Racquet Room

Tennis Grips-A Short Overview

If you want to be good at tennis, you need to learn about tennis grips. There are different kinds of grips, with each one having a different use.

So, what is a grip? Basically, it’s how you are holding the racquet. The way you hold the racquet will lead up to different strategies when it comes to handling unique types of shots.

There are many grips, but we’ll be looking at the main three. We have the Eastern, Western, and the Continental. Like we said, there are tons of variations on these grips, but we’re going to be tackling the most popular. With that out of the way, let’s look at your racquet, shall we?

How to Grip

Take a look at your racquet handle. Do you notice anything? If you were paying attention, you would notice that the racquet has a shape that resembles an octagon. The octagon means that you get comfort and friction, so you’ll be able to grip it much better.

Also, the sides of the racquet are called bevels. This term will be used later, so keep it written down. The bevels will help you figure out the grip you’re using, as your fingers will be on different bevels. The knuckle’s index and heel pad will determine this as well.

So let’s look at the bevels, shall we? They should be numbered through eight, and go clockwise if you’re right handed and counterclockwise if you’re left-handed. The first bevel number will be up-facing, provided that you hold the blade to the ground perpendicularly. With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the different types of grips.

The Many Types of Tennis Grips

The Continental Grip

continental tennis grip

This grip goes by a few alternate names, such as hammer and chopper. This grip is for when you serve, slice, volley, overhead, and defend at some points. To do this grip, put the index knuckle, as well as your heel pad, on the second numbered bevel. If you do this right, your forefinger and thumb should have a V shape.

The continental grip has a few advantages. It gives you the chance to give your wrist a natural, inward bend. This gives your shots a bit more oomph while being gentle to your arm. It’s great for volleys, as it gives you control and a bit of underspin, too. You can get quick volley shots, and can defend against wide balls and dropped shots.

There are a few cons to this grip, though. You may find it hard to topspin if you use this towards forehand shots. The grip tends to be inconsistent, too. But overall, it is quite useful for many things.

Eastern Grip (Forehand)

eastern grip tennis

This grip is when you need a shot done fast and flat. If you need a Continental grip, the Eastern grip is also very each to change. You’ll be doing this grip at the waist, and you’ll need the usual heel pad and knuckle on the third bevel. There you go.

The Eastern grip has some good pros. It’s easy if you need to learn forehand. The seamless change from Eastern to continental is good as well. If you’re aiming for the net, the Eastern grip is great, too.However, it’s not good against balls coming at you from too high, and if you want to have long rallies, you may want to look elsewhere.

Eastern Grip (Backhand)

eastern backhand tennis

This grip is useful if you want to have a one-handed backhand that can control and spin. If you’re using Western forehand, you can switch with ease. To do this grip, put your heel pad and knuckle on level one.

It’s a good grip if you want to spin the ball, as it gives you control and power. If you want to switch grips, it’s easy for you to change it. Oh, and it’s awesome if you’re trying to do a kick serve.

However, it may be hard for you to hit shoulder-high shots, so beware.


semi westeren tennis

This grip has grown in popular for those playing baseline? Why? Because those who have learned this grip’s power can deliver a powerful topspin to their hit, which can be bad news for the other player. If you’re playing forehand, check this grip out. You should do this on bevel four, and you’ll be hitting between shoulder and waist.

As mentioned, if you need power and topspin, this grip delivers. It’s easy to control, safe, and you can do contact points with it. But if you need to hit a low ball, you may have difficulty. Also, changing from Semi-Western to Continental can be a bit difficult.


western grip tennis

Unlike the Semi-Western, this group won’t be used as much as the others. It’s very inconsistent, you see. So why use it at all? Well, if mastered correctly, you can add some powerful topspin. Give it a try sometime. To do it, you’ll be at bevel number five.

The topspin for this grip is unlike any other grip, and it gives further contact points, and balls that will be bouncing to outer space at the speed of light. However, it’s not meant for low balls, fast surfaces, and you shouldn’t be alternating between grips too much.

Double Handed Backhand

double handed backhand

Finally, we take a look at this grip. Unlike the last one, this grip is often used, because it’s easy to control and is stable. Speaking of easy, it’s great for beginners, as you are using two hands. This grip will involve proper swinging and rotating shoulders to use properly.

Your left hand should be on bevel number seven, while your right will have your knuckle on two and your heel pad on one.

This grip is easy for anyone to learn, and is a good stepping stone to learning a one handed backhand. It’s stable, easy to control, and can defeat low shots with its topspin power. However, its reach is a bit limited, and as you can see with all the bevel requirements, it may take some time to set up.


Now you know about some of the most popular grips. There are other grips, too, but these are the essentials if you want to win. Give each of them a try, and master them all.

About the Author Susan Winkler

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