A tennis grip is one thing you should always keep in mind as you follow your tennis journey and strive to become a professional. Tennis racket grips still have a major impact on the efficiency of stroking & serving, regardless of how and where you want to play.
It is necessary to understand & implement the necessity of tennis grips to be a better & strategically focused tennis player. It would be wise to learn such things as a beginner to make your career more successful.
Throughout this article, you will learn everything about what a tennis grip is, why it matters so much, the best tennis grip, tennis grip sizes, along different types of tennis grips. Therefore, enjoy your drink, sit back & read the informational guide to your questions.
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Tennis Racket Hand Position | How To Hold A Tennis Racket
A tennis grip is necessarily a method of holding the racquet during gameplay especially in striking, either in response or for serving. Ideally, the way you hold your racquet directly & sometimes indirectly affects your arm response & the power of striking.
Using a proper tennis grip is a crucial & sometimes time-consuming thing to learn & to implement as well if you are addicted to any specific but false grip. If you have opted for a false grip, you will be getting tired instead of enjoying the game because you are tiring your entire hand, arm, & most importantly, your palm.
This tiredness has possibly two & only reasons; one is your grip method, while the second thing could be your handle. If you have ever noticed, most of the time a standard racquet always uses a hexagonal or octagonal shape of the handle, which ultimately hurts your palm.
But suppose the racquet manufacturers start using any other shape circular as an example. In that case, the handles like these tend to cause more friction, which makes the strikes just enough for defending, rather than striking them back with a constant & effective force by making your gripping quite slippery.
Moreover, this octagonal or hexagonal shape of handle assists a lot during gameplay, because it can be a more comfortable tennis grip for sweaty hands, that could help in preventing twisting & slipping. Plus, you are not supposed to grip this handle so hardly.
Types of Tennis Grips | 5 Tennis Grips Explained for Beginners
Here in this section, we will quickly & thoroughly run through each & every type of tennis racquet grip, so that you can get enough understanding hopefully for their ideal case scenario of when & where to use each of the grips.
Tennis Continental Grip:
It is the most important & one of the most common grips across all levels of players either left or right-hand.
A continental tennis grip is something, when you hold the racquet such a way, once your index (first finger on your right hand at the rightmost side) makes an angle of almost 45-50 degrees across your knuckle & the second level on the handle for the right-handed players, while the eighth one in case of left-handed players.
This grip is experienced as one of the most comfortable grips, for most of the continental shots such as low balls, pick-up shots, side spins, under spins, volleys, serves, touch & mainly the utility shots out there.
You will find this one a very neutral sort of grip because when you pull your hand up, it makes a straight alignment along with your racket face across your palm. Plus, it is very easy to use grip all across the forehand & the backhand side of the strings as well.
Tennis Eastern Grip:
This often refers to eastern grip & sometimes it is Eastern forehand grip, which was practically introduced & dominated in the early 80s by American open tennis stars. Possibly one of the best tennis serves out there.
To use this grip, you have to turn your bigger knuckle on your index finger towards the third level for the right-handed players, & the seventh bevel for left-handed players respectively. The best grip for fast & dominant game sessions.
The most general or professional players mostly use this grip for their forehand groundstrokes, smashes, flat shots, power & velocities shots, where the power & speeds require the most. While on the other hand, its sibling grip also named the eastern backhand grip is ideal for serving the kicks.
This could also be the best tennis grip for striking better hits & control on the ball only in a reliable & easy position. However, eastern grips are not recommended for fewer top spins, bouncy & high-altitude strikes, where you would need to change the position & grip for sure.
Eastern Backhand Tennis Grip:
This is not the primary or top tennis grip that falls under any tier one or so-called main category, but still, it is a course of the game, which you need to be aware of. You can call this grip a second in command, a sibling, or a parallel grip to the eastern tennis grip.
Sometimes, it is also referred to as a single-handed backhand tennis grip, so don’t get confused!
This is when you stand behind the racket in the court, where the strikes or serves are in parallel & directing your racquet instead of handling your body. On this grip, the big knuckle of your hand is associated with the first level for the right-handers, while the knuckle itself is straight towards the grip.
This grip could also help you in stopping hitting the ball into the nut of the tennis court, controlling the spin & dominant shots which is the main problem & a bad habit across every newbie & a beginner. Your knuckles are mainly straight-ended, which somehow helps in hunting or kicking a serve.
An eastern backhand short is hard for hitting on heights & shoulder strokes, which makes it quite newbie & beginners friendly. But, practice makes the man perfect & you will be able to bypass this element as well, once you learn it.
Tennis Semi-Western Grip:
There are now two variants of this grip. One is referred to as western, while the other one is referred to as Semi-Western. Both of these are relatively similar, but different as well.
First, for the semi-western grip, the left hands are placed to the sixth one, while the right hands should need to be on the fourth level, across your palm leveling the front face or strings of the racket to get it properly established.
This grip is popular amongst the emerging players, who want to get the maximum pace & topspin with some moderate to a high level of applied force without tiring your palms, hand & elbow of course. While in the eastern backhand grip, you will be standing behind the racquet.
This strike is best for top spins for slow to moderately quick shots because your hand is partially underneath (not wholly) the handle of the racquet & striking against the most decisive shot, could leave an impact on your racket or you will not be able to strike back powerfully again.
You will be picking the racket upwards while accelerating for typical top spins.
Tennis Western Grip:
This is a grip, which nobody cares about if he is forehand sidings. The extreme level of professional players mostly uses it because this is relatively hard & helpful to generate the maximum velocity & force at the same time.
For this grip, you have to set your index knuckle to the fifth bevel on your racket handle, to get it prepared to use. This grip is relatively firmer & requires more gripping power as compared to its predecessor because you will be dealing with slow outcomes to make them speedy by hitting it harder & strongly.
In this grip, you put the hand a little far underneath, but this time, it’s not partial unlike the semi-western one, which still assists in accelerating forward & upwards as well. This will also enable you to do a cover drive, which is also an excellent stroke for the court.
But you should always keep in mind that you will always stay problematic with low past & less curved shots for this grip which usually needs a higher bump to perform pretty well. Most beginners will find this trick tricky & time-consuming, but once you learn it somehow, this will work a lot for you.
How to choose a Tennis Grip | Best Grip for Tennis Racquet
As I have mentioned earlier, most racquets are octagonal when you look at their bass or the bottom only. When you hold up the racket straight up yet in a downwards position, the top face which is facing towards the sky is basically the 1st bevel on the handle.
When you keep going clockwise, the number of the bevels will ultimately start increasing & they will end up by the 8th bevel, stating that you have counted each side of this octagonal racket.
Moreover, you can choose from the types of grips by analyzing the following recommendations, to get a closure look on which one suits your requirements.
Depending upon your preferable hand, as I have stated it for right-handed players. This thing is for right-handers, while left-handers have to do it opposite, i.e., in an anti-clockwise direction.
A continental grip is the best tennis grip at defending, starting, beginning & relatively slower games because you lack majorly in elbow power most of the time, which prevents top balls, & ball controlling when in speed.
An eastern grip is mainly recommended & used by Roger Federer, the most famous tennis star of this time across the globe, mostly in Europe & United States. This could be a standard tennis grip for professional & established players.
However, there’s a trick to get topspin, from this eastern grip as well, but only Pro players are aware of this thing & you need to get coaching from them. So, you can say that the Eastern grip is the best tennis grip for top spins.
As western grips are hard for beginners, the Semi Western grips, on the other hand, are relatively easier ones to pick the ball in the court while accelerating, but you need to be careful for short but speedy shots. However, a semi-western tennis grip is one of the best tennis grips for sweaty hands.
Tennis Racket Grip Size | How to Choose Tennis Racket Grip Size
Along with the grip type for your game, choosing the right grip size is also extremely important, which we usually don’t consider. A tennis racquet grip with the right size could indirectly affect your gripping power along with striking.
If you have a short grip, a powerful strike will produce a powerful impact on your arm which doesn’t cool down efficiently. On the other hand, taking a too big grip would cause you less effective handling & rotation against the strikes.
Usually, a racket grip measurement is taken by the diameter of the handle, which you will be using in your sessions. This diameter could be anywhere from 04 to 05 inches at most. The minimum size is referred to as zero, while the maximum size is considered as 6 in the racquet terminologies.
On your palm, measure the width of it horizontally, & then measure it vertically by making your ring finger as a reference making a tangent to each length. Just as an example, if you have got the sum up somewhere 04-04.5 inches, you are the size of 03 grips.
That’s it; you are done with your tennis racket grip size. Now just pick up the right racket by implementing the data. As you are buying tennis racquets online, you should use this method ideally.
You can always increase your grip size by wrapping overgrips on it if you have got the wrong size. If it’s your first ever racquet, you should start with the exact size that you will have after calculation, so you can always use overgrip if it is smaller for you to hold, rather than opting for an oversized handle.
Tennis Grip VS OverGrip | Difference Between Tennis Grip and Overgrip
Tennis racquets all come exclusively with grips on their handles, but you have to replace time after some time, to avoid any prevention in comfort & smooth gripping.
Instead of purchasing your new racquet, which doesn’t make any sense at all, it would be equivalent to overpaying again & again. Some smart players tend to use aftermarket grips on it. But sometimes they remove the former grip entirely, which somehow affects your hand comfort level similarly.
If your pre-installed grip has been ripped off partially, the overgrips could help prevent more tearing, once installed correctly & you don’t even need to replace this thing as well often.
Most of the overgrips do come in threaded & perfectly cushioned texture which may or may not include any treads or ridges. If you are a normal hand, you can use any design of the overgrip, which attracts you the most.
But if you are a sweaty hand, you should always choose perforated overgrips, which are specially designed for absorbing any possible or already layered sweat. Treaded overgrips are also suitable for sweaty hands.
While contour overgrips are best for more safe & secure handling due to easy finger placement which prevents slipping & turning on both high altitude or powerful shots, try to avoid dry overgrips if you are a sweaty hand again.
However, the leather overgrips are the most durable & best overgrips for powerful shots, which prevents most of the jerk & impact from transferring it to your elbow. But they are slightly expensive, yet longer lasting than the others.
The Bottom Line:
Using the proper & correct tennis grip not only makes you comfortable for a long run in a session, but it also assists you as a beginner player along with its part of preventing injuries, when sometimes a robust reactive strike catches your fingers, which hurts the most.
Some grips are best at making a fist on the oncoming balls, while some are preferably best at defending, striking & hitting back hard the ball, to make decisive & powerful strokes again & again.
Summarizing the stuff, if you like to play forehead, the western grips are the good one to go. If you want to make robust, responsive & fast strikes, then continental, & eastern grips are at their best.
If you have just started your tennis journey, it’s better to prioritize learning (both the double-handed & single-handed) eastern grips, continental, or at least western strokes in the meantime. Later, once you master most of these grips, you can then head towards other grips as well.