A tennis racquet’s handle has an octagonal shape, and the 8 sides are called bevels. The bevels serve as a reference point for executing certain grip types, as well as providing a comfortable shape to hold the racquet. Here’s what you need to know about tennis racquet bevels.
A tennis racquet’s handle isn’t squared because that would be uncomfortable to hold, nor is it perfectly round because that wouldn’t provide enough friction to grip. Instead, it has 8 sides called bevels. When looking at the bottom of the racquet handle, the bevels are numbered 1-8 with #1 being the top bevel when the blade of the racquet is perpendicular to the floor. They are numbered clockwise for a right-handed player, and counter-clockwise for a left-handed player. Therefore, if you’re a right-handed player and you rotated the racquet counter-clockwise, the next bevel faces up would be #2. The same would be true if you rotated it clockwise as a left-handed player.
Bevels for Common Grips
Without getting into too much details about the effectiveness of each grip (stay tuned for an upcoming blog), we’ll explain how to execute three common grips: the Continental, Eastern, and Semi-Western.
The “Continental Grip” or “Chopper Grip” is one of the most commonly used grips in tennis. The grip looks as if you were gripping an axe, hence the name “chopper.” To use this grip, place the base knuckle of your index finger on bevel #2.
Eastern Forehand Grip
Using the Eastern forehand grip is a great way to learn forehand. It can also be used for flatter groundstrokes. To execute the Eastern forehand grip, both the heel pad of your hand and the base knuckle of your index finger should rest on bevel #3.
To execute the Semi-Western forehand grip, place the base knuckle of your index finger on bevel #4. If you’ve never used this grip before, it may feel somewhat awkward at first because of the closed angle of the racquet (facing downwards). This, however, will generate more topspin.
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Written by Mike Sharp; Elite Sports Club-West Brookfield Tennis Director & General Manager
Mike Sharp has been an Elite Tennis Pro since 1990. He is USPTA certified, a USRSA Master Racquet Technician, and the Elite Clubs pro shop buyer. Mike is President of the GMITA and also President of the WTA. He previously has served as the Head Pro for the J.C.C. summer camp, Director of Elm Grove’s summer tennis, and an assistant coach at Brookfield Central. He was named the Elite Sports Club-West Brookfield Tennis Director in 2002.