View Full Version : FH slice or chop

lendl lives
08-23-2004, 01:08 PM
saw a friends 4.5 team go to nationals this weekend. the singles player had great variety. one shot he hit was the fh slice or chop. he hit a few on returns and as groundies. i have trouble with this shot and miss it into the net. it looked like he almost caught the ball softly and flicked it back. this guy has style. he's probablay a 5.O.

any tips on this shot?

also it looked like his bh slice was very high to low..it was a bit of a floater but he anlged them or got them deep most often... do you guys prefer the slice drive or the deep floaterish type shop. how do you use them?

08-23-2004, 01:26 PM
Forehand slice takes practice and you need to open the racquet face quite a bit. It was my bread and butter at the 3.5 level, solid at the 4.0 level, but not good enough when I play 4.5s. It can become a very consistent shot if you don't try to swing to hard and learn to keep it low to the net. It sometimes will appear to climb as it nears the net because of the backspin and will usually finds it way over even though it's hit low. The ball slows down in flight so the longer in travels the more it slows down, so it usually drops in but it also gives opponents time to run it down. Good luck with it, it does create lots of errors as opponents get lazy on bending down for these or will have a hard time judging the bounce or lack there of. You can also hit it so slow, it sets up and looks like a tantalizingly easy kill for the opponent, but usually isn't if place deep enough. Also it's tough for opponent's to volley if you put enough backspin on the ball. Crank it up and have fun frustrating your opponents with the slice forehand.

08-23-2004, 01:31 PM
Been watching talyor dent play huh... :twisted:

lendl lives
08-23-2004, 01:35 PM
edit: probably to 'definatley a 5.0'. it looked on the returns like he was almost catching the ball (like a lacross player would do).

08-24-2004, 06:07 AM
A 4.5 kid I played this summer would do that on his vollies, sort of catch the ball behind him and then slice the ball forward like a lacrosse shot which was sort of weird but it worked for him. My slice is more like when a baseball player slaps the ball to right field, sort of a short swing with not much follow through but just swinging slightly past the point of contact and not turning the wrist over like a pull hitter would. It's a pretty simple, smooth motion and helped my consistency.

lendl lives
08-24-2004, 09:31 AM

now that i think about it it looked like this guy's opponent did a similar thing on his bh. he would hit a one hander and it looked like there was a glitch in his swing where he would slow down at contact, hold the ball and then impart spin. (could be an illusion)

these shots that look like a player is holding a ball got me thinking about having 'long contact' with the ball. can anyone give me some advice on this? a friend told me that on my bh i had a tendency to start my swing fast and end it fast. He said it should be more like a crescendo. (maybe like a golf swing where you want your power to come in 3/4 o the way down or so?) anyway does long contact mean you try to catch the ball hold it and whip it back?

funny thing about my friends 4.5 team is that he was on a 5.0 team that went to nationals and he says this 4.5 team is better.

08-24-2004, 10:12 AM
Yep, that 4.5 kid could impart quite a bit of spin on his groundstrokes and generate good pace too with a pretty whippy swing, that maybe slowed down on contact too. He seemed to hold the ball for awhile on his strings too with a long swing and good follow through. His volley was even more strange through since he would sort of slingshot the ball forward after trapping it behind his body with his racquet angled backwards initially but then propelling it forward. This kid plays #1 for his college that is just going D1 this year but was D2 or 3 last season.

08-24-2004, 10:18 AM
My backhand, I can hit like this with long contact on the strings and generating alot of spin. But if my opponent hits a slow ball to my backhand, I have a harder time generating as much spin and the ball comes off my strings sooner.

Is there any research that shows how long a ball will stay on the strings for depending on the type of shot?

I string at 50 pounds and I think that may help for longer contact times too as the strings get stretched more and absorb more of the ball.

08-24-2004, 05:34 PM
I prefer the slice drive as opposed to the floater, but they're both great imo.

While I don't really advocate the slice FH... I guess I want to comment on it anyways. And some of what I say here will... admittedly, sound or be a bit ignorant.

But my experience with slice shots, especially driven slice shots is that you just develop it out of experience like other things. However, the experience factor just seems big because to me, slice shots, especially driven, have always been so much about feel that it's too hard to communicate the little nuances that go on around contact.

If I were to describe my slice backhand, I guess two motions are going on at once. There's a volley like motion going on as my arm is steady but bent and my shoulder is doing a lot of the stroke work. And the second motion going on at the same time is a steady hip rotation that allows a nice upper body turn as I hit through the shot. Aside from that, I'm just thinking of being forward into the shot. ***And so that describes my approach to the technique of the slice backhand, but what's left out is what I'm feeling as I hit the shot.

As I hit any of the slice shots, at least lately, it's been too hard to describe. It's like how much slice or how much drive I put on the ball varies and it has more to do with what I'm feeling before/during/after contact with the ball. Height of the contact zone too. I guess just after time, I got some sort of "feel" for the shot, and so I vary it in subtle terms--and I can sort of already feel how the ball will cross the net. Whether I feather a forward moving, low pace, low bouncing (not sitting high) slice backhand. Or if I'm putting more drive in it and it's going at a much faster pace with virtually no kick, but a skid or a tiny skip. And if I'm being really defensive, then I can also exagerate the spin, lighten up the drive, and get something like a deep floater that sails to about half a foot before the baseline and sit up just a bit on bounce.

And all these adjustments just kind of came from a few moments when I suddenly "felt the ball" on slice shots, after a bunch of practice. I tend to over-mechanize my techniques, especially on anything that's driven.... But the slice shots have basically told me that some things are too hard to explain in exact detail or are at least better left to experiment and experience and feel---adjustments made as you're hitting--and tney are very subtle adjustments.

But we're talking the FH slice here... and what I can say is that the feel component is very much the same for me. I've been able to at least vary between floaters and half-drives. Nothing offensive like the big slice drive I do on the backhand side, but I've been able to hit adequately sliced drives with the forehand that are moderate pace with low skidding balls. Again, the feel is identical, the approach to technique is similar. I step into the ball, not too much arm movement as I drive the ball sorta high to low, my body tipped forward.

But to be redundant but honest... For me, anyways, it all just came from practice and a bit of experimentation. Simply because that feel factor just developed somewhere. I'll tell you that once I had that slice backhand in check, or at least got a feel for it, it applied directly to the forehand and I quickly developed a slice forehand as well as some drop shot ability with the forehand--at least cleaner drop shot ability with the forehand, anyways.