If you desire a good topspin shot aggressively, then a semi-western forehand grip is right for you. Currently ranked the third most popular grip, this grip helps you hold the racquet strongly.
Due to our extensive research and experience, we have come to the conclusion that no perfect grip exists in the world of tennis. Just figure out which grip is most comfortable for you to perform any shot, and you’re good to go. However, you still need to check the advantages and disadvantages of all the grips to get your piece of cake.
The semi-western grip is also known as the frying pan or pancake grip. Interesting right? Nevertheless, let’s see what semi-western grip is and how this can help you or how this is not helpful for you to adapt it to perfect your tennis game.
Firstly, let’s understand what the semi-western grip looks like.
Semi Western Forehand Grip Diagram
For a better understanding of semi-western grip, take a look at the back end of the racquet’s octagon bevels and understand the position of the top four main grips.
As you can see in the illustration, the number 4 (highlighted) indicates where to place your index knuckle, and the back end of the racquet should be seated in the center of your palm.
No need to worry if you are a left-handed player; just place your index knuckle at the 6th bevel from the opposite side, and you will have a perfect semi-western forehand grip.
You have seen the 4 different tennis grips in the above diagram. Number 4 is highlighted with yellow color for your understanding to get to know the semi-western forehand. The exact place where you have to place the downside of your index knuckle.
Evolution of Semi-Western Forehand Grip
It is interesting to note that in the history of tennis grips, there was not a semi-western grip, but a continental grip. The best grip for professionals and all other tennis players at that time was the continental grip.
Tennis equipment evolved to phenomenal standards due to developments in technology and tactics as time went on. As a result, the game became more competitive and advanced. Thus, the old ones were replaced by new ones, such as semi-western grips.
Deep down the semi-western forehand grip was always there and professional player or not pro tennis players were using this grip but no one has given it a name until 20 years ago.
When the professional player seemed to hit amazing top spins with a semi-western grip the world took it as something new in tennis and that grip is now world-famous “The semi-western forehand grip”
The semi-western forehand grip allows the player to strike the ball aggressively while allowing for more spin than any other grip.
How to Develop a good semi-western grip
In order to develop a semi-western forehand grip, you need to shoot the ball repeatedly by putting your index knuckle at the 4th bevel and the end of the racket should be placed at the center of your palm, and vice versa for left-handed players.
This is the only effective method to develop this grip. Because you have to do it repeatedly to get a strong grasp on this grip.
That is why I recommend my students to have tennis machines and you should also get a tennis machine to do this like machines for beginners or tennis portable machines. Because machines are the easiest way to learn semi-western grip you can choose from the 10 best machines as well.
Here is a moment for taking a pause. Why would you choose a semi-western grip?
Use a grip that is comfortable for you. It’s not important to master the semi-western forehand grip, you can choose any grip that makes you shoot well.
Relax! If you are willing to do it, then there is nothing wrong with it. We will show you some experiments below which we have performed on our tennis students to find out the best tennis grip and choose any grip to master.
Nevertheless, if you are going to use tennis ball machines for this learning purpose and you should also learn how tennis machines operate. Because the machines are the finest way to practice tennis alone.
Pros of Semi-Western Forehand Grip
- The mid of eastern and western grip is more flexible to shoot the topspin. Whenever I think about smashing hard with topspin, I always think that this grip has been designed for topspin.
- Depending on your stance, you may be able to make a topspin shot using eastern, western, or continental grips.
- With a semi-western forehand grip, you can brush the ball up to generate topspin easily because it makes the wrist involved in it. A high ball coming from the opponent can be dealt with in this position as well.
- The semi-western forehand grip has the advantage of providing enough flexibility to lessen the chances of losing the short or striking the ball in the wrong direction.
- After becoming an expert on this grip, you’ll find that it moves very fast in comparison to other grips. By doing that, you will reduce the chances of the ball sliding into the net, and that is a feat in itself.
- The semi-western grip helps you to easily deal with high balls and makes impossible shots possible.
- This grip involves the wrist in it and that is a powerful way of hitting any kind of shot strongly.
Cons of Semi-Western Forehand Grip
- Despite its advantages, there are also disadvantages to consider. It is impossible for something good or positive to exist without a con.
- As we have discussed above, the semi-western grip is awesome for drilling certain shorts amazingly if you avoid tennis mistakes. However, you might have trouble smashing the low ball from your opponent. Even if you manage to shoot the ball, there is a huge chance you will collide the net or mess up.
- If a new tennis learner gets interested in this girp that player will get a hard time learning this one because this is the toughest grip to master.
- A semi-western grip will also make you lose volleys since you cannot use it to play volleys. We will say “good luck” if you are an addicted or pro-level player, but in most cases, this grip is not recommended for starter players.
- Semi western grip makes it tough to hit the flat shots.
- You have to learn other grips also because you can not stay dependent on this one merely.
Experiment on 8 Students to know Semi Western Forehand Grip
We have run an experiment on our eight students to know more about the semi-western forehand grip and here is the study which will answer your all questions.
During the experiment, we have chosen 4 new students and 4 non-semi western gripers. We have told to new students to hit the balls and we have taught them the western grip. 3 of them find it tough as their hand and minds were not fitting into the western grip.
Afterward, we taught them the semi-western grip and they found it easy to hit topspins.
On the other side, we have chosen the good 4 tennis players who were not using a semi-western grip and we told them to hit the shots using the semi-western grip. They have found it tough to do this. however, they refused to adopt this grip for the future.
During this experiment, we have found out that it is not important whether you are a good tennis player or just a starter. You will find your own comfortable grip by playing tennis consistently. If it was about choosing the grip the good tennis player has the ability to move to another grip but they don’t because they know it is a bad choice to do.
So, choose the grip which works for you instead of choosing the grip which you think is cool because some of your favorite players use that grip.
Professional Tennis Player‘S Grips
Several professionals use this grip to generate topspin easily, but not all athletes are following this grip to generate topspin. As I have told you, it depends on you to find your cup of tea. Whether it’s a chopper grip or extreme western grip.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Ashleigh Barty always use this grip to give a topspin brush.
Novak Djokovic always uses the semi-western forehand grip and is famous for that as well.
Many of the great players in the world, like Ash Barty and Andy Murray, have also rehearsed the semi-western grip with their forehands in multiple matches.
When a novice sees the best tennis players following certain techniques, they try to replicate them. However, end up losing or disappointed. Therefore, I always encourage all players to watch players and follow the best players.
But don’t follow their grips exactly. play yourself on the court to figure out which one is best for you to beat the opponent or be the best player. And have a good tennis playing experience with spectacular skills. Therein lies your victory.
Percentage of Semi-western Users Worldwide
In our recent study, we collected data by analyzing the professional tennis player and other top tennis players in different tennis academies like Bollettieri Tennis Academy, Evert Tennis Academy, and 10 more to know how many players use semi-western grip and other grips.
So here in this cart below you will find the user’s percentage of all tennis grips.
Should I use Semi western Grip?
Yes, everyone can use Semi western forehand grip but not all can master this grip. Because we are all different. One grip will work for me and not for you. Precisely, the grip which able you to hit great shorts will be not comfortable for me.
It all depends, If you are comfortable playing some grips you are good to adopt it and rehearse that as well. Some players are good at Eastern grip and some are champions in semi-western and others are comfortable at chopper grip.
Now you have to choose which grip is good working for you.
Why semi-western forehand grip is so popular?
There are many reasons for semi-western forehand grip popularity. First of all many professional tennis players are having this grip. That is what makes this grip so popular.
The fans always copy what their ideal hero/athlete does. Another biggest reason behind its popularity is its ease of it. When you hit topspin this grip makes it so easy and comfortable.
The 3rd reason is when a player plays so many shots with a semi-western forehand grip they become addicted to it. That is what makes them play with a semi-western forehand grip and these three are the major reasons which made the semi-western grip so popular.
Difference between semi-western and other grips
- It is made between the western and eastern grip
- This grip is good to face topspin
- It provides the best margin of error as compared to other grips.
- Quite easy to face volleys as compared to other grips
- you can shoot balls higher than other grips
Average Time Consumption to Learn Semi-Western Forehand Grip
When it comes to learning semi-western forehand grip you have to put focus on it. If you want to learn this grip, go for rehearsing every day and it will be done. It might take from 2 to 2 and half months to get complete skill on it.
Important Note: Learning a new grip is not beneficial. If you have already commanded any grip, do not change that. Because we all have different grips that work for us.
There are strong chances one will beat the tough opponent while playing with the eastern grip and another can beat with the western grip. So any grip which is working for you do not change that. Because it will have a negative impact on your game so badly.
What kind of racquet you should get for making Semi Western Forehand Grip?
While making a semi-western forehand grip you can use any comfortable racquet there is not any specific tennis racquet that can make you learn a semi-western forehand grip easily.
But if you are just a starter and still want to know or want recommendations then you can get WILSON Adult Recreational tennis racquet. This one is our choice.
QNA Regarding Semi western Forehand Grip
After reading the entire guide on semi-western forehand grip or 4th bevel, you must find it interesting and might want to implement it. That’s cool, but you have to remember that it isn’t easy to change prior grip instantly.
In order to play tennis with this grip well, you need to have a good grasp of it. You shouldn’t implement it if you are right on the verge of your next trophy. Spend some time practicing on the court with tennis machines or with a perfect partner if you have one.
Eventually, you will be able to play with your semi-western grip sufficiently after a few times.
Hello! Meet Harry Jacob. The Tennis Geek was founded and is run by Harry Jacob. In the past decade, he has trained more than 20 thousand students. Since childhood, he has been a passionate tennis player. Harry encourages his students to be independent by playing tennis every day with tennis ball machines. Nevertheless, he lives in the U.S and he is a tennis machine expert.