Benefits of a Western Grip
If you’re looking to develop a heavy baseline game with big groundstrokes that have a ton of topspin, then the western grip might be the right grip for you.
Without a doubt, the main benefit of the western tennis grip is the ability for players to generate a significant amount of topspin, which can be great for a few reasons.
First, topspin is important in tennis because it allows you to hit the ball aggressively while still keeping the ball in the court and not hitting it out of bounds. Topspin occurs when a player brushes up and over the top of a tennis ball, causing it to spin forward extremely fast.
When this occurs, a player can hit a few feet over the net, and due to the topspin, still have the ball drop into the court. This effect can be extremely beneficial, as it allows you to hit the ball consistently into the court.
Beyond consistency, a high amount of topspin also causes the ball to “jump” or spring back upward when it hits the ground on your opponent’s side of the court.
As a result, topspin keeps the ball out of your opponent’s ideal striking zone for groundstrokes, which is typically about waist-high, forcing them to step into the ball to catch it on the rise or to step away from the ball to catch it as it drops.
The farther back your opponent stands, the harder it becomes for them to hit a winner and the fewer angles they can hit, which can be helpful to keep your opponent on the defense.