Backhand Grip in Tennis [Easy Guide]

Tennis is a game of precision, technique, and strategy, with various skills necessary to master the sport.

One fundamental aspect of this game is understanding and correctly using the backhand grip.

We’ll cover everything to know about the backhand grip in tennis in this article.

What is a Backhand in Tennis?

Before discussing the grips, it’s essential to understand what a backhand in tennis is.

The backhand shot is a stroke made by swinging the racquet away from the body.

The player hits the ball with the back of the racquet’s string bed, on the side opposite from the one used for a forehand.

Players typically use one or two hands to perform this shot.

Importance of Backhand in Tennis

Why is the backhand so important in tennis?

The backhand stroke is vital because it allows players to handle shots coming to their non-dominant side, which is a necessary skill in the fast-paced game of tennis.

A powerful and precise backhand can catch opponents off guard, adding a valuable weapon to a player’s arsenal.

Forehand vs Backhand Grip in Tennis

To distinguish between the two fundamental types of grips in tennis, it’s important to comprehend the difference between the forehand and backhand grip.

The forehand grip allows the player to swing the racquet freely and apply maximum power, while the backhand grip provides control and precision for shots on the non-dominant side.

Tennis Backhand Grips

There are several types of backhand grips in tennis, each offering different advantages and suitable for different styles of play.

The two most common are the Eastern backhand grip and the Continental backhand grip.

Proper Backhand Grip in Tennis

To hold the Eastern backhand grip, place the base knuckle of your index finger on the third bevel of your racquet handle.

The Continental backhand grip is achieved by placing the base knuckle of the index finger on the second bevel.

For two-handed backhand strokes, the dominant hand typically uses the Continental grip, while the non-dominant hand uses an Eastern forehand grip.


Tennis Backhand Grip: One Hand vs Two Hands

A player may choose to use one hand or two hands for their backhand strokes, and the choice significantly influences the grip.

A one-handed backhand allows for greater reach and versatility, while a two-handed backhand offers more control and stability.

How to find an Eastern Backhand Grip (Tennis)

How to Find Tennis Double Handed Backhand Grip

Who Has the Best Backhand in Tennis?

While many players excel at the backhand, Swiss Maestro Roger Federer was renowned for his one-handed backhand.

He uses an Eastern backhand grip, which provides him with excellent control and the ability to generate powerful topspin.

Zverev and Federer: Backhand Grip Comparison

Alexander Zverev is another player known for his powerful two-handed backhand.

Unlike Federer, Zverev uses a semi-western grip with his right hand and an Eastern grip with his left hand.

The Best Grip in Tennis

The best grip largely depends on the player’s style and preference.

The Eastern backhand grip offers power and topspin, making it great for aggressive players.

The Continental grip offers more variety and is suitable for defensive players.

Backhand Grip for Tennis Serve

Although not common, the backhand grip can also be used for serving, particularly for slice serves.

This grip can add variety to a player’s serve game.

Forehand Backhand Grip: Transitioning

A significant part of mastering tennis is the ability to transition quickly and fluidly between forehand and backhand grips, depending on the incoming shot.

This ability to switch grips is crucial for maintaining balance, control, and power in your shots.

How Many Tennis Grips Are There?

There are primarily three types of grips in tennis: Eastern, Continental, and Western, which can be used in various combinations for different strokes.

Backhand Grip in Pickleball and Table Tennis

In other racquet sports like pickleball and table tennis, the backhand grip plays a similar role.

In table tennis, for instance, the penhold backhand grip involves holding the paddle similarly to how one would hold a pen, offering excellent control and spin.


The backhand grip in tennis is a crucial aspect of the game that significantly impacts a player’s performance.

Understanding and mastering the right backhand grip, along with the ability to transition between grips, can give a player the edge over their competition.

No matter what grip a player chooses, practice and consistency are keys to perfecting this critical tennis skill.

FAQ – Backhand Grip in Tennis

What is a backhand grip in tennis?

A backhand grip in tennis refers to the way a player holds the racket while executing a backhand shot.

The backhand shot is hit from the left side for right-handed players and from the right side for left-handed players.

The grip determines the power, control, and spin of the shot.

How many types of backhand grips are there in tennis?

There are mainly two types of backhand grips in tennis: the one-handed backhand grip (like the Eastern backhand grip) and the two-handed backhand grip.

The choice between these grips depends on a player’s personal preference, comfort, and style of play.

How to hold a one-handed backhand grip in tennis?

For a one-handed backhand grip, the Eastern backhand grip is commonly used.

In this grip, the base knuckle of your index finger should be on the first bevel of the racquet handle, while the heel of your hand is placed on bevel 2.

How to hold a two-handed backhand grip in tennis?

For a two-handed backhand grip, the dominant hand (the right hand for a right-handed player) holds the racket in the Eastern Forehand grip, while the non-dominant hand holds it in the Continental grip.

What is the best backhand grip in tennis?

The “best” backhand grip depends on the player’s comfort, style of play, and the specific situation during a match.

Some players prefer a one-handed backhand grip due to the reach and variety it offers, while others prefer a two-handed backhand grip for the power and control it provides.

Who has the best backhand in tennis?

This is subjective and often dependent on current player rankings and performance.

Many consider Novak Djokovic to have one of the most effective two-handed backhands, while Roger Federer is often praised for his one-handed backhand.

What is Zverev’s backhand grip?

Alexander Zverev, a professional tennis player, is known for his powerful two-handed backhand.

He uses a combination of the Eastern forehand grip with his right hand and the Continental grip with his left hand.

Why is backhand important in tennis?

The backhand shot is a crucial part of any player’s game because it allows them to return shots coming to their non-dominant side.

It’s an essential defensive and offensive tool and, when mastered, can add depth and versatility to a player’s game.

What is the difference between forehand and backhand grip in tennis?

In a forehand grip, such as the Eastern Forehand grip, the base knuckle of your index finger is on the third bevel of the racket handle.

In contrast, in a backhand grip like the Eastern Backhand grip, the base knuckle of your index finger is on the first bevel.

What is the backhand grip used for tennis serves?

Generally, the Continental grip is used for serving in tennis.

This grip allows for a range of motions necessary for different types of serves.

What grip does Federer use on his backhand?

Roger Federer, one of the greatest players in tennis history, is famous for his one-handed backhand.

He uses the Eastern backhand grip, which allows him to generate spin, control, and power in his backhand shots.

How is the backhand grip in table tennis different from that in lawn tennis?

The backhand grip in table tennis involves a more compact and closed grip, with the thumb resting against the rubber surface, while in lawn tennis, it is typically an open grip with the thumb on top.

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