Originally Posted by boramiNYC
There is absolutely no need for more extreme grip because the wrist control can achieve that.
This is not a very convincing point...
1-You want a slightly closed face at contact to get top spin;
2-Some people have trouble getting the right angle with milder grips.
3-The only extensive study I have access to suggest that there is no reason
to think, as common wisdom supports, that grips inherently affect topspin.
Furthermore, there are more than just one isolated case of extreme grip backhand on the pro tours of both genders. Henin is an obvious one... and she's a very telling example, actually. She's 5'-6'', barely reaching 125 pounds and hits that shot consistently.
A common problem for one handed backhands at the amateur level is their consistency. Part of that is an obvious consequence of the player's learning experience, but some of it might be using an unfit grip. Maybe they have troubles generating spin... If you hit a nice stroke, but can't find a safe rally depth, changing absolutely nothing but the angle of the racket at contact would make it a perfect shot.
I think that if amateurs were using a slightly less conservative grip on their one handed backhand, they'd be more easily capable of compensating for these issues. I do not intend to solve all problems with this... the argument I make is that it could solve a problem such as mine -- I can really crack backhands hard, I can rally with them a bit, but the distance is not safe enough and I have troubles getting the extra spin. It's not a ton more spin, but just as with my forehand before I improved it, this little extra is the difference between extensive control and approximate control.
I'll obviously try it this summer (I always thought it would make it hard for me to hit big, until recently) and I will be able to talk about it personally. As for the scientific support, we do have reasons to believe it might actually make some differences, as a matter of comfort and in specific cases. For instance, it can't turn bad swings into good ones and it won't turn a flat shot into a loopy one, but it can affect the spin/pace ratio of a clean stroke given personal habits.