The forehand in tennis is a stroke in which the player hits the ball with the front of the racket hand facing the ball; contrasted with backhand.
A grip is a way of holding the racket in order to hit shots during a match. The three most commonly used conventional grips are the Continental, the Eastern and the Western. Most players change grips during a match depending on what shot they are hitting.
The Western grip is obtained by placing the hand such that the base knuckle of the index finger is right on bevel #5. This grip is used for applying extreme topspin, but is evenly hard to play. Low balls are extremely difficult to return. The maximum amount of topspin can be generated with this grip, and as such, it is used to great effect by many clay courters, most notably by Rafael Nadal.
The 'Snake' shot of Kaido Kaoru is a great example.
The Semi-Western grip is obtained by placing the hand such that the base knuckle of the index finger is right on bevel #4. This racquet grip is popular with baseliners who like to hit with much topspin and a ferocious amount of power. It gets more hand behind the grip, causing shots to result with more ferocity, and provides a contact point much farther out front. On the other hand it poses problems with lower balls, which are hard to catch with the (extreme) down-up movement required for the Semi-Western grip
The Eastern Forehand grip is obtained when placing the hand such that the base knuckle of the index finger is right on bevel #3. The Eastern Forehand grip allows for fast, flat shots on the forehand, with some control through topspin. Net players like it because it easily changes to the continental grip for volleys. It offers little control at high balls, and there is not enough control to sustain long rallies. It is also known as the shake hands grip.
The Continental grip, also called the Chopper grip or Hammer grip, is obtained when placing the hand such that the base knuckle of the index finger is right on bevel #2. It is naturally obtained when holding the racket as if it were an axe, hence the second name "Chopper grip". The Continental grip is suitable for a variety of shots and therefore is often taught to absolute beginners, so that they should not bother changing grips while learning the basics of the game. This type of grip is very useful for quick volleys and strokes near the net. Since modern tennis, especially clay-court tennis, has shown an evolution towards topspin, the Continental grip has gone out of fashion with professional players for hitting groundstrokes. It is still the preferred grip for serves and volleys. Additionally, the grip is used for some defensive strategies, such as chipping and blocking shots. Moreover, the grip can be used offensively to hit a "drop shot", which puts extreme backward spin on the ball. The rest of the grips strike a balance between high spin capacity on the one hand, and power on the other.
The basic Two-Handed Forehand grip, is obtained by holding the racquet in a regular Continental grip, then placing the left hand above holding it in a left-handed Semi-Western Forehand grip. This places the reference bevels of the two hands exactly opposite each other. Holding the racquet using two hands for the forehand is highly unusual, but some well-known top WTA players (e.g. Monica Seles) have used it successfully. While it shortens the forehand reach and reduces maximum power, it offers unrivalled accuracy, which may more than compensate the former drawbacks. Also, combined with a two-handed backhand, it is almost impossible for the opponent to see which side (backhand or forehand) is hitting the ball. The sides often are equally accurate, and no grip change is required.
In Prince of TennisEdit
In 'The Prince of Tennis' Kawamura Takashi has a habit of hitting two-handed forehands.