Laver's Continental Forehand

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Chopin, Sep 14, 2009.

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Would Laver's Continental Forehand Be A Disadvantage In the Modern Game?

  1. Yes, of course.

    55.6%
  2. No, no.

    44.4%
  1. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Guys, I know that most of you said that Laver's height would be a disadvantage in the modern game, but what about his continental forehand? Would it also be a disadvantage?

    Also, I'm sure you'll all be thrilled to know that I've been grovin' my continental forehand at the courts and I'm preparing to play some matches with it an attempt to see how it fares against some very decent (4.5+) high school junior players I occasionally hit with. I'm no stranger to the grip and often use it to block back serves or hit squash shots on the run. I can play with all grips though my bread and butter is my semi-western, so I'm anxious to see how the continental works out. I'll keep you guys posted.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
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  2. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    delete 10chars
     
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  3. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I voted no.. :)

    I use Australian on the forehand. (i..e between continental & eastern) and I can hit with topspin on the low balls, and can hit flat on the high balls well over my shoulder. Ofcourse, this works for me at the 4.5-5.0 level.

    However, it is not that much different from Pete's forehand.
    If Pete could manage with his forehand, so could Laver :)
     
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  4. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Pete used an eastern forehand though. It's quite different. I can't help but wonder why not a single top ATP pro I know of uses continental today...
     
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  5. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    We now have a 6' 6" U.S. Open winner. When all top pros are that height, the continental grip will return. The western strategy of bouncing the ball over your opponent's strike zone is difficult to pull off when your opponent is a giant. Your best hope will be to slice it under his strike zone.
     
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  6. FitzRoy

    FitzRoy Professional

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    I thought I'd heard that Laver used an eastern grip, and that Sampras modeled his Eastern grips after Laver?
     
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  7. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Apples and Grenades. Laver played 75% on grass, the rest on clay. He used wood rackets. Continental made perfect sense under those circumstances. Even Mac played one grip tennis.

    It is a different game now.
     
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  8. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I agree. However, my question is regarding how Laver would fare (as he was) in this game.
     
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  9. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I voted "NO" because laver would have played today much like Federer and used all the grips based on the bounce and surface. This is another post where Chopin is trying to lessen the skills and outlook on the only guy in tennis history to win two (2) grand slams. Unfortunately for Chopin, this probably make Laver the GOAT. Laver played mostly a continental grip because tennis was mostly a low bounce game in his era. Do you understand this Chopin ?

    Chopin, dont you think Laver could hit any grip ?

    Rod was soo strong, and soo talented, he could use all grips and hit all shots, most of which you obviously have never seen. Think Federer playing an allcourt attacking game against other great champions who battled the same.

    Enough said.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  10. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    Do some homework mate...

    Laver played on everything from indoor carpet to wood, and hard courts and green clay..

    I am tired of everyone saying that the only service he played on was grass and clay.. It is simply not true..

    In fact Laver has more Grand Slam titles than Roger on different surfaces. The fact that some of them are the Professional equivalent of the "then" amature Slams is something you dummies seem to ignore...

    Chopin.. Retire...

    As to how Laver would fair? He is the most natural man to ever touch a tennis racquet.. I am sure he would find a way to win...
     
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  11. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    Agreed... Here is something I wrote for an article.. It might bring some light to the Rod Laver story.. And hopefully make Chpin pull his effing head in...


    Rod Laver is considered by knowledgeable tennis students and players to be the greatest of all time. This being recognized by former greats John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and today's champion Roger Federer.

    Many will dispute his record purely because of the majors of his time only being played on grass and clay. But what most people don't understand is that while banned from amateur tennis in the mid sixties for turning pro, he won what would be considered the Pro equivalent to the Grand Slams on hard courts, as well as indoors ect. So his skill on all surfaces should never be put in any form of doubt.

    If you were to add up both Laver's Grand Slam, and Pro slam results, he even surpasses Federer. And for that matter, Laver would be surpassed by Rosewall.. But all in all it is the manner in which a player goes about his trade that defines him as the greatest of all time. Maybe Roger Federer will be that man some day. We can only watch and enjoy his climb into tennis immortality.

    What has defined Laver's achievements is that not only did he win the Calender Grand Slam once, but he repeated this feat a second time many years later.. Having done this as an Amateur and as a Pro is probably what makes the achievements of 1962 & 1969 even more remarkable. A statistic that is simply impossible to imagine in today's game. Showing just how superior he was in that time span. As a side note. With the evolution of equipment and the power player. For Roger to win one calender Grand Slam would more than pave a way to being equal to the great Rod Laver.

    Rod Laver also played, and was competitive well into his 30's against newer harder hitting players. He is probably the one guy that first developed coming over his backhand, and using topspin on his forehand regularly. His strength was second to none, as he hardly touched the frame with his right hand when running around the court preparing for his next shot. The size of his left forearm bares testament to this fact....

    To put Rod Laver into perspective. The 14 grand Slam record that Sampras achieved, and Federer has now broken, was a record set by Australia's Roy Emerson. This record is simply an amateur Grand Slam record. And as Sampras, and now even Federer are not what you would consider amateurs. Then some people feel that the record should be held by the player with the most amateur, and Pro Slams combined. Thus bringing a true reflection on the achievements of players long past.. Roy Emerson certainly accounted well for himself. But there were players in both fields achieving great heights in the sport of tennis.
     
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  12. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Sorry mate, but the source for that info was some guy named Rod Laver. Take it up with him. He said that during an interview and he may have been talking about the tour in general. Of course, he did play a few events on surfaces other than grass and clay.

    Not sure what GS he won other than on grass and clay. Wimby grass, Aussie grass?, US Open when Laver played all grass? (at Forest Hills)?, RG, red clay. The various Pro Championships (US, French, Wembley) of the closed era aren't generally considered to be GS events. In Laver's era (closed), the US Championships were played on grass (at Longwood), Wembley indoors (carpet/ wood?), the French (about half clay, half indoor; the indoor could have been clay as well. )

    I would imagine during his long career, he must have also played some events on indoor surfaces, carpet, wood, concrete. I believe the famous Rosewall match circa 1969-70, was at the Astrodome? Not sure if the played on the astroturf or if a different surface like carpet, or wood, was put down. But the overwhelming majority of his matches, at least according to Rod, were on grass, the vast majority of the balance on clay.

    Although Laver may not have been as dominant in today's game, I think he would do well even now. He would have adopted modern techniques, modern rackets, etc. Someone like Laver just has that intangible one in a million ability to win matches. That would serve him well in any era. However, I think the Continental grip probably wouldn't work very well now. It is a grass court grip so unless you are playing on grass, it isn't so great. Hard to generate heavy topspin spin or answer heavy top spin with a Continental. Whatever advantage one would gain on the attacking side would seem to be lost on the receiving side. While high to low will still yield top spin even with a Conti, it is more of a slice and dice, serve and volley grip which was perfect for matches played on fast grass with wood rackets.

    Laver may well have had 20+ GS wins if he had played his entire career in the Open Era. Using GS wins to determine the GOAT really requires an enormous asterisk.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  13. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    eh?, the source for that info was me.. I wrote the article and researched his career.. It would seem as though you are working off hear-say..

    The fact is, that if are going to count Roger Federer's 15 as a mark. Then it is purely an amature mark at that.. Roger Federer is by no means an amateur, and nor was Laver.. Not always anyways..

    So please tell me why the amateur and pro events that were of the same calabre are not used in today's thinking? To say Laver only won on grass is false, and you are not helping your argument by saying it. He simply proved himself on any surface..

    I also like when you make a point, you use the (closed) argument when giving your opinion. As if to state that your thinking is the be all and end all...Mate, nothing is ever closed..

    You sound like one of those people that say that John MacEnroe truelly is one of the greats.. He won a few titles, and had one great year. But so has many other great players before and after him..

    As for me. I prefer to take the time and study, and not listen to American sports media..
     
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  14. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    (Take more time and study much harder. If your intellect ever approaches your online arrogance, you will really be something.)


    I think Rod Laver is undoubtedly the best source regarding the surfaces on which he played. I referenced a statement Laver made during a television interview. I would trust Rod's memory over your "article."

    You keep referring to your article as if it lends some authority to your position. In which prestigious publication was this article published? Please enlighten us. Since you can't spell (truelly?), your style is wanting and your syntax is not the best, it seems very doubtful that you are writing for publication unless affirmative action, or pity, is somehow in play. (Your high school paper notwithstanding.) I strongly suspect that you are merely another trolling TW poseur (as if we need another one.)

    The use of the term closed in my previous post wasn't intended to end the debate. Rather, it was used in contrast to the Open Era when GS events were closed to professionals. The various Pro Championships (US, French, Wembley) of the closed era aren't generally considered to be GS events. In Laver's era (closed), the US Championships were played on grass (at Longwood), Wembley indoors (carpet/ wood?), the French (about half clay, half indoor; although the indoor may have been clay as well.) Given the context, the usage of closed seems so obvious that it is rather sad to have to explain it to someone.

    We are in agreement that Laver was a great all surface player and should be ranked with the very best in the history of tennis. The fact that most of the tournaments he won were played on grass and clay doesn't indicate Rod was unable to play on hard courts. It was merely the circumstances of his era. Has anyone rigidly maintained that Rod's greatness is somehow diminished because he didn't win an enormous number of tournaments on painted concrete? To win on grass and clay to the extent that Laver did certainly suggests that he possessed a versatile game that worked well on both fast and slow courts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Laver won on fast grass, slow clay, faster wood, slow carpet, canvas, and anything in between.
     
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  16. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    I beg your pardon, but after reading your reply, I am astonished you called me arrogant?

    If I were to put it to you in another way. I am simply adding to what is already out there. The fact that I am expressing in simple terms that Laver was no one-trick poney, is also another reason why I continue to bring up his Pro event career.

    As to my "article". I never expressed that it was a published piece. Nor did I expect you to believe so... Rather, it is an article that I am writing and hopefully will expand on for future record.. I enjoy the history of the game, and try my hardest to allow the records stand for themselves. I also try to break things down in order to allow people to understand that tennis was at one time in history a very confussing and complex sport..

    Now when you say to me that you believe what Laver says over me, then that is fair enough. The fact that as a modest person, a guy like him will not extend to the enth degree and say that his career was far out weighing than it actually was.. Like many older gentlemen (many ex WWII vets) they will always play down their role in the events of history. So I guess I am trying to add the extra bit of fact and actually put light on the achievments that so many care to either forget for the sake of argument. Or simply dont care about.

    Now I will finish by saying that I take offence to your stupid remark about someone being a troll and poser, and find that if ever there was a kettle calling someone black then maybe you may need to relax and take a look in the proverbial mirror. Your comments are comming off just as passionate as mine, and you are making yourself the centre of this discussion.. I simply came in and added a few facts that are not other wise remembered by many..

    Do I consider you a troll? No.. But I do think that you may have a hard time hearing someone saying something that doesn' figure in your way of thinking. I also feel that with the amount of younger members on these boards, then all they talk about is what is happening today, and have no clue on yesterday. And so it erks me no end, to hear people talking about Laver and how he wouldn't be able to compete in todays environment, when all they have seen is a grainy Youtube clip of him way out of his prime playing Borg on green clay...

    I saw him play when I was a kid. He was old, but still had it. It was an exabition with Newcombe, Roach, Rosewall and the two Macs.. I was young. But it still sticks in my mind to this day.. So in getting back to the OP's original point.

    Yes, Laver and his forhand (forhands) would more than be able to compete in todays game. And on any surface.. He was also quick and strong, and so there are many players in todays game that are just as small and can still keep up.. Could Laver dominate today? Why not? Talent is a wonderful thing. Just look at Roger. He is by no means a powerful player (although he can hit hard when needed)... But rather he is a player that can (and will) hit any shot that is needed. Very much like Laver...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
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  17. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Chopin, you can still generate quite a bit of topspin these days with the newer frames, even with a continental grip, and even more with a semi-western (between the cont. (Laver) and west. grip (Nadal/Borg). So, my vote is that especially with modern equipment, Laver's forehand would have been just fine. His mechanics were awesome. Every junior should watch him and Borg hit forehands and then make their own natural adjustments in my opinion.
     
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  18. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    I read your post in a Stewie Griffin voice.
     
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  19. Danstevens

    Danstevens Semi-Pro

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    I don't really think any particular grip is an advantage or disadvantage to anyone. Yes, each different grip has its own advantages and disadvantages but you cannot say that one grip is better than another or that a particular grip wouldn't work nowadays.

    The continental grip being used to hit a forehand stroke is rare nowadays but I can't see why it wouldn't work if executed as well as Laver could. I don't honestly believe it would be as much of a disadvantage to prime Rod Laver as if you told him to play with a more "modern" grip. On the flip-side, I believe that if Laver was born in, grew up in and played in this era, he would use a different grip but that would only be because it was taught to him and the continental forehand probably wouldn't be nowadays.
     
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  20. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    it wouldn't be optimal. does that qualify as a disadvantage?

    the mechanics of a conti forehand just aren't ideal for handling a higher contact point. this isn't debatable. could he still compete? probably, he was a great athlete. stepanek's forehand is almost continental, and he's managing. but if i were trying to be the best possible tennis player in the here and now, no way in he11 do i make a conscious choice to adopt that grip.
     
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  21. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    This won't determine anything. It's not your regular forehand. I might as well play left handed to determine how well lefties do against their opponents.

    Yes, his continental forehand would be a disadvantage. We will never see another top 10 player with a continental forehand. Edberg was the last.
     
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  22. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Of course, of course.
     
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  23. Casey10s

    Casey10s Rookie

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    Pretty useless thread again. It doesn't matter how a player played 20, 30, 40, 80 years ago. If any of the players from the past grew up playing in today's game, they would be using today's strokes. Laver would not be using a continental grip to hit forehands, he would be using one of today's strokes. If Nadal played 40 years ago, he would not be hitting these heavy top spin forehands because that wasn't capable due to the technology at the time.

    Even the physical attributes would be impossible to compare. These players from the past would be using today's training techniques. All you can do is compare how they dominated or not dominated the fellow players at that time. This is even really difficult with the split of the amateurs and pros up until the late 60's. Any ranking of players from different eras is highly subjective compunded with the fact that very little movie footage of the old time players exists.

    Through the years, even the importance of tournaments have changed. Up until about 15 to 20 years ago, the Australian Open hardly ever had the draws that the other Slams did. I don't put much weight on the winners of the AO in the 70's and most of the 80's due to the weaker fields. A lot of this I think had to due with the traveling. Tournaments have come and gone as well as their importance has grown and fallen.

    Trying to compare how a player from the 70's using their style in today's game is idiotic as well as taking a player from today and putting them in the past using that era's style and technology.
     
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  24. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    forget it, jake. It's Chinatown.
     
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  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Laver had such a huge forearm that he could hit gobs of topspin off either side with his grip--when he wished to.

    The advantage of a semi-western or full western forehand is that it allows us mere mortals to impart topspin to our forehands, without having to squeeze tennis balls for 5 hours a day for 10 years.

    Is the semi-western grip better? That's like asking if blue is inherently better than red? Let's not criticize Michelangelo for using more of one or the other.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
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  26. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I ask you again: why does no pro use a continental forehand (and very few use eastern)? Is it because they're not good enough? Not strong enough? Only 5'8" Laver had the strength to impart topspin with a continental?

    Give me your answer, old friend, and I'll give you mine.

    Regards,
    Chopin
     
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  27. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Guys, I'd like to thank you for bringing this thread back to life. It's like finding a valuable antique, no?

    Thanks,
    Chopin (leader of a new TT order)
     
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  28. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    Just stupid.. This is how I know that you are causing trouble..

    Here's a question for you.. Why aren't any pro's using wooden racquets?

    Seriously man, grow up....
     
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  29. Chopin

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    They're not using wooden racquets because there are better options in the modern game. Same thing with the continental forehand.

    My point is that if you put Laver in a time machine and forced him to play with a continental grip in the modern game he'd lose to nobodies. Yet, many TT posters make the argument that Laver's raw level of tennis play (not just his level of achievement) is higher than Federer.

    My poll and thread subtly shows this absurdity. The people who look silliest in it are not me, but those who attack me and claim to understand the game yet make outlandish comments about Laver as if he were God.
     
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  30. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Is this masterpiece collection vol. 1? Can I get my money back here?
     
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  31. Darth_Timmaayyy!!

    Darth_Timmaayyy!! Banned

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    Its funny. Every time I read one of his threads. Why is it that I feel as though my opinion has already been made up for me?
     
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  32. Chopin

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    No. In fact, this is one of the early period works that someone has rediscovered for love of Chopin.
     
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  33. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Not really. Likewise, a continental grip is better for backhand volleys than a western forehand. Agreed? Or no? In general, I would say the grip that puts the meat of the hand behind the racket, straight into the ball, is the better grip, the prime exception being a continental grip on the high forehand volley. But on a low forehand volley, where you're sort of carving under the ball, the meat of the hand is behind the racket.
    I think for a long time tennis was way more dogmatic. People might say otherwise, but in terms of stroke production and grips, pro tennis has way more variety now. Granted, I'm basing this on seeing mostly tapes of the old stuff (old stuff = 70's and before). When I was first learning, without any instruction, I started playing with an eastern forehand. To me, that was the natural grip to use. Maybe because I played baseball. I would never think of swinging a bat with my right hand in a continental grip.

    The first guy I took lessons from though told me to change my forehand grip to a continental grip. He has a continental forehand. Big surprise. He was probably in his early 30's in the late 80's, so probably learned to play in the 60's. He told me that changing grips was cumbersome. Of course, by then, there were already several players who changed grips, but he said this with conviction. I tried a few continental forehands and it felt totally weird. At this time, I thought teaching pros had magical advice and I would someday go pro. I was a dumb kid. But even then, I knew the continental forehand wasn't for me. I tried it a few more times than went back to eastern, and my grip slowly became semi-western, and 4 years later it was a western. At the time, I remember pros, especially the older ones, telling me a western forehand was bad. But it seemed to work for me, in the juniors I was known for having a big forehand.

    It was just dogma. Same grip for every shot, changing grips is complicated and you can't do it accurately, etc, was just unchallenged tennis dogma for a number of years far as I can tell. Along with a closed stance and following through so the racket is pointed at the target. All that stuff has been debunked. People are now taking a way more scientific, empirical approach, less of a dogmatic one. I haven't seen a recreational player with a good continental forehand EVER. I saw a teaching pro with one about a year ago. He was obviously a very serious player at one time. Anyway...
     
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  34. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    True. But that would make the semi-western grip just the dogma of today.

    In 20 years someone will claiming that the Hawaiian grip is the intrinsically best grip of all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
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  35. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    hoodjem - it's only dogma if they did it years ago. ;)
     
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  36. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Interesting post 35ft6. In fact, you're my Gold Star Poster of the Week.

    I know of exactly one recreational player who has a continental grip for his forehand and he's quite a good old-school player, though he can't really bang from the baseline with younger guys.

    I'm not saying it's impossible to play with this grip, but overall, it would be a disadvantage in the modern game and would be a hindrance of Laver's ability to compete.

    The reason people don't use it now is that there are grips that are mechanically superior given today's racquets, balls and conditions. It's a simple matter of physics.
     
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  37. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    CyBorg, it's outstanding to see you posting in my threads once again. Keep this up and you might become one of my Gold Star Posters of the Week.

    Kind regards,
    The Maestro
     
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  38. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for participating, guys. The poll is beginning to heat up. 9-9. I'm anxious to see how this ends...
     
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  39. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Nah. It's not the same. The continental grip has intrinsic shortcomings that will be just as real today as it will be in 20 or 1000 years. You missed the whole point of my post.

    If you think differently become a teaching pro who teaches all his students a continental forehand and have them go out and prove everybody wrong. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
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  40. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, too late. My career is already set.

    I do think that as technology changes (racquet materials, strings, court surfaces "evolve"?), teaching pros will change their minds about what is best.

    I helped out at a school tennis clinic a couple of years ago, and the coaches brought in this teaching pro from a local tennis club facility. He started at the very outset teaching the beginner kids Western forehand grips and extremely loopy windshield-wiper strokes (This was during the Nadal ascendancy phase). Because the kids' timing was not the greatest most of them had trouble even hitting the ball, then after a while when they did connect the balls were going almost straight up and over the fence. On the backhand, it was all about the superiority of the two-handed backhand.

    I believe that teaching pros will teach whatever the "hottest" player is using. And people will convince themselves of the inherent superiority of same. In the case of tennis, the "best" seems to what works best for the pros at that time.

    Theory follows practice. Explanation bows to reality.

    All this X is the GOAT, and X uses this stroke. Ergo, this stroke must be the best. Case closed. (Until we have a new X with a different stoke.)
     
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  41. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Except that with the academy tennis of today, these kinds of trends are more global and all-encompassing than in the past when there existed more unique styles from country to country.
     
    #41
  42. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    OK. But some players do use eastern (Haas), some players do use semi-western (Federer), and some players do use full western (Djokovic). All three major grips are represented (and in between).

    Yet, why does no one use a continental?
     
    #42
  43. asafi2

    asafi2 Rookie

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    Fed uses an eastern grip mainly and changes his grip based on the type of shot he wants to hit.
     
    #43
  44. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    In my experience, this is far from true.
    I think novice players will try to imitate the top players. Also, they will buy Fed's racket and Nike clothes. But if you look around these boards, people hate on all kinds of pro strokes, from Roddick's slice to Murray's pushing to Nadal's forehand.
    Again, based on what goes on in these boards, Nadal is almost underrated, so I disagree with you. Not to mention Fed's "weak" backhand.

    Anyway, as technology improves, people will still be using continental grip for serves and volleys, and we will never see a continental grip forehand in the top 10 again. Now it's more about "use what works." Dogma is the only reason I can explain the continental grip prevailing for so long.
     
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  45. sp00q

    sp00q Rookie

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    Richard Gasquet?
     
    #45
  46. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    He doesn't have a continental forehand.

    Last guy I saw with one in the top 100 was Gianlucca Pozzi.
     
    #46
  47. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Because they all start when they're kids. And when you're a kid, EVERY DAMN BALL is shoulder high. That's why the new trend is teaching them to hit with SW and W grips.

    And look at your examples: The guy with the closer grip to Continental is the oldest one. And the guy closer to Western is the youngest one.

    Uh-hmmm.
     
    #47
  48. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I remember a book in the 1960's called "How to Play Championship Tennis" by Rod Laver and some ghost. It wasn't as much an instructional book as a reminiscense, but it talked about strokes and I don't think Laver considered his forehand a continental, maybe an eastern edging toward a continental.

    And isn't a big part of this the oft-discussed demise of the net-rusher, who benefited by minimizing grip shifts, in favor of the baseline banger?

    Anyway, Laver was great. I agree with others that in the modern game he would be using different technology and techniques that he did in the sixties. And Galileo would use a better telescope.
     
    #48
  49. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Wouldn't one player use it though if it's such a great grip for the modern game?? Just one?

    No one has answered my question so I'll give you the answer myself: the grip is a major disadvantage in this day and age and Laver would be trounced by today's pros if he made no adjustments to his technique.

    I don't disagree that certain strokes are easier to learn as a kid (two handed backhand versus one) but I wouldn't say the western grip is easy to learn compared with an eastern, so I don't completely buy your logic. Regardless, the eastern, semi-western and western all have major advantages of a continental in the modern game and this is certainly the main reason why continental is not taught. It's a relic grip for a different era of faster courts, less spin producing racquets and strings and serve and volley tactics. Unless tennis changes dramatically in the opposite direction that it is going, we will never see it become a popular grip ever again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
    #49
  50. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, the outgoing thesis is false. According to all kind of sources, including his own writings and a technical standard work by Paul Douglas, Laver didn't play with a pure continental grip, it was at least a semi-continental grip.
     
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