Do you want to know the deadliest weapon in the game of tennis? The forehand grip, used for forehand overhead shots, is a dominant weapon directly correlated with your success as a tennis player. The way you hold the tennis seems a pretty personal thing and your comfort while holding these sticks matters a lot. But why the grip matters a lot? Grip, besides, minimizes the risk of injuries, lets you extend your shooting range, and as a whole makes strikes more effective.
The technological breakthrough has spawned opportunities for tennis players. Modern racquets and string patterns have also enabled the players to modify their grips according to modern tennis. This is why players like Roger Federer have decided to change their grip to cater to the new game’s needs. So, Roger has adopted a pretty wide array of tricks, and Federer forehand grip is an example of Roger’s changes.
Different styles of the tennis forehand
Before getting started let’s know how we categorized each grip. There are two indicators of grip. First- the index finger knuckle and Second- the heel pad.
The tennis handle being octagon in shape has 8 bevels. And these bevels determine the name of the grip. When the heel pad of the palm and bottom knuckle of the index finger rests between bevel 1 and 2, we call it the Continental grip. It lies at the bevel 3 for eastern grip. While the semi-western and western grips are characterized by the placement of the palm at the bevels 4 and 5 respectively.
Familiar tennis forehand grip
So, the four familiar tennis forehand grip are
Wawrinka’s forehand grip is western and he uses this grip to generate topspins with this grip. The palm placement is on bevel 5. You can get an unprecedented amount of topspin and make a heavy baseline game with a tennis western grip. But keep in mind that this forehand grip is not recommended for players with tennis elbows. You can injure your elbows or wrist with this grip. Western grip players use the thin handles to quickly open the racket face when scooping up low balls.
Continental grip has evolved and given rise to semi-western grip. If you are a right-handed person, your palm side will rest on bevel 4. On the flip side, for left-handed, it will lie on bevel 6. It is proved influential for high bounces. Novak Djokovic forehand grip is semi-western.
The great Rafael Nadal also uses this contemporary grip and is known for producing natural topspins with this grip. Using this grip, you can hit more aggressively with a higher margin of error.
Eastern forehand grip
It is the most popular and modern grip that modern entry-level players prefer. To find the eastern grip place your hypothenar eminence is on bevel 3. Eastern grip allows the player to close the racket face for heavy topspin. Moreover, it is considered the perfect grip for control and power.
Tennis stars like Serena Williams and Del Potro employed this grip. Eastern grip also got popularity and is known as del Potro forehand grip which is the biggest forehand ever. Juan Martin Del Potro wins matches due to his powerful forehand.
If you want to start learning to play games with continental grip, you can quickly learn to play with this grip. It mainly involves the hand placement between bevels 1 and 2. The best part of this group is that it is equally suitable for players of all levels. Either you are a beginner, a player in the struggling phase, or a difficult-to-beat expert; this grip works well for all levels of players. Almost all pros use this grip and it allows them to build to winning points
Best forehand grip
There is no hard and fast rule to find the best forehand in tennis. You can label a grip best for you when it gives comfort to you. Furthermore, after hitting several forehands with all the above-mentioned grips you can identify the perfect forehand tennis grip for you.
In reality, it is an old-age debate. But now after carefully analyzing all grips and garnering some shreds of evidence we can say that semi-western grip also known as topspin forehand grip is the best one.
Roger Federer forehand grip
The natural-looking Federer forehand grip has a perfect balance between traditional grip and semi-western grip and is considered as one of the deadliest shots. And this shot has steered him with a wealth of success.
What grip does Federer use?
Roger Federer rotates his heel pad on high backhand volleys more towards the top bevel and therefore shows a modified eastern grip. Roger efficiently played all types of shots and amazed the opponents with practical but not the fastest Federer forehand technique. His modified eastern grip has become the benchmark for the winning tennis technique. With his classical and modern hitting styles, he unleashed many shots.
Roger Federer forehand analysis reveals that the combination of Roger Federer grip and proper body mechanism gives accuracy in his every shot. After carefully analyzing the body mechanics and Federer forehand slow motion we highlighted the following facts.
- His upper torso rotation is extreme.
- His upper body rotates around 180 degrees while performing forward swings.
- The forehand together with upper body rotation adds more power to his shots.
- He employs a bit tricky, and complicated way to execute the shot from start to finish
- He locked his arms while making contact with the ball.
- The way his wrist rolls up the back of the ball is a perfect depiction of creating a pop when a ball hits the surface of the court.
Roger Federer serve grip
Federer serves grip has puzzled many of the analysts. Most of them agree that he uses a soft Eastern Backhand grip for kicks. We assume that Federer changes grips for serves. We say with certainty that he uses a continental grip for first serves while for second serves he slightly changes his grip into an eastern backhand grip.
Roger Federer’s backhand grip reflects his old-school style of play. His playing style is packed with a bunch of features like power, generous top spins, adaptability, and versatility.
Rafael Nadal forehand grip
How can I hit big-time topspin like Rafael Nadal? Well, the secret lies in the Nadal forehand grip which is a semi-western grip.
No doubt, Nadal knows very well how to hit good forehands with an extreme grip that falls on bevel 4.5. Apart from using this extreme forehand grip, he hits the forehand with a straight arm. Isn’t that a brilliant tactical game?
Not every player can do wonders by copying his authoritarian style and extreme forehand grip. It is a rare great forehand that really suits his game plan well. Also, Nadal’s grip makes him so incredibly tough to beat and worth his weight in gold.