Semi-Western? Well actually Eastern!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by newpball, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Today on the court I talked with someone about grips and he started telling me about his semi-western grip. Thing is I was absolutely sure he was playing an Eastern grip. :)

    Didn't want to argue it after all what is in a name but it was not the first time that I saw players 'inflate' their grips westwards.

    Is it common, do you see it as well?
     
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  2. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    'semi-western' seems to be one of most vague, misused, misunderstood terms in tennis. I see and hear it all the time. I recently heard a teaching pro, who should know better, describe Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as both using semi-western forehand grips. I see a huge difference in their grips, to the point that there is no way the same term can be used to describe both. I would say such confusion is not at all uncommon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
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  3. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I recall someone on this board going on about old school terminology regarding grips. Back in the day what we call eastern was considered a semi western then
     
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  4. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    That was Limpinhitter. He hasn't posted in a while, but he knows a lot of stuff from back in the day.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    One indicator, ready position with both hands on the racket....
    Conti grip and Eastern grip, racket face is vertical, perpendicular to the ground.
    SW grip, racketface is facing about 45 degrees downwards.
    Full W, racketface likes to face horizontally dowward, parallel to the ground.
    A player can, thru his arm, force the racket to face differently, of course.
    My ready position, strong SW, lay's the racketface facing down at around 15 degrees from dead flat to the ground. Of course, I can force it to face beyond straight down at the ground to almost vertical, but it's a strain.
     
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  6. tennis_hack

    tennis_hack Banned

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    What do you mean 'inflate' their grips? As in semi-western is somehow better or 'cooler' than eastern? And Hawiian trumps all? So people lie about how extreme their grips are?

    The guy probably just didn't know he was using an eastern, or maybe a conservative semi-western like Agassi?
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    :)
    Friend of mine, a very good player (better than me), uses the same face of the racket for every shot.
    He says it's an eastern forehand grip.:(
     
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  8. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I saw a video on youtube that described it very well. With the butt of your racquet facing you, number the flats of the handle. Top is one, first diagonal is two, flat parallel to the stringbed is three, bottom diagonal is four.

    If the Vee between your thumb and forefinger is resting on one, that is a continental FH. If it is on two, that is eastern. Three is SW, four is western.
     
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  9. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    BTW, I believe Fed is eastern and Nole is SW.
     
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  10. corners

    corners Legend

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    That may be. I recently did a Google Image survey of "Borg Forehand" and found zero evidence that he hit with western, or semi-western. I would say he hit his forehand with an eastern grip, or strong eastern at most. Very similar to Fed's grip, actually.

    And yet it's easy to find tons of articles wherein the great Swede's grip is described as "western."
     
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  11. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Not any better when it comes to the Western grip.

    Check this YouTube video.
    Western Grip? Really?
    Handshake grip is Eastern? Really?

    http://youtu.be/FJy_ZuQKcOI

    And then "more advanced", really?
    I suppose Federer needs lessons from those experts to become more advanced :)

    Another "Western" grip?
    Perhaps I need to visit my optometrist?
    http://youtu.be/juj4L8vF-vg

    "Full Western" grip?
    http://youtu.be/JdunzHXXBv8
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
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  12. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Nole is close to full W. Nadal is SW. Roger is E-SW or strong E.
     
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  13. Stroke

    Stroke Rookie

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    This is accurate. All one has to to to determine their fh grip is grip the racquet in their normal fh grip and then go to your contact point. Without changing your hand position, just open your hand and check out the palm position relative to the court. 90 degrees would be eastern. Back of hand parallel to court would be western. Anywhere in between would be semi western, to a more or less severe extent.
     
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  14. BevelDevil

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    It also depends on whether they are looking at the index knuckle, the "V", or the heel pad to determine the grip. It's possible to have your index knuckle on a different bevel from your heel pad, which may cause some confusion.
     
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  15. oldschoolrules

    oldschoolrules New User

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    In "My Life and Game," Borg (and/or Gene Scott, his co-author) actually described his forehand grip as being semi-western but many today would probably see it as "strong" eastern or "weak" southwestern. I think that over the last several years there has been a subtle shift in how the grips are identified by instructors. The eastern forehand (traditionally found by "shaking hands" with the racquet or running the flat palm of the hand from the string bed to the handle) seems to have remained the same but all the others have moved over about a half-bevel or so from where they used to be taught. For example, we used to refer to the full western as the "frying pan" grip. Lay the racquet flat on the ground, pick it up like a skillet and, viola, western forehand. Now it seems that move would be seen as creating more of a semi-western grip as it doesn't result in the index knuckle being centered on bevel 5. Same with the eastern backhand. Index knuckle on bevel 1, like Federer, used to be considered an "extreme" eastern - now it's the standard.

    It appears to me as though these shifts occurred as a result of the eventual acceptance of mid and oversize racquets as the norm. With an old Kramer Pro Staff one could not get too extreme with their grips (moving the plane of the string bed away from being perpendicular to the court) as it would dramatically increase the likelihood of a mis-hit. As such, the change in hand position from eastern forehand to continental to eastern backhand was described as being much more subtle than it is today.
     
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  16. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    oldschool,

    Nice explanation. Back in the day most players used a continental grip for FH and BH. That's why most pros had forearms the size of a man's thigh. It required a lot of wrist strength to hit FH's or volley with those frames.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The usual tips about "handshake" or "picking up the racket from a flat position" are misleading, because with subtly different movements, they can be conti or eastern.
     
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