Glossary of Tennis
- Glossary of Terms follows below:
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Grinder A player who plays a baseline game;
also called a "baseline player."
the tennis racquet
How the tennis racquet
is held to effectively hit shots during a tennis set.
There are three primary grips, the Western Grip, the
Eastern Grip, and the Continental. Some
recognize three additional grips, the Semi-Western
Grip, the Australian Grip and the Hawaiian Grip.
Most players change grips during a match depending on
what is needed by the shot they are making. The
Continental is a grip that remains the same, not
matter what shot is required.
Grip (Australian) Midway between the
Eastern and continental to facilitate play on a grass
A grip in which the
racket face is tilted downward, toward the court.
Grip (Two-handed Backhand) The
two-handed backhand grip has long been used for both
stability and power of the backhand return shot.
There is a difference of opinion regarding the proper
hand placement for this grip. Undoubtedly the
most popular placement is to hold the racquet in your
dominant hand with a Continental grip, then taking
your opposite hand and placing it above your playing
hand in a Semi-Western forehand grip.
Grip (Eastern) This grip is the
classic grip used most often by beginning students; it
is considered the easiest grip to use when learning
the forehand shot. Although it is underused by
pro tennis players, in favor of the Semi-Western grip,
it is still used by some. It places your palm on
the side plane of your handle, parallel to the plane
of your strings. With your wrist straight and
relaxed, the Eastern grip results in a vertical
racquet face when your racquet is even with your front
hip. For a classic swing style, this is the most
natural and physically most secure relationship
between body, racquet, and point of contact. The
Eastern is also the most versatile forehand grip,
because you can easily tilt upward for slice or keep
the racquet face vertical to hit topspin. Many players
find that they can hit heavier topspin and better
handle the high kick of the opponent's topspin with
the more western grips, though, which accounts for the
reduced popularity of the Eastern at the pro level.
Grip (Continental) The Continental
grip is the one solution used for every shot, but it
is considered old school; it places your palm on the
upper right slant bevel, 45 degrees counterclockwise
from the Eastern. This makes the racquet face
tend to tilt upward, which is especially appropriate
for hitting a slice. You can hit flat with the
Continental, but you must meet the ball in a weaker
position, slightly farther back, than with the
Eastern. The Continental grip can be used for both
forehands and backhands, but it's rarely used anymore
for forehands, because it's poorly suited to hitting a
Grip (Extreme Eastern or Semi-Western)
This grip places your palm on the lower right slant
bevel, the plane 45 degrees clockwise (for a righty)
from the plane of the strings. To counteract the
resulting natural downward tilt of the racquet face,
you must meet the ball slightly farther forward (at a
given height) than you would with an Eastern grip, and
while it's possible to hit flat, you will generally
need to swing upward more sharply, which encourages
you to hit topspin. The average grip among the pros
now is Semi-Western, primarily because of the
importance of topspin in the modern, advanced game.
The Semi-Western grip does well both at generating
topspin and handling the high bounces from the
opponent's topspin. It is not well suited to hitting
slice, and it's less comforable on low balls than on
Grip (Hawaiian) The "Hawaiian" grip
is unquestionably the strangest of all grip types.
It places your palm 135 degrees clockwise from the
Eastern Grip, or 45 degrees farther than the Western
Grip (Western) The Western grip
places your palm on the bottom plane of your handle,
at 90 degrees clockwise from the plane of the strings.
This makes the racquet face tilt downward severely,
and you must meet the ball farther forward (at a given
height) than you would with a Semi-Western grip to get
the plane of the strings into a vertical position.
The most natural swing pattern with a Western grip is
sharply upward and very fast, which explains why most
Western hitters generate heavy topspin. The
Western grip handles high balls much better than low
ones, in large part because a higher point of contact
does not need to be as far forward. It is
possible for some players to hit flat with a Western
grip, but doing so forces your wrist into a very
awkward position. The Western grip got its
name from its origin with California players.
Groundstroke – hitting the ball after it has
bounced, usually from between he area of the service
Gut – responsive string made from animal
intestines used to string rackets.
Gallery The spectator area at the ends and
sides of a court. By extension, the spectators, as in,
"The gallery really applauded that shot."
Game A contest in which one player or side
serves throughout. The first contestant to take four
points wins the game, but the margin of victory must
be at least two points. Scoring follows the sequence,
Fifteen-Thirty-Forty-Game. If both players or sides
reach forty, it's called deuce. See also advantage;
deuce; set; match.
Game point A point that will end the game if it is
won by the leading player or side. See also set point;
Game-set Part of an announcement that a player has
won the decisive game in a set, as in, "Game-set to
Game-set-match Part of an announcement that a
player has won the decisive game in a match, as in,
"Game-set-match to Miss Jones."
Grand Slam There are four tournaments in the
"Grand Slam" of tennis: The Australian, French, U. S.
Open and England's Wimbledon. The phrase came from
contract bridge by way of golf.
A shot hit from the back court or
behind the baseline after the ball has bounced; the
standard shot in tennis.
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