If you first started learning tennis more than 20 years ago or are a self-taught player, you will probably find that you are using the continental grip for all of your tennis shots. By changing your grip when playing on clay and hard courts, where the bounces are high, you could introduce a lot of top-spin into your forehand and really start to put your opponents in difficulty.
If you are holding the tennis racket as though it were a hammer, you are using the continental grip. The handle of your racket has 8 bevels:
If you make a v-shape with the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand and place it on the racket handle, you have a continental grip if the knuckle of your forefinger and the heel pad of your hand are resting on bevel number 2.
This is the best grip for serves, volleys and smashes, and is how you will typically hold the racket with your dominant hand in a two-handed backhand. You can also hold the racket like this for your forehand, but a small modification to this grip can actually make a big impact on your shots.
The most common forehand grip that balances both speed and top spin is the semi-western. For this grip you need to rotate your dominant hand clockwise until the knuckle of your forefinger and heel pad are on bevel number 4. The difficulty that is introduced with adding new grips to your game is that you need to change them on the fly, from a forehand to a backhand, a forehand to a volley, and so on. This takes some practice, and you’ll need to use your non-dominant hand to help rotate your dominant hand between the two grips.
Why not try adding the semi-western grip next time you play tennis, and if you want to up your game even further, you can’t go wrong with these stylish Monreal London overgrips:
Helen is a fitness and fashion blogger who has just started her journey to becoming a stylish tennis player. At almost 40 years old she decided to take up tennis, and now wants to encourage women of all ages to do the same. Whilst initially restricting her tennis wardrobe to shorts and leggings, she soon realised how great it felt to play in tennis skirts and dresses and she started to discover the world of tennis fashion. Head over to her blog www.40ishlove.com for more tennis motivation and fashion inspiration, and don’t forget to like her on Facebook, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.