How to beat the Continental Grip

pretty followthru

Does this look familiar? Most people use some form of continental grip when they play. This usually involves a slow looping backswing, letting the ball drop to below their hip, and a pretty follow through pose at the end of their swing, with no body rotation. Old people trained in the classical way of playing tennis – back when people used wooden racquets – use this style of play very frequently.

So how do you beat someone with a flat continental grip?

bad contin hi ball

Their key weakness are high balls (see above), especially heavy topspin lobs.  The reason is that since their grip is flat, and they come through at the ball with a level swing, it’s very difficult to generate any pace or power. They either have to hit something awkward like I’m doing above, or they have to move very far back to let the ball drop to waist-height. So either way you’re going to put them in trouble. If you push them way back, they’re going to have to lob it back or hit from way back in the court. This is a great time to go into the net.

Here’s a close-up of how the racquet comes through the swing when using a continental forehand.

How do you beat players that have a continental grip?

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