Tennis Serve Grip
Tennis serve grip is one of the first skills you will need to master to smash a good tennis serve.
It is something you can practice before you step onto the tennis court. You must use the proper tennis serve grip to serve with great power and speed 😊.
The Best Serve Grip and Why It Helps
If you are new to tennis, you might be surprised a serve requires a specific grip. It is known as the continental grip 🥰.
However, before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about why this is the perfect grip for your serve and why learning to use it is beneficial.
👉 There are four benefits of learning this continental grip are as follows:
The continental grip helps you to produce topspin on your serve, which is one of its main advantages.
Topspin gives you the control you need to hit aggressively while still holding the ball on the ground.
The continental grip places the racket’s face so that the wrist can flex more freely during the service motion.
As you learn to serve or improve your current serve, you’ll notice this flex allows you to serve in a fluid motion 😊 while still allowing you to snap your wrist for topspin.
One of the key reasons you should use the continental grip for your serve is that it helps you hit various styles of serves with ease.
You can hit a wide flat serve; slice serve, topspin serve, or kick serve with the continental grip 😇.
Learning to hit each of these serves would help you be more aggressive, keep your opponent guessing, and hit a consistent and effective second serve.
If you are serious about your serve, you will want to practice the trophy pose, putting you in the best position to achieve full power and the fastest serve.
However, to get the most out of the trophy pose, you will need a grip that matches your service motion.
Like most beginners, you probably started with a forehand grip.
It places the racket’s face and strings against the net when held out in front of you.
The problem is if you use a forehand grip, you won’t improve your serve over time.
Additionally, you will not gain the benefits that are described above. As a result, let’s look at a proper technique for holding your continental grip correctly 🥰.
Technique For Tennis Serve Grip
The technique for forming the continental grip with your tennis racket comes down to how you handle your tennis racket.
👉 Let’s take a look at a few alternative approaches to shaping the continental grip:
#1. Shake Hands with Your Racket
Holding the ball out in front of you and reaching out to shake hands with the tennis racket is one of the simplest ways to learn how to make the continental grip 😊.
Hold the tennis racket out in front of you, with the tip of the racket frame opposite to the ground and the strings facing to the side.
When shaking hands with the racket, you should have a grip similar to a continental grip.
This basic approach is ideal for beginners and children because it gives them a quick guide to remember the grip.
You can typically yell out, “shake hands with your racket,” after teaching a group of kids how to keep this grip, and they will know immediately.
#2. Hold the Racket in Your Hand like a Hammer
Another common idea is to keep the racket like a hammer and imagine hammering a nail with the side of the racket.
This basic approach can provide you with an easy-to-remember technique to keep your continental serve grip, like shaking hands with your racket 🥰.
#3. Get the Correct Bevel
The most precise way to determine the tennis serve grip is to use the bevels on the handle, which you might have overlooked.
If you take a glance at your tennis racket’s handle, you will find that it’s an octagon with eight sides or bevels, like a stop sign.
You will number each bevel of your handle to help you find the correct grip.
You have to mark the top bevel as 1 with the racket out in front of you.
Then, with the racket frame’s side pointed down toward the court, and each successive bevel moving clockwise all the way around to 8 😇.
If you are a right-handed player, open your hand and put the inside of your index finger’s knuckle against bevel 2 (or bevel 8 if you are a left-handed player). Then grip the racket.
After that, you should keep a continental grip 😊.
Valuable Tips for Tennis Serve Grip
When you first start using a continental grip for your serve, it will probably feel uncomfortable. It will take some time before it feels natural.
👉 To help you, I have put together a list of our best serve grip tips.
#1. Relax Your Hand
When serving, players sometimes hold their racket handle tightly.
They may be concerned the racket will slip out of their hand while serving, or they feel that a tight grip will help them to strike harder.
But when it comes to tennis or any sport, tension or stress are their biggest enemies.
Due to tension, the player’s body cannot be as flexible and fluid as it should be.
This is where your maximum power and control come from 🥰.
Rather than gripping your serve grip firmly or pressing your racket handle too hard, loosen your hand.
By this, the racket handle is stable but relaxed enough for your wrist and arm to move freely.
#2. Spread Your Fingers
Spreading the fingers somewhat is another helpful tip for players mastering the continental serve grip.
Most players crowd their fingers while gripping their racket for a serve, making it difficult to control the racket frame.
Allowing your fingers to stretch out a little while gripping your racket would give you more control and help you maneuver your racket head easily.
This minor adjustment is especially useful when adjusting the angle or position of your racket for various tennis serves, like flat, slice, topspin, and kick.
#3. Raise the Index Finger of Your Hand
In addition to spreading your fingers, as mentioned above, lifting the index finger so it stretches farther up the racket handle may be beneficial 😇.
Extending your index finger up the handle of your tennis racket, close to spreading your fingers, will give you more flexibility and control of your tennis racket during your service motion.
There’s no reason to go overboard here; just do what feels right.
#4. Switching Grips
It may be difficult at first to transition quickly from your continental grip to your groundstroke grips, especially your forehand grip.
If you are having trouble with it, my only advice is to stick with it.
Yes, it takes some practice to get used to changing your grip.
It will, though, pay off in the long run, and switching grips will become your second nature before you know it 😊.
Trust me, you won’t even have to worry about it.
Furthermore, you can use the same grip for your volleys and overheads as you do for your continental service.
When learning to serve and volley, this grip is important. You will be reaching the net after serving, which means it will be your opponent’s return.
Your opponent’s return will hit you quickly, and you will not have time to change your grip.
Which Serve Grips does Tennis Pros Use?
#1. Roger Federer
Federer uses a variation of the Continental grip. This is the most commonly used and simple tennis serve grip.
It permits pronation and maximizes the strength and spin potential. The best results are obtained using the traditional grip 🥰.
Federer’s hold on the first and second serves is almost the same.
#2. Rafael Nadal
To strike his forehand, Nadal uses a semi-western grip.
He does not use a full western grip, contrary to common opinion. Many tennis fans believe this is the case because of the immense amount of topspin he can produce, but he does use the semi-western grip.
This grip and Nadal’s windscreen wiper forehand swing combined allows him to generate incredible levels of spin.
However, his physicality and maximum unit turn will enable him to create a lot of speed.
This is what gives Nadal’s forehand the vicious “heavy” feel, prompting opponents to answer with a more defensive shot, allowing Rafael to gain the upper hand in the rally quickly 😊.
#3. Serena Williams
Unlike those who use the semi-Western and Continental grips, Serena Williams uses an Eastern forehand grip to serve for power.
The Eastern forehand grip takes the racket strings into closer, perpendicular contact with the tennis ball, resulting in a direct smack.
Compared to brushing over the court, the more the racket strings slap the tennis ball directly, the more power you will generate, and the less spin the ball will produce 😇.