Does Federer at times hit with a Semi Western Grip? (Photo/Video Analysis)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by drakulie, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Probably best that you don't, since unknowingly by your own admission, he is not using an eastern in the photo posted by FYB. Oh the irony.

    But anyway, please do send me an email when you get down to Miami so I could show you up close how easy it is to switch the base knuckle of the index finger without moving the heel of my hand from bevel 3.

    I wouldn't want you to feel I edited the video somehow by using "smoke an mirrors".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg_hRBb1QFs
     
  2. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Drak stated in this thread that Federer primarily uses an eastern. The thread title clearly states "does Federer at times hit with a SW grip"? It's one thing if you don't think it's worth discussing, but when you came into this thread you made it sound like he was wrong.
     
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Exactly. Which is why I posted the following:



    when he posted this:




    And the irony is, by his own admission, Fed isn't hitting an eastern,,,, he's nearly hitting "continental". :roll:
     
  4. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    So there you have it--- Fed uses the McEnroe forehand. You heard it here first.
     
  5. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL

    ^^^^Cross-Court, with the assistance of photos provided by FYB should start a thread:

    Federer uses a Mcenroe Forehand. :)
     
  6. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    All that's missing is the grunt and the hands on hips after it goes three feet wide.
     
  7. samster

    samster Legend

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    Drakulie, please stop with your lies and deception. How arrogant of you to pull a David Copperfield! :mrgreen:
     
  8. samster

    samster Legend

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    Heel of Fed's hand appears to be between bevel 3 and 4. Perhaps more on 4 than on 3.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Cross-court

    Cross-court Rookie

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    You're such a loser, playing these little mind games here. It actually entertains you.

    You can be sure about that. I'll bagel you into tomorrow hacker haha.
     
  10. pheonix6579

    pheonix6579 Semi-Pro

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    I remember hearing one of the TV announcer saying that Fed has about 11 different forehands...don't know how you get 11...but maybe that's why he is FEDERER.
     
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ahh, the nay-sayers will tell you his heel is not really where you say it is. or that the racquet "twisted" during the "pull stage" of the forehand.


    You may bagel me, but I will still be able to TEACH you how easy it is to slide the base knuckle of my index finger without moving where my heel is positoined:

    Can't be done huh? Watch and learn:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg_hRBb1QFs
     
  12. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    In the pistol grip and with the not so big grip Federer uses, the knuckels "curl" around the bevels, making the index knuckle not so reliable a definition of the grip. What is more important imo is the plane of the palm relative to the racket. To me Federer has the palm behind the racket, which gives imo a nice "extension of the arm" feel.
    The way Federer hits the ball leads me to believe his grip is more to the sw side than most here believe. Calling it a "hybrid" grip is maybe not so dumb.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  13. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I considered my grip to be an eastern, but thought id take a closer look at my heel.. seems to be between 3 and 4, even though i always have my index knuckle on 3.. still an eastern?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. JT Corona

    JT Corona Semi-Pro

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    aimr75, this grip u use looks very similar to fed's. I like how the racquet face is perpendicular to the ground, from this position if u were to open your hand and push the the racquet forward, u will find ur hand is slightly under the grip indicating a more Semi Western, but looks to be mostly an Eastern esp the way ur index finger doesnt go around all the way that indicates a full SW.

    Btw I have a true eastern grip which actually is like hitting with the palm of ur hand. I started with the eastern and tried to experiment with more SW grips but nothing makes me feel the shot best than with my eastern.

    I bet you have no problem getting spin with this grip but at the same time you can flatten it out. I have tried this variation myself but my wrist breaks too much and I get too much spin. For me the eastern just works better, probably cuz its how I learned. Thx for sharing those pics.
     
  15. samster

    samster Legend

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    Wait a minute...you ARE Federer!
     
  16. Tina

    Tina Banned

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    I am using a semi-western style grip as well:)
     
  17. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    yeah i agree, i feel its largely eastern

    Its not really a SW.. ive tried a true SW grip before and it feels completely different to the grip shown..
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    aim, great photos.

    If we were to go by the text book definition, and also by what FYB claims then you do not hit with a true 3/3 eastern. You are in a hybrid. For a true eastern, *BOTH* the heel and base knuckle of your hand must be on bevel 3.

    As we could clearly see from your grip, and the photos I have posted of Fed, he and now you are not in an Eastern Forehand.
     
  19. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    i think i dont grip it with the heel on 3 because i would need to deviate my hand (ulner deviation?) to get the heel on 3. With the way i grip it, i dont feel the need to do this, it conforms to the most natural position of the hand without excessive deviation.. hence why the hand sits more diagonally (index knuckle to heel pad crossing bevels) vs straight (knuckle/heel both on 3)

    Its certainly not a conscious thing for the heel to be in that position, its more based on comfort
     
  20. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Agree that its close to Federers grip. And the reason the index finger doesent go so much around, is that it is a pistol grip, making the indexfinger go more along the racket, than across (similar with the thumb...).
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  21. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I would like to go out on a limb and say that I dont think its so hard to aquire a feel for the Federer forhand grip.

    I think one thing we all admire about Federer is his natural, slingshot, through the ball forehand.
    If you dont use a pistol grip, start by moving your knuckles upward and palm heel downward as much as your hand- and gripsize allow for a natural pistol grip (spread your fingers comfortably).
    Grip the racket at the end of the grip so that the 3. and 4. fingers are (partly) on the butt. The tip of the fingers point more backwards in the pistol grip, so you might not have to move the hand back much longitudinally.
    Now find the position af the racket that allows you to hit the ball well or purposefully with a natural slingshot. I think this can be done intuitively. If you go to much towards Eastern, you will be spraying balls all over the place (this is why I dont think its so productive to say "F. plays eastern..." or "F. plays continental...", "...but his uncanny abilities allow him to hit the ball in a way that is impossible for us other mortals to emulate...").
    If you go to much towards western, you will struggle to get enough lift on the ball, and brush it more than hit through it.
    Ofcourse there are other factors to get under your belt, such as hitting zone, body position, balance and timing. This is where the fun and frustration starts. I think the ideal hitting zone is in front of the body, at (or just after) the point where the natural slingshot movement starts to pronate (move over the ball). This point can be visualized in shadow hitting (without a ball). If the ball is not in this zone, you will have to adjust, maybe with the buggywhip shot (if you're late), or a more pronounced windshieldwiper shot (if the ball is to close to the body), both used by Federer amo.
    The same steps can be used for the onehanded backhand, but its a bit more difficult to get the results here (due to natural physiological circumstances, imo). We can comfort ourselves with that it seems so for Federer also at times.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  22. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Now shoot me.
     
  23. bachikho

    bachikho New User

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    i think Sampras uses eastern grip, Federer's grip is further but not far as semi-western, so maybe it's a modified eastern (between eastern and semi-western)?
     
  24. bachikho

    bachikho New User

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    Many people think Roger Federer plays with a semi-Western grip, similar to Andy Roddick’s. In reality, his grip is closer to Pete Sampras’. Federer keeps part of his hand off the end of the grip, but most of it is still on the Roger Federerback of the handle, directly aligned with the face of the racquet. He shifts his index base knuckle slightly downward about half a bevel toward a semi-Western grip (to do this, stand the racquet on its end, as in the diagram below, and place your index base knuckle between bevels 3 and 4 if you’re right-handed or between 6 and 7 if you’re a lefty). This modifi ed Eastern grip is more conservative than that of most top players, who typically shift farther toward the Western grip and place part or most of their hands under the handle. This grip allows for the ideal contact height for a player who stands close to the baseline and plays the ball early, a key to Federer’s effectiveness.
     
  25. JT Corona

    JT Corona Semi-Pro

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  26. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^^ As usual, Bodo's article shows what a complete and clueless analyst he is. The continental, contrary to what he states is not the choice for pros and their backhand grips. Typically, for the one-handed BH, players use a eastern, or semi.

    And I would not call Fed's FH grip a true "semi-western" as he alludes to. It is a hybrid of an eastern/semi, which mostly favors the standard eastern.
     
  27. Firefist

    Firefist New User

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    Hey Drakulie, its me flareknife from youtube! nice thread too!
     
  28. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^ha, glad you made it to the boards!!!

    Welcome!!!!!!!
     
  29. flat

    flat Rookie

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    This has been a very informative thread...but I wonder why this issue doesn't get more attention?

    I was taught to have my pinky above the butt of the handle (enlarged part) for stability...and have never thought otherwise. Most of the pictures that I see on how to grip a racket (including the ones on this thread), and pretty much all players I know (I'm only 4.0...so not a lot of pros in my circle...) do that.

    But Federer seems to have his ring finger where my pinky would be. I think I've seen pictures of Venice and she does this too. When I try this...it puts a lot more flex into the grip...and the wrist becomes much bigger factor in the forehand.

    This seems to me would have the most difference. Or do most modern pros do this already and I'm just ignorant?

    ps: In the pictures of Federer's serve & backhand, he *doesn't* do this. Only on the forehand...
     
  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^Good observation. Having the pinky off of the grip handle results in:

    1. more length added to the racquet, which results in more power/spin

    2. having a less constricted wrist, which results in more maneuvarability, but less stability.

    This is perhaps one of the reasons why fed has such amazing racquet head speed on the FH, and also causes him to miss hit quite a bit.
     
  31. fafura

    fafura New User

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    RF uses only eastern

    I don't think his grip during one practice or even several is any proof that he uses at times Extreme Eastern/SW grip. If you can provide pictures/videos from several different tournaments/practices than I may believe it. Check out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI23E2duQus 0:42 last year at RG drive volley. I think if he was to use more extreme grip than the eastern he normally uses would be at this tournament but apparently he doesn't.
     
  32. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    there are plenty of photos all over the net from tournaments all over the world, including on the FYB website, where fed is in a semi/hybrid eastern grip.
     
  33. fafura

    fafura New User

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    Could you please provide some links/examples? So in your opinion he's using at times more extreme eastern grip - is it depending on particular shot/position on the court (he changes it during a match/rally) or depending on the surface on which the tournament is being played?
     
  34. fafura

    fafura New User

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  35. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    It is strictly dependent on what type he wants to hit, whether on hard, grass, or clay, etc.

    FYB is clearly wrong, as evidenced by this thread and the photos I have provided. In fact, here is the definition of an eastern from their very own website:

    Notice how the definition states the heel and index knuckle are on the third bevel. In this thread alone, there are plenty of photos proving his heel pad IS NOT on bevel 3.
     
  36. fafura

    fafura New User

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    I don't see any clear pictures in this thread or in matter of fact anywhere, which would clearly show that his index knuckle in not on bevel 3. Even if he used other grip during this particular practice/time of the year prove nothing as he could be experimenting and doesn't mean he uses different grips than Eastern.
     
  37. fafura

    fafura New User

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    Remember he uses grip smaller than he should, so I think most important is where he puts his index knuckle, as with a smaller grip his heel pad can overlap the edge a little.
     
  38. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Indication that you haven't looked at the photos in this thread.

    LOL. So he is going to "experiment" with his grip in the middle of the biggest tournament in the world outside of the slams. :roll:

    In addition, as already provided to you, the index knuckle, *AND* heel of his hand have to be on bevel 3 for it to be an eastern. Any modifcation of either would mean he is not in a true eastern. The photos in this thread clearly demonstrate he is not in an eastern.

    BTW, Australian Open: His heel is not on bevel 3. This means he is not in a true eastern.

    Unfortunately for you, the tennis community doesn't go by *YOUR* definition, rather, goes by the text book definition.
     
  39. fafura

    fafura New User

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    Indication that you don't know what the index knuckle is.



    He could experiment for several months with a grip, that doesn't mean he uses it. And for a person who accomplished what no one did in the history of tennis, who almost always plays in grand slam finals, experimenting during other tournaments is nothing strange to me.

    Like I said he uses smaller grip than he should have going by "textbook", so his heel can overlap a little over the edge. In this case the most important factor is on which bevel does he keep HIS INDEX KNUCKLE which you fail to provide and I would really like to see a clear evidence of RF keeping his index knuckle on different bevel than #3.
     
  40. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Again, the index knuckle *AND* heel have to be on bevel 3 to be defined as an eastern.

    I already provided you another phot of him at the Australian Open hitting with something other than an eastern.


    The rest of your post is garbage. Go to page 1 of this thread. His index knuckle is clearly not on bevel 3.

    Additionally, Federer himself has stated he modifies his grip. Go to his facebook page and tell him he doesn't know what he is talking about.
     
  41. fafura

    fafura New User

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    He should use grip #4 if want to go by a textbook.



    I don't see his index knuckle, maybe you can, but that means you can see things that aren't there.

    For how long are you going to post over and over this example from only 1 or 2 hours of practice?

    Any reference/link/interview?
     
  42. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    His heel is not in an eastern. Therefore, he is NOT hitting with a eastern regardless of where his index knuckle is.

    As for the interview, go look for it.

    Lastly, his index knuckle is clearly not on bevel 3 in this photo. If it were, based on the angle of the photo, one wouldn't be able to see the top of the knuckle. It would be behind the grip and out of view.

    [​IMG]
     
  43. fafura

    fafura New User

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    Because he uses smaller grip than he should, otherwise it would be AN EASTERN.

    You still aren't able to provide clear picture/video of his index knuckle position like in FYB video or here http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=4540749&postcount=70 - forget about this 2h practice you still referring to, show me some from a matchplay, CAUSE THERE ARE PLENTY, IF NOT ALL OF THEM, WHEN HE USES AN EASTERN.
     
  44. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    If the base of his heel is not on bevel 3, it is not an eastern. I know you would like to re-define what an eastern is, but it ain't going to happen.

    Australian Open (not on bevel 3):
    [​IMG]

    US Open (not on bevel 3)

    [​IMG]

    another hard court tournament (not on bevel 3)

    [​IMG]

    wimbledon (not on bevel 3)

    [​IMG]
     
  45. fafura

    fafura New User

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    As you can see Federer plays only with an Eastern grip - his index knuckle is always on bevel #3.

    Because he's using smaller grip than he should, his heel pad overlaps the edge and is not clearly on bevel #3, BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN HE MODIFIES HIS GRIP TO SW, it just happens because of the smaller grip size.

    In my opinion changing grips is mostly done with the index knuckle, I don't think anyone changes his grips with ONLY his heel pad. So the positioning of his heel pad only without looking at his index knuckle doesn't proof a thing, when one has to do with a smaller grip size.
     
  46. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I've played with a variety of grip sizes and my heel pad did not migrate further western with smaller grips. Not buying into this in the slightest.


    The point is not that Federer uses semi western. It's that his grip is not pure eastern 100% of the time like some say. You're just grasping at straws in a feeble attempt to prove otherwise at this point.
     
  47. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    try again.

    As for the "smaller grip" theory, if his grip was bigger, you would be saying, "his hand can't get around the whole grip, but he uses an eastern anyway". :roll:
     
  48. fafura

    fafura New User

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    I thought that was the title/purpose of this thread. I never said he hits with pure eastern.
    All I can see is that he always places his index knuckle in an eastern position, as to his heel pad at times it indeed overlaps over the edge between 3 and 4. So in a summary we can say RF plays with an eastern forehand and at times his heel pad overlaps the edge between bevels 3 and 4, so the change is really slim - only position of his heel pad changes slightly. So surely we cannot say that at times he hits with SW, I don't think it's even extreme eastern ( index knuckle and heel pad on the edge btw 3&4).
    Does he do it intentionally or is it a matter of smaller grip size/structure of his hand? I don't know. But the difference is really slim.
     
  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I see you are a historical revisionist.

    Anyway, as evidenced by the photos I took, he is in fact at times, hitting with a more semi-western, with both his index knuckle and heel over more to bevel 4.
     
  50. fafura

    fafura New User

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    None of your photos show clearly his index knuckle on bevel 4.

    Moreover pictures from 1h practice of a player who plays tennis for more than 20 years indeed truly convince that he uses SW HAHA.

    Anyway you fail to provide clear evidence that he puts his index knuckle on bevel #4, however I and others provided plenty of it on bevel #3 in EASTERN POSITIONS. There are also many shots, where his heel pad is on #3 in EASTERN POSITION, that gives as a clear proof that he USES PURE EASTERN FOREHAND. Sometimes however his heel pad is more western, but that doesn't make it SW grip, it is still an Eastern Forehand grip. So for now we can clearly say that ROGER FEDERER USES AN EASTERN FOREHAND GRIP.
     

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