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  1. #1

    Eastern forehand

    I know a lot of peoople will disagree with this but I reckon that the eastern forehand is better than the semi-western or western.

    1 - It is more natural and easier to hit the ball as it matches the palm of your hand.
    2 - It is more versatile.
    3 - Studies have shown less wrist injuries associated with people who use the eastern over the other two.
    4 - It is possible to generate just as much topspin and power.
    5 - The most successful player of all time (Federer) uses an eastern. The second most successful (Sampras) used an eastern.

    This is just my opinion of course but I win more matches when I use the eastern than the semi-western and I don't think that the semi-western should be taught to juniors as "the only forehand grip" over the others.

    So what do you all think?

  2. #2
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    Ultimately, I don't think a sw grip can make the difference for somebody using an eastern grip. I think the individual reaches the pro level due to mental toughness and will (love of the game). Take a look at Jimmy Connors; he used a continental grip! I agree with you that a coach should not make their team use sw or w.

  3. #3
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    The grip you use is based on the height of the predominant incoming balls.
    Short juniors get head high and higher balls all the time, so SW or W grip.
    Tall people need to dig out low balls, and only occasionally need to encounter balls bouncing higher than their shoulders, thus less need for SW or W grips. A counter would be Soderling, at 6'5" and using a W grip.
    Finesse of E grip is balanced out by more power with the SW grip.
    Edge of hand is stronger than face of the hand, so W grips might be OK too.

  4. #4
    Federer and Nadal are exactly the same height (6" 1' in) and use different forehand grips. Sampras was 6' 1' as well and used eastern. And like you say LeeD, Soderling is 6" 5' and uses a western. So I don't think height should be the main factor deciding which forehand grip you use. It is a factor but not the main factor.

    Yes it is easier to get lower balls with an easten due to the angle of the racket but skilled players have no proplem with higher balls with an eastern.
    It just goes to show the greater versitility of the eastern. A continental - great on low, terrible on high. A full western - great on high, terrible on low.
    An eastern - good all round.
    Teaching kids to use a semi or full western can be counter productive as when they grow taller they will either have to change (which can be difficult after several years of playing a certain way) or keep with the grip they are used to but which might be wrong for them if they are very tall - if going by what was in the previous post about it being down to your height.

    I would rather have the finess of the eastern and if done right you can get just as much power as the others. You can also hit flatter balls easier with an eastern if needed and we all know that a flattened out ball goes faster.

    Also the edge of the hand isn't stronger than the palm - you wouldn't push a car with the edge of your hands, you would use the palms.

  5. #5
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    It's probably easier to switch to an eastern or western grip if you're taught a semiwestern grip rather than one extreme or the other.

  6. #6
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    90% of pros use sw. wonder if this is mainly due to their coach picking that grip or a personal preference.

  7. #7
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    I use an extreme sW, and am considering moving to a western. I'm 5'6, and high balls are pretty tough for me, thats why i try to take stuff on the rise.
    I was taught with the eastern grip, but had a difficult time generating topspin on it. IDK why eastern seems so natural for kids..almost everyone where i used to go used it.

  8. #8
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    That comment about edge of hand being stronger than palm....
    Consider, you push a car slow motion.
    You strike a forehand or backhand with a fast swing. And that fast swing is not directly in front of your body, it's well out to the side of your body.
    Not saying you should or should not employ eastern forehand grips.
    I don't, because I always have a height control problem with EFH. I tend to hit too high (deep), and too low (net). SW gives me height control, which is also depth control.
    EFH just takes too much body control and restraining. SW allows me to hit out more.

  9. #9
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    "A full western - great on high, terrible on low.
    An eastern - good all round.
    Teaching kids to use a semi or full western can be counter productive as when they grow taller they will either have to change (which can be difficult after several years of playing a certain way) or keep with the grip they are used to but which might be wrong for them if they are very tall - if going by what was in the previous post about it being down to your height."


    I hit with a semi western/western grip and i have absolutely no problem with low balls. It all comes down to how proficient you are with the grip you use. Someone who isn't experienced with the eastern grip will find high balls difficult; someone not accustomed to the western grip may find low balls difficult. But if you are proficient with the grip you use then you will instinctively be able to hit any ball. After all, you don't see federer struggling with high balls and Nadal with low ones
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."

  10. #10
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    Good point Alex.. though I do wonder if mal-j was referring more toward the intermediate skill levels.

  11. #11
    Alex has a very good point - it all comes down to how proficient you are with the grip you use. I have absolutely no trouble in high or low balls or generating spin or pace with an eastern. I am not the best tennis player in the world - far from it - but that works best for me. And everyone is different. I am just saying that to teach everyone just one grip and tell them that is how they have to play - as they do in some tennis schools - is not the best way to go. I don't want to see a load of robots playing tennis all the same way. If a certain grip works for you then stick with it but if the two best players of all time both use eastern then why are do some coaches dismiss it as an inferior grip. (Del Potro's forehand looks close to an eastern as well, don't know for sure.)
    As you mentioned Lawn tennis, at an intermediate level - or perhaps for older players - I would recommend the eastern as it is more stable and has less wrist injuries associated with it - that part is fact and based on years of study.
    On a pro level I reckon in years to come we will get more players going back to eastern - that's a prediction that I guess many will disagree with.

    I am sorry LeeD but I still don't agree with the edge of the hand being stronger than the palm. If you hit a wall at speed with the edge of your hand swung well out from the side of your body you could break your wrist. If you slap the wall at that speed you are more likely to have a sore hand.

  12. #12
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    Ever hear of "karate chop" ????????
    To hit quick and effectively with your palm, you have to have weight behind the hand. Can't do that in tennis. In tennis, all your shots are out to your side.
    You may use Eastern all you want.
    I find Eastern forehand doesn't allow a strong ball unless I can control my posture and balance. I can't. So SW allows a much stronger ball with a slight loss of balance and posture.
    You find TWO examples to support your position.
    I find 150 out of 200 mens pros use SW grip.
    Which example is more applicable?

  13. #13
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    I normally use a sw grip but for shoulder height balls I switch to an eastern to pummel them. I don't understand how using a western grip would help you hit a high ball, it just sounds awkward.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    I normally use a sw grip but for shoulder height balls I switch to an eastern to pummel them. I don't understand how using a western grip would help you hit a high ball, it just sounds awkward.
    the idea behind that is you can still hit "low to high" with a sw or w grip on high balls. i use a mix between eastern and sw. when a ball is shoulder height, i lean back through the shot to impart more spin (slice and topspin). it works really well.

  15. #15
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    I tend to jump into the ball..have a semiwestern grip..
    Once I was hitting 2 handed, above shoulder high backhands..those things are hard.. I had to jump and turn using perfect timing.
    LT, you put backspin and topspin on a ball @ the same time? Or by slice you mean sidespin?

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