I was watching some ranked Armenian players at the Pasadena Rose Bowl tournament and noticed the big Western forehands. My regular partner, who is also Armenian, got the itch to slug it out and so we went to Lacy Park, the nicest public tennis park I know.
I went ahead and used full Western on both sides and began really slugging the ball. I could nearly flip the racquet over and not have to change grips, like Phillip Kohlschreiber!
It was amazing to see it could be used aggressively on fast hard courts. Has anyone here have this style of game for their hard court game?
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The western forehand grip is equal eastern backhand grip. There is the same hand positioning. But, in the case of the serve we should use opposite side of the racquet’s spring bed.
I totally agree. My favorite two hander, before I went one hander, was Borg's. Here's what he said about the grips he used:
"...I have to prepare earlier and bend my knees more on the two-handed shot than on my one-handed forehand...I place my right hand on the racquet as if the stroke were a standard one-handed eastern backhand. The left hand is placed above the right in a position in which I could hit a choked-up left-handed western forehand if I took my right hand away. I bring the racquet back slightly below my knees and close to my side with a small loop on the way back and both wrists cocked downward. I actually drop the racquet face below the level of my wrists to exaggerate the racquet head sweep from low to high, which also exaggerates the amount of top spin put on the return.
Jimmy Connors, on the other hand, brings his racquet straight back with a firm wrist slightly below his waist. Our different style results in a different type of shot. Connors' is flat, hard and deep, clearing the net by a few inches, but mine relies heavily on overspin, clearing the net by a foot or more and with varying depths.
As I pull the racquet forward, my wrists explode the racquet face under the ball snapping upward to shoot tremendous top spin into the shot. My right shoulder, which points toward the net on the backswing is parallel to the net at the end of the stroke, with the racquet head finishing on the right side of my body, two feet above my head on the follow-through. But the follow-through changes a lot on every stroke, depending on where the ball has bounced, where I want to hit it, and how much time I have. My backhand is built for my game, patience in the backcourt and top-spin passing shots, while Connors' backhand is an offensive weapon, hit aggressively to draw a short return so Jimmy can attack at net. If I had to compare his backhand and mine in a few words, I'd say mine is efficient, his is flamboyant."
Do not bunch the elbow. You want to create space in the swing by opening the hitting face towards the back fence at the start of the loop. Do not go in a straight line to the ball, aim for the outside top right of the ball and use the rotational force, go around, then pronate into the ball and finish hitting face flipped over.
By going in straight, the elbow gets squashed and then the wrist jerks up on the ball. The elbow should begin to extend by the time of contact. Tennis elbow can happen this way.