by Nicolette Mok
Holding a tennis racquet may not involve strenuous and complicated techniques, but getting your grip right will definitely facilitate a better swing and serve. There are, in fact, several different types of grips that a player may choose to adopt.
In this article, however, we will focus mainly on two basic grip styles commonly favoured by beginners, according to Team Singapore tennis player Stefanie Tan.
Team Singapore tennis player Stefanie Tan (left) demonstrating how to pick up a racquet for beginners who are learning how to grip a tennis racquet. Photo: SportSG
If you are looking for a versatile grip that suits both forehand and backhand swings, simply place your racquet on the ground, pick it up naturally, and there you have it. Ensure that none of your fingers are sticking out; all of them must be wrapped around the racquet’s grip and handle comfortably. As you hold the racquet with your palm facing upwards, ensure that all of your fingernails settle on the same side of the racquet grip such that they are also facing the sky.
If you are looking for a suitable service grip, the “shake-hand” grip is a straightforward one that will work well with your serve. To start, hold the racquet in your non-master hand and “shake its hand” with your other hand – grip the handle as you would shake someone’s hand, wrapping it around from the side, with your thumb on top.
Balancing the ball on the racquet is a good way of checking that you are gripping it correctly. Photo: SportSG
In order to familiarise yourself with your grip, it is important to have enough practice. Do so with a partner, using your service grip for your serve, and then switching to the other one for the swing. Instead of carrying on with the rally, repeat the drill, executing one serve and one hit.
It is important to note that, ultimately, there is no one superior tennis grip. With a whole variety of grip styles to choose from, you should pick the one that you’re the most comfortable with, as well as the one that best suits your manner of swing and serve.
Demonstration of the service grip, used for serving the ball in tennis. Photo: SportSG
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