Should I switch to a semi-western forehand or not?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by drummerboy, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. drummerboy

    drummerboy Rookie

    Apr 10, 2004

    Well as far as I know the modern tennis is all about semi-western forehand and I think majority of today's players use this grip. I have been playing eastern forehand from my younger years. Can anyone give me some pros and cons about the semi-western and some reasons to switch? Can you get some good pace with semi western because it is more for spin? Can you hit flat with it? I would appreciate it if you would tell me all that you know about it so I can make my decision then. Thanks in advance.
  2. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

    Apr 13, 2004
    Depends on how efficient your forehand is now. You can hit with great pace with it for sure, flat when needed, heavy top when needed. I myself went from an Eastern to the semi western in two stages many years ago. The shot has never loooked back and is now much more enjoyable, tho it was not bad before the change. A good player i play against who is also a coach has eased toward it for the past twelve months and his shot gets stronger and stronger. I find it a sensational grip. It has won countless French Opens, many US Opens and plenty of the big W's (Becker, Agassi etc) Bill will no doubt have some superb advice on how to weigh up the pro's and con's as well as implement it if he thinks it is warranted.
  3. Rebel

    Rebel Guest

    I got really serious about my tennis about 2 years ago. My pro immediately worked change to semi-western grip and it's the best thing that I ever did. Spin keeps the ball in the court and I can still step in and drive the ball when needed. Two adjustments I've been working on since switching to SW are grip change for two handed back hand and volleys and adjusting my stroke to get low balls back up and over the net. But overall, more pros than cons for SW grip.
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    The Eastern grip is perhaps the most versatile grip in the game. Many come forward players use the Eastern grip. There is absolutely nothing wring with that grip as it generates good topspin and you can flatten it out for a hard shot.

    The grips switching when you come to net is less drastic and the grip change is almost nill. You can get a lot of power from the Eastern grip, and at times can hit a bit late for a different effect on the ball. The ball is met a little lower and a littel futher back than the SW grip so it "affords" you a bit more time in case your a tad late.

    The SW grip is known as a power grip, although the Eastern grip can pack a punch as well. The SW favors a higher ball and the grip is probably better for an all-court player. It provides a way to generate a bit more topspin. The ball is met further in front than the Eastern grip so timing can be an issue if your late. It is an excellent grip. Hitting flatter is a bit more challenging because of the swing path, so it will take some getting used to.

    When it comes to choosing a grip, pick one because you feel the benefits of one grip are better for your game - not the pros game or someone elses game. Since both grips are well suited for almost all levels of club play, the Eastern or SW grip can be used.

    I know it seems that the Eastern grip is something of the past. Nothing coould be further from the truth. The club level game is much different than the pros. Serve and volleyers are still very effective at this level as compared to the pro level. Also, the Eastern grip is very much alive at the club level as well.

    If your going to go pro, I would make the switch. If your not, choose which is best for your game by the way you play. Do you have a come forward game? Do you play doubles? Nothing wring with switching but if you can hit a good Easter grip, why not develop it further if it suits your game.
  5. Exci

    Exci Rookie

    Jun 17, 2004
    Bungalo Bill is spot on, like he always is... :roll:

    I would like to add though that if you don't come forward that much, I'd definately switch to at least the SW. I play from the baseline mostly and I naturally developed a SW stroke. It offers me the best blend of power and spin and it wasn't until a few months ago that I found out on the internet that it's a SW grip. :) I might even say that if you're not too comfortable with it and you're not planning on playing national league then just keep your eastern, because there's nothing wrong with it. A friend of mine plays with it and generates the same topspin as I do with an eastern and with ease, so you figure.. :)
  6. drummerboy

    drummerboy Rookie

    Apr 10, 2004
    All the excellent replies and Bill is at his best again. You are gonna wear out your keyboard Bill j/k :wink: . Keep up the good work.

    Well I definitely won't go pro. I play for recreation and I gotta say that I love eastern forehand because I can generate some spin with adding the wrist and on the other hand I can hit really banging flatters which I really like. I have an overall game and like to come to net especially on the short balls on the forehand. I can chip and charge also. Well I will stay with eastern for now but I will try semi western on some easier matches just to see how that one feels. I love that flatters too much. Will keep you posted how the sw feels.


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