Is it proper to hit your FH's and BH's using the same side (face) of your racquet?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BreakPoint, Jul 10, 2007.

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Is it proper to hit your FH's and BH's using the same side (face) of your racquet?

  1. Yes, it is proper

    55.7%
  2. No, it is wrong

    44.3%
  1. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Is it proper to hit both your forehands and backhands using the same side (face) of your racquet?

    Meaning that instead of using both sides of the stringbed, one side for forehands and the other side for backhands, you instead rotate your wrist, thereby the racquet, 180 degrees so that the top edge of your racquet that is perpendicular to the ground in now the bottom edge, and use the same side of the racquet for both your forehands and backhands without ever changing your grip.

    Is that the proper way to play tennis or is it the wrong way? Does anyone even teach people to play this way? How come no good players (6.0+) play this way?
     
    #1
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I can't even begin to comprehend why someone would puprosely do that. :roll:
     
    #2
  3. Mad iX

    Mad iX Semi-Pro

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    That's how I do it. I don't even know if most people do that, so I have no idea what's "proper".
     
    #3
  4. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    I think I recall asking this same question here in the past. The way I remember it, the great majority of people thought/think it's wrong. However, nobody could give me a valid reason (valid to me, I must clarify).

    Edit: There was, at least, one succesful pro who did this (I have to look up his name, because I can't remember it). No current ones that I can think of, except Guga, who, I believe, does it only sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
    #4
  5. A.Davidson

    A.Davidson Semi-Pro

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    A friend of mine with a sort of bone..."strangeness", let's call it (he can stand with his feet pointed inward), does this because he's just weird. He tends to hit his shots with tons of clearance, and many go long. However, if it works for you and you don't injure yourself, don't let anyone tell you it's wrong.
     
    #5
  6. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Bud Collins used to talk all the time about pro players from way back when who had grips extreme enough on both sides to pull this off.
     
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  7. FatCat

    FatCat New User

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    I used to play ping pong this way, but I'd imagine this is a quick route to hurting yourself in tennis unless you're really strong and flexible. I have accidentally volleyed that way just out of habit from ping pong, but it's certainly not comfortable to return strong shots that way. I'd imagine it's harder to generate racket speed and spin when you're contorted like that, especially in a game that doesn't always give you a lot of time to prepare.
     
    #7
  8. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    That's all it takes. For example: Semi-Western FH and Western (some refer to it as Extreme-Eastern) BH.

    Edit: Or, if you prefer, Western FH and Eastern BH.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
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  9. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Continental one handed backhand, Hawiian Forehand. Sweet!

    J
     
    #9
  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Just to clarify, I do not do this myself. I have classic strokes with classic grips (Eastern both sides) sort of like Federer. I think using one side of the racquet for both forehand and backhand is very ugly looking and can lead to wrist injury (and also wear out strings faster).
     
    #10
  11. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Everyone's entitled to an opinion... Specially GOATs ;)

    PS: Why are you asking? Curiosity?
     
    #11
  12. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Kolschreiber does it, uses same grip for both f/h and b/h. I tried it but it was too extreme on my f/h.
     
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  13. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    But, but.... that doesn't make sense!
    Western forehand, and Eastern backhand hits with the same side of the stringbed, which is the normal way... while Berasategui and his hawaiian grip hit with the OTHER side of the stringbed, which is the un-usual !!

    How is hitting with the same side of the racquet wrong at all? I don't get it. I have my racquet right next to me, and it's the same side of the racquet !!!
     
    #13
  14. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Ahhh, I got it now!! I realized of it shadow swinging. It's true, when I finish my FH followthrough, I come back to continental, and I rotate the racquet the other way around. Different sides of the racquet.

    My bad, my bad, my bad :p
     
    #14
  15. snoflewis

    snoflewis Hall of Fame

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    i personally dont do it...well...can't really do it anyway

    semiwestern on forehand and two handed backhand....i tend to spin the racket in my hand all the time so i never know what side i just hit with the racket.
     
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  16. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Do you actually pay attention to which side of the racquet you swing your FH/BH with? The only people I know who do that are those with custom asymetrical grips.

    P.S. I understand the question, and understand that my question is not related to the orig post.


    J
     
    #16
  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But does he also use the same side of the racquet for both his forehand and his backhand?

    McEnroe also used the same grip for his forehand and his backhand but he hit the ball with opposite sides of the racquet because he used a continental grip for everything.
     
    #17
  18. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    my coach once mentioned a player back in the day who used extreme western grips for forehand and 1hbh.

    Supposedly if you were to alternate between the strokes it would make it a figure eight in the air, since you swish back and forth with the same grip never letting go of it.
     
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  19. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Because there are two sides of a racquet both with an open stringbed for a reason. You are supposed to use both sides of the stringbed to play tennis. Or else they might as well just make one side solid with just a few holes for aerodynamics. It's like those ping pong paddles made for players that use penhold grips which only have the rubber on one side. ;)

    Almost all the better players in the world use both sides of their racquets. I also don't know of any teaching pros that would teach people to hit with only one side of their racquets.
     
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  20. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, kolschreiber hits with the same side of the racquet face on both f/h and b/h.
     
    #20
  21. muggy

    muggy Rookie

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    I do this. I don't have extreme grips or anything, I have a semi-western forehand and a eastern backhand.

    The reason I do this is because in the ready position, I hold the racquet in a semiwestern forehand grip, with the hitting side/face of the racquet down. When I have to hit a backhand, I rotate the racquet counterclockwise a bevel or so during my unit turn to hit my one hander.

    I guess it's just more natural for me to be in my forehand grip while being in a ready position, I don't see this style as being particularly awkward or anything. I use my off hand to cradle the throat on both sides, and turn the racquet less going from forehand to backhand than I do from continental to either side.

    I dunno, maybe I'm just weird?
     
    #21
  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, I do not. It doesn't matter which side of the racquet I hit my forehand with, just pick any side. But if I hit my forehand with side A, and the very next shot is a backhand, it will be hit with side B. (Or vise versa, side B, then side A). What I do not do is rotate my wrist 180 degrees so I can hit both my forehand and backhand with the same side of the racquet. I change grips and then take full swings with my forehand and my backhand and hit with opposite sides of the racquet (see Federer).

    I also think not changing grips and rotating your wrist to hit a 1HBH would also cause one to hit a "windshield wiper" backhand stroke with your elbow sticking way out and leading the stroke. I think that's a recipe for wrist and elbow injuries.
     
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  23. muggy

    muggy Rookie

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    I definitely don't hit a windshield wiper backhand stroke, it's just goes up and comes back down like anyone elses.

    I just don't go back to the continental in the ready position, I stay in forehand grip, so since it's shorter to rotate counterclockwise to the backhand grip, I use the same side to hit both shots.

    I do rotate my racquet occasionally, so it's not always the same side, but I don't think it really matters.

    I also do use different sides when volleying, I don't think you can really do that any other way.
     
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  24. bigfoot910

    bigfoot910 Rookie

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    I play with the same side of the racquet on both strokes. It's really not that weird. I use a full-western forehand, and a slighty eastern 2hbh. I really just roll it over and swing. It is very good for returning serve and it eliminates the need for grip changes.
     
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  25. moist

    moist Rookie

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    This is exactly how I do it, and I've had some years of professional instruction without any suggestions that it's wrong. To me it just seems obvious you'd want to make the smallest change possible.
     
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  26. jamumafa

    jamumafa Semi-Pro

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    I do it.

    Western FH and then a Semi Western backhand grip (Gaudio?)
     
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  27. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    I thought I did it too, jamumafa, but then, I realized I didn't, after looking where I rotate the racquet before the hit.

    It's easier to rotate my hand to the right from my Eastern FH to my SW (my Extreme Eastern backhand grip). Sounds easier, but I don't do it. I go all the way to continental, and then, rotate the hand to the left to hit my backhand. Opposite sides of the racquet ;)
     
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  28. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

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    At time of writing, nine people voted on this poll. Please can one of you define what is right and what is wrong because it seems to me that this is a question of taste/preference and has nothing to do with a correct approach.
     
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  29. moist

    moist Rookie

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    As long you end up in an Eastern bh grip before/during your unit turn, how in the world would it affect the stroke itself?

    I experimented with this last night on the ball machine, and other than my Western forehand stinking compared to my SW, it didn't affect my 1hbh at all (yes, I have a technically sound bh). If a person used these grips, I just don't see what's the big deal. I guess I could see them getting too used not ever changing grips, and having that pin them on the baseline so they never have to change to continental.
     
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  30. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    There is no right or wrong on this point. Pro level tennis players have played in this way in the past. There's likely at least a few high level players who do so as well. If it works for them, the best detractors can say is that it's unusual. So what?

    Odds are, if you're the typical club player, the grips aren't what's holding you back, anyway.
     
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  31. mclee025

    mclee025 Rookie

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    As many as suggested, I don't think there's anything wrong with not changing grips and hitting with the same side of the racquet between forehand and backhand. If your grips between your forehand and backhand are essentially the same, you can do that.

    I used to play eastern forehand, eastern backhand type grips. Playing this way forever, I could change grips in my sleep. It became a reflex. In the past year I've been inching into a semi-western forehand and a more extreme eastern backhand grip. Again, I changed grips because that was what I was used to doing, until I discovered that my forehand and backhand grips were essentially the same and I could just flip my wrist to turn the racquet 180 degrees. It was a funny wow moment for me. I can now play the whole game of tennis without having to change grips since I can also serve with my extreme eastern backhand grip.

    As to why people aren't taught to play in this manner. Grips are going to be a personal preference for different players. Unless they happen to have a forehand grip and a backhand grip that is essentially the same, this technique isn't going to work. So it's going to be more generally applicable to teach the old school change the grip thing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
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  32. ryohazuki222

    ryohazuki222 Semi-Pro

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    I don't understand what the big deal is either??

    My topspin forehand (full semi-western - palm faces up), topspin backhand (same grip as forehand but palm faces down), slice backhand (continental), backhand volley (continental) -- all use the same side of the racket face about 99/100 times (very particular about my grip and it only feels comfortable one way.)

    My serves(continental - mostly), forehand slice/chip/dropper (continental), and forehand volleys(continental.)
     
    #32
  33. K-LEG

    K-LEG Rookie

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    I've never head about that before, but if you ask me, I don't think I can comfortably rotate my wrist 180 degrees, actually, I can't even do that.
     
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  34. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    If that doesn't settle this debate in favor or everyone other than BreakPoint and Drakulie, then they're a lost cause. It seems clear that the conclusion is that we can hit the ball with whatever side of the racket we want and switch grips in any manor that suits each individual player the best.

    Lucky for us, beceause of BreakPoint's reliance on his poll results, he will have no choice but to submit to us all... ;)
     
    #34
  35. moist

    moist Rookie

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    Hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing up. Keeping your arm straight, rotate your hand so your palm is facing down. Now imagine doing exactly this, but holding a racquet. What we're really talking about is forearm pronation/supination.
     
    #35
  36. lolsmash

    lolsmash Rookie

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    I do this. I hold a semiwestern forehand grip and turn it into an extreme eastern backhand grip. I'm just lazy though. I think it would be easier for those of us with 1 handers to be able to do this.
     
    #36
  37. Janne

    Janne Semi-Pro

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    I do it. I have a semiwestern forehand and I dont know if I have a eastern or extreme eastern backhand, dont really care ;P
     
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  38. little_e

    little_e Semi-Pro

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    Is it not possible to hit a forehand shot and a backhand shot with the same side of the racquet and "properly" change your grip? Sidenote I have enough other things to think about while swinging my racquet than to worry if I am using the same side of the racquet for ever shot.
     
    #38
  39. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    Well... So much for my plans to win Wimbledon. :confused:

    You saying Federer wouldn't win Wimbledon doing this that way is some SERIOUS speculation. Then again, you've been known to make all kinds of assumptions with no basis.

    Anyway... Enough is enough.
     
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  40. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Even better, this topic has already been discussed on this very board:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/archive/index.php/t-15347.html

    A cursory google search reveals that Japanese players of the 1920's thrived at places like Wimbledon and the US Open because they were transitioning from something called "soft-ball" tennis, which placed a premium on driving through the ball. In fact, more than a few articles specifically attribute their success to their extreme grips, mostly described as western.

    In the end, it's really no big deal. If it works for you, by all means, keep on keeping on. The issue is at least an order of magnitude less significant than double handed backhands, open stances, etc. - and again, those things (despite being MUCH more important in terms of technique) are far less important to the typical club players success than footwork, fitness, psychology, etc.

    Maybe Breakpoint is trying for another 12 pager. Slow day at work?
     
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  41. AceofBase

    AceofBase Rookie

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    That would be harsh on your arm if you play the same as your dominated hand.
     
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  42. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Ummm.... No, if you made one side solid with just a few holes for aerodynamics, then both sides would be solid.

    Racquets use strings that are strung on a 2 dimension plane that has two sides, that's the "reason".

    You're making things up to support your argument, stop that. Unless you live in some other dimension where you can have a racquet solid one one side and with strings on the other. (sounds like something out of the show Doctor Who)

    I get where you are going, but your arguments are silly and I hear them from people all the time.

    All the better players in the world tend to stand several feet behind the baseline when they are returning. As a 3.5 player does it mean that I should do it that way?

    All the better players in the world serve the ball over 90mph and usually 100mph. What's wrong with me?, I should be doing that....

    I think it's silly to use something that a pro is doing to support an argument about something an amateur can do. I get it, you like using the "classical" strokes and you are very proud of yourself. Congradulations for that.

    (I use the Eastern grip forehand and the Continental grip for the backhand (1H), if anyone nit picks me and says I should be using the Eastern backhand, they are just being silly)
     
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  43. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Muster?

    Can someone tell me that muster did or didn't do as BP asks? Thinking on his backhand, I'd think Muster, as I said above. Anyone have any muster footage?

    Anyways - I do this, I hit my Western FH and my 1HBH with the same side of the racquet, but I change my grip. Now what's the issue there? I change 'under' the grip instead of 'over' it as it's a (much) shorter change between my two grips. No-one coached me to do it (or not), and remarkably, when I first came to get my coaching qualification, the head of the school & association was somewhat interested when he realised I did this. Interested, not instantly dismissive BreakPoint. Maybe that's something you should consider - seeing a point of difference as something to learn from, instead of seeing something you disagree with and assuming it's wrong.

    So let's be clear - is such a scenario as mine in BP's crap category? Or am I excused on the basis of grip changes?

    Bit obsessed with how we look, aren't you?

    What, BreakPoint relying on pure speculation and creating an argument based on it? Never. I simply can't believe it :confused:

    Newsflash: The number 2 player in the world doesn't look smooth when he's playing, neither did players like Muster, Courier, etc. They are all amazingly effective and successful players, and I'm betting they don't give a damn about how they looked when they were winning their GSs.

    Can someone in the US tell me if the USPTA actually decertifies people for teaching techniques that BreakPoint disagrees with? :grin:
     
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  44. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Nope, they don't.

    J
     
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  45. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Thanks J, last time I commented on something in the US, BP simply dismissed my comment as I don't live in the US....
     
    #45
  46. jonline

    jonline Semi-Pro

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    I don't think that it is necessary, but I also don't think that there is a right way to play tennis. All strokes are different and there are a great number of non-textbook players who are extremely good at the sport. I've heard of people hitting a lot weirder than that.
     
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  47. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Here to help.

    The only thing the USPTA de-certifies people for is not paying their dues.

    J
     
    #47
  48. iamke55

    iamke55 Professional

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    Come on, guys, stop taking this topic so seriously. It's clear from the tone and content of the posts that BP is just trolling or joking around here like in the Racquets forum to up his post count. Would someone who actually thinks like this honestly be able to find a computer and register at his mental health institution?
     
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  49. mclee025

    mclee025 Rookie

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    Wasn't there once a racquet built with two string beds on the racquet face at one time. I think the idea was that you could use one string bed for your forehand and then the other (presumably strung differently) for your backhand.

    With one sided hitters, this could be used to an extra advantage. Think about being able to change the play characteristics of your racquet in mid point to suit the situation. Of course that would require a grip change. LOL!
     
    #49
  50. habib

    habib Professional

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    Geez you started a thread and poll about this? Ok, let's get to the root of the problem here: what is it about this technique (or whatever you want to call it) that is so invalid or bad? What? If you use a W forehand and E backhand, what's the issue? In fact, wouldn't not having to fool around with changing your grip actually be an advantage in some circumstances? If you hit a W forehand at an opponent at net and he knifes a quick volley to your backhand, isn't it nice to not have to change grips, but just turn your shoulders and hit the ball? I just think there's no rational reason to not do this if your grips coincide (W fh to E bh, SW fh to EE bh, H fh to C backhand, etc...), apart from the argument that, "Well very few pros do it and no one teaches it." So what? No one hit or taught a serve like Roddick's until he started doing it, is it wrong if it's effective? If you're naturally using a W fh and E bh, why would you be at any greater risk of injury using one side of the racquet and not changing grips rather than rotating the racquet 180 degrees between shots and using both sides? If it's a question of the strings moving too much in one direction from constant impacts to one side, flip the thing over between points! It just makes no logical, rational, or valid sense to condemn this practice. There's no reason for it.

    Edit: You should add a third, "Eh what could possibly be wrong with it?" option for your poll, since the two you have are extremes. That is, it's obviously not the "proper" way to do it since "proper" methods are established by the tennis community, but neither is it "wrong."
     
    #50

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