I prefer semi-western for forehands because it allows the ability to hit with high top spin, but you are not left vulnerable to low balls as those with a western grip are.

For my serve I use something between a continental forehand grip and an eastern backhand grip.

For my two-handed backhand, I put my right base knuckle at panel 1, and I place my left base knuckle at panel 8 (semi-western but left handed).

Volley grip is Continental for both forehand and backhand volleys.

When you wrap your hand around the racquet, there should be enough space between your fingers and the fleshy part of your thumb to fit a pinky finger on the grip. More than that, the grip is too large, less and it’s too small. A grip that is too small or too large can cause wrist or forearm injury after time.

semi-western forehand grip

semi western forehand grip (hit the ball with the side facing the floor)

Serve grip (hit the ball with the side my thumb is pointing at, left side of racquet)

Serve Grip

Serve Grip (hit with top side)

Volley Grip close up

An easy way to remember all these grips is to look at where the V shape between your thumb and finger is resting – which bevel is it on? When you’re watching TV, practice spinning the grip in your hand and stopping at a Western, Semi Western, and Continental grip. Do it until you don’t have to think about it.

Now that you know how to hold the racquet, time to pretend you know how to play! Learn the Lingo in Lesson 5. 


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