Western Grip

Rafa's boy

New User
Why is there a lack of players using this grip? That is the impression I get looking around what was posted on this forum and other places. Please answer if you use a western forehand grip or could provide info about it.

I can't say I find much to dislike about the Western grip, but maybe that is just my game style. I hear all this about low balls being a western grippers worst nightmare, and I think that is overexaggerated. Low balls are probably the least ideal and high balls are the most ideal, but I don't see it as a weakness. I also observed that you really have to focus more using a Western grip. You have to remember to really drive/follow through the ball, or else your ball is going to be a sitting duck. I also noticed that the majority of balls I shank are down the line. It doesn't happen when I stay focused, but it feels like even when I lose an ounce of focus it doesn't go down the line as I desire.

Just my two cents...

Thanks in advance for your replies
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Well it is an extreme grip. Although you can hit a low ball with the grip, it takes extra concentration to do so as you indicated. Also, many players end up becoming injured from this grip because they will also incorporate a violent windshield wiping move from their elbow.

It is a difficult grip to change grips on unless you want to hit from the same side of the racket.

I feel the SW grip is the best grip of all grips. It can do the things of a Western grip and do the things of an Eastern grip. It does not require a huge grip change and is a very versatile grip.
 

Rafa's boy

New User
Bungalo Bill said:
It is a difficult grip to change grips on unless you want to hit from the same side of the racket.
Hi Bill,

I feel like I have that difficulty when switching to the other grips. I have to be conscious about it. Do you think that over time transitioning to the other grips will become more natural and I will be able to do it more smoothly?

I myself am not planning to switch to another grip. This grip is the one I am most comfortable with and I think suits me best. I guess to each his own...
 

divito

Rookie
My normal grip is basically Eastern. Whenever I try the Western, it's really hard for me to even turn my arm that way. Kind of feels like my wrist is going to break every time I hit the ball. Not to mention that when I hit the shot I have to use tons of energy from my arm to even hit the shot well and get it over the net. Still confused how Hewitt or any of the pros use it.
 

TennsDog

Hall of Fame
I use a western grip, but I may need change to SW due to the fact that the western grip may have been contributing to my TE (along with strings, tension, grip size, and serve). I don't know if I will be able to make the change, partly because I like the grip so much for it's spin and control and partly because I find SW hard to control depth-wise.
 
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SageOfDeath

Guest
I use a hybrid, its a little extreme but not full I don't think. Its hard to get under low balls and driving through the ball is often a problem. Its contact point is out in front. I think you can generate just as much heavy topspin with semi-western so I'm thinking about switching. Actually some people can generate heavy topspin with eastern..... but I'm not even going to try that.....

Some players never develop the easy transitioning from forehand to backhand grips and to overhead and volley grips. I found it easy after a while but I find it hard to switch from a western grip to a 2 handed backhand. I hold the throat of the racquet on the takeback of my shot of a 1 handed slice so its really easy to change grips.

You don't find low balls a problem? What level do you play at? Slower paced low ball shots are easy to predict but if I played a guy who liked to slice I would be in trouble. Maybe your western is as extreme as you think it is? That's not a bad thing I'm just saying that maybe its not a full. I think semi-western is prefered.

Here are some images of full western http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/images/turbo_03_03/fig4r.JPG
http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/images/turbo_03_03/WesternR.jpg

Well I want to ask you a question but not to offend you, are you short? I mean I think I'm short probably 5"6. I think taller players would have more diffculty with a western grip.
 

playlikepros

New User
Western can be a great grip to use - if you are talented enough or have good enough training to use it. I never start people off in that grip but in semiwestern or eastern instead. I see a lot of shorter people using this grip and I suppose it is because they are short enough to not have such a big problem with low balls, and normal bouncing balls go right into a western strike zone (up more near chest height).
You can also hold the racquet loosely and almost "fling" the racquet at the ball (not with the wrist, just by the racquet naturally moving foreward with momentum). This will allow you to either hit relatively flat or with a lot of topspin depending on minute changes in your swing. However, timing it is your problem. I once hit with a kid who was #1 in five states in the 14s and under division and he did this very well.
Overall, I don't encourage anyone to use the western, but if they feel comfortable with it more power to them. Semiwestern I would agree is far more versitile and easier to use. You can get violent topspin for tight angles or flatten it out to put the pressure on an opponent all with very small changes in the swing and there will be less chance of a timing error.
 

erik-the-red

Semi-Pro
Somehow, my grip shifted from semi-western to full western in the past month.

A few days ago I had to consciously switch back to a semi-western grip.

The full western grip is too extreme and is not necessary for the courts I play on (hard). A semi-western grip suits me better as the strike zone is still far in front of the body, there is still a lot of natural topspin, but I can drive through with much more ease.

I'd use a western grip against somebody who liked to play with a lot of driving topspin (e.g. somebody who modeled his game after Nadal).

I wouldn't use it against people who slice and dice.
 

AngeloDS

Hall of Fame
A lot of my friends used this grip. I tried it, but it wasn't that great. It felt too awkward for me, and I kept mis-timing a lot of my hits and got frame hits. My wrist didn't feel too good.

I can say though it's a very consistant grip. A lot of my friends had very little balls that went out of the lines, but a lot of them weren't really winners. They were fast, but not fast enough.

I use the semi-western forehand grip. As Bungalo Bill said it's very verastile. I have a lot more drive than my friends who use the western. Not only this, but I've produced a lot more topspin than they could ever produced with their grips. For volleys, I put massive amounts of topspin so I can get up to the net fast as well as make sure my opponent can't lob it that well and a perfect shot to my volley.
 
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SageOfDeath

Guest
supersmash said:
I use a weaker western forehand to draw people to the net, and then use either a semi or eastern to pass.
eh..... :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

Tim Tennis

Professional
Bungalo Bill said:
It is a difficult grip to change grips on unless you want to hit from the same side of the racket.

I feel the SW grip is the best grip of all grips. It can do the things of a Western grip and do the things of an Eastern grip. It does not require a huge grip change and is a very versatile grip.
I agree with Bungalo Bill, the Semi-Western is one great grip. I noticed there are some posters on this thread that are thinking about moving to the SW grip. If you are really serious about mastering the SW grip you might want to check this link out.

http://www.tennisgeometrics.com/SemiWestern_power_forehand.html

You got to love the game.
 

TennsDog

Hall of Fame
Bill, your comment about changing grips and using the same side of the racket to hit...I do this and never realized most people don't. Is this uncommon? Do most people change grips the other way and actually twist the racket more than 180º? I use a western forehand and two-handed backhand. I like using a one-hander, though, for fun because I can use the exact same grip on both sides using the same hitting surface.
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
Oh one thing I notice about western FH grip users from pros... especially Nadal is you tend to sit at the baseline or behind the baseline a lot more, coming to the net less, and taking shots on the rise less. I have seen Nadal come in and attack on the rise... but twice in 5 sets?
 

Rafa's boy

New User
x Southpaw x said:
Oh one thing I notice about western FH grip users from pros... especially Nadal is you tend to sit at the baseline or behind the baseline a lot more, coming to the net less, and taking shots on the rise less. I have seen Nadal come in and attack on the rise... but twice in 5 sets?
Here is more criticism. I receive this same flak, and my argument is why mess with something that works? Is that strategy not working for Nadal? Who in the pros is coming to the net frequently anyways these days?

Nadal does the right thing IMO. He picks the right times to attack the net, when he knows he's in control and plans it out in a way where he can finish it off up there. He has the same game plan with taking shots on the rise. Why do guys like me keep getting all these beef about this?
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
Doh. That was criticism? Nah, don't take it that way. I'm just pointing out a common characteristic of that grip. It's your choice to choose your style of play. I'm not about to convince everyone to become all-courters.
 
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SageOfDeath

Guest
more theories? I mean its possible since he joined in august but please don't bring up more theories.
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
Yeah, my bad. Just memories of Twistserve is all. Totally obsessed with his western grip and always started threads/posted advice then fight off anyone's post which resembles a disagreement.
 

Rafa's boy

New User
x Southpaw x said:
Wait a min... is that you Twistserve? Rafa's boy?
Let me get off topic a little bit here. I sat back and watched all that craziness with Twistserve and what not, and please don't associate me with him because I don't want to be the next one who leaves. These boards really look like a nice place...

Back to topic. I know it is a common characteristic of practitioners of the Western grip to not approach the net as much as other players; my guess would be that it is the grip that limits you, and I read that the semi-western grip has the least limits, but like TennsDog mentioned, the spin and control you get off the forehand with the Western grip is incredible and uncomparable, and I also like the depth you can get with it as long as you always remember to really "follow through". Most of the pure all-courters like Federer use eastern/semi-western grips anyways.
 
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SageOfDeath

Guest
There are a lot of full western grip users. Mostly young players who are agressive baseliners.

The step from a semi-western to full western is big but I don't think it has amazing control compared to semi-western. The reason why is because its hard to hit in your ideal strike zone unless you are playing on clay. I find lots more balls on my strike zone for semi-western so I can consitantly hit it. Hitting flat is also something harder to do with western and its needed sometimes. Also low balls are much more killer to me. The full western grip also is harder to use due to its demands of head racquet speed. You cant whip up with a western grip too slowly and expect much. Its hard for a beginner to pick up. Semi-western is more versitile and easier to switch to different grips like volley grips, overheads, and backhand unless with full western you switch your grip the other way. I think its awkward but if western grip players learned how to switch the other way going to continental would be a snap.

I switched to semi for a different reason than the grip switches to the net. Grip switches to me aren't hard at all. I just think the demands of a western grip are too much for me but maybe I'll pick it up again when I'm ready. Though if you list the benefits of an eastern grip and a western grip, an eastern grip would have more benefits.

I think the real question is why aren't there enough players trying to learn how to hit with heavy topspin with an eastern grip? I would see so much benefit from that and I think learning a full western grip is just as hard as learning to hit with a lot of topspin with eastern. Plus the physical demends of western are a downside.
 

Turning Pro

Hall of Fame
SageOfDeath said:
There are a lot of full western grip users. Mostly young players who are agressive baseliners.

The step from a semi-western to full western is big but I don't think it has amazing control compared to semi-western. The reason why is because its hard to hit in your ideal strike zone unless you are playing on clay. I find lots more balls on my strike zone for semi-western so I can consitantly hit it. Hitting flat is also something harder to do with western and its needed sometimes. Also low balls are much more killer to me. The full western grip also is harder to use due to its demands of head racquet speed. You cant whip up with a western grip too slowly and expect much. Its hard for a beginner to pick up. Semi-western is more versitile and easier to switch to different grips like volley grips, overheads, and backhand unless with full western you switch your grip the other way. I think its awkward but if western grip players learned how to switch the other way going to continental would be a snap.

I switched to semi for a different reason than the grip switches to the net. Grip switches to me aren't hard at all. I just think the demands of a western grip are too much for me but maybe I'll pick it up again when I'm ready. Though if you list the benefits of an eastern grip and a western grip, an eastern grip would have more benefits.

I think the real question is why aren't there enough players trying to learn how to hit with heavy topspin with an eastern grip? I would see so much benefit from that and I think learning a full western grip is just as hard as learning to hit with a lot of topspin with eastern. Plus the physical demends of western are a downside.


Yer i agree with this man.........i once used a western and although i thought the stroke was nice at first,i knew there was something missing as although i hardly missed,my penetration in my forehand was not as devastating as it usually was unless i took the ball on the rise and the results were fairly nice however i soon reverted back to semi-western for all court coverage.
 

Rafa's boy

New User
SageOfDeath, I see what your are saying, but I think the majority of tennis players nowadays have semi-western grips.

People make too much out of getting those low balls, grip switching, and etc. for a western grip, I found the secret: focus. The Western grip is still "clay-courter" oriented, I agree, but it can be used effectively on other courts, as was seen through some of the "claycourters" in the pros this season.
 

FEDEX1

Rookie
i use the western grip and low balls are fine for me but i have to put a wrist flick or a whiping motiong or else you will have no power on it.
 

Plisken

New User
i use Western and im a baseline hard hitter with western u can hit the ball hard and with the topspin it will sink into the court and for low balls those are when i get a killer whip in but it does strain the arm/wrist if not careful but its fun to use if u can get a really high topspin lop in with western its hard to return
 
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