Over at FuzzyYellowBalls (FYB) you can find a wealth of information on tennis and gems on technique. When I was looking for something different to add to my game- in my case a new grip- I decided to study videos all winter and make big changes to my game. Most ladies are afraid to change their game or simply never improve their game because they spend endless amounts of money on lessons and clinics, but fail to incorporate changes in their game.
If you are thinking about making changes and are somewhat timid, start with choosing one thing you want to change and slowly work on that until you feel comfortable with it. If you are ambitious you can take on changing your forehand and serve in one fail swoop like Queen Bee.
In one winter I went from a eastern forehand gradually over to what I call a semi-semi-western. My index finger pad grip is on the corner of the bevel between western and semi-western. My serve went from the typical club player forehand grip serve to somewhere utilizing a continental and eastern backhand grip for serving. It was very hard work incorporating these changes to my game, but it better suited my style of playing. If you take a look at the FYB video you’ll get the advantages and disadvantages of going from eastern to western.
Why did I make changes to my grip? Using an eastern forehand grip, I loved the speed and power I was getting out of my forehand. My problem was not having much restraint. Many of my balls would go long. In order to accommodate my playing style I decided to try semi-western to western and have finally settled on this grip. This grip allows me to utilize top spin, which is not common in women’s league tennis. It allows me to hit the ball harder without it going out. Using topspin has saved my ass so many times at the baseline where my opponent thought the ball was going long and it didn’t or bounced out of their reach. It also allows me more short loopy angles to throw off net opponents.
Do I miss the speed and power behind an eastern grip? YES, but for my fast and furious style of playing, the western is better suited for me.