Tip of the Week Archive

Whether you use a one handed backhand or a two handed backhand the Eastern
Backhand grip is becoming even more popular today. Many top pros are using
this grip as a weapon in today’s power game.
To get this grip the racquet handle is held by the bottom hand with the thumb
turned under the bottom of the handle. The so-called “V� made by the
thumb and the index finger is on the bevel between the back of the handle and the
top of the handle.
At first this grip seems to give the one hander a lot of support on backhand
groundstrokes, but with continued use and instruction it can give plenty of topspin
too. The racquet string plane is closed during most of the swing and only near
impact does the racquet face get square enough to hit the ball straight. This grip
creates a need for topspin because more lift is needed on the ball to clear the net,
so a low to high swing is a natural.
On the two hander this same grip gives the same advantage of topspin because it
allows for contact to be further in front, making it easier to swing from low to high.
Young people just starting in tennis will love this grip solely for the additional
support the hands give the behind the racquet at impact. The advanced players
use it mostly for the amount of topspin they can generate with this grip. So the
Eastern Backhand grip is best suited for players wishing for more topspin on their
That’s the good news, the bad news is that this grip makes it difficult to get
under really low balls. That is why we see this grip a lot in clay court players or a
slow playing surface that makes the balls bounce up high. So this grip is best
suited for baseliners who like medium to high bouncing balls and love to punish it
back with plenty of topspin.
If you wish more information or clarification on this or any other grip feel free to
email or call me.

Doug Hofer, USPTA      December 15, 2003