How hard to grip the handle on serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Funbun, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

    Aug 6, 2009
    How hard do you hold the handle on the serve compared to, say, groundstrokes?

    When I pronate (especially on kick serves), I sometimes let go of the racquet and it hits the ground in front of me really hard. Do pros tend to hold the racquet with a tighter grip in order to prevent this from happening?

    I look like an absolute fool sometimes, and I just resolve with hold the racquet tighter for later serves.

    Or... should I have a loose grip first, but tighten grip on contact?

    I read somewhere that you were supposed to hold the handle relatively loose, but on the swing, I would literally throw my racquet.
  2. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

    Jun 2, 2008
    in my room
    On serves I hold the grip higher than on groundstrokes to have a more secure grip.
  3. Jaewonnie

    Jaewonnie Professional

    Mar 2, 2009
    I always grip low. A quarter of my palm hangs off from the edge of the frame. Sounds weird but more leverage :)
  4. myservenow

    myservenow Semi-Pro

    Sep 27, 2007
    On serves, I grip lower and loose. Not too loose, but definitely not too tight. I basically blew my arm out this summer serving in a match holding a death grip on my racquet. Someone here on the board advised me to loosely hold the racquet. I tried it and my tennis elbow healed and has stayed away since.
  5. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Most of the energy in a good serve is about cranking out decent racquet head speed to make either pace or spin on the ball. If you're using a death grip on the racquet, that tension in your arm will kill a lot of the looseness for good motion over the top. Loose is good so long as you're not air mailing your racquet.

    It sounds to me like you could consider getting the flare at the base of your grip built up just a bit more. I find that a grip that's too flat down at the butt cap feels like it can launch on me too easily and that forces me to grip too hard. It could be as simple as rewrapping either your replacement grip or your overgrip with an extra turn at the bottom end. With enough of that flare at the base of the grip, I can pretty much hold the racquet with only my thumb, middle, and index fingers when I serve hard. If your grip or overgrip seems too slick for you, it might be smart to try something that's more tacky, too.

    I'll also note that while I use a rather loose grip for my serves compared with most everything else, I take just a bit firmer grip for my topspin/kick serves than I do for flat and slice serves. Maybe it helps me to maintain a proper angle with my racquet face.
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    BUTTCAP !!
    Use it or lose the racket.
  7. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Feb 7, 2009
    Cardiff, UK
    well common sense demands that the tennis player holds the racquet tightly enough to prevent it from flying out of her hands. :)

    I suppose it's all about trial and error to see what you consider 'tight' enough.

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