Roger Federer’s Forehand Grip

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This video looks at the grip Roger Federer uses to hit a forehand. Federer uses a very conservative grip — the eastern forehand grip — when hitting the shot. We use several pictures of Roger’s heel pad and index knuckle to illustrate how he positions his hand on the handle.

There’s some controversy surrounding this video. Some folks say that Federer’s grip is more extreme — that his heel pad or index knuckle (and sometimes both) are on the edge in between bevel 3 and bevel 4. I have seen some pictures that are several years old that suggest this might be the case. However, I have seen many others (not our own) that support our analysis. It’s possible that Federer’s grip has gotten more conservative over the years. He may also adjust his grip slightly depending on the surface. For example, he may use a slightly more extreme grip on clay because the ball bounces higher up than on faster surfaces. Regardless, his grip is still really, really conservative.

What do you think?

  • Nashita

    I love this site ,it has helped me improve my game..thanks for this grt site.

    My heel pad is a liitle outside the the racket grip in forehand ,i feel its reducing the power in my forehand..what do u think will.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see the Federer video referred to in “Roger Federer’s Forehand Grip” article.

  • Babe


  • glou

    Hi will, i’m pretty sure verdasco uses this Eastern grip, but a completely other way, taking a more round swing over the ball to create his heavy hitting spin.
    Can you confirm this impression ?

    That’s the grip I use, and I tried this technique. Pretty impressive 😉 hard to master, though…

    Thanks in advance !

  • Eric

    Maybe there will never be another Roger but maybe there will be somebody better than him.

  • stoutafer

    I use the Roger Federer eastern to sometimes semi western grip. Everything is starting to make sense. Great videos!

  • Brpeace

    I use an eastern forehand grip myself. I was actually more interested in seeing how far Roger’s arm was extended when hitting the ball. Tennis instructors usually say that the arm SHOULD NOT be fully extended when striking the ball, but I notice that Roger’s arm nearly always is.

  • Robert Rand

    Hi Will:
    How about some tennis tips on grips for lefties?????

  • Sam

    I started playing tennis again upon retirement 40 years after having last picking up a racquet. i did this primarily to cross-train with distance running but got hooked on the game again. You can imagine the difference in the technique between then and now. Fortunately my coach agreed to teach me the technique he currently uses to train his young players so now i’m hitting using a semi-western grip and open stance forehand seeking height over the net and overspin deep into the court. It’s been a good learning experience and when i’m hitting well i find that my age group has difficulty returning the high bounce and weight produced by topspin shot.

  • Joaquin

    Hey, will, I’ve used a rather western grip for years but when I try this knocks-on-3rd-bubble eastern grip I realize that my follow through goes naturally more to the front and upwards with my shoulders rotation. Also my wrist turns more easily by the end of the follow through to relax my arm. This all results in more pace on the ball whilst keeping a nice topspin. I like it and I think I will stick to it. I remember that I had already seen this video about more than a year ago and I found it very useful.

  • Joaquin

    haha, I just realized my grammar mistakes… bubble instead of bevel and knock, instead of knuckle… anyway, I hope you had understood what I meant. Good thing is that I learned the writing of two new words. Sorry, Will.

  • Jay

    I’m 13 yrs old and play in two level tournaments and I think the western grip gives me a bit more top spin and it gives the ball a higher clearance over the net.

  • Fede

    Does a grip make you hit the ball higher or lower, or you should “allways” hit the ball at the same height after the bounce? Great Videos!

  • Vtfreeiii

    Great job, I love it.

    Van Free

  • Ppellico

    Well, I thought the eastern grip eventually caused more ekbo problems. But that was street talk. I have found the change in my swing and better (vokle) racquet actually helped my arm.
    However, isn’t giveing it a more western grip help attain top spin and jump?
    I have found adding a slight western grip to the service helps control the ball direction more.

  • Sam

    I play with a western grip. I find that it gives me more ball clearance over the net, more accuracy and more topspin. It makes me fell more in control.

  • Veena_tripathi2001

    great job good luck

  • Oswaldocuellar

    excellent ..

  • tomtennis

    Dear Will & Adam,
    Thank both of you for sending me the instruction emails, but unfortunately I could not find any videos at all. Do I need to install some certain players or what. Please give me a hand on it.
    Good luck and thanks again.



  • Flav Prince

    With a eastern forehand girp a player cn hav a all coat game cz wit a slight adjustment we cn go into a continental grip . i think Federers grip is a aid for him to be quick a be in control of the entire coat. federer has a superb all coat game

  • Vedant Rao 6

    i use eastern grip

  • fortylove

    I also use an eastern grip, and am one of the few at my club. I do use a ww swing so I can get more spin. Many pros have said I have a beautiful swing, so I’m happy with my grip.

  • Roni

    this grip would also be an easy transition with little change into the volley grip.

  • rich

    I’m 72 and was brought up serve and volley using continental grip, but felt restricted by a less powerful forehand, so about ten years ago, I took lessons on open stance, semi western and lately over the shoulder follow through and liked the hot results. Trouble with changing grips and swing late in life is a tendency to slide back to older habits in the heat of the battle, but I seem to automatically go to the older volley grip at the net.
    Keep up the great videos. Rich

  • Manasi Ramadani

    it was very interesting although i learnt how to play with the semi-western grip and it is really working. but i might try out the eastern.

  • randel

    inside out/ inside in can be very effective if you set up not only your shot placements, but most importantly, your correct footworks! you got to have the right movements on your feet inorder to execute insideout/in. now, roger really has excellent anticipation,preparation from lower to upper mechanics. So, really, footwork is the key!

  • Knick

    this is totally awsome sauce ..i also hit with the eastern and i think its very reliable nerver lets me down i did have trouble for a wile finding my grip any thoughts?

  • Rishabh

    I’m pretty sure he uses continental more of the time and alternating throughout the game.

  • Mustangrtc

    I must say that Roger is using eastern grip 98% most of the time with 2% variables, that is when he go between 3rd & 4th bevel to accommodate the action and the position of the in coming shot. I used eastern grip for simplification. It you do it right the ball travel deeper and definitely you can have more options. On occasion I switch to semi-western if the ball is short to create topspin in order to clear the net…

  • Yusofahmad50

    I’d been watching a lot of Federer’s games and there’s no doubt that Federer uses the eastern forehand grip. I use the same grip too because I find it less taxing on my wrist compared to semi or full western grip and I am 61 by the way.

  • Beth

    i use the eastern grip too

  • SuperSmoka420

    I know EXACTLY what you mean… I do the same.

  • Rob

    I’ve found that although you don’t get maximum spin, this grip lets you easily mix up your shots — to hit with moderate spin, flat, or backspin/drop shot. Some of the players with extreme western grips have to switch to hit with backspin or drop shot, which gives it away.

  • Jamesvangilder

    I use eastern but I don’t have my hand as low on the racquet as Roger. I will sure try it though!

  • Greg

    He adjusts grip considering the ball he plays and what next he want to achieve on the other side of the net.
    I use adjustment grip (:-) (subconsciously competent) the best I can. When I am not able i simply loose the point. The best for me is not to think too much about grip when I play.

  • Nick Halden

    it was really dificult for me, i play witha grip number 4

  • hafiz

     it difficult to tell what grip that i use. it seen that i use grip no 2 to play spin and easy control the ball when return..

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