Tennis Tips - Grips: How to hold your racket

Here are some simple descriptions of the basic grips you'll need for your
forehand, backhand, serve, volley, and overhead.

Experiment with all of them until you feel comfortable with one or more. Then
decide on what's best suited for you and the game you like to play.

A pro will charge you upwards of $50 to $100 per hour to teach you how to
hold your racket - Ace is giving you this info for free!!! Nada!! Nothing!!!

Just tell all your friends if Ace helped you out and send them my way!
THE FOREHAND: “Ok Ace, what's so hard about learning a forehand grip?”

There's nothing hard at all! A forehand grip is very easy. There are 4 basic grips - the
Eastern, Continental, Semi-Western, and Western grips. Most people play with either an Eastern
(the classic grip) or a Semi-Western.

The Eastern Forehand: The Eastern Forehand is simple to learn - put your racket on edge on a
table or other flat surface, then shake hands with it. Or, simply
put the palm of your hand against
the strings
and slide it down to the handle. This puts the palm of your hand flat against the side
of the handle.
That's all there is to it! You've learned the Eastern Forehand!

The Continental: This grip is a good one to use if you don't feel comfortable changing your grip
during a point because it can be used for both the forehand and backhand. For this reason, a lot
of people use it for volleying as well. Your hand is positioned between an Eastern Forehand and
an Eastern Backhand (described below).

A simple way to learn this grip is to put your racket on edge on a table, then grab it so that the
knuckle at the base of your index finger is right
on top of the first beveled side of the handle,
next to the top of the handle.

The Continental is also a good grip to use for your overhead and your serve.

The Western Forehand: Most of the pros you see who have extremely heavy topspin (think
Spanish Armada) use a Western Forehand. It's a little tricky to learn. Put your racket flat on a
table then grab it like a frying pan. This time, when you hold the racket so the strings are
perpendicular to the court,
the palm of your hand should be flat against the “bottom” of the
You get lots of topspin, but, you pay a price when you try hitting low balls.

Hint: If you are ever getting your butt kicked by someone using this grip, try chipping a lot of
slow slices
at his forehand. (Ace guarantees you'll win a lot of cheap points this way before he
figures it out!)

The Semi-Western Forehand: Finally, this grip is a compromise between the classic Eastern and
the Western Forehands. It's simple - the knuckle at the base of your index finger should be
top of the beveled part
of the handle between the side and bottom of the handle.

It tends to generate more topspin than an Eastern, but, it's more flexible than a Western. This is
the grip that Ace prefers, although, of course, Ace is a master of them all!


Notwithstanding what I said above about the Western getting a lot of topspin and the Semi-
Western getting more than an Eastern, you can get the same amount of topspin using
any of
these grips.
It all depends upon your swing and strike point when hitting the ball.

Ideally, when using any of these grips, you should be swinging from low to high and the racket
face should be almost perpendicular to the court
when you strike the ball. The amount of
topspin you get depends upon the speed and direction of your swing, not the grip you are using.

If you don't believe me, there are lots of slow motion videos online showing pros such as
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, et al, hitting forehands. They don't all use the same grip, but,
their rackets are all perpendicular to the court at the moment they strike the ball in a low to high

"Thanks Ace, I think I got that forehand stuff down pat, no sweat. Now, about my backhand, I'm
still not sure what to do."

The Eastern Backhand: Most old-school people, Ace You included, use an Eastern Backhand
grip. From an Eastern Forehand grip (see above), move the handle so that the knuckle at the
base of your index finger is
on the top side of the racket handle. Ace You recommends learning
a one handed back-hand - you'll have much more range - and, except for the top pros, you'll be
able to hit with as much power as anyone else.

The Continental: The Continental was described above. John McEnroe and others used to use
this for their backhands. It's described in the
forehand section above.

The Two-Handed Backhand: Well, if you insist. There are a couple ways to hit this. I'm
assuming you're right-handed (if you're a leftie, just do the reverse).

Most two-handers use a
Continental or an Eastern Backhand grip with their right hand and an
Eastern Forehand or Semi-Western with their left hand. Try whatever combination feels most
comfortable and fluid for you, then practice it until it's second nature.

That's all there is to it!


A lot of people will argue that two-handed backhands are superior to one-handed backhands,
Ace disagrees for a couple of reasons.

First of all, when using a one-hander, you
don't have to reach across one's body to hit a
groundstroke like you do with a two-hander, therefore,
you have more range to hit from.

Secondly, the biggest argument is that the two-hander is better at
attacking high bouncing
balls to one's backhand. This is only true if your contact point at the time you strike the ball is
not perpendicular to the court. Now, Ace concedes that it might be difficult to do this with a
Continental grip (see above), but,
it isn't if you use an Eastern backhand grip properly.

How do I know this? Well, ask some of my opponents after they've served high bouncing balls
to my backhand and I've ripped them down the line for a winner with my one-handed signature
What's the secret to doing this?Step up a little and hit those high bouncers on the rise.