Tennis may look like a simple sport, but the amount of physical and mental strategy you need to improve in playing can become demanding. To beat others, one must not only be gifted in talent, but also have knowledge in different techniques, playing styles, and executing distinctive shots.
For example, in using different grips, a player must know just when and how exactly he can perfectly utilize each style to be on the better edge of the match.
For novice players, a grip is a player’s technique of holding the racquet, aiming to hit a shot in the course of a match. There are a lot of gripping techniques, but two of the most commonly used are the eastern and the western tennis grip.
Despite these grip strategies being player favorites, people might not know the origin of these techniques and how they came to be the way they’re known for now. To help with your curiosity, we laid down some historical information for you.
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A history of eastern grip
The eastern grip was probably at its height in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf standing as good examples of players that utilized this grip smoothly to conquer. These days, however, the eastern grip is still relatively common among tournament and recreational players.
Although there are still players who seem to utilize this gripping technique, experts say that most of them use a more revamped version compared to the classic style. An example of the more modified version is the one Roger Federer commonly uses on his tournaments.
Federer’s grip is somewhat of a stumbling block. It appears similar to those who used the Eastern in the 1970s and 1980s. However, it has crept toward the end of the gripper enough to appear comfortable when you use it during tournaments these days. He does such modifications by sliding his index knuckle closer to Bevel 4.
History of Western grips
The western grip is used on pro tournaments and by many amateur athletes as well, primarily those from Europe and Latin America, where clay is a standard game surface. Clay is the slowest playing surface, and the ball ends up higher, enhancing the motion of more aggressive grips.
Although a dozen of tour-level professionals use it, it is somewhat too rigorous for several players. It might be challenging to understand how to smash a forehand with this grip, especially if you’re at the beginner level.
A more modern western grip has been shown to have its drawbacks. Players are continually changing their pronounced grip in response to other shots: constantly shifting from a backhand, a volley, or even an ankle-high chip.
Because the Western grip doesn’t often operate as quickly and effectively as other swings, something that could be a “small” and “unnoticeable” movement in an Eastern or Semi-Western grip becomes a major and highly detectable adjustment in the Western grip.
Advantages of using the Eastern grip
Aside from the fact that Eastern grips are much easier to learn than the others, it is also one of the most famous gripping techniques because of its strong topspin creation.
The eastern grip also enables a player to make quick grip adjustments, making this style an excellent swing choice for serve and volley. If you’re playing on a faster court surface, this grip might be the perfect technique you should adopt and continue to learn.
Western Grip: A couple of advantages in learning and using this grip
Although its newer version these days is somehow challenging to operate, the Western grip is still considered one of tennis’ most prominent winning streaks for several excellent reasons. Primarily, this well-known grip can create a maximum level of topspin and is suitable to use when playing with a high-bouncing ball.
It can also give the player a great advantage, especially if the game is held on slower court surfaces. Lastly, the western grip is also one of the ideal techniques when playing from the baseline.
As tennis is a sport that requires both physical and mental capabilities, one should be as knowledgeable as they are fast on the court. Knowing these grips will give them an advantage during tournaments and help them reach the top faster than others.