When I decided to work with competetitors I prepared myself by writing few articles.
One of the articles is called "The Grips" where I defined the importantce of proper grip in tennis,unique way to find certain grip, all possible grips, and how to hold racket for each grip.
After that article I wrote "The Best Possible Grip/Shot Combination".Here, I wanted to find the best grip/shot combination overall being aware that each combination has advantages, and disadvantages.
When I watched this video I could not believe that Roger Federer uses eastern forehand grip for forehand.Why?Because, eastern forehand forehand in today¨s game is like 30 year old car on the street.It is something that does not go along with today¨s tennis (to hit as hard as possible, and that balls still lands in court due topspin).It is not natural grip for today¨s tennis where topspin is the most dominant stroke.
Roger Federer forehand is very good shot (it cannot produce such heaviness on ball like Nadal¨s), but it will be remembered as his trademark.
I watched this video many times and I still cannot figure it out how can he produce such a tremendous shot using eastern forehand?It is some kind of catch, but I cannot figure it out.By the way there are few things which I noticed which attracted my attention:
- edge of the racket butt is not on the heel of the palm
- three last fingers (small, ring and middle) are almost perpendicular on the racket butt
- his middle finger is almost on top narow side which is impossible if one holds eastern (only if he has exceptionally long fingers, like Sampras arms).
All this can effect angle between racket and forearm, wrist action, and racket face at impact, and I think that mix of these combinations has the same effect as holding racket with semi western grip.
Eastern grip per se is not able to produce exceptional forehand strokes.It is too rigid grip.
At his time Ilie Nastase used continental grip for forehand, and by having really srtrong wrist, and closing it he compensated to have racket face at impact to produce topspin shot.That was good for that time.In today¨s game it would not help.
Federer does some kind of compensation too (he makes too many unforced errors), but I still cannot figure it out how it works.It is again law of physics.
Roger Federer uses an eastern/extreme eastern grip.