20 January 2011


Last week I had the opportunity the watch Amr Shabana live at the World Series Finals at the Queens Club. I knew beforehand that he is often modifying his grip according to the type of shot he is facing, but I wasn't aware that he is doing it basically on every shot (when time allows it of course). It starts with the serve, he is holding the racket grip very high, then whilst waiting the return he swaps it into the conventional position just to readjust it at every single shot. Basically whilst he is waiting for his opponent's shot, his fingers are constantly 'playing' with the racket grip (- maybe also in order to have some 'air-conditioning' where sweat could appear quickly). This way, he adjusts both the heights of the grip and the angle of the racket-head. In general it's not one movement, but two or even three, as for a matter of precision his fingers have to look for the perfect position gradually. It's tough to see that on the screen, but in the below rally there is nice example as he is finishing the rally with a drop into the nick; at first sight it might look as if he was just shaking the racket to deceive an early shot, but in fact the racket was shaken because he was adjusting his fingers around the grip twice to enable him to hold the racket higher as he was in search for total control. Higher grip = more control; lower grip = more pace.