Switching Grips [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Switching Grips

Bernard Black
02-12-2008, 08:26 AM
For a few years now I've been hitting my forehand with an eastern grip. I'm self-taught since a junior so it was the easiest to use at the time and I've just grown up with it, but now having analysed my game I can see I'm having trouble putting away the high short balls, especially around shoulder length. If I really unleash on the ball, it often goes way long.

This is obviously partly to do with my rubbish ability! But I think I need to change to a semi-western grip to be able to take these balls early and put them away (with margin for error).

Anyone have experience of making this switch? How should you change your technique when hitting the forehand semi-western as opposed to eastern?

Ironically, I hit with a heavy topspin grip on my backhand side so am pretty fine dealing with high balls on this side, but then I struggle with the low ones!

Is it possible to switch grip to suit the situation? I.e. a low skidding ball you may want to hit flat with an eastern grip, but you may want to switch to a western grip for anything coming at you deep with heavy topspin. Or is it more advisable to learn one technique and stick with it for your groundstrokes no matter what?

Apologies for sounding like a total geek with all this talk of grips, but I guess I can get away with it in this forum :)

02-12-2008, 11:27 AM
i wouldnt do a complete switch straight away, just change it gradually

02-13-2008, 12:59 AM
A low skidding ball you can still use a western grip.

But you have to get under the ball a lot and use a lot of wrist to whip the ball up over the net a la Nadal.

Using a more mid to western grip will help you with the high short balls on your FH.

Bernard Black
02-13-2008, 09:24 PM
Thanks for the tips guys.

I had match practice yesterday and hit a few with a western and semi-western, they arked into the net quite a lot though so I wimped out and went back to my eastern for the most part. It's kinda tricky because we play on really quick courts so I'm going to have problems with my timing if I change to a western.

Might have to stick with my beginners grip for now :( Oh well, it worked for Sampras I guess!

02-14-2008, 08:46 PM
Eastern is the most efficient grip wich allows maximum variables of shots .
There are methods of enhancing spin on shots with eastern .
Western is a bad grip and most players use semi-western to enable them to generate more power + catch the ball at a more comfortable height .

My advice is to use eastern grip and learn how to utilize more spin to it ...
Example of what u can do is tilt the racquet head down a bit and while hitting the top-spin shift it upwards .
Also try looping ur stroke a bit more, think about creating a big bowl shape coming under the ball .

Remind yourself of a few simple rules when you play baseline :

Only hit a flat when ball is in height over the net .
The more power you hit with the more spin you add .
The closer you hit the ball to the net the more spin you generate .
Each ball under net height must be hit with a top spin .

Again, eastern is the ultimate grip for tennis .
Learn to use it well and you will be good .

02-14-2008, 08:47 PM
By the way ... the reason ur shots went into the net alot is cause of the exsessive spin u gave the ball .. meaning u actually hit pretty well but those grips simply dont suit you .

Bernard Black
02-27-2008, 11:20 AM
Thanks AviramDj. I'm hitting a great ball at the moment, and got my confidence back. I stuck with the eastern - as you said, it's the ultimate grip haha! Switch to a semi-western to put away the high short-balls though...it's working well :)

02-28-2008, 12:05 AM
Nobody's using eastern anymore. Semi-western is the best combination of power and spin and it's no surprise practically everybody uses it nowadays.

Eastern = 80s tennis.

Bernard Black
02-29-2008, 08:25 AM
Nobody's using eastern anymore. Semi-western is the best combination of power and spin and it's no surprise practically everybody uses it nowadays.

Eastern = 80s tennis.


02-29-2008, 05:12 PM

I'd say you should try to change to semi-western, it's not that different from eastern and it gives you much more margin. :)

03-01-2008, 02:32 AM
Just stick with whats natural. Its all in the stroke. You can hit heavy topspin with an eastern grip and relatively flat with a western. All a grip does is enhance certain abilities.

Bernard Black
04-17-2008, 02:12 PM
I've finally made the change and am never going back! My shots are so much heavier now with the extra top-spin, it really suits my game. I had to suffer for a while with quite a few mis-hits, but now I'm used to the grip I'm playing great.

I highly recommend others to make this change if they haven't already!

On a side note, played against a junior the other day who was hitting with what looked like an extreme western grip. He was generating more top-spin than I've ever seen before at this level and hitting some incredible winners from way behind the baseline. He'll be one heck of a player in a few years once he acquires some court-savvy.