One basic thing that I learnt while playing tennis is that each grip (the way you hold the racket) has its advantages and limitations.
And let me be very specific here to the forehand groundstroke.
As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs http://www.samasamtennis.com/index.php/2011/02/using-the-right-grip/ ,there are three basic grips with which to hit the forehand.
The figure above shows the base knuckle of the index finger. Source: http://www.everything-tennis.net/tennis_grips.html
The picture above shows the forehand grips according to the placement of the base knuckle in the bevels
Please note: To get the correct bevels, the the racket has to be held with the racket head vertical to the ground.
The Eastern Forehand Grip- with the base knuckle of index finger on bevel 3
The Semi-Western Grip – with the base knuckle of index finger on bevel 4
The Western Grip – with the base knuckle of index finger on bevel 5
Of course, there are a few iterations in between these basic grips. Some have a text book grip while others have an extreme grip.
The Eastern forehand grip will naturally produce a flat stroke. That is the characteristic of the eastern forehand grip â€“ a flat stroke.
The Western forehand grip will produce a topspin stroke. It is almost impossible to hit a flat stroke with that grip. Hence the characteristic of the Western forehand grip is a topspin stroke.
The Semi-Western grip will naturally add a little bit of topspin to your stroke, but the topspin will never be as excessive as with a western grip.
So my request to all players is: Respect the natural characteristics of your respective grips. Donâ€™t try and hit flat strokes with an extreme semi-western grip. You may get a couple of them in but it will result in a lot of errors.
Similarly, donâ€™t try to play with excessive topspin with the eastern forehand grip. The grip isnâ€™t suited for that purpose.
Rather work hard to maximise the advantages of your grip. If you use the western grip, work on hitting a lot of short corners. That way you can move the opponent a lot.
With the Eastern forehand grip, you will be able to take the ball early and hence rush the opponent.
Respect the characteristics of your grip and you will not go very wrong.
In the process, you will make fewer errors.