Do you always hit your forehand with the same side of the racquet?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by jyjyj, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. jyjyj

    jyjyj New User

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    I have always ended up holding the racquet with one side being the forehand side -- usually a scrape or the paint job helps me identify it before I hit the court. Maybe it's a superstition thing. Before a point starts, I always return it to the same position.

    But after playing with the same racquet for a number of years, the grip just seemed to crumple inside and conform to my hand -- one of the wide bevels was fine, but the other was caved in (where my fingertips approach the heel of my hand. Maybe I'm gripping too hard...)

    It seems most guys here on the board change frames rather quickly and wouldn't develop this problem, but I wondered if others consistently hold their racquets the same direction -- with one always being the forehand/serve side?

    Aside from creating a grip imprint, would this affect how long a set of strings would take to wear out or could it affect play at all? My forehand/serve is definitely putting more pressure on the strings since I can hit it harder...

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. fattsoo

    fattsoo Semi-Pro

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    No one, and I repeat NO ONE hits forehand on the same side all the time. Once the point gets going, you will not have enough time to think which side to hit it at
     
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  3. Rysty

    Rysty Rookie

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    I don't do it. I like my racquets and grips wear and tear evenly.

    But I heard Johnny Mac did like you do, and so does Robin Söderling.
     
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  4. Bengt

    Bengt Semi-Pro

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    I do in table tennis, but it sounds like OCD in real tennis.
     
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  5. MarrratSafin

    MarrratSafin Hall of Fame

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    I do:wink:, as I don't need to change my grip.
     
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  6. Grizvok

    Grizvok Semi-Pro

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    Actually, I do. I can tell by the way my hand conforms to the grip.
     
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  7. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    I used hit every stroke with just one side of the racquet when I didnt know how to wrap a grip correctly, so both sides of the grip felt different, one comfortable and the other not. But now that I know I wrap it in a way that both sides feel the same so I can hit with either side.
     
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  8. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Soderling has his frames specially molded because he will always hit off the same side.

    I personally hit off both sides.
     
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  9. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Actually you are 100%, and I repeat 100% WRONG about this. Most pros and top players and even very good rec players - hit with the same side of the stick for forehands and the opposite side for backhands. It isn't about having time to remember which side it is - it's muscle memory - it just happens. Most - myself included - even spin the racquet without thinking about it and still catch it and hit and the same side. Call it superstition or just a tick - but it something that you just get used to doing. Now I'm not saying this is something you should aspire to do - it's just the way it seems to work out for quite a few.

    And, as was mentioned above - many pros have custom grips that are made to fit their hand on one side only as well.

    So fattsoo - just a suggestion...next time before you go and post some emphatic statement as if it's fact, you might want to actually know what you are talking about. Now I'm not trying to be a jerk here, and no offense meant, but this is part of the problem with message boards. People post things like they are experts (when they are clearly not), and then people who are seriously looking for information or help get bad info, and since they don't know any better - they then take what they read as gospel thinking it's correct because someone typed it and then they go and post it to the next person looking for info on the same subject, and on and on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
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  10. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    Holy crap I do realize racquets has two sides :shock:
     
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  11. imalil2gangsta4u

    imalil2gangsta4u Hall of Fame

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    I dont know for sure, but im going to guess i dont since im focused so hard during points.
     
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  12. redfred

    redfred Rookie

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    nope,cause everytime i hit the ball,i spin the racquet in my hand,sorta like nadal,to keep my hands loose.
     
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  13. Grizvok

    Grizvok Semi-Pro

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    Me too, but it always stays on the same side!
     
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  14. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I always hit off both sides. The last thing I pay attention to while playing a match is which side of the frame I'm hitting my forehands on.
     
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  15. AznRamenDude

    AznRamenDude Rookie

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    Yep. I hit my forhand with the same side. It's not that uncommon. And yeah, I do spin my racquets between points at times and I always can't it on the same side. I just know how much I need to spin it just for one rotation. It's a habit built up over time so it's normal. I can also tell by the feel of my grip on which side I'm holding as well.
     
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  16. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    what a waste of concentration.......if anybody does do it.
     
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  17. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    No concentration involved. As I said, it's muscle memory - happens pretty much unconsciously and seems to just happen when you have played for a very long time. Most pros do it. Long time players tend to get preferences in the handle, grip, which side is "up" etc. Just happens. As a matter of fact, when pros get their handle customized, the first thing a place like P1 or something does is ask what is your favorite stick - favorite handle you use - and which side you hold it on etc. They then match all the other rackets to that handle, shape, imperfections, etc...
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
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  18. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    how do you do this lol?

    pictures please?

    I fail to see how this would be possible... hmm
     
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  19. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/viewlarge.html?PCODE=MDRYC&large=BK

    In the link you can see that the grip is not symetrical, so one side will feel different than the other. What I do is wrap the grip to make it as symetrical as possible, so both sides feel about the same.
     
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  20. The_Question

    The_Question Hall of Fame

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    Usually will end up using one side of the frame, that's because I'm used a side of the grip...
     
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  21. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    but in order to have both sides feel the same in our hand, you'd have to move the hand either up or down to get "locked" into your fh grip. That's why I tend to favor one side over the other because it feels "right." Moreso than the other side, at least.
     
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  22. Grizvok

    Grizvok Semi-Pro

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    No offense, but you (and many others in this thread) are just plain wrong. Don't say something if you don't know what it is you are talking about. I've know for a fact that PLENTY of top level ATP level players do this. Somebody mentioned it earlier but P1 and racquet customization companies often have players that want there grips to feel a certain way for their hand positioning on the racquet. The grips are actually molded in some way to produce a very similar feel for each stick so the players feel totally comfortable with it.

    Way way wayyyyyyy more common than you guys seem to believe.
     
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  23. fattsoo

    fattsoo Semi-Pro

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    First off DNShade, this is an open forum, which means anyone can give their thoughts...second off, if u are saying you hit with the same side "100 %" of the time, I'm saying u are are living a dream. I give my thoughts and you give yours. There is always different opinions to every questions, even proven facts is still being argued by millions. I am not taking this in any way personally, but please respect other people's opinion.

    As I say before, you might hit one aide of the racquet more than other, but if u say ALL the time, I'm saying you are a lier. There is just not enough time (or wastes energy) to hit on one side. An don't tell me it is muscle memory, if your grip is not on the same side when the ball is coming your way and you need to return it, you'll hit it any grip you can...this is call natural reaction and it over rides your muscle memory...this is call fight or flight...your body will do any way it can to survive, even if it is as little as a tennis point...thanks for your time.




    Fattsoo
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
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  24. fattsoo

    fattsoo Semi-Pro

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    And oh yeah, if you think I'm BS-ing...I would love to see a player not hit a ball because he/she is not on the correct side...just forfeit the point? Would to see that during a tennis match
     
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  25. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    I do not pay attention to it, but I do have some friends that always hit the fh with one side and the bh with the other side. why it is imposible?, if you do not spin your racquet you can definitely hit with the same side every ball, I do not see the problem. Actually if you do not spin your racket on your hand most likely you hit with the same side of the racket everytime within a point.
     
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  26. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    Sorry fattsoo, but you are incredibly mistaken. Many players do this EVERY time.

    I have had the chance to personally see the grip molds of several dozen famous professionals. You would be surprised how many of those grips are asymmetrical, some of them not just a little bit. One former world #1 players' grips were so asymmetrical, it would be almost impossible to grip the thing backwards.

    For my game, the ONLY circumstance under which I could possibly hit the ball with the opposite side would be if I accidentally dropped the racquet during the point and had to scramble to pick it up quickly. I don't twirl the racquet, so there's no need for muscle memory or whatever. At the start of a point, I hold the racquet one side up, and I change between forehand and backhand grips without any problem. The scenario you described about having to grip it however you can when the ball is on its way... it sounds like the kind of error that only happens to hackers.

    Moreover, you asked another poster to respect your opinion, and then proceeded to call him a liar. Keep up the good work.
     
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  27. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    nope... and i find it odd to say the least, but then again, it's about what your find most confortable! so if it pleases you, do it! as simple as that!
     
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  28. Grizvok

    Grizvok Semi-Pro

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    Just stop posting, thanks. You were wrong.
     
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  29. JJK947

    JJK947 New User

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    I have always done this and wondered about how many other people do it as well. For those that do it, the grip just feels different from side to side so even if after twirling the racquet, I would feel that i was on the wrong side and switch. I always put my palm on the "flat" side for my forehand (the left side in the above example) and rotate counter-clockwise for the backhand. It just feels better and more consistent.
     
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  30. iTennis

    iTennis Rookie

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    My sticks are symmetrical so never care which side for which wing... besides having a custom grip shape, what is the benefit of hitting forehand only in one side anyway?
     
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  31. gslefeb

    gslefeb New User

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    Read this thread yesterday; Thought it was strange to hit the FH on the same side of the racquet each time. But went out to play today - Now I did not check every point, but when I did check - I noticed the "aerogel" always facing up. (the 300 is on the other side). I do spin the racquet.
     
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  32. Grizvok

    Grizvok Semi-Pro

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    Since my grip is not totally symmetrical, my hand just feels at home on one certain side of my i.Prestige when hitting the forehand stroke. I don't even have to look to know which side I'm holding because my hand really does conform to the grip in a special way that I'm accustomed to.

    Besides that there is absolutely no advantage. It's simply a comfort thing because of how it feels.
     
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  33. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    A professional player that's easy to tell if they hit forehands and serves with one side of the racket and backhands with the other is Jimmy Connors.

    He used to lead up his rackets at 12 and 9 o'clock. 9 being the up side if you're holding the racket out on his lefty forehands side. That was always his preference.

    It's not that hard to do. I always hold my racket the same way. I even place the overgrip so that there's an overlap right where my thumb knuckle will rest for all shots. Plus I don't spin my racket.

    Ok, I won't talk in absolutes. But I'd say it's 99.99% of the time I hold and hit my shots each with one side of the racket.
     
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  34. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

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    I think there is an advantage in holding the racquet always on the one side of the racquet that feels better, and it is that you get a better grip of the racquet, it feels more natural so you feel relaxed, its like your hand is locked onto the handle. When I try to hold the racquet by the opposite side, I feel like I have to focus on holding the racquet tight because if not it can easily move out of place and twist, especially when returning heavy shots.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
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  35. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I'm going to have to agree with all these other guys in saying you are not correct. I also hit each of my shots with the same side of the racquet. It's not very hard to accomplish. I can easily feel the difference and adjust it quickly if need be. It's all about feel and preference.
     
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  36. Zielmann

    Zielmann Semi-Pro

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    Here's my evidence to ward off the two main arguments against this: that it's not possible to use the same side all the time, as well as it taking too much concentration.

    [​IMG]

    Tis one of my frames. With that kind of paint job, how can you NOT be aware of which side you're using at any given time? I always use the black side for serves/forehands, white side for volleys. The only concentration involved is making sure that I have it facing the right way at the start of the point. Since I don't spin my frames during the point, they always stay the same...

    So yeah, since I got these things years ago, I've always used them this way. I've switched it up before, and it just doesn't feel right. But that's probably just my OCD talking.

    To address the issues with the grip deforming... I haven't noticed anything. And I've been using the one frame for 6 or 7 years now.
     
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  37. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Yes, this is an open forum and anyone, yes anyone - can give their thoughts no matter how wrong or misguided they are. That's kind of the point I was trying to make earlier. And I have no problem respecting other people's opinions, but you weren't stating your opinion you were saying it as fact - that no one hits on the same side every time - and that just isn't true.

    So, are you starting to see how totally wrong you are by all the other posts by other people? You could not be more wrong, okay? You stated something out here that you thought was correct, and other people who are much more knowledgeable on this subject have pointed out that you are totally incorrect.

    Yes, I hold the stick that same way up every time - and hit on the same side for the forehand and the opposite for the backhand - as do many top pros - and yes I know and hit with them quite often and have for many, many years. It is quite common - and for top level players I actually it think it is more common to do this than the opposite actually. Ever wonder why often the stencil is facing that same way every time a player hits his forehand? Maybe you should pay attention a bit more and you'd see how common it is.

    Again, there is zero advantage to doing this (other than a comfort level) and I'm not saying you should do this at all - just saying that it is something many, many good players end up doing. You just get used to the way the grip (or overgrip) feels on one side and that's the way you hold it. Then of course there are all the pros with custom grips where they can only hold the racket one way.

    First of all, I'm not a "lier" - or even a liar. But thanks for calling me that. Very nice. Yes, I do it EVERY TIME - unless I drop the racket or something major happens. You have plenty of time - even returning serve, at net, or anywhere - and you don't even think about it. It's called feel and just happens unconsciously. Do you have to think about how you are going to hit topspin or slice? Or change your grip for a backhand? The fact that you bring up not having enough time tells me that you obviously haven't played a great deal or at a very high level or you would know this already. It's all muscle memory - no thinking required.

    And if you want to see someone hit hit with the same side every time - just come out to the LA Tennis Center at UCLA - stadium court - almost any day and I'll be out there with whatever pros are in town training and you can watch all of us. Or just let me know and I'll meet you out there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
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  38. pow

    pow Hall of Fame

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    I do for the most part because my fingers have made grooves into the grip and it feels more natural as a result.
     
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  39. Skywalker91

    Skywalker91 Rookie

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    I didn't think I did but when I stenciled my strings I noticed the ink wore off one side A LOT more than the other
     
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  40. zeratul90

    zeratul90 Rookie

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    I do it, but mostly because of the way I wrap my overgrip. On one side it feels comfortable, the other not so much. I don't spin my racquet so I just tilt it up one bevel to continental (bh and serves) or back one down to western for my forehand, those are the only 2 bevels my right hand will pretty much ever touch when I play.
     
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  41. fattsoo

    fattsoo Semi-Pro

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    If I'm wrong then I'll take it like a man. But unless there is a research and written article in a magazine article (tennis magazine?) then I'll stick with my view.

    And thanks Grizvok for tellin me what to do, would you like me to raise my hand too everytime I have an opinion? I have one for u If u allowed me to say it almighty!
     
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  42. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    Your opinion is completely uninformed. You're claiming to KNOW how multiple people who you've never met are holding their tennis racquets. That's a pretty dumb thing to have an opinion about without any reason for it. You might as well just accept what everyone else in this thread is telling you.
     
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  43. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    There is no "if" about it. You are wrong. Your "view" is just plain incorrect. Period. Many people - myself included - who know much more about this than you - are telling you this. Just because in your "view" water isn't H20, doesn't make it any less so.

    Ask any professional racquet customizer - P1, ****, Bosworth etc. and they'll all tell you the exact same thing we are. Or you could just talk to some very good players or pros in person if you know any. Not sure if there are any articles written on it because it's pretty common knowledge - and ultimately it doesn't really make any difference.

    But you are wrong, and that is 100% fact.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
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  44. Zielmann

    Zielmann Semi-Pro

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    Please note the inherent contradiction you've given us, highlighted by first the bold section, and then the underlined section of your quote.

    Want research? Start with this thread. Here, you've got a number of people saying that they always use the same face of the racquet for shots off one side, myself included. In my last post, I put up some photo evidence supporting my claim. And I can tell you that from the first time I used those frames (even while demoing) I used the black side for forehands. I have used the white side for forehands before, but you could count the number of times I've done that on one hand. And all were intentional.

    Even on my old PRTi, I always keep the side of the throat with 'Prince' marked on it facing up. I don't think I did this until I had the MCDB 800's though. Those started my OCD about this, and I doubt it'll ever go away. Even after I move on to something else that doesn't make the difference so obvious.

    And there's plenty of others who are saying they do the same thing. So it's not a printed article in a magazine. But you're getting testimonials from real players (which is what an article over this would likely be based off of anyhow). You can't just discount everything that we're saying just because it goes against your initial thought on the topic.
     
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  45. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Yea on my k6.1, I always use the side with Federer's signature facing me. It feels more naturally since the grip is worn in
     
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  46. Ucantplay2much

    Ucantplay2much Rookie

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    Even before I started using contour grips, I found that I prefer to place my hand so that my ring finger is in a groove in the grip and it only does that on one side when my hand is placed at the lowest comfortable point on the handle. My thumb quickly creates a wear spot on the grip and I start every point with my thumb on that wear spot. Notice the total lack of wear on the other side of the grip. I don't spin my racquet, so there's no reason at all why it would change positions during a point.

    Worn forehand side of grip:
    [​IMG]

    Backhand side of same grip:
    [​IMG]
     
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  47. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Here you go...Robin Soderling's racquet. That name ring any bells?

    http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs/200903soderling_head.html

    "Something you can't see in this photo is that the grip is not symmetrical. Because Robin always holds his racquet with the same edge up, the base of the pallet in the flared area has a tiny bit more room for the tip of his little finger than does the other side of the pallet."

    Okay. So are we done now?

    Here endith the lesson.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
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  48. v1rotate

    v1rotate New User

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    First of all, I can't believe no one has mentioned Rger Federer hitting with one side for forehand and the other for his backhand. I challenge anyone to find a picture where on hitting his forehand, the little tail of the Wilson "W" is not topside and also with the tail of the "W" topside on the backhand. Sure he spins his racket before receiving serve but he always spins it back to the same side. I'm sure the same goes for Nadal as he is the most OCD player on tour.

    There's no advantage to this, it's just how players are. I use only one side for the forehand and the other for the backhand. It doesn't make me a better player, it's just how I play. I also have the racket strung with the logo on the butt cap facing up and the stencil the same orientation always.
     
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  49. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Well put. I said this earlier that all you have to do is look at a lot of pros to see that their stencils seem to always face the same way and the same stroke. I wasn't referring to Roger specifically - since to be honest I never really paid attention - but it doesn't surprise me in the least that Roger does this too. As I said above a few different times - it's just something that most top level players seem to do. Just habit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
    #49
  50. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I always hit my forehand on the stringy side.
     
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