Grip Size for Nadal and Federer

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by tennis23, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I'm about the same height as Sampras, with similar ape-like build, one-handed BH and eastern FH. And the same size grip, 4 and 3/4.

    According to that grip size measurement technique, I ought to be using a 5 and 1/4. Yeah, that's a little much. A 4 and 7/8 would fit me best, I think. I do like the whip I get from the 'smaller' (4 and 3/4) grip I use, but I find what BP said is true if I demo a size 4. Feels like a pencil, not stable enough on BHs and volleys.

    I've shaken hands with Guga. He's about 3 inches taller than me and our hands are about the same size. He used a reeeally small grip, like a quarter or a 3/8 or something. Then you've got a bear like Boris Becker, with a fairly small paw for a big man, hence the small grip.
    And regular-sized guys like Mac and Pat Cash look like they use a big grip like a 4 and 5/8 or so.

    To each his own, of course. But to generalize...I believe the guys who come in a lot prefer a larger grip. The guys who use a one hander use a bigger grip, but if they go small (e.g. Guga), they use a more extreme BH grip. Don't know how Becker did it with that skinny li'l thang.

    Overall, though, it looks like the trend is toward larger guys with smaller grips.
     
    #51
  2. Maestro Nalbandian

    Maestro Nalbandian Professional

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    I was about to ask a related question but don't want to start another thread. Is leather grip the best way to increase grip size? I got a new 4 1/4 racquet (Yonex) but I normally use either 4 3/8 or 4 1/2. Whats the best way to make it thicker?
     
    #52
  3. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Leather doesn't really add any size. I use it for the firmness and a little more weight in the handle.

    The best way to make your grip larger (besides a new frame or a custom handle) is a heat-shrink sleeve. They come in half-size or full size (1/8 of an inch in circumference).

    You will need two 1/8 inch sleeves to get to a size 4. That will obscure some of the bevels, but not too badly.

    Balsa wood is another option, but it requires more effort and precision than the sleeves.
     
    #53
  4. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    I really like the smaller grips myself. By measurement I should be using about 1/2 to 5/8 but use 1/4 with 2 overgrips. I will agree that a larger grip feels more stable on volleys and I have actually gone to using a 1/2 grip racquet for doubles except when I serve. I can generate much more pace and spin on my groundies and serves with the smaller grip. Just my preference through.
     
    #54
  5. cuPlay

    cuPlay New User

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    Perspective from aged one.

    Playing for over thirty years and I went to a smaller grip a decade ago. To give you an idea, college grip was 4 5/8 with gauze overwrap, 14 oz rackets with gut over 60+ lbs. Now playing with a 4 1/4 grip, 12 oz. racket with 52-53 lbs. synth. Despite years feeding a million balls and hitting with both retired tour players and a ton of juniors here in ATL, I have no shoulder, elbow or wrist problems. I think the rackets today make it easier to plow through the ball, shaping the shots. I know I hold the racket looser than I did with the bigger grip, which actually allows me more touch on volleys and more pace on serve. Like the great JohnnyMac has said, I have more pop on serve than when I was younger... (now if my knees will just hold up for another 30 years)...:)
     
    #55
  6. wmrhawk

    wmrhawk Rookie

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    Excellent commentary. is true with me as well. so far the body is holding up. can't remember if my Borg or Vilas racquets were 4 5/8 or 4 1/2, but my k95s are 4 1/4 plus overgrip.
     
    #56
  7. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

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    yes, along with the pronation and wrist snapping, you can reach those balls that are farther away with more reach and accuracy.

    anyone remember the shot federer hit against agassi in dubai 05? dirtiest shot ever.
     
    #57
  8. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, I'm glad you agree with it :)
     
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  9. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    i agree.

    on the forehand, one size smaller doesn't seem to cause much trouble. but for volley and 1HBH, a bigger size is better.

    for Fed and Nadal, we don't know their real reason. but blindly copying them with a smaller grip than you are comfortable with is not very smart.
     
    #59
  10. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

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    bp said it, and ill say it again:

    small grip: more variety with wrist, meaning more spin, more angle, more control, more feel. less stability, less power, harder to volley, harder to flatten out groundies. idk about serves, but i found that a smaller grip helps with spin and kickers, but harder to hit flat.

    large grip: more power, more stability, easier to hit volleys, easier to flatten out groundies and flat serves. less variety with wrist, less spin, less control, less feel, harder to hit spin and kick serves.
     
    #60
  11. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

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    woops, forgot i already had a take on this thread :)
     
    #61
  12. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    That's not universally true for everyone. If you always hit the sweet spot (the center of the string bed) then the racket won't twist in your hand (like on volleys/1hbhs.) My hand measures as a full 4 5/8, yet if I needed to, I can use 4 1/4 just fine--if I don't mishit.
     
    #62
  13. jasonchu

    jasonchu Rookie

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    1/4 with 2 overgrips (1/8 each) = 1/2.....

    so you are using a 1/2 grip since 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/8 = 1/2...


    that is the right size for your hand... with a little more cushioning. good idea
     
    #63
  14. jasonchu

    jasonchu Rookie

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    just a suggestion....

    for those of you who are comfortable with your grip size.....please let us know..


    1) brand of racquet... (grip sizes run small on both head due to shape and prokennex vs babolat, prince and wilson which are "traditional true to size")

    (if you dont believe this, take a tailor's tape measure and you will see)

    2) grip size of racquet and numbe of overgrips you use (1/8 for each overgrip)

    3) please take a picture of your hand with the racket in your hand and index finger of other hand between the tips of your fingers and the palm.

    4) take a picture of your hand with a ruler .. the zero lined up with the v between your thumb and index finger, and along the ring finger... (the third crease in your hand to the ring finger measurement mentioned in a lot of tennis articles)

    this would be a good way to show what is used, get a metric , and maybe even a good observational scientifc study started,.. albeit with a small sample size..
     
    #64
  15. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, my hand, according to the traditional method (tip of ring finger to second crease), says I ought to use a 5 and 1/4 grip.

    I use a 4 and 3/4 grip (a Babolat 4 and 5/8 with one Gamma full size sleeve added).

    Leather grip and one Wilson Pro overgrip. This measures to 4 and 7/8 inches.

    Technically, I am going down 3 sizes (3/8s of an inch). I like it. I wonder how many sizes Roger and Raf go down...I can't imagine them having small hands/short fingers.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
    #65
  16. jmoneyh

    jmoneyh New User

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    yea ive used ever grip size ranging from 4 1/4 to 4 5/8 for countless months each. what i can tell u from my experience is that generally i liiked using a larger grip size at first because it gives stablility. also at this time i didnt worry too much on spin. plus, serving in my opinion is easier when u have a big grip size, when ur serving flat that is. but as i gradually got better, i kept going down more and more sizes, and experimented with adding lead tape at the same time to add stability to my racquets and got away with using smaller grip sizes. it definately increases ur spin potential, and so does the lead weight depending on where u put it. and this is why nadal uses a 4 and 1/4 and lead weight at the top of his racquet, and uses that whipping/over the head technique to generate that tremendous spin. fed uses a 4 3/8 his also helps his spin potential. but he likes to hit more flat and penetrating. i can play left handed and right handed btw, and for some reason playing left handed makes me wanna play like how nadal hits. maybe it has to do with the brain since i am naturally right brained
     
    #66
  17. ag200boy

    ag200boy Hall of Fame

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    one overgrip is 1/16 not 1/8

    and i use a dunlop 4 1/2 grip with one wilson pro overgrip, works like a charm
     
    #67
  18. 2nd_Serve

    2nd_Serve Professional

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    I thought they both used small grip sizes with lots of overgrips.
     
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  19. babolatchaznike

    babolatchaznike Rookie

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    Nadal does not use a replacement grip. just 2-3 overgrips on a 41/4 handle. Not sure about Federer. I perssonally use a 45/8 grip size.
     
    #69
  20. rozy888

    rozy888 New User

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    i've been using the same size grip since i was 10 and am now 13 and 5ft 11inch. i never realised what difference the size of the grip would make. none of my coaches have pointed this out to me. unfortunatley i found out just how important they are during a match. a few weeks before i had a wrist injury no one knew what it was and during the match my elbow started to hurt. after the match my opponents father pointed out he had this injury and said it was due to his grip being too small. now i think about it makes perfect sense!
     
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  21. DJG

    DJG Semi-Pro

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    Yes, going too small may as well lead to wrist or elbow issues due to a potential tighter squeeze on the handle. Especially if you are very used to the larger grip.
     
    #71
  22. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    Just wanted to add in my thoughts to this useful discussion.

    Firstly, since everyone has different shot mechanics (even Roger and Rafa do) there's unlikely to be a one-size fits all solution.

    Those people who are dogmatically quoting the same grip size advice that was used for wooden rackets are, I suspect, missing the point. Rackets have changed, the game has changed, shot mechanics have changed.

    I have gone from a size 5 with heat shrink sleeve and overgrip (probably a 7 in the end) downwards over the years. I intend to try a Dunlop 3 next (I'm currently using a Wilson 4) and see what effect it has. I recently hit a few shots with a size 3 grip and was pleasantly surprised.

    Elbow strains are likely to be the result of how you hold whatever you have. It's possible to squeeze any size grip too hard. A lot will also depend on where you hold the grip - do you have the butt in your palm or hold it higher up where it is smaller?

    Fortunately, I play with Vantage rackets and they offer the facility to swap around grip shapes and sizes so I can find what works for me without all the other variables of racket and string getting in the way.
     
    #72
  23. andreev_forehand

    andreev_forehand New User

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    If using a lot of wrist is bad, then Federer must be an atrocious tennis player.

    As others have said smaller grip = more whip/spin, larger grip more stability, i.e. crisper volleys. Although drop volleys are probably easier with small grips, that's one reason you see so many of them on the tour these days.
     
    #73
  24. andreev_forehand

    andreev_forehand New User

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    Also as someone else said, old grip sizing charts don't apply anymore, basically use what's comfortable, but be aware that if you want to hit the "whip" style shots that pros use today, you're going to have to go smaller than traditional charts suggest. Someone here suggested that smaller grip sizes make 1HBH hard, but I like it better (by the chart I should be 4 1/2 or 4 5/8 but I use 4 3/8) because I can swing harder and still be assured that the topspin will bring the ball back into the court. I can also create much sharper cross-court angles. I would guess that 4 3/8 is the most popular grip-size on tour right now.
     
    #74
  25. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    I actually play with a Babolat PST with a 4 1/4" grip. I take off the grip that comes with it, and just double up on TournaGrip (basically just replacing the top one when it gets worn, not the bottom).

    Have no idea what this actually measure to. I used to do this when I played with Prince 4 3/8" and it was always perfect. Not so much with Babolat. I really think Babolat's grip sizes are a hair bigger, no matter what the numbers say and I have had a hard time getting used to it.

    I like to get my hand almost completely around the grip. I definitely hit a lot of topspin, and I like the small grip feel in my hand. I know it's oddly small, but I love it.


    Jeff
     
    #75
  26. tonyg11

    tonyg11 Rookie

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    i'm a 6.0 nptr, 6' 185lbs and use an L2 grip. Why? Because it's comfortable for the strokes and grip i use. I hit hard with lots of spin but with an eastern grip. So the spin comes from the ability to really come up on the ball and flick the wrist at the last moment. The smaller grip size makes it a lot easier for me to do this. It also lets me flatten out the shot whenever i need to.
     
    #76
  27. Josherer

    Josherer Professional

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    Woah that's real small.
     
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  28. Guido B

    Guido B New User

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    Hello, I'm new here.

    My question is: nobody has suffered hurts or a lession playing with smaller grips? According to charts I'm 4-1/2" size. I played with 4-3/8" and my hand wrap the whole grip and my fingers practically over my thumb. I didn't like that so much. Now changed my grip to 4-1/2" but i'm affeared that it will be too large. :???:
     
    #78
  29. Guido B

    Guido B New User

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    I post again cause I can't edit.
    I played with 4-3/8" + overgrip. Now I have 4-1/2" + overgrip. I didn't use yet, its fells good when i catch the raquet, but sometimes I think if it's too large or not :???:

    Sorry for my not well English.
     
    #79
  30. jetlee2k

    jetlee2k Banned

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    I don't know about this.. I can play with all kind of grip 5, 4,3,2,1.. but I meant I found that my KPS88 4 1/4 is perfect set up for me.. I can change grip quickly and fast on return of serve and volley.. It depends how and where you hold your racket too.. Fed, Nadal hold the racket way at the end of the handle.. The butt cap practically hit your palm.. The smaller grip benefit for this way.. Beside, their arm very very relax until ball contact so this helps to relax the arm as well as put more spin into it.. I don't feel it unstable at all but the opposite.. Bigger grip force you to hold the racket tighter that makes your arm less relax..
     
    #80
  31. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    My Wilson Rally2 and Dunlop Graphite Fort both have 4 1/2 grip sizes, but I removed the worn leather grips and replaced with just 1 overgrip on each.

    Nice feel in my hand and excellent racquet speed and control.

    No idea on what size that makes my actual grip and I'm not going to measure it either lol, I just know it works for me. :)
     
    #81
  32. FederGOAT

    FederGOAT Rookie

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    I use a 4 1/4 with 1 wilson overgrip, tried a 4 3/8 but it was just too big for me.
     
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  33. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    #83
  34. ben123

    ben123 Professional

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    #84
  35. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    According to the sizing guides, I measure up as being a 4 1/2, so I tried that but its far too big. It feels like the racket is taking over my hand as opposed to me controlling the racket.

    So I've gone back to a trusted 4 1/4 but with two overgrips instead of the standard grip, purely because I want the 4 1/4 size but prefer the feel of tournagrip.

    That seems to work ok for all strokes and quick manoeverability at the net so I guess its really all down to personal preference and what suits your playing style. I guess the sizing guides are a good starting point but at the end of the day, its a case of going with what works for you.
     
    #85
  36. newton296

    newton296 Rookie

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    how much does the new comfort grip add to the grip size?

    because of (TE) I have to ditch my beloved babolat skin feel grips . their basically like grabbing directly on the handle, no cushion at all. they are on a 4 3/8 grip. I wonder when I go to buy a new comfort grip if that will add bulk and how much?

    I want to stay at 4-3/8, so I'm thinking of buying a 4-1/4 and adding the comfort grip. yes?

    anyone's help is appreciated.
     
    #86
  37. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    delete post
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
    #87
  38. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    I kind of disagree about small grip giving you better control.

    Anything related to wrist action is helped by a smaller grip. It feels comfortable too. Whippy. But when you talk about control, it seems to me the smaller the grip the less precision you have in controling the angle of the racquet face with respect to the ground. It's similar to what happens with a small vs large dial control on a device. Say you want to move the volume control on your amp by a small amount corresponding to 1 degree. On a small knob, it will be much more difficult to be precise than on a larger one. Imagine a racquet grip that is really, really narrow. My feeling is you would have much more difficulty in your awareness and control of small variations in the angle of the racquet face. It's a matter of finding the right balance. For guys like Federer or Nadal, they probably have such delicate control and awareness of these minute variations that they can afford to give up some of the control in return for the advantages of the wrist action they get from a grip too small for their size. For the average weekend player, playing with a grip too small for their size would cause a lot more errors.
     
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  39. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    #89
  40. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    His grip on the Coupe des Mousquetaires is looking very thin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
    #90
  41. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    He also wraps righty. Weird, no?
     
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  42. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    I have a large hand, so I've often had to play with smaller grips before I knew anything about racquets.

    I would say:

    Bigger grip - better forehand and backhand due to stability/lack of wrist movement

    Smaller grip - better serve, volleys, slice, droppers and other touch shots
     
    #92
  43. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Actually, most people feel the smaller grip helps with wrist snap for serves and groundstrokes, but can potentially adversely affect volleys. I found this to be true myself, as I volley better with a 4 1/2 POG as opposed to my usual 4 3/8 (everything but the grip was the same, doesn't get much more objective than that)
     
    #93
  44. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    My friends/coaches let me in the Samsung Open string shop, and the pros' grips were between a 2 and a 3, with a skinny overgrip. Just felt like toothpicks to me, coming from a grip 7 1/2.
     
    #94
  45. Six.One.Tour.90FAN

    Six.One.Tour.90FAN Professional

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    .....WRONG, please don't assume they are great because of their grip size....

    90
     
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  46. Six.One.Tour.90FAN

    Six.One.Tour.90FAN Professional

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    But yeah, experiment and see what works best, just because one person has a small grip doesn't give them an advantage. Also, players like monfils, karlovic and safin had HUGE grips

    90
     
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  47. PigsPlayTennis

    PigsPlayTennis New User

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    My Coach tells me to remove my undergrip and wrap two overgrips so the grip is smaller and i can "feel" the sharp points of the handle. He says it helps put spin if your grip is smaller. I for one, like having the undergrip much more comfortable.
    Btw. I believe Nadal uses 4 1/8. For more spin.
     
    #97
  48. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Safin used a 4 1/2.. Monfils a 4 5/8. Bigger grips, but not huge. I have small hands and am rated for a 4 1/2
     
    #98
  49. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    Nadal uses 4 1/4.. and IMO gripsize is very individual.. I use fairly thin and hit flat and a lot of finesse and volleys.. Dimitrovs grip is huge btw.
     
    #99
  50. bert96

    bert96 Rookie

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    not really :neutral: many leftys doing this
     

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