Miscommunication with grips.

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
I thought the forehand semi western grip was heel pad on bevel 3 and index knuckle on bevel 4, like 1 month ago. This was what I used and often times I had trouble keeping the racket face closed.

What grip is this? Semi western, or modified eastern?

Naturally I noticed that I would shift my heel pad on the edge. And I was having better luck keeping the racket face closed. I thought this was an extreme SW grip.

After doing research I found out that the majority of websites say that the heel pad and index knuckle should both be on bevel 4 for the SW grip. So then I decided to put my heel pad completely on bevel 4. And if I hit up and out I get tons of spin, height and depth. Flattening it is a lot harder though. The best luck I have had in this regard is hitting a heavy ball with low margin over the net. Often times if I go back to my original swing path the ball hits the bottom of the net.

So is this actually the SW grip? Where do most people keep the heel pad because it seems to significantly affect the spin potential and swing path
 
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Slicerman

Semi-Pro
The heel pad that people refer to is the bottom corner of the palm. Tennis grip positions should have the index knuckle and heel pad approximately on the same bevel. The way you describe your original grip position, that may indicate an open racquet face. That same grip can be made closed as well, but would require wrist tension to maintain. By putting both parts on the same bevel you can achieve a closed racquet face with a relaxed wrist. An open racquet face can be issue because it becomes nearly impossible to control the ball and keep the ball in play when using any decent amount of racquet head speed. Some beginner/novice players can get away with using an open racquet face because they usually don't swing hard or receive much pace.
 

Dragy

Legend
I thought the forehand semi western grip was heel pad on bevel 3 and index knuckle on bevel 4, like 1 month ago. This was what I used and often times I had trouble keeping the racket face closed.

What grip is this? Semi western, or modified eastern?

Naturally I noticed that I would shift my heel pad on the edge. And I was having better luck keeping the racket face closed. I thought this was an extreme SW grip.

After doing research I found out that the majority of websites say that the heel pad and index knuckle should both be on bevel 4 for the SW grip. So then I decided to put my heel pad completely on bevel 4. And if I hit up and out I get tons of spin, height and depth. Flattening it is a lot harder though. The best luck I have had in this regard is hitting a heavy ball with low margin over the net. Often times if I go back to my original swing path the ball hits the bottom of the net.

So is this actually the SW grip? Where do most people keep the heel pad because it seems to significantly affect the spin potential and swing path
What you describe as your original grip is similar to one Tsitsipas uses. And it plays very similar to one of Federer.
Both knuckle and heel pad on bevel 4 is more “along the handle” grip. You can see one used by Alex Zverev, as well as many others.
I made a vid at some point to cover this variety with regard to stringbed orientation:

I also have a tip for you to flatten out balls: push your hand more “through” and farther forward, by also rotating torso a bit more, past facing the target - so that the ball kind of fades more wide than it would on your typical topspin shot:
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I thought the forehand semi western grip was heel pad on bevel 3 and index knuckle on bevel 4, like 1 month ago. This was what I used and often times I had trouble keeping the racket face closed.

What grip is this? Semi western, or modified eastern?

Naturally I noticed that I would shift my heel pad on the edge. And I was having better luck keeping the racket face closed. I thought this was an extreme SW grip.

After doing research I found out that the majority of websites say that the heel pad and index knuckle should both be on bevel 4 for the SW grip. So then I decided to put my heel pad completely on bevel 4. And if I hit up and out I get tons of spin, height and depth. Flattening it is a lot harder though. The best luck I have had in this regard is hitting a heavy ball with low margin over the net. Often times if I go back to my original swing path the ball hits the bottom of the net.

So is this actually the SW grip? Where do most people keep the heel pad because it seems to significantly affect the spin potential and swing path
I found that the heel pad or fat pad is often not reached by the racket butt in grips when I looked for it in pictures and videos of ATP players. Many internet instructions However, that was mostly for the Continental. Easter forehand and Eastern Backhand grips. For the Semi-Western and Western forehand grips it looks as if the butt of the racket could be moved with much less difference to the forearm-to-racket angle, it just changes the length between the palm and racket head.

Search the stroke your want and add the word "pictures"

Google: forehand ATP pictures

Look at a number of ATP forehands and I think that you will find the butt of the racket does not reach the heel pad but that it ends at the little finger area.

I did this for the Continental, Eastern Forehand and Eastern Backhand.

Demo. Look at what happens in your palm.

The butt of the racket could be moved anywhere for the W & SW grips.

But best to do your own statistics by looking at many ATP strokes. Do stats. Heel pad vs no heel pad. Tsonga's racket butt may reach the heel pad and some others. What are the stats?
 
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golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I personally don't reference the heel pad when establishing any grip, so it's odd when I try to replicate what OP is describing.

The way I define grips is by first index knuckle and second thumb knuckle. In an Eastern Forehand grip, my index knuckle is on bevel 3 and my thumb knuckle is on bevel 7. In a Semiwestern forehand grip, my index knuckle is on bevel 4 and my thumb knuckle is on bevel 8. Western forehand grip is index bevel 5 and thumb bevel 1. My heel pad tends to align with my index knuckle.

When I try to move my heel pad to bevel 3 while keeping my index knuckle on bevel 4 I end up with something like an extreme Eastern (halfway between Eastern and Semiwestern) or I have more of a fist shape (hammer grip) than my usual trigger finger style. If I go with the hammer grip, I would call that Semiwestern.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
This is Awesome! I LOVE it when players ... (who might some day play a student of mine) ... get in the HABIT of overthinking ... over-figuring ... and just plain DISTRACTING themselves with non-essential technical details.

The grip "Name" ... is based on what bevel the index knuckle is on ... DONE!

The FUNCTION ... of some other aspect of a grip might be mentioned ... if I notice something in the stroke itself that truly doesnt "flow" ... or "look" ... right. But this "over-cooking" of grip names ... is not all that "nourishing" when it comes down to the actual building of strong stroke form ... or "muscle"!

~ MG
 

red rook

Semi-Pro
Kind of disagree with you here mountain ghost. Firstly, if you keep your index knuckle on a single bevel and rotate your heel pad through the possible permutations, you will end with a fair change in racquet face angle and the dynamics of the movement of the arm/wrist. Saying that it is unimportant means it may be unimportant to you. Some may just say “oh just grab the racquet and hit the ball”...that person would say you are overthinking it.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
I didn't at ALL say how you grip the racquet is unimportant. I'm saying attaching a NAME based on the heel pad location ... is overthinking. The heel pad is ... by default ... typically on the same bevel as the index knuckle. Variations of the heel pad location don't change the name of the grip.

~ MG
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I didn't at ALL say how you grip the racquet is unimportant. I'm saying attaching a NAME based on the heel pad location ... is overthinking. The heel pad is ... by default ... typically on the same bevel as the index knuckle. Variations of the heel pad location don't change the name of the grip.

~ MG
You can't specify a grip with one spot of the palm (such as index knuckle) and one bevel location. You need to specify two spots on the palm and the two mating bevel locations.

 
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Mountain Ghost

Professional
There are many variations by pros in the modern game that I don't think developing players should be focusing on too much. There are basic preparation and stroke-form based flaws that need to be addressed first.

That said ... I encourage you to teach your on-court students all you know about bevels, index knuckles, heel pads and little fingers.

I'll stick with focusing on index-knuckle grip identification ... and work on shaping strokes from there ... which may naturally lead to slight modifications as the stroke evolves.

~ MG
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Discussing and clarifying grip names has its uses HERE on the forum, where clear communication in words is important. In person, or in practice, it's not so important as how you use whatever grip you choose.

But if you think (and report) you hit with a continental grip and you really hit with a semiwestern and you ask for tips online you will get all sorts of wrong tips.
 

cg.tennis

Rookie
I thought the forehand semi western grip was heel pad on bevel 3 and index knuckle on bevel 4, like 1 month ago. This was what I used and often times I had trouble keeping the racket face closed.
....
I just realized today that I have the exact same problem with my forehand semi-western grip. Often I have trouble keeping the racket face closed so that ball sails long when I try to hit heavy topspin. I'm going to move my heel pad to bevel #4 to try it out today.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
IIRC, about 2 decades ago the USPTA had the heel pad lined up to a different bevel than the base index knuckle on many of the grips. Sometimes it was only half a grip difference. Other sources had both reference points of the hand on the same level, more less.

I believe I had seen a later USPTA document that had both parts of the hand pretty much on the same bevel for most, if not all, grips. I am inclined to just use the base index knuckle as a reference for grips. Finer adjustments can be made by altering the position of the heel pad to suit one's needs. It is not uncommon to have a different heel pad for different strokes. For instance, a player might use a continental grip for both serves and volleys but might have a different heel pad positioning for each of these.
 

Friedman Whip

Professional
This is Awesome! I LOVE it when players ... (who might some day play a student of mine) ... get in the HABIT of overthinking ... over-figuring ... and just plain DISTRACTING themselves with non-essential technical details.

The grip "Name" ... is based on what bevel the index knuckle is on ... DONE!
So I have this grip whereby my index knuckle is right smack on the ridge between bevel 2 and bevel 3. Up until now I have called this an "Australian" grip but now I learn that this grip cannot actually be named because my index knuckle is not on a bevel. So, sorry, mates.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
So I have this grip whereby my index knuckle is right smack on the ridge between bevel 2 and bevel 3. Up until now I have called this an "Australian" grip but now I learn that this grip cannot actually be named because my index knuckle is not on a bevel.
It might be even worse than you had imagined. Technically / originally, only the angled sides are considered bevels. According to carpenters and Tennis Magazine (Tennis.com), your so-called bevel 3 is not a level at all.
 
Don't forget the handshake method of determining grips!

When you grab your racket and lower your arm to the side if it's parallel with your leg/foot it's in continental grip.
Eastern, semi-western and western will encroach further toward perpendicular.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Don't forget the handshake method of determining grips!

When you grab your racket and lower your arm to the side if it's parallel with your leg/foot it's in continental grip.
Eastern, semi-western and western will encroach further toward perpendicular.
Not seeing how this handshake method works
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
Most good players don't have the heel of the palm on the racquet at all.

Just name based on the index knuckle. It is more correct than any other way, in a greater variety of circumstance, and especially at higher level play.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Most good players don't have the heel of the palm on the racquet at all.

Just name based on the index knuckle. It is more correct than any other way, in a greater variety of circumstance, and especially at higher level play.
True, but the heel pad can still be used as a secondary reference, if desired. The heel pad will line up to some part of a bevel (or corner).
 
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