Until the 1970s, the continental grip was a popular forehand grip, which was well-suited for the fast pace and low skidding bounces frequent on grass courts that were the most prevalent surface. Furthermore, it was convenient because players didn’t have to change their grip to hit virtually any shot.
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The range of forehand grips runs from the continental, via the eastern and the semi-western, to the full western. The continental is for hitting flat shots, whereas the western is for the heaviest spin. If you are a beginner, you will probably start with an eastern or semi-western grip, and many players will continue with one of these.
Used mainly for volleys, serves, overheads, the backhand slice and defensive strokes. The continental grip can be used for both forehands and backhands, but it’s rarely used anymore for forehands, because it’s poorly suited to hitting topspin. It was a popular grip until the early 1970s, when the US Open and the Australian Open stopped playing on grass and left only Wimbledon to be dominated by the low bounces for which continental grips are best adapted.
The Importance of the Continental Grip. Sep 30, 2014. | By Juan Oscar Rios. I grew up playing tennis in the early 1970s where everyone played with wooden racquets and the majority of good players played with a Continental Grip. I was taught the Continental Grip for every stroke, including the forehand. World class champions who that use the Continental Grip include Ilie Nastase, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
One reason why the continental forehand grip has almost completely disappeared in modern-day tennis is because of the added importance of topspin in today’s game. 40 years ago, the equipment they were using just wasn’t geared to creating topspin, and so they never had to worry about freeing up the wrist to create spin.
THE CONTINENTAL FOREHAND GRIP The continental forehand grip was a very popular grip back in the day, with players like John McEnroe and Stefan Edberg using this method of holding the racquet. The base knuckle will be placed at bevel number 2, which puts the hand behind the racquet at contact.
Familiar Tennis Forehand Grip Western Forehand Grip. Wawrinka’s forehand grip is western and he uses this grip to generate topspins with this grip. Semi-western Grip. Continental grip has evolved and given rise to semi-western grip. If you are a right-handed person,... Eastern Forehand Grip. It is ...