Benefits of an Eastern Grip
One of the advantages of an eastern tennis grip is its proximity to the continental grip, which can be beneficial as it allows players to transition from a forehand to volleys and vice versa quickly. In particular, when a player transitions from the baseline to the net, often by hitting an approach shot, it’s rather quick and easy to change grips, so they’re ready to hit a follow-up volley.
Similarly, when returning serve, the eastern grip may afford some players the advantage of more quickly transitioning grips to hit a forehand or backhand return.
For example, if you’re returning and you have a two-handed backhand, you can very easily hold your eastern forehand grip while you’re waiting for the serve, and then transition your grip with two hands to hit your backhand if the ball ends up traveling in that direction.
While one may argue it’s easier to switch grips with the eastern, this is not to say it’s incredibly hard with a semi-western or western grip. In fact, this transition is common among players using these grips.
However, comparatively speaking, players moving from an eastern to a continental grip to block the ball back, chip and charge or hit a backhand will likely find the transition more quick and easy.
Lastly, the eastern grip can also allow players to flatten out the ball, hitting with less topspin. In most cases, this wouldn’t be a significant advantage for beginners, as flattening out the ball usually results in a shot where there is little margin for error.
However, in highly competitive matches, the ability to flatten out the ball can be beneficial when hitting a passing shot or closing out a point with a shot that doesn’t bounce high, making it more difficult for your opponent to get to the ball on the run.