Multiple Grips

Hi my name is Michael McMahon. I've been playing tennis a long time. I've tried to use different forehand shots within the same point or game. For instance, using the semi-western grip on one shot and then western on the next shot. But it was very difficult to be consistent when I switched grips on consecutive shots. I then tried to do this on old-style rackets with the very small head. I found it far easier to be consistent using multiple grip positions on the same side. I could use eastern one point and then western on the next without any negative effect. I also found it easier to hit inside-out shots. I think it helps because the smaller head size forces you to hit very close to the center of the racket making it more accurate. On topspin grips I placed my hand midway up the handle to short-grip it in order to make it lighter. What do you think?
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
i think any time my grip changes my contact zone changes... so for that reason i try to stick with a single grip.
since there's some overlap between sw/w, i can only think that using a small head, subconsciously forces you to concentrate more, and maybe you're able to hit in a more consistent smaller hitting zone?
i can maybe see switching toward W for high balls, and toward E for low balls? but i don't practice that (i know at least 1 ex-d1 that says he does that, but it's very situational - eg W for high deep loopy defenseive shot, E or C for half volley type approach shot).
 
Thank you for your reply. Well I suppose each grip has different pros and cons. For instance, playing flat is better for attack shots and slice may be more suitable for defensive shots. By using multiple grips one would be able to use the optimal grip for the situation, to be better able to vary their game and to be more unpredictable to their opponent. The smaller head might give you better feel for where the center is when changing grips and perhaps slightly better balance during a fast swing motion.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
The fewer grip changes the better. When somebody hits me a moonball I will switch to more Western-ish SW to moonball right back, but that's it and those shots don't have a lot of pace. In a fast exchange I can't see having multiple forehand grips being of any benefit unless it's something you can practice for hours in a week.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I will switch to eastern grip when reaching for short balls.

I also have problems hitting SW when I use a Prince frame. For some reason that even sided grip shape doesn't jive with it. Have more success hitting eastern both sides with Prince.

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Some/many players may have best results with fewer grips -- 1 for FHs, 1 or 2 for BHs, 1 for volleys, 1 for serves. OTOH, many players will have optimum results with multiple grips. I'm in this latter category -- 2+ for FHs (SW, E+, & occasionally Conti), 2 for BHs (Conti, EBh), 2 for volleys (Conti, semi-Conti). 2+ for serves (usually, Conti & EBh).

I always adjust for grip variations. No problems with shot consistency due to these changes. Some grip variations are deliberate & conscious. Others are automatic & subconscious. Volley grips are a bit shorter (higher up) than other grips. Conti grip for low volleys; Semi-Conti for high volleys. Sometimes a slight grip variation between Fh & Bh volleys. Conti (or pseudo-Conti) grip for 1st serves. Sometimes change to something closer to EBh grip for 2nd serves.

Got quite adept at employing even more grip variations than this for badminton. Never a problem. But not for everyone.
.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
I would want to see a player MINDFULLY and consistently playing with a SINGLE grip for each shot ... BEFORE "sanctioning" modifications of them for perhaps different circumstances. This actually helps in "forcing" the technique to be more uniform ... and for the positioning to be more adequately appropriate. Variations of the default grip may happen as a player evolves ... but I don't think it should be encouraged or focused on ~ MG
 
I think one would have to master one grip first and then after that perhaps practice each grip individually. On the normal size rackets I found that using a very pure grip helps. Try not to use an in-between hybrid grip such as placing your hand between the continental and eastern position. For instance the eastern grip should be exactly midway between continental and semi-western on the handle. I tried these multiple grips and it seemed to work out ok:

Forehand: continental for slice
eastern for flat
semi-western for topspin
Backhand: continental for slice
eastern backhand for flat
reverse eastern for topspin (this grip is before the continental grip )

(note: these are for one-handed grips)

Serve: continental for topspin
eastern for flat
 
When I practiced these grips I used eastern for exclusively flat shots. Try not to use topspin on an improvised eastern grip. Semi-western is better for topspin.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I use continental closer to the net and can use an eastern forehand mid-court and a SW in the backcourt. I use eastern and continental grips on the backhand depending on the height and type of shot.

I started out with the continental, then moved over to the eastern (FH and BH) and then migrated the forehand to the SW. So I spent a lot of time with the various grips.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Time.
If you have the time, switching to the ideal grip for your intended shot works well.
However, we play against different humans who are sometimes trying to take away our time, confound our thought patterns, and might actually be trying to beat us.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
The only time I switch grips on the forehand side is to hit backspin, which I almost never do.

I use the same grip regardless of the incoming ball; the only thing I change is the contact point, and the more further out in front of my body it is, the easier it gets for me regardless of how low or high the ball is.

It does help that I hit as early as I can though.
 

nvr2old

Hall of Fame
Well I change grips (forehand) for almost every shot based on incoming shot shape and speed. While I know the different grip types, I honestly don’t know if I can say that I place my hand exactly in those positions. More like there are infinitely variable minute changes in grip made in order to hit the shot shape, spin, speed etc that I am trying to achieve. Same with backhand but less variation as I usually hit OHBH and prefer topspin or slices.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Well I change grips (forehand) for almost every shot based on incoming shot shape and speed. While I know the different grip types, I honestly don’t know if I can say that I place my hand exactly in those positions. More like there are infinitely variable minute changes in grip made in order to hit the shot shape, spin, speed etc that I am trying to achieve. Same with backhand but less variation as I usually hit OHBH and prefer topspin or slices.
Sounds very much what I do in badminton. I'm always aware of my racket face orientation and what is optimal for the given situation. 4 (maybe 5) basic grip variations but I employ long and short versions for most of these. And then slight variations between the basic ones.

For my tennis Fh, my base grip is an Eastern+ (Eastern variation with SW flavor). But there are times when I adjust in either direction -- to SW for high contact points or in the other direction toward a standard Eastern or even conti in other situations. I'll often employ the latter for slice, drop shots, squash shots, half-volleys or other specialty shots (tweeners, Bucharest Backfires or whatever). I'll often employ a non-standard Fh (or Bh) grip for serve returns against different serves.

I do agree very much with MG, MMc and others. First learn to hit with one grip for each stroke (Fh, Bh, volley, serve). Let the variations come later -- after more experience and experimentation.
.
 
I find it helps to use your elbow more than your wrist with topspin shots on the old-style racket with the small headsize. Try and get momentum from your elbow to avoid putting excess pressure on your wrist.
 
I've been practicing a lot more with the retro rackets. The balance of the racket is a lot different which affects the way one grips the racket. I found my fingers a lot more spread out on the western grip. This could be helped by putting a second grip on the racket. I think these grip types are working out OK on it:

forehand:
western is topspin
semiwestern is topspin
an in-between eastern/semiwestern is flat

backhand:
continental is slice
(1)in-between eastern/continental is also slice
(2)in-between continental/western on the reverse side is topspin

two handed backhand of number 1 and 2 is flat

serve
continental topspin
(1) is flat
(2) is topspin again.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
You can do whatever you want with the ball with whichever grip, so switching grips is meaningless and only makes it harde4 to execute shots.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
You can do whatever you want with the ball with whichever grip, so switching grips is meaningless and only makes it harde4 to execute shots.
Disagree. Strongly. There is no perfect or ideal grip. They are all something a compromise. Don't know if very many 2-handed players adjust their grip for their Bh but, for 1-handed players, most will employ a continental for the slice and use a more extreme Bh grip to hit topspin BHs. Flat or mild topspin ok with continued but it should not be use for hitting heavy topspin on the Bh side.

With the Fh, Western grips (incl SW) are great for hitting with heavy topspin and for hitting high and medium contact points. Trickier to deal with half-volleys and other low contact point shots. Not ideal for hitting flatter shots. Very difficult to hit drop shots and other underspin shots -- w/o a grip change. And not easy to switch from more extreme grips to something closer to continue when needed.

Eastern Fh grips are decent for topspin but not always easy to hit massive topspin. OTOH, they are strong grips for driving thru the ball. Easier to flatten out strokes and, if needed, can be used for drop shots, squash shots and other underspin shots. Or fairly easy to switch from Eastern to conti or semi-conti, if necessary. Eastern grips are for low shots and medium shots but can be rather awkward for very high contact points.

Players will often use only one grip for serves. But many elite players as well as intermediate players will use 2 different grips for first & 2nd serves. Same thing for volleys. While many will only one grip, some version of a continental, for volleys, many here's my make a subtle change from forehand to backhand or may use a different grip for very high volleys than they will use for low volleys.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Disagree. Strongly. There is no perfect or ideal grip. They are all something a compromise. Don't know if very many 2-handed players adjust their grip for their Bh but, for 1-handed players, most will employ a continental for the slice and use a more extreme Bh grip to hit topspin BHs. Flat or mild topspin ok with continued but it should not be use for hitting heavy topspin on the Bh side.
I didn't know that most people do this. I always assumed that it was my oddity from moving to a continental to eastern backhand, eastern forehand, semi-western forehand that I have several different grips depending on the shot and where I am in the court.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Disagree. Strongly. There is no perfect or ideal grip. They are all something a compromise. Don't know if very many 2-handed players adjust their grip for their Bh but, for 1-handed players, most will employ a continental for the slice and use a more extreme Bh grip to hit topspin BHs. Flat or mild topspin ok with continued but it should not be use for hitting heavy topspin on the Bh side.

With the Fh, Western grips (incl SW) are great for hitting with heavy topspin and for hitting high and medium contact points. Trickier to deal with half-volleys and other low contact point shots. Not ideal for hitting flatter shots. Very difficult to hit drop shots and other underspin shots -- w/o a grip change. And not easy to switch from more extreme grips to something closer to continue when needed.

Eastern Fh grips are decent for topspin but not always easy to hit massive topspin. OTOH, they are strong grips for driving thru the ball. Easier to flatten out strokes and, if needed, can be used for drop shots, squash shots and other underspin shots. Or fairly easy to switch from Eastern to conti or semi-conti, if necessary. Eastern grips are for low shots and medium shots but can be rather awkward for very high contact points.

Players will often use only one grip for serves. But many elite players as well as intermediate players will use 2 different grips for first & 2nd serves. Same thing for volleys. While many will only one grip, some version of a continental, for volleys, many here's my make a subtle change from forehand to backhand or may use a different grip for very high volleys than they will use for low volleys.
Juat because something is more natural with a certain grip doesnt mean you cant do it.

Federer can hit heavy spin with Eastern.

Djokovic can drive the ball with strong semiwestern.

Nadal eats up low slices with a strong semiwestern?

You can do anything with any grip by adjusting other variables.

Now im not saying its not slightly more natural and easier to flatten out a shot with an eastern compared to western forehand grip.

Im just saying you can do both with each, so its much more consistent and efficient to pick a grip and learn to execute all the shots than having 3 or 4 different forehand grips is much harder in terms of consistency and erratic shots since it completely chamges ur contact point and swing and everything.
 
Even with great technique there is an element of risk with any shot. I think there are so many variables that there will always be some degree of error and the ball may go out. So while you can do most things with one grip, other grips are more consistent for certain types of shots.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Juat because something is more natural with a certain grip doesnt mean you cant do it.

Federer can hit heavy spin with Eastern.

Djokovic can drive the ball with strong semiwestern.

Nadal eats up low slices with a strong semiwestern?

You can do anything with any grip by adjusting other variables.

Now im not saying its not slightly more natural and easier to flatten out a shot with an eastern compared to western forehand grip.

Im just saying you can do both with each, so its much more consistent and efficient to pick a grip and learn to execute all the shots than having 3 or 4 different forehand grips is much harder in terms of consistency and erratic shots since it completely chamges ur contact point and swing and everything.
It's really not all that difficult for many players,to learn multiple grips for various grip types. I employed even more grip changes in badminton when I was competing in the 1980s than I did for tennis.

When I decided to use multiple groups in my tennis game, I was able to make the adjustments very quickly -- in a matter of minutes. Granted, not everyone can do this and maybe better off with minimizing their grip options.

Note that there is photographic evidence that Roger Federer employs grip variations for his forehand. Will Hamilton of FYB showed images (& vid?) of Roger using a standard (classic) Eastern for forehand grip. Yet images from other sources show images of him with an Eastern with a very distinct SW flavor. Tennis Magazine published an article on Roger indicating that he normally employed this grip. Still other pics appear to show a weak/mild SW grip.

It is very possible that, on average, he uses a different grip for clay then he does for grass. Or he could even be making adjustments during the course of a rally.

Rafa, on average, employs 3200-3300 RPMs. This is more than 20% greater than the 2700 RPMs that Roger employs on average. Rafa will sometimes use 5000 RPMs or more on his forehand. Roger does not come close to his Fh but can use this much spin for his Bh slice.

Some images of Rafa appears to show that uses standard SW grip. But Jeff Cooper shows him using a more extreme 3/4 Western grip. Do we know that Novak doesn't change his grip when he drives the ball flatter???
 
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I noticed that when the hand is on an in-between continental/eastern grip position on the handle, you can hit a flat forehand, a slice backhand and a topspin serve on this one constant grip.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Some/many players may have best results with fewer grips -- 1 for FHs, 1 or 2 for BHs, 1 for volleys, 1 for serves. OTOH, many players will have optimum results with multiple grips. I'm in this latter category -- 2+ for FHs (SW, E+, & occasionally Conti), 2 for BHs (Conti, EBh), 2 for volleys (Conti, semi-Conti). 2+ for serves (usually, Conti & EBh).

I always adjust for grip variations. No problems with shot consistency due to these changes. Some grip variations are deliberate & conscious. Others are automatic & subconscious. Volley grips are a bit shorter (higher up) than other grips. Conti grip for low volleys; Semi-Conti for high volleys. Sometimes a slight grip variation between Fh & Bh volleys. Conti (or pseudo-Conti) grip for 1st serves. Sometimes change to something closer to EBh grip for 2nd serves.

Got quite adept at employing even more grip variations than this for badminton. Never a problem. But not for everyone.
.
I am in the fewer grip camp. I use 2. SW grip and a strong continental- a bit past the conti toward the ebh. I can hit every shot with those 2 grips. I only change when going from topspin to slice or visa versa, and when going to the net.

I only adjust based on the incoming ball on the bh. For some reason when I need to half volley it just changes automatically. Every other shot I hit with the original grip.

you fellas who change based on the ball are super talented. I would destroy all the fences in the county if I tried hitting Eastern...
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I am in the fewer grip camp. I use 2. SW grip and a strong continental- a bit past the conti toward the ebh. I can hit every shot with those 2 grips. I only change when going from topspin to slice or visa versa, and when going to the net.

I only adjust based on the incoming ball on the bh. For some reason when I need to half volley it just changes automatically. Every other shot I hit with the original grip.

you fellas who change based on the ball are super talented. I would destroy all the fences in the county if I tried hitting Eastern...
;-)
Only moderately super-talented here. It really only took me a few minutes to feel comfortable using different grips for my forehand. Learned to adjust to the newer (SW) grip in a short time. Then I went back-and-forth between Fh grips for a few more minutes and, voila, the new muscle memory gelled.

Conti grip for the Bh slice and something closer to an Eastern Bh grip for the topspin Bh. This adjustment took a little bit longer than the Fh adjustment -- but not much longer. Ditto for learning a 2nd volley grip & an alternative service grip.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
;-)
Only moderately super-talented here. It really only took me a few minutes to feel comfortable using different grips for my forehand. Learned to adjust to the newer (SW) grip in a short time. Then I went back-and-forth between Fh grips for a few more minutes and, voila, the new muscle memory gelled.

Conti grip for the Bh slice and something closer to an Eastern Bh grip for the topspin Bh. This adjustment took a little bit longer than the Fh adjustment -- but not much longer. Ditto for learning a 2nd volley grip & an alternative service grip.
It took me months to go from western to SW on my fh. My bh I can hit with any grip it seems and heck I went out once and within minutes was hitting open stance one handers. But the FH ugh, you put an eastern in my hand and no control.

FWIW can you hit a bh with a SW fh grip? I find that easy but lots struggle with it.

Thats amazing for the fh. I can only switch readily between SW and W. Amazing you can switch so readily.

One big challenge I have is shot selection. Can't imagine how much tougher that would be if I had more talent and could hit all kind of grips. How do you manage?

Thinking about this more I seem to be able to serve with a lot of different grips, but I just dont...
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
I will chime in here, I play around with my ground stroke grips All the freaking time. FH from eastern to Semi to almost full depending on height of the incoming ball. The higher the ball the more western I go.
For my 2HBH I go from a semi eastern to full eastern again depending on the incoming ball.
 
It may be beneficial to be familiar with a few grips even if one intends to stay on the one grip. Using a different grip during a practice session can end up helping the technique on your original first grip. This occurs through synergy. For instance, both a continental serve and a SW forehand are intensely versatile shots. One can alter the degree of topspin on both of them.

So knowing a bit of eastern to hit flat and western to hit topspin could enhance your overall SW forehand skills. You could therefore hit perhaps a flatter inside-out shot and a more topspin-heavy down-the-line shot on SW. Likewise one can practice an eastern serve for flat and a more anti-clockwise grip for topspin. When you return to continental you’ll be better able to pronate the wrist for a flat first serve and then, with the same grip, perform a smoother upward swing motion on the topspin second serve.

While there is some overlap between the different shots, by mixing your grips you can see how they also contrast with each other. This might help keep you focused and alert while training. There’s more risk of hitting a ball out if you’re inattentive with multiple grips. As a result it helps to keep you on your toes!

Another factor is that a lot of tennis technique seems to be subconscious. If you thought excessively about the technique while you were hitting the shot, you could possible suffer analysis paralysis to wind up missing it. This is why training and repetition are important in order to slowly instill it into muscle memory. Proprioceptive skills can increase with time in order to hit the ball in at faster speeds. Focusing on a particular aspect such as refining the windshield-wiper topspin movement is of course still helpful. You can isolate the variables (so to speak) to hone a particular manoeuvre. Practicing it every so often can allow you to gradually ‘automate’ the shot so you can be more adaptable to the incoming ball.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I use semi western and eastern on my fh, (conti (even eastern bh if it's high) for my slice fh which counts as well I guess- I used to hit a Stan Wawrinka style conti drive when dealing with drop shots, but now I always slice my reply as it gives me the drop shot option). I use continental and eastern bh on my bh. Again might use an eastern fh grip for a high slice, coming around the outside of the ball.

I use anything from eastern bh through to eastern fh on serve (generally conti though). On volleys I use the same range of grips (eastern fh through to eastern bh), but again generally conti. As many have mentioned already, it depends on the incoming ball and what I'm trying to do with the ball.

I find off fhs a bit easier to hit with the SW grip. On the flipside I find the off bh easier on lower balls with a conti grip. Generally 1/2 Western is easier to combine with the open stance, so when I run around my bh I normally use it with an open stance to maximise disguise.

I think slipping the grip without the use of the non dominant hand, when you don't have time to use it, and not just for drop shots, is a good/important skill to have.
 

In the above video I try to do some practice with each of the different grips. For a few minutes I also used the old racket with the small head.

Occasionally using a few of the unconventional serves (SW,W) during a training session might be of benefit. It may give you an extra kinaesthetic feel for the same grip during a forehand swing. Similarly, attempting various backhand smashes may be useful for the backhand ground strokes. Perhaps just slicing a new backhand grip for the first few weeks could eventually make it easier to use topspin with that same grip.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Hi my name is Michael McMahon. I've been playing tennis a long time. I've tried to use different forehand shots within the same point or game. For instance, using the semi-western grip on one shot and then western on the next shot. But it was very difficult to be consistent when I switched grips on consecutive shots. I then tried to do this on old-style rackets with the very small head. I found it far easier to be consistent using multiple grip positions on the same side. I could use eastern one point and then western on the next without any negative effect. I also found it easier to hit inside-out shots. I think it helps because the smaller head size forces you to hit very close to the center of the racket making it more accurate. On topspin grips I placed my hand midway up the handle to short-grip it in order to make it lighter. What do you think?
Most pros have only a single grip for each stroke. Trying to use different grips for the same shot at amateur level is a recipe for failure imo.
 
Gael4: “Most pros have only a single grip for each stroke. Trying to use different grips for the same shot at amateur level is a recipe for failure imo.”

I don’t think experimenting with other grips will have a negative effect on your original grip. For instance, one could use other grips solely during a practice session. But during a competitive match or tournament they can just use the one grip that they’re most familiar with. They could incorporate extra grips into a few rallies during a tournament when those strokes become more consistent.

Nadal’s style of topspin seems to work best on slower clay while Federer’s flatter shots suit him best on the faster grass courts. With my own game I noticed some of my topspin forehands didn’t work too well when I played in tournaments against people who were great at hitting the fast flat shots. The courts seemed to have a marginally faster surface compared to the courts at my own club. It’s not that I’m using that as an excuse for any matches I lost! But perhaps it might sometimes help to know different spins so you can be better able to adjust to the court surface.

People often have one grip for their forehand and another for the backhand. So they’re still playing with two different grips even though they’re being used on separate sides. Therefore in theory playing with many different grips shouldn’t have any negative effect. It’s just a matter of learning the difficult technique for each grip.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
My experience is that the more extreme you grip the more in front you need to hit to maintain consistency, to some it might be easier but it is not always ideal because you have less range to handle ball that might landed deep or have weird bounces.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I've been playing tennis for 45 years and started out with a Continental, then Eastern, then Semi-Western. So I have muscle-memory for all three. I also migrated to the Eastern backhand and hit some shots Continental and some Eastern - same with the serve. It's not that hard to be able to use multiple grips if you migrated over time. Similar to starting with a two-handed backhand and changing to a one-handed backhand.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Most pros have only a single grip for each stroke. Trying to use different grips for the same shot at amateur level is a recipe for failure imo.
Not so. Some amateurs may be better off with a single grip. Many, more talented amateurs, are quite capable of employing multiple grips. Without failure. Even as I was transitioning from 3.5 ntrp up to 4.0, I was starting to employ multiple grips. As I advanced further & started playing against 5.0 players, I was using grip variations quite a bit more. It was something I picked up from badminton prior to that (4 basic grips with short grip variations of those; so 8 total).

Not so sure that your claim wrt pro players is correct either. Sure, some pros may employ one grip each for most of their strokes. But this does not appear to be the case for many of the top players. We've provided photographic evidence in various threads that illustrate this. Often the grip variation is only a half bevel difference but sometimes it is close to a full bevel difference.

Some players will modify their grips when moving from the clay court season to play on grass. Many players will employ different grips for high shots than they do for low shots. Often, grip changes are made for different types of spins.

The most well-known example is for Bh slices vs Bh topspin shots. But this is also seen on the Fh side. Pro players will often change their Fh grip to hit squash shots and Fh drop shots. It is not all that uncommon for players to employ 2 different grips for serves. I can easily do this, to advantage, so I'm sure that most pro players are quite capable of doing this.

Boris (Becker), Serena and other current players use something close to an Aussie grip for 1st serves but then switch to a more conventional serve grip (conti) for 2nd serves. Some players go more extreme for their serve grip, particularly for second serves.

Have seen grip variations on volleys as well. Some players will employ a conti grip for low volleys but will shift to an Aussie (semi-conti) grip for high volleys. A fairly recent thread showed images of Pat Rafter doing this on his volleys.

There's a lot of a photographic and video evidence that Roger uses grip variations for his Fh. Some show him using a standard, classic Eastern Fh grip. But other images show him using an extreme Eastern or a grip shifted toward the SW. I would not be surprised if he shifted his grip in the other direction to hit his Fh drop shots and squash shots. Players who normally use SW or W grips pretty much have to change their grip in order to hit these other shots.

These are also quite a few sources that show Andre using a SW type grip for his Fh. But other images / vids show him using a conservative Eastern Fh grip. These grip variations were seen early in his career as well as later in his "bald" years.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Gael4

Forgot to mention that many players will use a different grip for returning serve than they do for their other ground strokes. With less time to react, esp against first serves, players often adopt a compromise grip. The diff between a Fh return grip and a Bh return grip might sometimes be minimal.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Not so. Some amateurs may be better off with a single grip. Many, more talented amateurs, are quite capable of employing multiple grips. Without failure. Even as I was transitioning from 3.5 ntrp up to 4.0, I was starting to employ multiple grips. As I advanced further & started playing against 5.0 players, I was using grip variations quite a bit more. It was something I picked up from badminton prior to that (4 basic grips with short grip variations of those; so 8 total).

Not so sure that your claim wrt pro players is correct either. Sure, some pros may employ one grip each for most of their strokes. But this does not appear to be the case for many of the top players. We've provided photographic evidence in various threads that illustrate this. Often the grip variation is only a half bevel difference but sometimes it is close to a full bevel difference.

Some players will modify their grips when moving from the clay court season to play on grass. Many players will employ different grips for high shots than they do for low shots. Often, grip changes are made for different types of spins.

The most well-known example is for Bh slices vs Bh topspin shots. But this is also seen on the Fh side. Pro players will often change their Fh grip to hit squash shots and Fh drop shots. It is not all that uncommon for players to employ 2 different grips for serves. I can easily do this, to advantage, so I'm sure that most pro players are quite capable of doing this.

Boris (Becker), Serena and other current players use something close to an Aussie grip for 1st serves but then switch to a more conventional serve grip (conti) for 2nd serves. Some players go more extreme for their serve grip, particularly for second serves.

Have seen grip variations on volleys as well. Some players will employ a conti grip for low volleys but will shift to an Aussie (semi-conti) grip for high volleys. A fairly recent thread showed images of Pat Rafter doing this on his volleys.

There's a lot of a photographic and video evidence that Roger uses grip variations for his Fh. Some show him using a standard, classic Eastern Fh grip. But other images show him using an extreme Eastern or a grip shifted toward the SW. I would not be surprised if he shifted his grip in the other direction to hit his Fh drop shots and squash shots. Players who normally use SW or W grips pretty much have to change their grip in order to hit these other shots.

These are also quite a few sources that show Andre using a SW type grip for his Fh. But other images / vids show him using a conservative Eastern Fh grip. These grip variations were seen early in his career as well as later in his "bald" years.
Do you have any evidence for that ? I know for a fact that Federer doesn't (he said it himself in an interview), and all the videos of top pros I have seen like Nadal or Djokovic seem to show that they don't either. Citation needed.

Btw 2nd serve and first serve are different shots, so it's not surprising that players change grips between those, that's not what I'm talking about.
Same for return or serve, even I use a lightly different grip there especially for my backhand.

As for the fact that a good amateur can learn several grips for his forehand ? Sure, obviously even. I'm not even a good amateur and I can hit a variety of Forehands. I can hit one handed or 2 handed backhands too. The question is, are there more pros to switching grips to get more spin or drive on specific shots than there are cons ? It would require twice as many hours of play to get to the same level on each grip, maybe more considering your muscle memory might get confused from time to time, so imo it is time better spent elsewhere.

Again, it is very rare even among pros.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Btw 2nd serve and first serve are different shots, so it's not surprising that players change grips between those, that's not what I'm talking about.
High backhand is a different shot from a low backhand.

A forehand from deep in the back court is a lot different from a forehand in the forecourt.

Most players used a Continental Grip in the 50s, 60s and you had a migration to the Eastern and a later migration to the SemiWestern and Western. If you made those transitions, then you have all of those grips and you can still use them.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
High backhand is a different shot from a low backhand.

A forehand from deep in the back court is a lot different from a forehand in the forecourt.

Most players used a Continental Grip in the 50s, 60s and you had a migration to the Eastern and a later migration to the SemiWestern and Western. If you made those transitions, then you have all of those grips and you can still use them.
No they are not really different, and they don't warrant a grip change. Players have transitioned from continental to semi western, but they didn't use those at the same time, that's lunacy. But whatever, at amateur player, if you don't play to win, have fun with mastering all the grips...
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
No they are not really different, and they don't warrant a grip change. Players have transitioned from continental to semi western, but they didn't use those at the same time, that's lunacy. But whatever, at amateur player, if you don't play to win, have fun with mastering all the grips...
If you had a really low, sliced shot in the forecourt, would you use a western grip to hit it?

I've already mastered three grips so I already have them available.

Same with the backhand. A short, low slice is easier to hit with a Continental over an Eastern backhand.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
If you had a really low, sliced shot in the forecourt, would you use a western grip to hit it?

I've already mastered three grips so I already have them available.

Same with the backhand. A short, low slice is easier to hit with a Continental over an Eastern backhand.
You have mastered exactly 0 grip, unless you are a top ATP player...
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Do you have any evidence for that ? I know for a fact that Federer doesn't (he said it himself in an interview), and all the videos of top pros I have seen like Nadal or Djokovic seem to show that they don't either. Citation needed.

Btw 2nd serve and first serve are different shots, so it's not surprising that players change grips between those, that's not what I'm talking about.
Same for return or serve, even I use a lightly different grip there especially for my backhand.

As for the fact that a good amateur can learn several grips for his forehand ? Sure, obviously even. I'm not even a good amateur and I can hit a variety of Forehands. I can hit one handed or 2 handed backhands too. The question is, are there more pros to switching grips to get more spin or drive on specific shots than there are cons ? It would require twice as many hours of play to get to the same level on each grip, maybe more considering your muscle memory might get confused from time to time, so imo it is time better spent elsewhere.

Again, it is very rare even among pros.
Calling BS on that Fed interview claim. I have seen an interview where Roger was asked what Fh grip he uses. He indicated that HE REALLY DOES NOT KNOW.

This is Not unusual. Many pros are consciously unaware of how they grip or execute various shots. They are performing much of their mechanics on an unconscious level. Do you know the four levels of competence? Elite athletes, for the most part, are operating at the 4th level. Because of this, many top players do not make good coaches. At least, until they stop and actually analyze exactly what they are automatically subconsciously) doing. The 4 levels:

1 - Unconscious Incompetence
2 - Conscious Incompetence
2 - Conscious Competence
2 - Unconscious Competence

When asked about how he serves, Novak Djoko got some of the details wrong. Anyone who has studied his serve closely could see this. Novak was merely parroting what he heard his coaches had said to him (as a junior player) when he was developing his serve and his other strokes.

Many pro players recommend using the same toss for all serves. They claim that this is how they do it. However, Hawk-Eye data and slow-motion HD video reveals that this is false. These players often employ a significantly different toss for the 1st serve than the 2nd.

In his Udemy course, Andre Agassi insisted that he used a standard Eastern grip on his Fh. Vids & pics reveal that he did use an EFh grip... Sometimes. Other vids & pics of AA, in his early years as well as his later years, show that he often used a grip that was much closer to a std SW, esp on high shots.

If elite level cannot accurately tell you exactly how they perform strokes, there is a very good chance that they are unaware of subtle grip changes that they employ. Or grip changes that are not so subtle.

Try perusing this forum. Over the past 2 decades (almost), a lot of video & photographic evidence shows many of the differences I've mentioned.

For example Will Hamilton (FYB) and Ian Westerman (Essential Tennis) "prove" that Roger used a standard Eastern Fh grip. However, Tennis Mag, Tennis Channel and various other sources show him using something different.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Calling BS on that Fed interview claim. I have seen an interview where Roger was asked what Fh grip he uses. He indicated that HE REALLY DOES NOT KNOW.

This is Not unusual. Many pros are consciously unaware of how they grip or execute various shots. They are performing much of their mechanics on an unconscious level. Do you know the four levels of competence? Elite athletes, for the most part, are operating at the 4th level. Because of this, many top players do not make good coaches. At least, until they stop and actually analyze exactly what they are automatically subconsciously) doing. The 4 levels:

1 - Unconscious Incompetence
2 - Conscious Incompetence
2 - Conscious Competence
2 - Unconscious Competence

When asked about how he serves, Novak Djoko got some of the details wrong. Anyone who has studied his serve closely could see this. Novak was merely parroting what he heard his coaches had said to him (as a junior player) when he was developing his serve and his other strokes.

Many pro players recommend using the same toss for all serves. They claim that this is how they do it. However, Hawk-Eye data and slow-motion HD video reveals that this is false. These players often employ a significantly different toss for the 1st serve than the 2nd.

In his Udemy course, Andre Agassi insisted that he used a standard Eastern grip on his Fh. Vids & pics reveal that he did use an EFh grip... Sometimes. Other vids & pics of AA, in his early years as well as his later years, show that he often used a grip that was much closer to a std SW, esp on high shots.

If elite level cannot accurately tell you exactly how they perform strokes, there is a very good chance that they are unaware of subtle grip changes that they employ. Or grip changes that are not so subtle.

Try perusing this forum. Over the past 2 decades (almost), a lot of video & photographic evidence shows many of the differences I've mentioned.

For example Will Hamilton (FYB) and Ian Westerman (Essential Tennis) "prove" that Roger used a standard Eastern Fh grip. However, Tennis Mag, Tennis Channel and various other sources show him using something different.

Here it is, didn't bother reading the rest. I couldn't care less sorry.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru

Here it is, didn't bother reading the rest. I couldn't care less sorry.
I've seen that video before. As well as others from EuroSport and other sources. It is clear to me that RF is actually unaware (Unconscious Competence) of some of things he does.

Couldn't care less, huh? Satisfied spouting unexamined ideas that you formed years ago?
 
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