Articles, Blog

Roger Federer’s Forehand Grip

November 19, 2019

Hello! Gregg Le Sueur here for Online Tennis
Instruction. Welcome to the Roger Federer forehand analysis series. We can admire
his excellence and are going to look at what makes Rogers forehand so great and
how you can apply some of these key fundamentals to your own game. This is
the advantage of slow-motion feedback as we can really see what he is doing. In
this first video we’re going to talk about his grip which allows him to have
a very versatile forehand. Roger uses an Eastern forehand grip
where his base knuckle and heel pad on the third bevel. You can see how we find
this group by looking at the diagram and also by searching the ‘online tennis
instruction grips video’ here on YouTube what’s interesting is that he appears to
vary his exact hand placement. Sometimes he may be right in the middle of the
third bevel. In these videos we can see that he has a modified Eastern group
whereas in the bottom part of bevel 3. It may be part of his mastery where he
intentionally positions his knuckle and heel pad low on the bevel to impart more
topspin. So I’d like to quickly clarify what I mean by the middle of 3 and the
bottom side of 3 and also discussed where 3.5 is. So if you look at the grip
here we’ve got them numbered 1, 2, 3, & 4 those are the bevels and this bottom
line here that is we consider 3.5. It’s the ridge between bevel 3 and bevel 4.
Now Federer you sometimes see him with his base knuckle is in the middle of 3
so you see this dotted line here it’s almost lined up his base knuckle
heel pad on that middle part. Now in the videos that we have on display we
can see that he’s hitting more towards the bottom side of 3 and what I mean by
that is it’s this panel that’s between the dotted line and the solid
line. So he is on the bottom side of 3 where he’s not on 3.5 in the ridge but
he’s actually still got his knuckle on the flat pot but it’s sort of
between the dollar line and that solid line. He’s more in this
position that’s what I mean by the bottom side of 3 and the middle slot, middle
part of 3 would be along that dotted line. Okay let’s watch Roger execute a forehand and then let’s look at the
completion and notice where the index knuckle is placed and you can see that’s
on the bottom side of the third bevel. Now we’re gonna take a look at the
placement of his heel pad right as he lines up to hit the ball. You can see how
the heel pad is on that third bevel. This indicates that he is using an Eastern
forehand grip or group number three. Now let’s take a look at how he waits in his
ready position with a neutral grip. He will then adjust his grip for topspin
as he turns for his forehand. Most importantly, the advantages of this grip
structure is when he returns serve! With his Eastern forehand grip he can take a
very short backswing and very quickly align his strings to his target. This
allows him to stand in closer and cut off his opponent’s serve angles. Having a
neutral grip in his ready position enables him to quickly change to his
backhand grip when returning which can be a big advantage to one-handed players.
This allowed him to execute the famous ‘Sabre’ return. Now let’s take a look at
some examples of him adjusting his grip during his unit turn. This grip also gives him a lot of
different options. He can hit a lot of topspin by increasing the upward angle
of his swing path, he can also flatten the shot out by extending more and
reducing the upward swing angle. It’s also great for disguise! Not only does
his unit turn with his racket tip up allow him to take advantage of gaining
speed on the drop through gravity but it also allows him to disguise drop shots
as seen here. So this concludes the first part of this three-part series on Roger
Federer’s forehand. In the next video we will talk about how Roger uses his body
to generate power! Thank you for watching! you


  • Reply Shmuel Goldberg November 24, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Rotation of the arm holding the racket about the wrist joint is the last point along the kinteic chain that transfers movement from the players body to the racket. Like flexibility in every other point along the chain, flexibility in this joint also affects the speed. If not flexible enough, some speed is lost.
    Flexibility of the wrist joint depends on the grip. Player can find what grip provides him best flexibility. On the other hand, for amatures a 2 – 3% of the speed is not a big deal…

  • Reply Prometheus Group November 24, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Very close to continental grip he was taught by Tony Rouche

  • Reply Cussy Richards November 24, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Love that grup. Fantastic grup

  • Reply Steve Swendler November 24, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    I call the grip "extreme eastern"

  • Reply Ian Rutledge November 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Can I ask, where does the heel pad sit on the RF forehand? If on the same bevel is this also the case on the RF eastern backhand that the knuckle and heel pad should be on the same bevel (ie bevel 1)

  • Reply Prometheus Group November 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    A discussion on his superb timing and footwork will be be preferable as opposed to a common grip

  • Reply Sameer Verma December 3, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Is the neutral grip in the ready position the continental grip?

  • Reply Bodu Liu July 30, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    I think the reason that Federer's eastern forehand grip looks more like a semi-western at contact point is because the position of his hand on the grip is extremely towards the butt cap. The butt cap actually sits near the center of his palm, and the heel pad is just hanging over the butt cap. However most of the instructions will ask beginner players to rest the heel pad on the butt cap or even use it to find the bevels. In this way he gained more maneuverability so that even at the contact point in front of the body, he can keep a vertical or slightly closed racket face with eastern forehand grip, which can only be easily achieved by semi-western grip if you let the butt cap resting on the heel pad.

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