View Full Version : gettng my slice backhand going again

lendl lives
03-29-2004, 02:01 PM
bungalo, (and friends)

I noticed that my one handed bh slice started to pick up yesterday when I changed a thought process. Previoulsy I was focusing on my energy on the head of the racket when swinging a one hander bh slice and I was sending up weak floaters. Well I started focusing on the butt of the racket and pulling it through the ball and my shots started to pick up big time. Also I've been using a wilson tour 90. I think the weight/balance of the racket may have effected my swing and unlocked the idea. Also why do I want to swing a one hander drive with this racket when my normal shot is two hander? When I focus on the butt of the racket and pulling it through the ball both the one hand drive and slice are looking up.

Hawaii 5.0
03-29-2004, 10:28 PM
I doubt it's the frame, but rather there are tons of variables to the slice.First off the traditional slice should involve you to turn your body and shoulders and step into it(often hard since many slices are defensive).The stroke is fairly simple since it's it's high to low with little follow through.The racquet despite it's HL balance has a higher than usual SW which will cause teh head to come through slower.The most common mistake is the weight transfer and the shoulder should be steady and somewhat leaned in and try releasing from the elbow and keep the wrist steady(this shot has no wrist movement or pronation).The reason you release from the elbow(that butt cap sensation, which is more necessary with higher SW frames)and not the wrist is because there is literally no wrist.It's all shoulder and elbow.You'll never see people hit it with a locked elbow.By opening yoru body your chances of opening the face are even more likely and that's why we hit it closed and that's also where the power comes from.

Bungalo Bill
03-30-2004, 11:26 AM
The weight distribution and size of the frame can have a big effect on your slice. I favor smaller head sizes for my slice. I also favor a more flexible frame for them as well. However, that doesn't mean you can't hit an effective slice with a different more head heavy frame! It is always preference and what I have found that works best for my slice.

During this last two years. I have worked a lot on my slice. I wanted to develop an offensive (German style) slice. Here are the key elements to that driving slice so many Germans came to master.

In all of these sequences with the exeption of the wrist practice, you will have the string bed parallel to the ground and sort of resting on your non-dominant hand. The non-dominant hand is actually positiined near the throat or on the throat of the racquet. The point is if you left things unchanged on your forward swing, the blade/frame of your racquet would hit the ball instead of your strings. That is your backswing.

The first component (the use of the wrist). The wrist component is important for imparting the backspin that characterizes the slice. It is used to accelerate the racquet just before contact. You can practice this by simplying holding your racquet and going down using your wrist of the back of an imaginary ball. Just keep it isolated.

The second component is the forearm rotation or supination. This component is used to impart forward speed to the ball, not spin. If used in isolation without the wrist, it can drive the ball to the baseline or drive a high bouncing backhand downward. You simply practice turning the forearm to hit the ball without wrist. The racquet will raise and continue going up when it leaves your non-dominant hand.

The third component that you can exercise off the court is the shoulder motion (which is how you pull the butt cap). This is a key component that can be used when a backhand shot gets behind you and you need a way of driving it back deep with your back to your opponent. The shoulder motion is practiced with your backswing resting position as desribed above and make a motion like your treading water. Or calling someone safe at home like an umpire. But make then short deliberate movements. Just dont extend your arms, just the shoulders. You should feel your chest muscles in this one.

In any slice, each of these three components are involved to varying degrees and can be minimized to fit the needs of the circumstances.

This is a tough one to explain with no pictures, you can always email me for clarification.

lendl lives
03-30-2004, 11:53 AM
tks bungalo, hawaii. I'll have to print this out and study it tonight. can't talk long today!=)...

Hawaii 5.0
03-30-2004, 12:01 PM
BB I found your post interesting and although your post is much more indepth I almost never pronate or supinate my wrist on my slice, but my slice comes much more from my shoulder since I hit mine very closed like an approach.Like a volley my slice has no wrist movement or rotation, but rather my racquet angle is determined by how much weight and forward movement I have in my shot and where the ball is when hit.Let me just get offtopic for one second and describe my slice.The racquet to forearm angle never changes and the face to ball angle change comes from my shoulder/elbow.I'm either not explaining myself correctly,misunderstanding your post or maybe this "German" style slice is very different from mine.My guess is that it's a combination of the first two with a varying degree of the 3rd.

Bungalo Bill
03-30-2004, 01:55 PM
That is exactly right, the information I described will be used in varying degrees, If you look at some old Don Budge footage, his slice replicates my description the best. I really dont know if it is called a "German" slice. however, I have heard that this offensive hard slice is called that especially with the way the racquet lays down on the backswing. If it lays down with the strings towards the ground, something has to turn and that is your forearm to bring the racquet face on to the ball.

It took some time getting used to it. Still working on it although when I hit it right, WOW, it is a beauty of a shot. Great pace and lots spin.

Bungalo Bill
03-30-2004, 04:08 PM
Sorry to those that read my above description. I changed the words associating a perpendicular string bed to the ground to a parallel string bed to the ground on the takeback. If you get some photos of Ken Rosewall you will see what I mean.

Stephi Graff also used the same lay down of the racquet before she blasted her slice back to her opponent.

Go to this site and scroll down to the rosewall sequence:


03-31-2004, 06:05 PM
I'm surprised that Hawaii5.0 never heard about supinating
on slice backhand (since Hawaii is such a knowledgable
tennis player, as I know). I use that to surprise the net
man in doubles. They would anticpate the slice backhand
but surprised by its slice.

I learned this when I picked up tennis a while ago. I got this
old tennis video featuring Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe and Ken
Rosewell. I remember how nice Ken Rosewell's slice backhand
was. I could keep watching him hitting the slice backhand
which was only BH he had as I know.

I just didn't know it was called "German Style". I often heard
the name Ken Rosewell with it. I saw another video in which
Sampras admired Rosewell's backhand as the best slice
backhand in history.

Anyway, one thing about this is : I felt like supination in slice
backhand can promote both pace AND some spin just like the way
pronation works in serving. They both promote following
a little bit more contour of the ball, IMHO, although it all
depends on the hitting angle.

03-31-2004, 06:14 PM
I meant "They would anticpate the slice backhand
but surprised by its pace" not slice.