It’s all in the hands, you see. Whilst a good racket does help, a stable hold allowing plenty of feel and movement is far more important.
So, how should you grip the racket? Most coaches will answer with the ‘semi-western grip’ – but you might prefer its more popular name, the ‘frying pan grip’, which gives a fair indication of what to expect.
This grip is designed to deliver power, a good loop over the net, and plenty of topspin to keep the ball low and fast on landing. It encourages you to strike with a closed racket face and lots of forward motion.
To get started, look at your racket handle with the head away from you - it will be octagonal. Imagine that the sides – aka the bevels - of the octagon are numbered one to eight, number one being at the top, working in a clockwise direction.
Side number four is the focus for the semi-western grip. Grab the racket, aligning the knuckle of your index finger with bevel number four (number six if you’re left-handed).
Your hand should be towards the bottom of the handle, and you should allow a gap to develop between your index finger and the rest of your hand – the gap will give you plenty of control and allow you to apply a scary amount of spin.
The result of this grip is a closed racket face that invites you to strike the ball with a whippy, upward motion that’s perfect for powerful forehands. Remember that flexibility is key when it comes to grip, and one of the most important facets of grip technique is mastering a quick change between them.