Tennis Forehand Grip: Where To Place The Index Finger

If you want to accelerate your tennis learning and play like a pro, you’ve got to master the fundamentals. Today, I’ll share a powerful tip on one of them, the tennis forehand grip. This is an essential element to get more power on your forehand and turn it into a weapon on your game. 

In all of my years of coaching, I’ve come across many players who hold their tennis racquet incorrectly. This highly surprises me because I always give priority to the tennis forehand grip when teaching the stroke. For instance, I’ve seen tennis players holding the racquet with their fingers close together, which creates extra tension on your forehand. 

I consider this a big problem that can directly hinder your ability to hit amazing tennis forehands. However, you can easily fix it by practicing the simple forehand tip that I will explain in this article. 

Let’s get into it now.

Tennis Forehand Grip Tip

Tennis forehand grip

To get the right tennis forehand grip, I suggest spreading the index finder, which I call the “trigger finger”. Likewise, you’ve got to make sure that your hand is angled on the racquet and avoid holding it with a block grip. By doing this, you’ll immediately reduce tension, swing freely, and start hitting lightning bolt tennis forehands. 

Moreover, you’ll develop more feel as you make contact with the ball. Tennis is a game of feel; hence, it’s important to work on this area in all your strokes. On the tennis forehand, you’ll be able to achieve this by holding the racquet correctly with the index finger spread. 

Let’s recap. Focus on getting a proper tennis forehand grip by spreading your index finger and having your hand angled on the racquet. When you swing, concentrate on developing feel with the ball while making contact. Finally, remind yourself to breath and relax your hand throughout the shot to get that easy power on the forehand. 

Give this tennis tip a go, and feel how it helps your forehand go to a completely new level. 



By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution


Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.

P.S. – Ready to take it to the next level with your tennis? Click here to get a free membership (no credit card required) which includes 21 lessons covering all aspects of your tennis ($567 value). Learn the exact step-by-step system that has transformed the games of thousands. of players worldwide.


  1. David Giannandrea

    How is the trigger finger used in the one-handed backhand?

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      David, You can use it the same way!

  2. meg peavy

    In my 45 hours of teaching a week I spend quite a bit of time “re-teaching” techniques as basic as this ! 😉

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Hi Meg, I know. It’s amazing, isn’t it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge

  3. Gary gonzalez

    Great tip Jeff,that trigger finger also helps my wrist

      • vasu

        You are correct and I did not know about index finger and power. I learnt this way in my HS days. One question. When I hit my forehand or backhand ground strokes with top spin, my balls always graze the next by 6″. How can I get it UP to 12”-24″?????????

        • Jeff Salzenstein

          Vasu, get under the ball and/or aim higher.

  4. John Mann

    Spreading the fingers, especially spreading the index finger, gives more feel in the fingers, which seems to lead to more control. Also, spreading the fingers relaxes the hand and wrist.

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      It sure does, John! Thank you for your comment

  5. Paul Czerner

    That’s worth considering, because sometimes when I hit a good feeling shot, I feel it between the base knuckles of my index and ring fingers.

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Try it out, Paul and let me know how it goes.

  6. Dennis

    I am under the impression that Wawrinka hits his backhand with fingers closed hence more power while federer with index finger apart therefore more versatile. Any comments?

  7. Noushin

    Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience and knowledge!

  8. Mike Ramjattansingh


    How can this trigger finger position help your serve?

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Mike, It gives you more feel and control.

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