Holding a Semi-Western Grip
To form a semi-western forehand grip, we’ll first take a look at the racquet handle to guide the position of our hand. You may have noticed that the handle of a racquet isn’t a perfect cylinder or smooth around the edge of the handle.
Instead, the handle of a tennis racquet forms roughly the shape of an octagon, with eight sides. This design allows players to grip the racquet better and prevent it from slipping while hitting, but it also provides a great reference point when learning various grips.
In the diagram below, we’ve labeled each side, or bevel, of the racquet handle. To form the semi-western grip, we place the palm side of our index finger’s knuckle against the fourth bevel if you’re right-handed, or the sixth bevel if you are left-handed.
For many beginners, the semi-western tennis grip might feel awkward at first. That’s fairly natural, so don’t worry if that’s the case for you. However, it’s worth sharing how things feel with your instructor, as there are other grips, such as the less extreme eastern grip, that may feel more comfortable to start with depending on the player.
Generally, most players will be taught one grip – either the eastern or semi-western – and then slowly progress to a grip that suits them and feels comfortable.