Grips & Stances

The basics of how to hold the racket and how to stand on court, especially when preparing to receive the ball are explained here.

Groundstrokes are shots hit from baseline to baseline from either the forehand or backhand side. Executing a good groundstroke comes from how a player approaches the ball. In the past, just one hand was used to hold the racket and return the ball. Then a two-handed backhand was developed to give extra power on the groundstrokes, but now some players have reverted to using both hands on forehand and backhand shots.

Since the 1970's at least 3 new grips have been introduced and changed the game of tennis. In the 70s and 80s, the eastern and continental grips were the most popular for all strokes, as these grips generated the most power, but did lack variety and spin. However in the 1990s players introduced a combination of power, spin, and placement, by exaggerating the grip on the racket. This produced the western, semi-western, and continental - semi-western grips. Just by changing the placement of the hand slightly on the handle gives the racket face a new angle, and creates spin on the ball. In today's game, players use topspin when hitting the ball with power to bring the ball down faster after clearing the net. Backspin is used by the players to stop their volleys closer to the net, making it difficult for opponents to chase down and return the ball. The players can also use sidespin or slice to slow the ball down, meaning a lower bounce when it hits the court, making it difficult for the opponent to pick up and generate power.

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