The grips you use in tennis will have a direct influence on your play style. Tennis grips are among the factors that will determine the amount of spin you can do and the amount of pace you can generate. When comparing different tennis grips, keep in mind that one grip should not be better than another. Pick a grip that can help your play style. For instance, if you are aggressive, go for a grip that lets you hit through the ball with more pace, like how Federer does it. If you are a consistent player, consider a grip that lets you achieve more spin, like what Nadal does.
A tennis racket grip is divided into eight bevels, and the type of grip will depend on where your heel pad and index knuckle are resting. Here are the different tennis grips you should know about and the difference between each of them:
- Continental tennis grip – Use it for the volley, slice, overhead, and serve. The index knuckle and the heel pad should rest on bevel 2. The continental grip is done during a serve.
- Eastern forehand grip – Rest the heel pad and index knuckle on the third bevel. To find this grip easily, hold the racket at its throat with a non-playing hand, and use your playing hand to shake hands with it. The natural contact point is approximately at the waist. You should be able to hit the ball flat with the eastern forehead grip, but it may not let you produce much spin.
- Western forehand grip – The heel pad and index knuckle are on bevel five. It lets you hit with additional top spin, but it cannot hit the ball with speed.
- Semi-western forehand grip – The heel pad and index knuckle are on bevel four. Find the grip by placing the racket face flat on the ground, then pick it up. The contact point is between the shoulders and waist. The grip lets you hit with spin and speed, but it will not be faster than the eastern forehand or not as much spin as when you use a western forehand.
- Two-handed backhand – The right hand’s index knuckle is on bevel two and the heel pad is on the bevel one, and the left hand’s index knuckle and heel pad are on bevel seven. The right hand must be at the bottom, and the left hand on top.
- Eastern backhand grip – Place the heel pad and index knuckle on the first bevel. This grip provides more power, with minimal top spin.
- Extreme or semi-western backhand – The heel pad and index knuckle are on the eighth bevel. It can be difficult to master, but it lets you put more top spin and less power.