The Art and Science of Victory
Eastern Forehand Grip
If you were a beginner taking a tennis lesson in the days of wooden racquets, the eastern forehand grip is the first grip you would be taught. If your intention is to hit a flat forehand, the eastern was all you would ever need. With the advent of more deadly and agile graphite racquets, topspin became king and along with it the semi-western grip.

Eastern forehand grip - Note that the first knuckle is opposite the third bev3el- directly behind the racquet.

Compared to the continental grip, the racquet is rotated 1/8 of a turn so that the first knuckle is opposite the third bevel - directly behind the racquet. ,
Eastern Forehand Pressure Points

Eastern forehand pressure points - Forehand 'hammer' (blue), topspin (red) and slice (yellow).

First notice how close the pivot points for topspin (red) and the forehand hammer (blue) are on the thumb. Thus the eastern is really pretty good for hitting topspin. The slice pressure points (yellow) are also well placed on the hand, so the Eastern can be a very versatile stroke- very good for hitting flat, topspin or slice. The most remarkable aspect of the eastern is the broad support along the fingers for the forehand 'hammer' motion. This means that the grip is ideal for hitting hard, flat shots - a trait that has become less desirable since the advent of newer, more powerful racquets. Nowadays a hard, flat ball tends to hit the back wall going up - an impressive but ineffective display of raw power.

Eastern Forehand Checklist:

  • First knuckle opposite the third bevel (directly behind racket).
  • Middle joint of thumb firmly against eighth bevel.
  • First joint of index finger firmly against fourth bevel.
  • Muscular pad at the base of the thumb (thenar eminence) firmly against edge between first and second bevels.