Originally Posted by cjs
Do your coaches tell you why? Are you talking about volleys or hitting balls on the bounce?
On the bounce. A forehand groundstroke just like the Federer shot 1:05 into the video...
The coach thinks that one should go into their "short game" mode when at the net and switch to Cont grip. And this makes sense since the vast majority of shots at the net (volleys, overheads) will be hit with the Cont grip... On the relatively few cases where I have to hit a forehand, I have trouble switching my grip, especially with faster net exchanges in doubles...
And when I do manage to change grips for the forehand at the net, I start falling back into the habit of using a forehand grip for volleys... That's why I was considering going with the idea of switching to Cont for all shots at net -- makes things simpler.
Originally Posted by rkelley
Back to the Fed video, I think he went with his normal fh grip because the ball was hit out wide to his fh and he wanted to get some topspin on it with a bit of pace. Nadal was up at the net, so Fed knew that going dtl with just a bit of pace would be enough to get it past Nadal for a winner. It would have been more difficult to hit it as hard as he did and with as much topspin with a cont. grip and keep it in.
Now if Nadal had been on the baseline and Fed would have hit that same shot, Fed would have just been feeding Nadal an easy sitter. In this scenario I think Fed might have stayed in cont. and angled the ball cc, as parallel to the net as possible. A drop shot with back spin would have been another response, also in cont.
Assuming you're still reading this, that cont. grip is generally a good choice for the low and close stuff because you're probably not going to be trying to come over the ball, but rather get underneath it, create some angles and/or backspin, and probably be ready for a volley.
Yes, that makes sense...
In the case of Federer, Will from FYB examined thousands of video clips and found that Federer never changed his forehand grip.
I assume Will was also looking at forehands up at the net (not just baseline), and if that is the case, Federer would be hitting with the same grip even if Nadal was at the baseline.