Tennisguy777's One-handed backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Tennisguy777, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    No, your footwork is not okay. It still needs work. However, you do need to fix that backswing you have because it is killing your backhand.
     
    #51
  2. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    I agree he should work on Bill's advice at this point, to the exlusion of other things. Except one.

    Bill - I know folks shouldn't try to work too many things at once if they want it to be effective. However, don't you think he should focusing at least on getting that shoudler turn and racket takeback timed with the bounce of the ball - which he is currently doing so late I feel he will have big problems making any other mechanics he is working on rushed? Your thoughts please.
     
    #52
  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    What I tried to point out to you is that your hitting hand pattern is a difficult one to master and provided you don't have impecible movement and can spend hours perfecting it, I suggest you use a hand pattern that Blake, Federer, Haas, and others use. The benefits of doing this are:

    1. It is just as effective.

    2. It is easier to master

    3. It is flexible for all surfaces and ball speeds.

    4. It has less movement to help improve your chances to hit on time and cleanly.

    Lets look at this closer. Take a look again at Richard Gasquet. He uses a circular hand pattern and for lack of better words, I call it the C pattern. The hand path is very long and you need to have excellent timing to use this hand path.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsdv5-eC3PY

    Now, I am not going to sit here and say "he does it wrong." What I am trying to say is not many people can utilize this backswing and do well with it. We cant forget that these players are eilite athletes and they have the gifts from our good Lord to utilize them.

    You have a backswing like Richard Gasquet. Or at least it resembles it. Obviously, you lack the training he has had, but if we shape your hand path to his, it follows the same path pretty much.

    Now, lets take a look at other players and see what hand path they have chosen to use.

    Guga uses long hand path that resembles your hand path. Again, very difficult to duplicate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq5TiFtNF-I&feature=related The hitting hand rises and goes back and it is not necessarily linked to the shoulder turn. It sort of does its own thing.

    And to be fair, I did see some clips where Guga went with more of a "smile" pattern in other clips I couldnt find. I dont know he changed this to be more competitive on hard courts or what.

    Gaudio here uses a modified "smile" pattern, however, he brings his hitting hand real far back and high: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0xZVU0sD6A

    Federer uses a smile pattern: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RORTYH588cE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX7CcDIkMhE&feature=related

    And you have seen the Blake and Haas videos which shows them also using the "smile" pattern.

    The interesting thing about tennis is many times you hit the ball and hit the ball without realizing the technique that you are engraining is detrimental to your game. Over time you cant figure out what is holding back the stroke. So people just accept that the stroke is difficult and takes years and years to learn. In some cases this is true, however, in many cases learning good technique, even with just the backswing can make all the difference in the world.

    Now, take skiing. Many people can get on skiis and take off. It doesnt take long before you are riding down some blue square paths and are feeling good about yourself. Then there comes the time where you look at the steep bowl and say to yourself, "how tough can it be?" So, you decide to take the chair lift way up to the top of that bowl. And as you look down (which doesnt allow you to see what you are about to go down), you suddenely start to question your training, your technique, your ability to sustain and manage the speed. In other words, you start looking for the cat paths to get the heck out of there!

    If tennis had life or death consequences to hitting with poor techinique, we would have a lot of people more interested in learning to hit a tennis ball the right way. Or at least a correct way they can manage.

    Change the backswing, please. For the onehander, this is a critical technical aspect of the stroke. Becuase your hitting arm is in front, your eyes behind the hitting arm, and that you need to hit the ball in front of you, using a hitting hand pattern that you can manage will help you hit more balls on time and cleanly.
     
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  4. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, that puts you in rare company. I suspected you weren't playing your best in viewing your video. Since you weren't playing your best, I was assuming that there were elements of your form that were not as good as you usually play them. Rather than critique the form shown on the video, which I assumed (correctly I guess) wasn't your typical form, I obviously chose to comment on other elements of your game.

    Glad to hear things are better for you than the video shows. One word of advice, when posting videos always make the quality of the play as close to matchplay as possible. Either a true match, playing a set with your buddy, but really trying your best or even points. It is extremely difficult to give meaningful advice on a video if you are not trying your utmost.
     
    #54
  5. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    Ok, I'll get to work on the backhand and will post a video in another week or so. Thanks for the feedback so far!
     
    #55
  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I suspected? Hahahahahah, no you didnt!!! You borrowed everyone else's comments as your own. You had no idea what to look for in a stroke!

    Give me a break!!!

    Even if he wasnt trying with his "utmost" it was extremely easy to see the backswing issue.
     
    #56
  7. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well, before you do. Do you understand what I am saying and seeing? Do you understand the references I gave (videos) to compare your backswing to someone like Federers?

    I hae coached many players with onehanders and have a posted article on John Yandells site concerning the onehanded backhand. Besides footwork, the backswing is one of the most common problem areas that onehanders have.
     
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  8. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    Well I just used VLC media player and played the video back 3 times slower and I do see what I am doing wrong. For 1 on the take back right before contact I open the face causing me to lose power and control also I am contacting it below the center / sweet spot of racquet. I also noticed what you meant about the smile pattern my pattern is more like start low, contact the ball low and then end up high! It should be start high, take racquet back, drop racquet to appropriate height and then finish high!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
    #58
  9. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    You're missing the point here. Pay attention to the pattern of your HAND, not your racquet. You're making a loop instead of the smile pattern that is advisable for a one hander. I missed this in your first video because you were so far away, but the second video made this quite clear.

    You should not start with your hitting hand up high like you say here. Reread Bill's posts again, because you clearly missed something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
    #59
  10. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Backhand

    You’re setting up too close to the line of the approaching ball, which forces you to pull across your body on the forward swing, instead of hitting out like you should.

    Also, your shoulders should not lean over or ahead of where you plant your crossover step. Your center of gravity is beyond your left foot on a lot of those balls. Try to keep your shoulders up, between both feet and more directly over your hips.

    At times you may need to take a step back with your right foot before you step into the ball with your left.

    MG
     
    #60
  11. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You first have to solve this pattern. The other things that people are mentioning like footwork, lining up are important as well. But we can line you up, get your footwork better, but as long as you have this kink in your swing, you will hit late, misshit, and will not be able to maximize what you will be improving below.

    Believe me, I am big on footwork and the like, but this hitch needs to be solved.

    You also didnt understand what I was saying.

    You need to go back and trace the hitting hand pattern/path of blake, federer, haas, and others.

    Draw a line on how the hitting hand goes back. Watch how the hitting hand doesnt really move from the naval area as the shoulders are turning. In other words, the shoulders are taking the racquet back and once they turn, you can see a smile pattern to bring the racquet back slightly farther and higher for the drop and forward swing.

    Draw a line and watch the Blake video becaise I believe it provides the best visual on how this works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTyyITw-fyo

    Watch how the weight transfer forward is in sync with his forward swing. This is critical to understand because the onehanded backhand is a FRONT foot hitting stroke. You cant afford to have your weight transfer out of sync with your forward swing. If you have a long hitting hand path and you are ready to transfer your weight forward, you will be out of sync a lot. Further, if you try to introduce footwork training on top of this it will only complicate matters. The lining up will mainly take care of itself through other interventions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
    #61
  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Methinks this is getting a bit personal as I wasn't responding to you.

    I did in fact suspect that, why else would I be the lone poster not to address what the OP specifically asked for (an eval of his BH stroke on video), as everyone else did? Your knowledge of me is identical to my knowledge of you --> namely zero. Hence why in this exchange I have never once commented on you personally.

    Yes, you are right, faults in his stroke were easy to see, however that is rendered moot if he isn't really using his matchplay stroke.
     
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  13. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    #63
  14. Djokovicfan4life

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    You're still making a loop here. You may want to think of the take back as simply straight back, straight forward. This may help you to solve this problem.
     
    #64
  15. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    In that case, Tennisguy may want to follow the backhand progressions at FYB.

    FYB One handed backhand progressions page

    The last video of the multi-part video includes adding the loop as the last stage. The next to last has Will hitting straight arm.

    If that's the case, Tennisguy may want to slow down the ball machine and let it his shorter, and he can practice more technique, less hitting hard, and as soon as that is grooved, start adding more loop and swing.
     
    #65
  16. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Bill,
    Sorry to get off-topic. But the video link you sent is really helpful. I am having some issues with my BH also. I use the "Hennin" extreme BH grip and want to change it. I watched Blake's clip and a few more. I noticed the the Sampras BH/FH slow-mo. What grips is Blake, Sampras and Edberg using? They seem to all be a little different. I want to get more consistent. What grip would be easier/more controlled and not a total 180 degree from my grip now? Thanks and great stuff on this thread.
     
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  17. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    Blake uses an eastern backhand grip.
     
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  18. Azzurri

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    Like J. Henin?
     
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  19. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    I did a lot, especially her backhand, until she abandoned us!
     
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  20. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    what about Blake?:)
     
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  21. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    This is kind of amusing form of confusion.

    Azzurri goes "Like Henin" as a short form of "Did Blake hit his Eastern backhand like Henin did?". Tennisplayer777 interprets that to mean "Do you like Henin?", which he does, until she had retired.
     
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  22. tenzinrocks

    tenzinrocks Rookie

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    It's funny how there's over a 1,000 views on this but your video only has half of that
     
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  23. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    Not so surprising really. There are people following the discussion that have looked at the video a few times, but they don't check the video out each time they come to this thread. It would say something else if there were 1000 unique views, but the video had half that. I'm guessing 1000 views includes repeated visits.
     
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  24. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    Yes she uses an eastern.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
    #74
  25. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    I listened to you guys and I today I couldn't hit a backhand to save my life, even the ones I hit on the videos. It was really pitiful. So about after an hour I worked on the backhand slice and volley.
     
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  26. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    Even such efforts are worth making a video of. There are two things that could be going on. First, the muscle memory of your current hitting style are in conflict with the deliberate change in style. This is causing you to fight the way you want to hit, and producing a result that's worse. Second, you may still be doing something incorrectly despite the changes.

    Although such videos are embarrassing, they are probably worth putting up just to see what is going on. This is one place, alas, that a coach, who can continuously give you feedback can help out. By listening to TW, then going back and hitting, then making a video, then coming back, the feedback loop is not very tight, so running into such problems is likely to happen.

    So the question is: are you willing to put up video of what you've done?
     
    #76
  27. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    I was so embarrassed with myself that I didn't even take camera out of my bag! The thought did cross my mind once to take videos but I quickly reminded myself, no way, not today! I'll take vids on Monday no matter how egregoiusly I play.
     
    #77
  28. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    At the very least, if you don't want to post it, take a look at it and see what went wrong.
     
    #78
  29. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    what backhand grip does Blake use? It's not like Henin's (from the video). Henin uses an extreme EBH grip, does Blake just use an Eastern BH grip?
     
    #79
  30. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    [​IMG]

    I think it's her swing and follow through that is extreme. Her backhand is very similar to Federer's too.
     
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  31. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    #81
  32. Azzurri

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    good pic. that grip is extreme eastern.:) I believe its a western FH grip. Fed does not use this grip and neither does Blake. So I am wondering exactly what Blake's is because he seems to be between Justine and Roger. To be clear, Justine uses a different grip than Roger and Blake. I want to know the name of the grip Blake uses. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
    #82
  33. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I have always believed based on pictures that BLake is using an Eastern backhand grip. Tough to tell sometimes and I could be wrong. I think John Yandell would know for sure.
     
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  34. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    Now back to Henin pic. It's true a picture is worth a thousand words.
    1. notice how her wrist / hand is not straight but at about 120 degree angle to her forearm. If you do it properly there should be a wrinkle on your wrist. I tend to not do this.
    2. Now when she swings is she swinging from her arm or shoulder or hips, or all 3 together?
     
    #84
  35. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    #85
  36. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    From the few pictures I saw his backhand looks extreme, extreme eastern to continental! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
    #86
  37. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    From the few pictures I saw his backhand looks extreme, extreme eastern to continental! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
    #87
  38. foLster

    foLster Rookie

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    Your favourite shot? :)
     
    #88
  39. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Hey tennisguy777. I thought your backhand was decent in the first vid. Nothing spectacular, but certainly usable. Reading this thread, I understand that you can totally space out when trying to concentrate on all the specifics everyone gets hung up on from time to time, but what happens in matches when you are just trying to win points?
     
    #89
  40. hellonewbie

    hellonewbie Rookie

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    Your backhand looks o.k., maybe somewhat inconsistent because your footwork doesn't seem to get you set up to hit the same way everytime. You can try smaller and quicker steps to remedy that. One thing that really bothered me though is that you kind of "cheated" in your set up by always starting in the backhand stance even in between shots. Maybe it'll help out your footwork some if you always go back to facing the court after every shot, so the way you approach each backhand is more resembling of actual play.
     
    #90
  41. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    Keywords highlighted, haha :) so true. Well in matches I used to chip and slice and try to survive the onslaught against good players. At the 4.0 level and 4.5 level players it was usually ok meaning I'd have a lot of mistakes into net. I'd get beat like 6-3, 6-4 against 4.5 players and the reason was because the backhand was attacked. Usually beat 4.0 players. My problem was that my backhand was not a weapon, it was a defensive shot just to keep me in points. And this was a problem for me, I wanted a weapon not just an inconsistent usable backhand as I plan to play tournaments and get serious this Spring.
     
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  42. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    While at work with nothing to do I have developed a unique take back method since that seems to be one of the problems for me. Look at the the first Blake pic and notice where his non hitting hand is, I am going to put the thumb on bottom and fingers on top this way I'll get more stability from non hitting arm and shoulder Like this picture before racquet drops down and swings through contact point. It also forces me to step into the ball. This is all theory we'll find out if it works tomorrow morning.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
    #92
  43. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    the second take was better but still it is the shoulders that bring your racquet back. Loosen up the hitting arm a bit.

    Let me try to explain the feeling.

    Hold your racquet with your hitting hand on the handle in your preferred grip and your non-hitting hand cradling the throat of the racquet just like you would when you take the racquet back.

    Hold it out in front of you. Now, without turning your shoulders and with racquet in front, rock the racquet back and forth like it is a baby in your hands. If you are paying attention, you should be able to outline or trace a smile pattern being made by your hitting hand as it rocks back and forth and back and forth. Your shoulders should be helping make this pattern as well.

    If you get this, all you need to do is add the shoulder turn when you rock the racquet towards your left.

    So in essence, all that is really happening is your shoulders are turning and your hitting hand staying with it and when the shoulders are nearly turned, the hitting hand rocks back and up a bit further to make the first half of the smile pattern.

    Try to keep the finish position of the first half of the smile pattern within the shoulders for racquet control in the forward swing and drop.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
    #93
  44. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Blake is in a an Eastern and leans towards a full eastern. It is sometimes difficult to tell. I am surre at times he might put it in a full eastern.

    Sampras is Eastern and Edberg is continental.

    I would use a full eastern in your case.

    Is there a specific problem you are having with the Extreme Eastern?
     
    #94
  45. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    I really like his backhand! What grip does he use, aside from high takeback? It seems so simple and fluid!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
    #95
  46. Valdez737

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    Find the guy with the best 1HB you can find make frds with him ask him to help you out.
     
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  47. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Tennisguy777,

    Now you are messing with the devil. Gugas backhand is a darn good backhand but one that is difficult to imitate due to the long hitting hand pattern in the backswing, the big swing in both the takeback and the forward swing, and considering Gugas flexibility.

    I strongly suggest that you stop looking at pros and start looking and studying the simple fundamentals that makeup a onehander. Let your mastery of these fundamentals shape and form your onehanded backhand which will be unique to you but well be within the best practices of a good onehanded backhand.

    Guga uses an extreme eastern backhand grip.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
    #97
  48. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Wait a second, there's more than one eastern grip, eastern and full eastern? I'm confused now. I always thought that there was just one, with your top knuckle resting on the 1st bevel. :confused:
     
    #98
  49. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well technically speaking there is and it also depends on who you talked too. :)

    Eastern is rotated toward the edge between a continental and a full eastern

    Full Eastern is with the base knuckle of the index finger on the top bevel.

    Extreme Eastern is rotated further to the bevel that you would normally place your base knuckle of the index finger on for a SW grip. Usually there is no confusing between people on what an Extreme Eastern is except I have heard different names for it.

    And even still, to some both of the ones described above can be called "Eastern Grip". It is sort of like saying that I have a "mild" SW grip for my forehand.

    It also is sort of like people calling the twist serve a kick serve and the topspin serve a kick serve.

    I hope that confuses you further. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
    #99
  50. Djokovicfan4life

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    Nah, I'm fairly knowledgable about grips and such, I just never heard of an eastern as a grip between continental and full eastern before. If that's the case then I slice with an eastern and hit my topspin backhands with a full eastern.

    I've experimented very breifly with the extreme eastern grip (or semi western as some people call it) and it definitely helps a lot on the high balls. But since I play on hard courts I wonder whether it's worth it in the end since the majority of the balls to my backhand bounce from knee to waist height.

    I should probably just stick with my full eastern.

    P.S. I have no clue how anybody can be confortable slicing the ball with a continental. It feels so weird to me.
     

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