Has the Eastern Forehand Struck Back to the Mainstream?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by soyizgood, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Let me make sure I understand your question: How will you ever learn to hit decent volleys if you hit "rally" groundstrokes without changing grips?

    I'd guess you'd learn to hit them the same way if you hit rally groundstrokes with a change of grip:

    You'd practice them. :confused:
     
  2. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    When you become so used to flipping your racquet upside down and using the same side of your racquet face whenever the ball goes towards the backhand side of your body, that's what you're going to do at the net also. It's impossible to hit good backhand volleys with the same side of your racquet as forehand volleys.
     
  3. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I don't disagree with the letter of your statement, but I still stand by my post.
     
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hardly anything is "impossible" in tennis.
    I know a solid 4.5 doubles player, major volleyer, who uses an extreme western grip, same face of racket, for every shot. He can dig out low volleys, defend body shots, and swat waist and higher backhand volleys. And has great forehand volleys.
    His serves, I've never analysed, could be anything from conti to eBH.
    Our Kiteboard uses the same side of the racket face for most volleys, probably all, and he's closer to 5.0.
     
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That's not "volleying". That's "slapping". :) LOL

    I'd like to see him hit controlled drop volleys, heavy underspin volleys, and control the depth and angle of his volleys using the same side of his racquet face on both backhand volleys and forehand volleys.
     
  6. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    Oh, really? Says who?

    I don't know; I've never tried. For volley I switch to conti and use either side. I don't know who the guy is you're arguing with who's saying that you use the same side of the stringbed to hit volleys, but it sure isn't me.
     
  7. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    To start off...

    ...the ATP and WTA players you cite don't use an Eastern grip, they use a SW grip. Second, it's a waaay different thing to say that SW or FW is now fashionable on the ATP/WTA versus what you ought to be using.

    Remember, there is also the Conti grip on the FH, and it has its advantages and disadvantages (no switching grips, easier to hit a slice forehand, not a bad approach shot). So when I'm coaching people, what I say is "I use a SW, it has the following pluses and minuses. There is also the Eastern, here are its pluses and minuses. And here, the Conti, second verse, same as the first. In addition, who says you have to be limited to one grip? I use SW on most rally balls, if I want a ton of top, I go to FW, if I am run wide and need to squash shot the ball back in the court, it's Conti...so expand your horizons, it'll make you a better player..."
     
  8. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I would classify his grip as extreme-eastern.

    Umm, Nadal uses the same side of the racquet for returns, and he might do so on normal groundstrokes as well...
     
  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Um...no, he doesn't. Nadal switches grips on both returns and for normal groundstrokes. He rotates his racquet in his hand to go between forehand and backhand grips and hits with opposite sides of his racquet. You can look it up on YouTube.
     
  10. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Ah, that changed from when he was younger as well. He used to hold the racquet with his western-forehand and his semi-western left-hand, both on top of the racquet, racquet-face pointing down, and would return with the same face of the racquet. Makes sense that he woulda changed this when he changed grips.
     
  11. Logan71

    Logan71 Rookie

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    I stil think this depends upon age.At the courts I go to there is a tennis club on a wednesday night.Mostly middle aged group upwards,they all hit flatter forehands.Obviously differing levels barely a WW forehand in sight.

    A couple of the younger players must have more western grips due to their technique.It's not so long ago when player like Rafter,Henman,and Sampras were hitting much milder grips on the forehand,mainly due to the speed and bounce of the surfaces which they played on.

    Modern ATP pro's however I think eastern grips will remain the exception rather than the rule.At rec level eastern grips will always flourish.Your ratings in the US differ from the UK but from what I can see of the description,you probably wouldn't need to consider favouring a western grip for the majority of forehands until you were in that 5.0 bracket and higher.
     
  12. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Kuerten did not hit with same side of racket for FH and BH. There was a successful Spanish player who did hit with the same side but I cannot remember his name. He played around the late 80s, early 90s if memory is correct.

    EFH grip shifted just a wee bit down toward SW is a great grip. Much more variety and much, much better for low balls which are the kiss of death for SW or Full W.

    As courts changed from grass to HC and high bouncing grass, grips went from Continental to Eastern to Semi-W. Semi-W is great for hi bounces. Several good points by others above that tall players may be better served with EFH as they don't have as much concern with hi balls due to height and it helps them a lot on low balls.
     
  13. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think some of the players are actually as close to EFH as SWFH girp. Federer at times is very very close to EFH with just a slight shift toward SW. Pictures of Del Po also show him with EFH grip with maybe a small shift toward SW. EFH does seem to be gaining popularity. I use EFH with a very slight shift downward toward a SWFH and have for about 30 years now. But, I use continental for volleying, slice forehand returns, and underspin forehand shots. Even Fed and Nadal shift to more continental sometimes - drops shots, Fed's high slice forehand that he uses sometimes. So, Conti is good for the underspin shots. You can actually see pros shift from SWFH or EFH to more conti to hit dropshot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  14. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Yes, conti is the best for dropers.
     
  15. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    I don't know any pro that hit's a dropper with anything other than conti. I don't know any higher level rec players that hit droppers with anything other than conti...

    EDIT: I lump Eastern in with this as well.
     
  16. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Your buddy is an exception. When A-Rod first hit the tour the ex-pro commentators laughed at his SW forehand volley. And, it was and still is a major weakness. The cleanest, easiest way to hit a volley is with a grip close to a Conti. I can not think of a single "great" volleyer that used anything other than this. And, I have never seen a good pro, collegiate, or USTA 4.0 or above volleyer who used the same side of the racket in my 35 years of playing.

    The W grip is good for high balls where you want to hit topspin. It may the best grip for this type of play. The reason it is good is it naturally puts the racket in a slightly closed postion at high contract points which is great for topspin.

    For volleys and slice shots, you want the racket slightly open at contact as you are trying to impact a bit of underspin or trying to hit a relatively flat ball. A W grip put the racket in the wrong (closed) position to hit underspin unless you contort your wrist to an arkward angle. The vast majority of us don't have the skills to contort our wrist to precisely the same angle to hit a volley. I don't want to have to calibrate this contortion when my opponent hit a hard passing shot at me. I prefer to just take by hand/strings to the ball with a conti grip with the assurance that my strings will be slightly open on contact as thats the natural position for the conti grip.
     
  17. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    ^^^^^

    Agreed on everything.

    Anyway, played a junior today who uses an eastern grip, he hits lots of TS, very heavy ball, but not much net clearance and a bit inconsistent. Maybe more and more juniors are using the EFH grip?
     
  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I expect that many of these players vary their grips based on the ball they are working with.
     
  19. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Why do you say Ulnar deviation? Don't most employ radial deviation in the stroke?
     
  20. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    According to link http://www.vistalab.com/commoninjuries.asp#cf6
    Radial and ulnar deviation is the side-to-side movement of the hand at the wrist, toward or away from the thumb.
     
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    And does not your link show the direction used on the TS Fh to be radial, not ulnar?
     
  22. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    You should look at the picture from opposite side of the screen. The written definition is also very clear. The hand should run away from the thumb.
    My simple definition: If your palm is facing the sky, counterclockwise rotation of the hand is wrist ulnar deviation.

    [​IMG]

    Henin rotates her hand counterclockwise, thus she uses the wrist ulnar deviation.

    [​IMG]
    The same is in this picture; no much more fun to watch!:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  23. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    I believe ulnar deviation is used during the takeback and radial deviation is used during the WW motion.
     
  24. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    What is it doing during WW motion?
     
  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    So you see what I do, that it starts with an ulnar dev then moves thru the shot with a radial dev, right?
     
  26. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    Creating the wiping motion along with the rise and retraction/flexion of the elbow.

    Yes.
     
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly, so the motion on TS is a radial deviation.
     
  28. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Give me please your definition of wrist ulnar deviation, because you lost me completely!!!:)
     
  29. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    hand moving towards the Ulna, right.

    during the stroke to and thru the ball does the hand not move towards the radius?

    Radius is moving to thumb side
    Ulnar is moving to Ulna side
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Did you have your definitions backwards?
    because the hand will move towards thumbside during the TS Fh swing, right?
     
  31. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    TS forehand, for a right hander will have (should have?) pronation of the forearm/upper arm and radial deviation of the wrist through the contact point and into the extension/finish/whatever you want to call it!.

    cheers
     
  32. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    That's what my wrist and arm are doing as I sit here using a pencil as a racquet.
     
  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed as well.
     
  34. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    That said, I can see where Toly gets ulnar deviation from if the grip is extreme (knuckle on bevel 5 or further round).

    cheers
     
  35. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    OK, I see it now with the extreme W grip. I hadn't tried that. Great catch.
     
  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO none of the pics show a grip that extreme.
    Maybe I'm just not seeing it.
     
  37. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^I'm sure you can use your imagination to picture what a western grip looks like! :)
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    No, I see your point and can pick up a racket, see and feel it.
    I just was saying that he had pics with what he was saying, but
    none of them seemed to be that severe.
     
  39. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Ah, I also see how it is possible - for the first time. But looking at slow motion videos of the Nadal FH, I still see some ulnar deviation at the bottom of the backswing, and radial deviation at the finish...
     
  40. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Yeah, it makes sense that there could be some radial deviation at the finish, as the pronation of the upper-arm/forearm will bring the thumb around (so it's effectively pointing down) and the deceleration of the racquet may cause radial deviation.

    cheers
     
  41. WeaponX

    WeaponX New User

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    i want to revive this thread, to describe my situation.
    Almost all my life, i was using SW almost Western grip for forehand, til last year that i change to eastern, i change because my forehands didn't penetrates the court well, i was consistent but i wasn't able to make winners, so i change to eastern, make topspins is no problem, but higher balls or balls that come with a lot of topspins are difficult to handle (i play in clay courts).
    so i need help, i continue to play with eastern? or i go back to western because is more consistent? i like to play close to the baseline, and take the ball on the rise.

    pd: sorry for my english
     
  42. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Are you using full Eastern? If so, you might want to try semi-Western or strong Eastern (between Eastern and semi-Western). Those grips both still allow you to hit through the ball more easily than a Western but make high balls a bit easier than a full Eastern.

    Your English is fine. I can understand what you're asking.
     
  43. WeaponX

    WeaponX New User

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    Yes i use eastern, i tried strong eastern but if i do that in the next stroke i change to eastern, everybody tell me that my game is no suitable for clay courts, because i don't hit with many topspins and y play to close to the baseline, i guess that i'll keep trying to practice on consintency, thanks for the reply
     
  44. Agassi-Fan

    Agassi-Fan Rookie

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    I have been using an eastern forhand grip my entire life and have a very nice forehand. I find that i do struggle with people who have very whippy western forehands becuase their ball is heavy and bounces high up.

    People do have problems returning my forehand due to the fact that it has low clearnace over the net and it penetrates deep into the court. Problem is I don't have much margin due to the fact of the low net clearence.
     

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