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Glossary of Tennis Terms

Tennis - Glossary of Terms follows below:

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Grinder  A player who plays a baseline game; also called a "baseline player."

Grip of 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 surface.

Grip (closed)   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 topspin.

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 high balls.

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.

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 line and

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; match point.

Game-set Part of an announcement that a player has won the decisive game in a set, as in, "Game-set to Miss Jones."

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.

Groundstroke 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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