A little while back, the frame of my racquet cracked and I had to play with a ‘loaner’ for a while. The racquet frame and strings were pretty close to what I was used to; but the grip size was significantly smaller … and I liked it.
For years, I have played with a 4 5/8 grip that (in theory) was too large for my hand size. But I liked the feel of the larger size and felt that I handled it OK.
But the loaner racquet had a grip size of 4 3/8 and felt differently in my hand. I felt it played better, giving me more opportunity to wrap my hand around for topspin.
According to the Tennis Warehouse website, “The right grip size makes a huge difference in how a racquet performs. [To measure yours]
“Holding an eastern forehand grip (the palm is placed against the same bevel as the string face), you should be able to fit the index finger of your non-hitting hand in the space between your ring finger and palm. If there isn’t enough room for your index finger, the grip is too small. If there is space between your finger and palm, the grip is too big.
“A too-small grip requires more muscle strength to keep the racquet from twisting in your hand. Prolonged use of a grip that’s too small can contribute to tennis elbow problems. A grip that’s too large inhibits wrist snap on serves, makes changing grips more difficult and also requires more muscle strength. Prolonged use of a grip that’s too big can also contribute to tennis elbow problems.”
Getting extra topspin is exactly the reason Raphael Nadal uses 4 1/4 and many other clay court players use a smaller grip size. While according to other writings on the web, Roger Federer has very large hands; but uses only a 4 3/8 grip size.
So for now, Roger and I have another thing in common (!)… grip size.