FH Grips - Top 20

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Synesthetic, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Synesthetic

    Synesthetic New User

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    I'll post this here since this is where grips are most commonly discussed it seems. Not sure if anyone cares too much about 'classifying' these, though it might be good for reference or something.

    I've included a number 1-3 describing the degree or extent to try and further pinpoint the grip, where 1 is mild and 3 is extreme. So e.g. Fed's Extreme Eastern which I stated for clarity would be "Eastern 3". All/most of the western grips are a "1" though since you can't go much further around the handle...

    Click the player name for a photo of them hitting a forehand. The last 5 or so aren't very good but the best I could find for now. Will probably change them if I find better ones.

    Federer - (Extreme) Eastern 3 (Not a close-up, but the fact that his grip is essentially Eastern is immediately apparent - to me at least!)
    Nadal - Semiwestern 3 (This is a forehand on-the-run but I don't think he's altered his grip - looks like a strong semiwestern)
    Djokovic - Western 1
    Murray - Semiwestern 1 (Not much is discussed about Murray's FH grip. It looks Eastern in this photo but I think he goes further around in real matches - this is in training)
    Del Potro - Eastern 2
    Davydenko - Semiwestern 2 (He seems to deviate a bit though...)
    Roddick - Semiwestern 3
    Soderling - Semiwestern 2
    Verdasco - Semiwestern 1 (I've seen people describe Verdasco's grip as being from E to W...but looking at a few photos shows that he doesn't use an extreme grip. Looks like a mild SW)
    Tsonga - Eastern 2
    Gonzalez - Semiwestern 1 (Tough one because he spreads his fingers out and it's difficult to locate his base knuckle in the conventional way, but in my view it's a mild SW grip)
    Stepanek - Eastern 1 (This photo shows that he doesn't use the Continental grip that is sometimes associated with him, but he's certainly got the most conservative grip of the top 20)
    Monfils - Western 1 (It's basically borderline with SW but his base knuckle is sort of on the same plane as the bottom bevel. Compare this photo to Djokovic, Monfils is slightly less extreme but I think they're both W)
    Cilic - Semiwestern 2
    Simon - Western 1 (I'm not very sure about Simon's grip, but it looks quite extreme)
    Robredo - Western 1
    Ferrer - Western 1
    Haas - Semiwestern 2
    Youzhny - Semiwestern 2
    Berdych - Semiwestern 2

    This is very subjective so post here if you agree/disagree - might need photos as evidence. I'll update this if need be, when I have enough posts to do so :-?
     
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  2. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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  3. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Nice info, not sure if all of them are right though, i think federer changed to an eastern grip from an extreme eastern sometime this year (maybe last year?)..that's why fyb says..as of..march 2009..or some other month..
     
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  4. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    The as of means the evidence fyb has gathered about Federer's forehand. I don't think FYB (Will) is refering to Federer chaning his grip from the start of his career. If you listen to the video it's phrased in a way that supports the fact Federer uses an eastern grip. The date mentioned is refereing to photos he has.
     
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  5. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    I doubt Del Potro and Tsonga are using eastern grips. I think Fed and Stepanek are the only ones left with them.
     
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  6. AznHylite

    AznHylite Semi-Pro

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    Nadal is using a western grip.
     
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  7. theZig

    theZig Rookie

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    No, he isn't.
     
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  8. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    What i meant was, if it was a little confusing, that fyb said as of march 2009 because they know he hit eastern then, but they aren't sure if he's hit with extreme eastern before or changes grip or something.
     
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  9. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I believe OP is correct. Nadal uses a more complete sw and holds it strongly like you do a hammer. Tsonga is western or at least s-w.
     
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  10. Synesthetic

    Synesthetic New User

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    I don't think Tsonga is anywhere near Western... that photo and most of the ones I've seen show E or weak SW - in my opinion mostly the former.
     
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  11. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I've heard people say this, but when I saw him practice in person from about ten feet away on hard courts, it was clear that his index knuckle was on bevel 4, which I associate with a standard semi-western. My video confirmed this.

    Does anyone have evidence that he gets further under the handle when playing on clay?
     
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  12. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    What about Gasquet? He does something really funky with his forehand (he seems to point his thumb up parallel with the grip at the start of the swing) and seems to rest between shots with his hand in the continental grip. What grip does he actually hit his forehand with at contact?
     
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  13. Synesthetic

    Synesthetic New User

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    I think Gasquet uses a strong Eastern - here is an example. In the FYB video of Gasquet practising at IW, he's also using an Eastern grip.

    I agree that his backswing looks quite unnatural - he seems to hold his arm rigidly at an unusual angle and there's minimal wrist flexion. To me one of the strangest aspects is that his palm is facing the net for almost the entire takeback motion. To compare this with other players, Federer's palm faces the side fence; Djokovic and Gonzalez to the back fence. In that video, it doesn't look like his thumb is parallel to the grip though.
     
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  14. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Watch the beginning of the swing, you can see how he points the thumb parallel with the grip and then he brings it down as he starts to swing forward.

    It is an odd looking swing, but I still can't clearly see what his grip is at contact in that video.


    Something to consider is that some pros may vary their grip slightly from shot to shot. A lot of people swear Nadal uses a Western, but I have video showing what looks more like a semi-western in practice. Nadal uses a small grip for his hand, and I think he may actually vary his grip depending on what sort of shot he wants to hit. In practice he hit very very few reverse forehands. However, I've seen video of his matches in which most shots are reverse forehands.
     
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  15. Fate Archer

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  16. Synesthetic

    Synesthetic New User

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    I think it's his swing path - Berdych is of course renowned for hitting a flat ball - although I think Tsonga and Del Potro have even 'flatter' swing paths. The photo attached in the first post (and others that I have seen) shows that he uses a Semiwestern grip though. However I think he uses an Eastern grip with his left hand on the backhand side.
     
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