Tennis Eastern Grip | Complete Guide 

The eastern forehand grip, is one of the most widely used in tennis.  Although it’s perhaps not as popular as it once was, there are still professional players who use it, such as Roger Federer.

The eastern forehand grip, which really started to gain prominence in the 1920’s, is relatively simple to use.  By sliding your playing hand down the frame of the racquet, to the handle, you will be in position to take hold of the grip correctly.  From here, pick up the racquet at the throat with your non-playing hand and literally shake hands with the handle you use to play.  Your hand should naturally find the eastern forehand grip. The Eastern grip was a natural progression when players wanted to hit more aggressive shots. This allowed them to add a more topspin onto the ball to get a higher margin for error than what the Continental grip could offer.

How the Eastern Grip is Held:

Tip: It’s like shaking hands with someone

Advantages of the Eastern Grip

The eastern forehand grip is considered by many, as being the easiest for which to learn the forehand stroke.  It’s also a very versatile grip, meaning it’s comfortable when attempting to hit the ball with top spin or when hitting hard, straight through the ball.  In addition to this, it’s very easy to switch from the eastern forehand grip, to other styles of grip.  If you are the type of player who likes to attack the net during matches, this grip would be good for you, as you can change easily before hitting your volley due to its proximity to the Continental grip. This would allow quick and easy transition when approaching the net to volley

This grip allows for very aggressive play, this will usually mean higher risk play when players flatten out, less topspin, the shot. Low net clearance, and effectively a lower bounce or even resulting in the ball skidding off the surface forcing your opponent to lift the ball and become defensive.

This sounds great but it is not a big advantage for beginners as this will also result in more errors. With less topspin the player has to focus on how much they drive through the shot as the ball will not curve down into the court.

Drawbacks of the Eastern Grip

The main shortcoming of the Eastern grip is the difficulty to generate large amounts of topspin. Depending on your style of play, this may not be a large drawback.

This may hinder the game of players who like to hit the ball consistently with top spin, as to be successful with this shot, a great deal of spin is often required.  Furthermore, as the eastern forehand grip tends to result in the ball being hit flatter, it can lead to short rallies, which is beneficial for winning points but not so much when trying to stay in points.

High shots may pose some difficulty as it is already not easy to get topspin with this grip. So players would have to either move in to take the shot early (on the rise) or opt for a side spin return.

Hitting more topspin allows you to high aggressively yet maintaining a high margin for error. Allows for higher net clearance and yet the ball will curve back into the court impatiently. Many big hitter and baseline grinders will opt for the Semi-Western or Western grips.

Should I Use this Grip?

You would have to experiment with the different grips and find out which best fits you and your style of play; are you are risk taker or would you rather bide your time and grind it out at the baseline?

The eastern forehand grip can come in handy for players who like to play from the baseline and then come to the net, in order to win points.  Plus, if it’s been good enough for Federer to use during his career, then it has to be good enough for us too!

Grip of choice for Roger Federer. This grip allows for more forward pace injection and aggressive play. Allows for flatter shots than semi-western and western grips but less spin. Natural contact point around waist level.

It would be best to work with a certified tennis coach regarding this and have him or her assess you and provide specific instructions. We have done up a video on the basics on how to hit a tennis forehand and tips on how to practice the shot with a wall without a coach, go have a look!

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