The Grip Guide
Powerful, swift, fluid and accurate strokes in tennis are the combination of many factors. From how fast you move on the court to how well you stretch your arms and legs. But it all starts and ends with how you hold the tennis racket on your hand: the grip!
No matter how much time and money you spend finding that perfect frame made out of cutting edge alloys and using top notch technologies, the most important part of your racket and your game its not the racket per se, it is how you hold it in your hand. Although highly overlooked by amateur players, the grips are the essence of all strokes in tennis. Where you position your hand on the eight sided handler has a paramount impact on every single ball you hit. The grip affects the angle your racket hit the ball, where you make contact with the ball, the pace, the height of the stroke, the spin and finally, the placement of the ball leaving your racket. Before Gripmap was invented, for over a century the players learned (and still do) the grips using same obsolete reference tips: "place your knuckle on one o'clock", "hold the racket as if shaking someone's hand", "take the racket as if it was a frying pan" "make a V out of your thumb and index finger and place it on eleven o clock, or one o'clock or two o'clock" and so one and so forth. Now days having the Gripmap, all of those techniques sounds funny, peculiar and hard to understand. When you are a professional tennis player training for eight ours a day and playing dozens of matches each months, the grip become your nature, despite the primitive way of learning them. But when you are an amateur player wanting either to have fun or stepping up for a pro level, Gripmap is a mind blowing brilliant solution. Each grip has its advantages and limitations, which is why professional players change the grip many times during every point, because they want to use the best one for each stroke, and not one for all the strokes. You've all heard about volleys, slices, overheads etc. But basically, breaking down the tennis game, it all resumes to the 3 basic elements of playing: the serve, the forehand and the backhand.
Right-handed players - place the rubber ring as instructed and use the Octagon labeled “R”. Left-handed players - place the rubber ring upside down and use the Octagon labeled “L”. The Grips Guide will help you learn each grip’s purpose, the way to grasp them correctly and which one is best recommended for serve, forehand and backhand.
The Grips Guide will help you learn each grip purpose, the way to grasp it correctly and which one is best for serve, forehand and backhand.
The most famous grip, the Continental Grip is used primarly for serves, volleys, overheads, backhand slices and deffensive shots. You shall find the Continetntal Grip by placing your index knuckle on the bevel corresponding to the green square of the Gripmap ring. Always make sure the diagonal between the index knucle and heel pad stays on the same bevel.
Great for serves, volleys, overheads, backhand slices, defensive shots, handling low balls and wide balls you’re hardly reaching. It is used by all the players in the ATP and WTA tournaments.
Not recommended for forehand or backhand shots since it is hard to generate topspin upon the ball and its lack of consistency criples your game. The last famous players using it for forehand or backhand shots where John McEnroe and Stefan Edberg, but now days almost nobody use it for that. The only exception is on Wimbledon (and generaly grass courts) where it can be useful to reach low bounces. ...Hitting with the Continental Grip on the serves and overheads is like a modern tennis standard, as it allows accurate and fluid strokes. By naturally balancing your forearm and wrist, the grip generates an explosive and versatile shot with no stress whatsoever on your arm and shoulders. It is also great for volleys, the slightly "open" racket face being ideal for control and underspin. That angle the racket faces the ground, provided by the grip, is the key in choosing this and any other grip. The more closed the angle, the higher and farther in front of your body the strike zone will be. For low balls, defensive shots and wide balls apparently out of your reach is an excellent choice. But when it comes to forehand and backhand is not anymore. You can only hit flat, or with slice, but is impossible to put topspin on the ball. That translates in the fact that if you hit the ball with power and obviously want to keep it in play, you need to aim the shot just shy above the net level, which you’ll soon find out is quite difficult to achieve, most of your balls crashing into the net, hence the lack of consistency if used for such purposes.
Eastern Backhand Grip
The Eastern Backhand grip is the second best choice for serve, particulary for kick or twisted serves and a decent choice for one handed backhand shots. You shall find the Eastern Bachand Grip by placing your index knuckle on the bevel corresponding to the white square of the Gripmap ring. Always make sure the diagonal between the index knucle and heel pad stays on the same bevel.
It is a versatile grip that provides fair stability for the wrist. You can serve with a kick, roll the ball for some spin or slice it with clean consistency.
While solid for handling low bownces, as the Continental Grip, the Eastern backhand grip is not reccomended for hitting topspin shots. It is difficult to control the balls, and many times a player is forced to slice them back defensively losing any point advantage previously created. The Eastern Backhand Grip is ocasionaly tried by many professional players.
The all-time classic grip for forehand, is the most tought method of holding the tennis racket for beginers. You shall find the Eastern Forehand Grip by placing your index knuckle on the bevel corresponding to the blue square of the Gripmap ring. Always make sure the diagonal between the index knucle and heel pad stays on the same bevel.
It is the easiest grip for learning forehand, useful for hitting flat balls with no spin, low balls and deffensive shots. It can also be used for voleys and overheads.
Difficult to hit with topspin and accommodate high balls....Famous players in love with this grip are, among others, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, though the later also enjoys a semi-western forehand grip (sometimes in between the two grips. It is a versatile grip, allowing the player to shot for more power. It is easy and natural to switch quickly to other grips from the Eastern Forehand Grip, making it a wise choice for "attacking" the net. On the down side, though the strike zone is higher and farther out in front than with the Continental grip, it is still not a great option for returning high shots. An Eastern forehand can be very powerful and penetrating, but because it tends to be a flatter stroke, it can also be inconsistent, making it difficult to sustain in long rallies
The most amazing grip in tennis, is by far the best grip for forehand. You shall find the Semi-western Forehand Grip by placing your index knuckle on the bevel corresponding to the yellow square of the Gripmap's ring. Always make sure the diagonal between the index knucle and heel pad stays on the same bevel.
The best grip to put topsin on the ball. It provides a high and explosive bounce, a heavy topsin that pushes your opponent far behind the baseline.
Hard to handle low balls Used by almost every top professional player in ATP and WTA. The Semi-Western forehand grip allows a player to put more topspin to the ball than the Eastern forehand grip, giving the shot greater safety and higher control, particulary on lobs and short angles. It also permits a flat drive for a winner or passing shot or taking a bigger swing at the ball since the topspin will help keep it in the court. With a strike zone higher and farther out in front of the body than the Eastern forehand, it's an excellent choice for aggressive players. On the down side, the low balls and volleys are nightmares, that is way you switch the grip to Continental. If you'll keep it for low bounces you can bet you'll hit the net and if you use it for voleyes, you can bet you'll hit anywhere but the court.
The "extreme" grip of tennis, is the sources of the heaviest forehand topspins. You shall find the Western Forehand Grip by placing your index knuckle on the bevel corresponding to the orange square of the Gripmap ring. Always make sure the diagonal between the index knucle and heel pad stays on the same bevel.
Easy to put topsin on the ball and to handle high balls, providing and extra level of explosion on high bounces, keeping your opponent stuck behind the baseline.
Hard to handle low balls, hard to hit winners it often chalenges your wrist and speed. Rafael Nadal is the top ambasador of this grip, though several ATP and rarely WTA players are occasionaly attempting it This is an extreme grip that puts a lot of action on the ball, generating extraordinarry topspin. You can hit the ball well above net level and it will still drop into the court. The resulting shot will usually have a higher and explosive bounce, frozing your opponend behind the baseline. The strike zone is higher and farther out in front than all other forehand grips. The ability to handle high balls is its key advantage, but low balls will "kill" you. The speed of your court moves is crucial when playing with this grip, because every second you will be late to a ball, that ball will become a low one, impossible for you to hit with this grip.
Semi-Western Backhand Grip
Very popular one handed backhand grip, especialy with clay-court players. You shall find the Semi-Western Backhand Grip by placing your index knuckle on the bevel corresponding to the red square of the Gripmap ring. Always make sure the diagonal between the index knuckle and heel pad stays on the same bevel.
Excellent for high balls, cross hits and topspin.
Nightmare on low balls. Players with this grip usually have long, elaborate swings and prefer the baseline.
Two-Handed Backhand Grip (Premium)
The best backhand grip out there. You shall find the Two-Handed Backhand Grip Premium by placing your index knuckle of dominant (Right) hand on the bevel corresponding to the green Continental square of the Gripmap ring and the index knuckle of the other hand (left) on the bevel corresponding to the dark square of the Gripmap ring (as in Eastern forehand bevel for left handed players). Always make sure the diagonal between the index knuckle and heel pad of each hand stays on the same bevel.
The choice for players attempting perfect and powerful backhand.A more compact stroke than the one-hander, the two-hander relies on shoulder rotation and an efficient swing to provide that extra power. Extremely effective on the serve returns it also does a good job on low shots.
Because both hands are on the racket, the two-hander limits a player's reach. So wide shots can be tough. Also, two-handers can become addicted on topspin, even when a slice is called for, because taking the nondominant hand off the racket to hit the slice or volley is highly difficult making it generally not comfortable at the net. Made famous by Andre Agassi, it is now the prefered grip for many top players, from Rafael Nadal trademark two handed backhand to Novak Djokovic and from Simona Halep to Maria Sharapova.
Two-Handed Backhand Grip (Extreme)
A tricky chioce for two handed backhand players, recommened for those trying to surprise the opponent. You shall find the Two-Handed Backhand Grip Regular by placing your index knuckle of dominant (Right) hand on the bevel corresponding to the white square of the Gripmap ring and the index knuckle of the other hand (left) on the bevel corresponding to the gray square of the Gripmap ring (as in Eastern forehand bevel for left handed players). Always make sure the diagonal between the index knuckle and heel pad of each hand stays on the same bevel.
Imposible to hit low balls, hard to switch to other grips, needs a tremendous effort on the court to reach every ball on its optimal momentum. Use occasionaly by some professional tennis players.