Photo Tour of the Forehand Grips for Tennis
By Jeff Cooper
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Eastern Forehand Grip
The Eastern forehand grip is the classic grip most often taught to beginning students, and although it has been largely displaced on the pro tours by the Semi-Western grip, it is still used by many advanced players. It places your palm on the side plane of your handle, parallel to the plane of your strings. (To place your palm on a given plane of your handle, place the base knuckle of your index finger on that plane.) With your wrist straight and relaxed, the Eastern forehand grip results in a vertical racquet face when your racquet is even with your front hip. For a classic swing style, this is the most natural and physically most secure relationship between body, racquet, and point of contact. The Eastern is also the most versatile forehand grip, because you can easily open the racquet face for slice or keep the racquet face vertical to hit topspin. Many players find that they can hit heavier topspin and better handle the high kick of the opponent's topspin with the more western grips, though, which accounts for the reduced popularity of the Eastern at the pro level.
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