look at only his index knuckle.

I'd say Fed's grip is more like a Strong Eastern.


It is easier to be late on a Eastern, than on a Western contact wise. With the continental (volley grip), one can hit the ball even later (side of body)


fyp

Limpinhitter
01-16-2012, 05:23 PM
I decided to fiddle around with an Eastern grip recently, after learning of Fed's grip nearly two years ago, and I found it surprisingly comfortable to hit with. I could hit with spin, but my ball also had more of a linear motion through the court and, though with less spin, still felt comfortable.

So I ask, is there any real limitation I will have with Eastern? I'm thinking of trying it out even more and seeing where I go with it.

Generally, an Eastern grip is optimal on waist high balls, and a SW grip is optimal on shoulder high balls. So, if you are playing against opponents who hit high bouncing, heavy topspin balls, you're better off using a SW grip. If your opponent hits flatter, lower bouncing balls, you're better off with an Eastern grip.

mxmx
01-16-2012, 10:48 PM
fyp
Fixed your post?

Hmmm....

I'm not sure i agree...One has to contact the ball more in front with the Western than on the Eastern. So i find its easier being late on the Western
as one has to be more in time to hit out front. With the Eastern, it is easier to get away with more imo.

j00dypoo
01-17-2012, 12:12 AM
Nah, nothing wrong with it. I agree that the level of play does have a bit to do with it.

I also hit with an E grip most of the time. I tend to switch to SW occasionally depending on the situation. I hit with a straight arm forehand and tend to not have problems on higher balls. I take big swipes and impart loads of spin on the higher ones. I can't comment on using a double-bend with the grip. Just make sure you're not exaggerating your swing path to make up for the potential loss of spin.

You should be just fine if you decide to switch to an E grip permanently.