PDA

View Full Version : Floating Slice


tdent
10-20-2009, 04:36 AM
Why does everyone say not to chop down on the ball for slice, that it floats? All the top players are hitting floating slices quite regularly, Murray, Federer, Henin, on youtube you can see how much they chop down, its almost vertical high to low. They are getting a lot of spin on the ball and no pace, the ball just dies. Federer and Murray use it more than others. They also use it as a rally shot, so its not necessarily because they are on defense.

ryangoring
10-20-2009, 05:21 AM
Can you post a video of them doing that, so I can understand be able to help in anyway for you?

Nellie
10-20-2009, 08:44 AM
Well, pros see heavy, fast incoming shots, so they need to take a lot of pace off the ball, and want to produce a ball without a lot of pace. If a recreational player chops down, to return a ball with little pace, the resulting shot is a loser.

LeeD
10-20-2009, 09:04 AM
That "floating" slice is not as slow and easy as you think.
They don't "float" it back, they hard underspin, making the ball go oval, making the ball "hiss" audibly, and the ball skids low and out to one side or the other, depending on where it's hit. It's one of the toughest balls for most sub 5.0's to return consistently, if hit well.
See TommyHass, who uses it on service returns and every 3 backhand groundies.
And see the other recent threads on that sliced backhand.

tdent
10-20-2009, 09:57 AM
they are definitely hitting a very very soft floater, see you tube link below. Nellie I see your point, you need a hard hit ball to chop down, and what federer does is try to take pace off and dump it right near the baseline. what I dont understand is why so many people say dont chop down on it, when thats exactly what you have to do?
Lee, I have seen these guys hit right courtside, they hit this slice shot very very slow, but with really heavy spin the ball does not even slide through, it is almost like a drop shot to the baseline, see federer in the link below, his opponent has no pace what so ever to work with

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR7yMKwd2QQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvY0qP4mCXg

LeeD
10-20-2009, 10:06 AM
I'm not sure you've hit with many 5.0 and above players.
Sitting courtside, watching a 7 playing against another 7, doesn't allow you to appreciate the penetration and skid of the sliced backhands from modern players.
Most players who face this hard slice, which you don't seem overawed by, need to move their feet into closed stances, turn their shoulders more closed than for topspins, bend both their legs, really watch the ball, and then hit it.
Since they mostly face the topspin ball in the majority of groundies, this slice is not something you can overlook ...with lack of prep, distain, or disregard due to it's slower speed and "old" look.
Plus, modern players can back up this hardslice with a topspin that goes fast, so it's possibly the VARIETY which forces players to respect the hard low slices.
Remember that one month old match between Haas and MaratSafin on TV? Safin could not take advantage of Haas's hard slice. Safin is an OK player, possibly better than us... :shock::):)

tdent
10-20-2009, 10:45 AM
Lee. I am referring to the floating slice not the low skidding type of slice. See the previous link showing federer even the commentator mentions it floats high over the net These are two different slices. The floating one is a very softly hit ball. That's why it goes high over the net a dies before the baseline. I am surprised at how frequently this floating slice is used but I see now it looks like the purpose is to take pace off the ball where the driving slice is to get the ball away from your opponent. By the way I am a 4.5 not self rated and have hit many times with 6.5 players and definitely can appreciate a hard hit ball

mikeler
10-20-2009, 10:50 AM
The floating slice is useful to give yourself more time to get back into position and can also screw up an opponent who feels like they have to do more with the ball because it is "an easy ball".

mike53
10-20-2009, 11:02 AM
they are definitely hitting a very very soft floater, see you tube link below. Nellie I see your point, you need a hard hit ball to chop down, and what federer does is try to take pace off and dump it right near the baseline. what I dont understand is why so many people say dont chop down on it, when thats exactly what you have to do?
Lee, I have seen these guys hit right courtside, they hit this slice shot very very slow, but with really heavy spin the ball does not even slide through, it is almost like a drop shot to the baseline, see federer in the link below, his opponent has no pace what so ever to work with

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR7yMKwd2QQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvY0qP4mCXg

Tdent, these are excellent examples and they show some of the tremendous versatility of the slice shot. These days, the "floating slice" seems to be used alternately as an approach shot, passing shot, offensive lob, and a buy time to get out of trouble shot. Btw, I think Justine's shot is returning as a bullet, not a floater.

Since I've seen so many pros using this shot, I've started practicing by trying to slice a dead ball into a 5-gallon bucket from anywhere on the court to anywhere on the other side of the net, usually baseline to baseline. It's a very helpful shot to master.

tennisdad65
10-20-2009, 11:06 AM
A low skidding slice can be hit short or deep.. both short or deep, work very effectively at most levels. Federer skids them low and short to get guys to the net.

A floating slice has to be hit deep at 4.5+ levels. Typically Federer will hit these slice floaters when he is out of position or on service returns when the serve is well placed. If a floating slice is short, even Federer loses most of those points :)

mikeler
10-20-2009, 12:16 PM
A low skidding slice can be hit short or deep.. both short or deep, work very effectively at most levels. Federer skids them low and short to get guys to the net.

A floating slice has to be hit deep at 4.5+ levels. Typically Federer will hit these slice floaters when he is out of position or on service returns when the serve is well placed. If a floating slice is short, even Federer loses most of those points :)


Yep, I agree with all of this.

nereis
10-21-2009, 04:48 PM
Its a defensive throw up that messes with the opponent's rhythm. Unlike Nadal's loopy defensive shots that pros can zone on in, the slice is essentially a junk ball that's hard to hit a winner off from the baseline, especially with a two handed backhand. If hit to die in no-man's-land, their opponent can either dig it back up thereby resetting the point, or go for an approach shot that Federer and Murray can sit on. Federer especially loves using this play against Roddick.

ubermeyer
10-21-2009, 05:56 PM
ivo karlovic does this floating slice thing a lot

but if you literally chop vertically, the ball won't go anywhere, seriously. It will actually land maybe a few inches past your racket... so only do it on super-close to the net drop volleys

it is the degree of your chop that makes the shot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG7_7cNkxG0

from 1:10 - 1:30 you can see an example of a penetrating low slice
he is still slicing the ball pretty vertical, at maybe like a 75 degree angle. little variations make all the difference

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-21-2009, 07:38 PM
Why does everyone say not to chop down on the ball for slice, that it floats? All the top players are hitting floating slices quite regularly, Murray, Federer, Henin, on youtube you can see how much they chop down, its almost vertical high to low. They are getting a lot of spin on the ball and no pace, the ball just dies. Federer and Murray use it more than others. They also use it as a rally shot, so its not necessarily because they are on defense.

This is because the masses can't pull it off with success. When they try, they end up with the most awful slices ever. Nice and high, no pace or penetration, easy to kill.

Floating slices are to back the opponent up a little and slow the pace of the rally so you can get back into position. You notice that his opponent went from on top of the baseline to 2-3 feet behind the baseline? Yeah...

And I can guarantee you that Federer will NEVER use that shot against Nadal unless he wants to give Nadal a free point. Nadal's speed and footwork would absolutely kill that slice from anywhere on the court. Federer can get away with it against most people, but those who can deal with it will punish him for it. That's why it MUST be hit deep. I used to own this kind of slice, and against beginners and lower intermediates it really works. They have to play from behind the baseline without any pace. But now if my slices sit up like that, even if it's on the baseline, I'll be put on the defensive right away. I usually won't hit these except on the full stretch and even then I'll look to avoid hitting a floater. My most floated slice won't even go more than 2 feet over the net, and I'll make sure to put extra spin on it.

Plus, Henin knifed through that slice. You just can't tell.

Also, with the pace and penetration of shots hit at the pro level, you don't need to hit through the ball as much (though it'll make a more aggressive slice if you do) to hit a decent slice.

If they can help it, they won't float it.

mikeler
10-22-2009, 04:11 AM
The last time Federer played Hewitt, the announcers were saying that his floating slice is what has given Hewitt problems since he turned around his losing record to Hewitt. They were saying Fed felt he had to be too aggressive against Hewitt and just made too many errors when he was younger. After that comment was made, I really payed attention and noticed that Hewitt made a ton of backhand errors off that floating slice.

mikeler
10-22-2009, 04:12 AM
...And I can guarantee you that Federer will NEVER use that shot against Nadal unless he wants to give Nadal a free point. Nadal's speed and footwork would absolutely kill that slice from anywhere on the court. Federer can get away with it against most people, but those who can deal with it will punish him for it...


Yep, Nadal will just run around his backhand and whip a nasty forehand back to Fed. You'll also notice that Fed will not try and chip the backhand return to Nadal for the same reason.

tdent
10-22-2009, 04:45 AM
Part of the reason I asked the question was because my penetrating slice is very low percentage, I am too low over the net. It skids great when I hit it, but I can only land it in, mayb 60% of the time, the rest is in the net or it travels long. I want to slow it down a bit, hit higher over the net, but still get it skidding. I am not chopping down enough on the ball I think? to get more consistency (higher over the net and slower) should I come down vertically more ?

jwbarrientos
10-22-2009, 04:54 AM
they are definitely hitting a very very soft floater, see you tube link below. Nellie I see your point, you need a hard hit ball to chop down, and what federer does is try to take pace off and dump it right near the baseline. what I dont understand is why so many people say dont chop down on it, when thats exactly what you have to do?
Lee, I have seen these guys hit right courtside, they hit this slice shot very very slow, but with really heavy spin the ball does not even slide through, it is almost like a drop shot to the baseline, see federer in the link below, his opponent has no pace what so ever to work with

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR7yMKwd2QQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvY0qP4mCXg

That justine's shot is fantastic, I see some player doing that to close the point or to gain more time.

rosenstar
10-22-2009, 05:59 AM
Part of the reason I asked the question was because my penetrating slice is very low percentage, I am too low over the net. It skids great when I hit it, but I can only land it in, mayb 60% of the time, the rest is in the net or it travels long. I want to slow it down a bit, hit higher over the net, but still get it skidding. I am not chopping down enough on the ball I think? to get more consistency (higher over the net and slower) should I come down vertically more ?

Here are some things commonly done wrong on the slice, most of which yeild unpredictable/inconsistant results:

-swinging too fast; you should slow you're swing down. DO NOT JUST SWING LOW TO HIGH AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. When slicing you don't want to "hit" the ball as much as you want to bunt it back.

-less low to high motion, more momentum through the ball. You're BH slice should closely resemble a BH volley.

If you want to get more technical:
-Keep you're swing short.
-catch the ball later than normal. In the Justine Video you posted, notice how she catches the ball almost behind her body, as opposed to in front of her body.
-you're dominate shoulder should always face the opposite court (AKA you're upper body should be closed) (also seen in Justine video)
-as you're right hand (racquet hand) moves forward, you're left hand should move backwards, pinching your shoulder blades, keeping you balanced (also seen in Justine video)
-The swing should be a very slow speed (I can't emphasis this enough, many lower level players swing low to high as fast as possible and wonder why they can't control the ball)
-the more you get "under" the ball, the more it will float. The flatter balls, the ones where you go "through" the ball more as opposed under the ball, will skid more.

The slice is a tricky shot since you're trying to take pace off the ball. You have to find a way to absorb the power. It's a hard to explain, I hope my explanation was helpful, but all I can say without seeing a video is don't swing hard, swing through the ball not so much under it, and try to control the ball as much as possible. Hope that was helpful.

fuzz nation
10-22-2009, 06:24 AM
Part of the reason I asked the question was because my penetrating slice is very low percentage, I am too low over the net. It skids great when I hit it, but I can only land it in, mayb 60% of the time, the rest is in the net or it travels long. I want to slow it down a bit, hit higher over the net, but still get it skidding. I am not chopping down enough on the ball I think? to get more consistency (higher over the net and slower) should I come down vertically more ?

Impossible to know just what your ailments are without seeing you hit some of these slice shots. Sorry, but in my teaching experience, this is a counter intuitive stroke that can be quite tricky to help someone learn.

Yes, you want to be using a high-to-low swing path at contact, but you also want to use a full follow through so that you accelerate through contact. The idea of "chopping down" through the ball might make you decelerate or break your wrist open as you swing - not good. Contact must be more back beside you than out in front of you for any good slice and it's also important to maintain that "L" formed my your racquet and your forearm throughout the stroke for best control. As you experiment with varying degrees of high-to-low through contact along with different pace in your swing, you ought to be able to control the ball's flight more to your liking.

Power Player
10-22-2009, 06:37 AM
Breaking my wrist killed my slice. Now that I do not do that, and keep the L, I can hit deep backhands down the line that set up an inside out forehand winner.

mike53
10-22-2009, 06:38 AM
Part of the reason I asked the question was because my penetrating slice is very low percentage, I am too low over the net. It skids great when I hit it, but I can only land it in, mayb 60% of the time, the rest is in the net or it travels long. I want to slow it down a bit, hit higher over the net, but still get it skidding. I am not chopping down enough on the ball I think? to get more consistency (higher over the net and slower) should I come down vertically more ?

What grip are you using?

tdent
10-22-2009, 07:22 AM
Thanks for the advice Rosen and Fuzz, I didnt realise how late Justin was hitting until you mentioned it. I will slow down the swing and see what happens, I always felt it was important to hit the back of the ball, to get the spin, but maybe its more on the bottom and cutting underneath.
Also Mike, I am using a continental/eastern forehand to hit the backhand slice.
cheers

Bungalo Bill
10-22-2009, 08:00 AM
Why does everyone say not to chop down on the ball for slice, that it floats? All the top players are hitting floating slices quite regularly, Murray, Federer, Henin, on youtube you can see how much they chop down, its almost vertical high to low. They are getting a lot of spin on the ball and no pace, the ball just dies. Federer and Murray use it more than others. They also use it as a rally shot, so its not necessarily because they are on defense.

You are right.

There are three different swing types for the slice backhand. You want the slice in general to penetrate and not be attackable. The word "attackable" is the key word whether you "float" to a position on the court where the opponent can not take a good whack on the ball, or you hit it deep with good pace.

I was in the beginning of doing a study on all three types of swings. I don't know what happened to that post.

I was studying:

1. The traditional go through the ball type swing.

2. The current method you mentioned above with a sweeping clockwise motion.

3. And the Ken Rosewall swing type.

All three types have unique and common characteristics. It is important for you to know them.

If you can search and find that post, I would love to begin analyzing that again and create a separate thread just on these three types. I do like the current method used, however, we must understand exactly what is happening so you can duplicate the right things on court.

Djokovicfan4life
10-22-2009, 08:48 AM
How is the "Ken Rosewall" slice different from the traditional slice? I thought he used the traditional "through the ball" technique. :confused:

Bungalo Bill
10-22-2009, 09:06 AM
How is the "Ken Rosewall" slice different from the traditional slice? I thought he used the traditional "through the ball" technique. :confused:

If someone can find the post, we can continue. Then I wont have to retype a bunch stuff again. :)

LeeD
10-22-2009, 09:13 AM
My idea of the 3 slice backhands.
1. Continental grip, more neutral and mostly defensive, a good blend of basic, attackable (by the opponent) and attack (your approach shot) best used in levels up to 5.0, as the ball is seen quite often and is no surprise for experienced players.
2. EasternBackhand grip, a more offensive type slice that is often used at lower levels or by upper level players who choose or can't hit topspin on the backhand side. It has pace, least spin, and is a ball everyone sees from day one thru current levels, so it's attackable. Needs mostly to be used from the baseline, as it's pace can make the ball go long.
3. Conti with a twist towards EasternForehand grip, a mostly rallying, change of pace, mostly defensive (but is the approach shot choice of S/V'ers) shot, needs to be used more as a backup to the topspin or flat backhands, needs to be backed up with good passing shots, but still the choice slice backhand for lots of top players, hit often very late (inside the front shoulder), used by Haas as the most visible most often backhand high or low, and for return of fast serves, or to kill pace making the opponent really setup and watch the ball.

jazzyfunkybluesy
10-22-2009, 09:22 AM
A forehand and backhand slice can be deadly especially if your opponent uses extreme grips. It makes it difficult for them to get under the ball to create topspin. I use these shots along with hard flat and high bouncing topspin shots.

Experiment with the angle of approach on the slice to get a feel for the shot.

fuzz nation
10-22-2009, 06:14 PM
I'd say that you generally want to hit down through the back of the ball more than letting your racquet slide under the ball too much. That's actually what happens when a player tries to make contact out in front where the typical contact area would be for a topspin shot. When you go out there for a slice, the face of the racquet opens way up, slides under the ball, and coughs up a marshmallow.

Blake0
10-23-2009, 08:22 PM
Lets make it simple.
Chopping down on the ball = floater slice
Hitting through the ball = Skidding slice
not sure what the ken rosewall way is..
Chopping down on the ball and twisting the followthrough a little = sidespin floater slice

Sorry if i explained the last one wrong..i'm not sure how exactly to say it..let me see if i can find the site again..

jazzyfunkybluesy
10-27-2009, 09:37 AM
How about that sidespin slice where your racquet angle is 7oclock 1 oclock. Nasty.

Bungalo Bill
10-27-2009, 11:09 AM
How about that sidespin slice where your racquet angle is 7oclock 1 oclock. Nasty.

Yup, can be a little sucker to get back if you nail it right.

apor
10-27-2009, 02:22 PM
Yup, can be a little sucker to get back if you nail it right.

yeah, nothing like sending one of those back to your opponent's backhand, and after the bounce it's going right into their body. it's fun watching them do gymnastics to get a raquet on the ball.

Bungalo Bill
10-27-2009, 02:36 PM
yeah, nothing like sending one of those back to your opponent's backhand, and after the bounce it's going right into their body. it's fun watching them do gymnastics to get a raquet on the ball.

Yes, or I like to trail it away from a twohander who is righthanded. I am lefthanded. Their eyes get big when they are hurrying to the low shot going away from them and if they misjudge how I hit it, it is like watching them think they got a bad bounce as the ball shoots more to their left away from them when it bounces. Even if they get it back, I am already inside the service line ready volley it away.

Noaler
10-27-2009, 05:53 PM
those floater slices are really annoying. I hit so much spin on those shots that my arm gets a bit sore.