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Low contact point
A majority of Tennis coaches/ videos advocate hitting the fall sideways after rotating the body so that the racquet is horizontal(parallel to the net) at the point of contact which should be about waist height. What comes naturally to me is hitting the ball low(little lower than the knee) in a neutral stance as opposed to the open stance where the front foot bends a lot forward, the racquet comes more down than sideways (vertical at the point of contact) with little sidewards rotation of the body. I am able to hit well with this both on the forehand and on the double handed backhand.
Can anyone suggest how to improve this ? I have not come across any video displaying this but it suits me.
Conti likes low balls.
Western likes high balls.
Thanks LeeD. Conti is more for serving and volleying I suppose though I agree what you have said about western. I think mine is more eastern or handshake grip- would that be good for hitting low balls(knee height) in front of the body diagonally cross court(forehand) which we do most of the times in doubles? I suppose the grips have to change with the height of the ball as one cannot have the same grip all the time though one can try to position oneself to one's strengths most of the time?
There was a thread somewhat about this recently : http://www.tennisw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7767
Its really your proficiency with that particular grip, I doubt that you'd change it for every shot.
Maybe you need to make your grip more semiwesternish..
I have a question for everyone here, do you know why eastern is so natural for kids? Is it because our hands don't like to wrap around the racquet handle as much?
The eastern is more natural because it follows the position of the palm with the face of the racket. So if you hit a ball with the palm of your hand instead of with a racket then your hand is at the same angle as with a racket held in an eastern.
Originally Posted by 03White
In answer to the original poster. In all honesty it doesn't sound like a great style. A lot of players have a degrree of consistency, and to some extent success, playing in a way that is unorthodox. Ultimately it us unlikely you will be able to improve your game much with that style. It might be best to have a professional coach look at your game and give his opinion. If he tells you to change your style altogether then it will almost always make your game worse at first but eventually it will improve until you are a better player than before and can then improve further. The longer someone has played a certain way though, the harder it will be.
If on the other hand you don't want to change styles then throw the videos away and just enjoy tennis without worrying about style like many recreational players.
Thanks 03white for the link. It has a very interesting discussion initiated by mal-j.
I agree with mal-j about grip not being imposed. I remember watching a DVD of Jimmy Connors where he said "There is no right or wrong way to play Tennis. It is a matter of what suits you" . Even in academics it is like that- you choose your own vocation in life and within that, you have to discover your own niche and style. "One size fits all" does not work anywhere; why should there be any insistence on a grip or hitting sideways if the fellow can hit a shot with conviction in front of his body?If both the shot and the body language is pleasing to watch, what is wrong and besides, how does it matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice.?
While we are on about it, what about the backhand. I play the double handed backhand again low at knee height though most of the videos advocate sidewards. I suppose there the right hand grip would be eastern and left hand -semi western or continental? Would be interesting to know.
Mal-j, can you please let me know what grip Nadal uses- western or semi western. ?
Last edited by Hiren; 03-15-2010 at 04:01 AM.
95% of male pros use a form of SW to W grips.
The rest, like Federer, uses a strong EBH with lots of SW flavor.
They normally face balls bouncing around mid chest to lower shoulders, in height, and that grip allows them to swing out every time with topspin.
In the old grass days, lots of continental forehands, as the ball would skid and bounce around mid shin to knee heights. Conti hits low balls well.
Most short pros use a full western grip, as they're shorter than 5'8", and normally face balls that bounce over their shoulders.
Interesting to note, even the really tall boyz, like Isner, Querry, Soderling, use almost a cross between SW and W grips. They grew up hitting that grip, and didn't want to change. They started when they were little short guys facing high bouncing balls.
Nadal uses a full western grip, so his hand is underneath the racket as opposed to being behind the racket with the eastern (sometimes called shake-hands grip).
One thing I have noticed when it comes to grip is that the way you spread your fingers out on the handle, especially your index finger, changes the angle of the racket slightly. And there are different ways to play a forehand using the same basic grip, so two pros could use the same grip but play the shot differently - which leads to endless debates in forums as to who is doing what.
On my backhand I use a chopper grip with my right hand and a semi-western (without the fingers spread out) with my left.
Just out of interest Hiren, how do you deal with high balls to your forehand if you are used to hitting them low? If I was playing you in a tournament I would probably start hitting looping topspin balls to your forehand. Have you had that and how have you dealt with it?
Thanks for letting me know about Nadal's grip and your backhand tip, mal-J. Thanks LeeD.
I am just a club player in India and play for an hour and a half six times a day. I am passionate about Tennis and keen to know as much as possible. From what I know, chopper and continental grip are one and the same.
As for your specific question, my racquet automatically adjusts to semi western when I get a high ball. I also tend to go back and pick them low with the eastern grip whenever possible.
As for two pros playing differently, on close observation, many tend to play with the closed stance at times though open stance is advocated normally and also many hit good shots without bending knees which is normally recommended for lower balls.
Its more situational and what suits you.
Last edited by Hiren; 03-17-2010 at 09:00 AM.
Good luck with all that tennis you play
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