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View Full Version : How Far will My Slice Backhand Take me?


Roy125
01-06-2010, 07:33 PM
Since I'm in the process of developing my 1 handed backhand, it's still kind of funky and inconsistent. I have a very consistent slice backhand though and can have it go low and skid or be a junk return for serve bombs. I am only using it as a replacement for my 1 handed backhand in tournaments though, not in practice. At what level will this take me until players start taking advantage of it?

Also, just to be clear, a low and skidding slice will bring a lot of trouble to tall people with western grips that try to put topspin on every ball right?

OrangeOne
01-06-2010, 07:39 PM
Since I'm in the process of developing my 1 handed backhand, it's still kind of funky and inconsistent. I have a very consistent slice backhand though and can have it go low and skid or be a junk return for serve bombs. I am only using it as a replacement for my 1 handed backhand in tournaments though, not in practice. At what level will this take me until players start taking advantage of it?

I wish I had a two-hander, and I've likely been playing longer than you've been alive. My slice and sometimes solid 1HBH get me far, but not as far as I'd like.

Also, just to be clear, a low and skidding slice will bring a lot of trouble to tall people with western grips that try to put topspin on every ball right?

Depends *who*. I am tall with a western grip and slice doesn't trouble me. Does trouble many players, nothing troubles everyone.

aimr75
01-06-2010, 07:46 PM
I think you could still play high level tennis with just a slice.. if your game was remotely close to Steffi Graf's, you would be playing high level tennis today

lancernrg
01-06-2010, 07:50 PM
At 3.0 and above, players will start taking advantage of your bh slice. I suggest you abandon it completely and resort to using 2hbh topspin drive.

Under 3.0 and recreational play is fine, but if you're serious about your tennis drop the bh slice. It's useless. :oops:

tennisdad65
01-06-2010, 07:56 PM
At 3.0 and above, players will start taking advantage of your bh slice. I suggest you abandon it completely and resort to using 2hbh topspin drive.

Under 3.0 and recreational play is fine, but if you're serious about your tennis drop the bh slice. It's useless. :oops:

:) your kidding right? or just being sarcastic?

backhand slice works at all levels when mixed in judiciously with a BH drive. Fed, nadal, Novak, murray all use the shot.. :)

lancernrg
01-06-2010, 08:04 PM
:) your kidding right? or just being sarcastic?

backhand slice works at all levels when mixed in judiciously with a BH drive. Fed, nadal, Novak, murray all use the shot.. :)


NO. Slices are for players who lack proper technique or
late in backhand preparation.:oops:

aimr75
01-06-2010, 08:05 PM
NO. Slices are for players who lack proper technique or
late in backhand preparation.:oops:

this guy is a joker

animagriever
01-06-2010, 08:07 PM
Yes seriously joking otherwise you better advise Federer to drop his backhand slice or call for immediate retirement :twisted:

user92626
01-06-2010, 08:28 PM
BH slice works at non-pro level. However, at pro level i haven't seen anyone winning points with it. Surely it's a tool to mix things up and probably cause UEs for lousy opponents, but I only see BH slice used when a regular drive is likely late or no longer can be done with ease.

Can someone post a clip where Nadal or Fed won a point with a BH slice to enlighten everyone?

aimr75
01-06-2010, 08:41 PM
Can someone post a clip where Nadal or Fed won a point with a BH slice to enlighten everyone?

you can still be competitive with it without that wing providing outright winners.. it can be used to simply keep you in the point.. im not saying its the way to go, but its not impossible to play at a pretty high level with just a slice

the OP obviously isnt talking about pro level tennis

mikethehamster
01-06-2010, 08:41 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AF3CaBu_ec&feature=related

tennisguy2009
01-06-2010, 09:17 PM
depends what kind of slice and when its used

if you manage to hit offensive deep slices, you can play any level player with that......

only problem is that offensive slices have a lot of unforced errors, unless you are a brilliant tennis player. And if you are a brilliant tennis player you will be able to hit a topspin backhand. So you see where this is going......

So assuming you are hitting deeper slices, but they are still a bit floaty, and not really dangerous/offensive, you will start getting punished for it at about the 4.5 level, mostly because you start giving opponents too much time, not that the shot itself is a horrible shot.

I know if someone hits a defensive type backhand slice and that is all they can play, I will attack it mercilessly, waiting for a short ball or unforced error. In addition, while I am attacking it, I will stand way left of center on court, making sure every ball that comes back is on my forehand side.

Solat
01-06-2010, 10:22 PM
your slice backhand is only as much liability as anyone else's weakest stroke (assuming it's your weakest). If your slice bh is rock solid then you wont get exploited on that chances are that your opponent (if good enough) will find whatever your weakness and hurt that first.

If you are a grinding baseliner then having a slice bh wont hurt you, so long as you are most consistent then your opponent. If you are a S&V player then it wont hurt you as long as you use it for approaches and if you are an aggressive player then you need a weapon that is so good that your slice bh just needs to keep your opponent at bay until you can use your weapon.

equinox
01-06-2010, 11:19 PM
At 3.0 and above, players will start taking advantage of your bh slice. I suggest you abandon it completely and resort to using 2hbh topspin drive.

Under 3.0 and recreational play is fine, but if you're serious about your tennis drop the bh slice. It's useless. :oops:

lol, that's bs.

floaty slice shots blocked 3/4 deep are fine at 3.0-4.0. going higher then you better get some serious low skid and depth or you'll be doing lots of running on the angles. 4.5 players move there feet and bend there knees to get under most decent slices and are not thrown off by mixtures of different paced top and slice shots.

tennis_balla
01-06-2010, 11:27 PM
Since I'm in the process of developing my 1 handed backhand, it's still kind of funky and inconsistent. I have a very consistent slice backhand though and can have it go low and skid or be a junk return for serve bombs. I am only using it as a replacement for my 1 handed backhand in tournaments though, not in practice. At what level will this take me until players start taking advantage of it?

Also, just to be clear, a low and skidding slice will bring a lot of trouble to tall people with western grips that try to put topspin on every ball right?

Heh, you're loving that high to low action on the slice huh?

Keep developing your topspin backhand, the more rounded you become as a player the better for you. The slice is great but it has its limitations. A good player might start attacking that side more and coming in to the net, where passing shots are more difficult with a slice backhand. Deeper balls where you're off balance or forced to take a ball on the rise for example are also more difficult to time with only a slice. See what I'm getting at?
Its a great stroke to have to change it up, or control your opponent with and keep it low out of their strike zone where they can't attack off of it but keep working on having more then just one stroke on that backhand side. Keep working on a topspin or in the mean time a flat backhand.

KenC
01-06-2010, 11:36 PM
It seems like you already have a 2HBH. If so, why abandon it for a 1HBH? The advantages of a 1HBH are little. Even though I hit a 1HBH, its only because I personally feel more comfortable that way and was taught it at a very early age. It seems that today most people are more comfortable with a 2HBH and there are some great players out there that can wail with it.

I have a friend who admires my backhand and asked me to help him develop his 1HBH. After many days of frustration with very soft balls, I asked him to try a 2HBH. Within an hour he was hitting pretty impressive shots. He was naturally a 2HBH player who made the mistake of trying to develop a 1HBH.

As for the slice BH, just slice is a recipe for disaster. Its better to have a variety of tools in your tool chest. You can't pound nails with a screwdriver.

Bud
01-07-2010, 12:49 AM
At 3.0 and above, players will start taking advantage of your bh slice. I suggest you abandon it completely and resort to using 2hbh topspin drive.

Under 3.0 and recreational play is fine, but if you're serious about your tennis drop the bh slice. It's useless. :oops:

I agree with this... but would bump the level to 4.0 and above. 3.0-3.5 don't have the weaponry to punish a decent 1HBH slice.

The BH slice is definitely not useless... but use it wisely against 4.0 and higher.

ZPTennis
01-07-2010, 01:39 AM
:lol:

every player on tour will use a backhand slice. whats wrong with you people.

fuzz nation
01-07-2010, 05:21 AM
Everyone is better equipped with a slice backhand in addition to either a one or two handed backhand for topspin. It gives any player more capacity to deal with different incoming shots on that wing and also hit backhands with variety. I'm even in favor of learning a fh slice, but many players feel pretty well covered on that side with a dependable topspin stroke of some sort.

Roy - Any player hitting a western fh, even a relatively short hitter, will have more trouble with a lower skidding ball than with one that's up in their wheelhouse. That's just a fundamental drawback with the western fh.

The slice is also quicker against a faster serve, at least for me. I resort to a 2hbh for aggressive topspin returns, but if I'm not rushed, my 1hbh is my superior stroke. For defensive measures, approaching the net, and even jamming an opponent's rhythm in a rally, the slice backhand is an essential tool. Although our pals here look on it as a more useful shot at lower levels, I don't think that it's typically used all too well until I see 4.0's and 4.5's putting it to use.

larry10s
01-07-2010, 07:03 AM
ken rosewall and steffi graff did pretty well with their slice backhand. that being said not being able to drive the ball thru the court from the backhand side will be a liability as you go up the ranks. also in doubles the pace of the slice makes it more poachable.

Blake0
01-07-2010, 07:28 AM
It took my coach to the top 100 in the world when he was playing on tour..although he was more of a serve and volley player, and on return games he really mainly used slices to set up his forehand. He can run me around around corner to corner with that slice..and i can't attack it really because it skids..then if i hit it to his forehand, a ripper. Maybe something along these line's might help. But eventually learn to hit a backhand too.

In D Zone
01-07-2010, 07:31 AM
Slice definitely is a weapon for any situation and at any level.
The question lies on the players skills and confidence. Those who claimed slice is only use as a defensive shot do not really have a clue how to use the slice to their advantage. Let me guess... ahh these are the guys who plays with 2hbh. Too weak or lazy to learn the art of 1hbh play using a slice.

If you pay close attention to the pro's ... Yes, Fed, Nadal , Djokovic, Murray and even Henin. Pay close attention on how these guys use the slice to either use it to set up their next offensive shot (like Fernando Gonzales) or to change the pace of the match, often times causing their opponent to hit an off balanced shot and to the net.

True, its not a spectacular, powerful , high bouncing shot. But it works and you can wins points and even matches if you know how to use it as a weapon.

LeeD
01-07-2010, 07:34 AM
You should learn both, for sure.
A purely sliced backhand, if hit well, and backed up with superior speed and change of direction (you), still needs a superior forehand and some inside out technique at the college levels. It'd need a superior slice lob, and great low sliced angles.
Add the topspin backhand, and the need for everything else to be great is lessenned, and you can spend more time working on your serves.
Graf had one of the greatest ever sliced backhands, but later in her career, stunned everyone in practice with the BEST topspin backhand of any girl short of Henin, and everyone was afraid she'd use it someday in a tournament. I don't think she ever need to, as her inside out dominant forehand took over 2/3's of the court, and her slice allowed her time and rest from hitting that dominant forehand.

larry10s
01-07-2010, 08:01 AM
You should learn both, for sure.
A purely sliced backhand, if hit well, and backed up with superior speed and change of direction (you), still needs a superior forehand and some inside out technique at the college levels. It'd need a superior slice lob, and great low sliced angles.
Add the topspin backhand, and the need for everything else to be great is lessenned, and you can spend more time working on your serves.
Graf had one of the greatest ever sliced backhands, but later in her career, stunned everyone in practice with the BEST topspin backhand of any girl short of Henin, and everyone was afraid she'd use it someday in a tournament. I don't think she ever need to, as her inside out dominant forehand took over 2/3's of the court, and her slice allowed her time and rest from hitting that dominant forehand.

....good post

larry10s
01-07-2010, 08:01 AM
Slice definitely is a weapon for any situation and at any level.
The question lies on the players skills and confidence. Those who claimed slice is only use as a defensive shot do not really have a clue how to use the slice to their advantage. Let me guess... ahh these are the guys who plays with 2hbh. Too weak or lazy to learn the art of 1hbh play using a slice.

If you pay close attention to the pro's ... Yes, Fed, Nadal , Djokovic, Murray and even Henin. Pay close attention on how these guys use the slice to either use it to set up their next offensive shot (like Fernando Gonzales) or to change the pace of the match, often times causing their opponent to hit an off balanced shot and to the net.

True, its not a spectacular, powerful , high bouncing shot. But it works and you can wins points and even matches if you know how to use it as a weapon.
.........agree

pc1
01-07-2010, 08:05 AM
I use the slice backhand a lot. It's good for control and for a change of pace plus it a great approach shot.

Here's a video of two of the greatest slice backhands ever-Laver and Rosewall. Laver can hit topspin but just watch the way both can use their slice backhands for attack and defense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8IJ0F01IiU

Baselineg
01-07-2010, 09:09 AM
Keep the slice in your toolbox, its a great shot against people with poor movement.

marosmith
01-07-2010, 10:10 AM
Keep the slice in your toolbox, its a great shot against people with poor movement.

If used correctly I'd say it's more effective then a slow loopy topspin backhand. Like any shot, if it's good enough it can take you almost anywhere. I think the ability to hit a down the line winner or beat someone with pace is helpful too off the backhand side. The 1HBH has more pace potential then any other shot so I don't think the solution is abaondoning the shot unless you are simply a natural 2 hand player, which it sounds like you aren't.

charliefedererer
01-07-2010, 10:20 AM
There are good and bad backhand slices.

A short, weak backhand slice that is hit every time a player hits a backhand is an invitation for an opposing player to attack.

A deep, hard backhand slice crosscourt or DTL altenating with a short biting crosscourt slice after a deep forehand drive will keep your opponent running and struggling to develop a rythmn.

So what's it gonna' be for you?

Xenakis
01-07-2010, 10:55 AM
Any tips for getting a faster and lower BH slice? Mine tend to go high/float, they have a lot of back and side spin so can confuse less capable opponents on the bounce but better players just put them away easily.

Noveson
01-07-2010, 11:15 AM
Any tips for getting a faster and lower BH slice? Mine tend to go high/float, they have a lot of back and side spin so can confuse less capable opponents on the bounce but better players just put them away easily.

It becomes simple if you pay attention to swing path. The more you swing downward the more backspin you get, and normally this is combined with a more open face for a high shot with a lot of spin.

If you want to hit a flatter lower ball just swing away from your body more, as opposed to swinging downward. Also make sure the racquet face is barely open, not much past perpindicular to the court

Xenakis
01-07-2010, 11:45 AM
It becomes simple if you pay attention to swing path. The more you swing downward the more backspin you get, and normally this is combined with a more open face for a high shot with a lot of spin.

If you want to hit a flatter lower ball just swing away from your body more, as opposed to swinging downward. Also make sure the racquet face is barely open, not much past perpindicular to the court

Makes sense thanks. I've been trying to get as much spin as possible and it tends to send the ball high. I'll try driving through the ball more.

Some of Murray's slice backhands in this training video are ideal IMO (fast and low over the net.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpNFxnShJ9o

Noveson
01-07-2010, 11:51 AM
Makes sense thanks. I've been trying to get as much spin as possible and it tends to send the ball high. I'll try driving through the ball more.

Some of Murray's slice backhands in this training video are ideal IMO (fast and low over the net.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpNFxnShJ9o

Yeah they are pretty. YOu can even go so far as trying to hit the ball flat, but with the face open a little, and just go from there. Overtime you will just get a feel for it.

Baselineg
01-07-2010, 12:50 PM
If used correctly I'd say it's more effective then a slow loopy topspin backhand. Like any shot, if it's good enough it can take you almost anywhere. I think the ability to hit a down the line winner or beat someone with pace is helpful too off the backhand side. The 1HBH has more pace potential then any other shot so I don't think the solution is abaondoning the shot unless you are simply a natural 2 hand player, which it sounds like you aren't.


Actually i started playing with a 1hbh but switched to a 2hbh because it was more consistent, so i still like to pull out the slice when i play someone with bad footwork because it will drive them nuts.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 01:01 PM
Well, at lower level tennis, 3.0-4.0, a sliced-backhand will work, since players at this level still has trouble with consistency and possibly trouble dealing with the spin on a sliced-backhand as well.

However, a sliced-backhand alone in your arsenal is not effective against 4.0 or higher level players. The reason for this is that there's a very low chance that you can hit a winner off your backhand side with just a slice. You should be able to hit winners off of both BH's and FH's to be a competitive tennis player.

Also, the notion that "sliced-backhands are easy to deal with" is a pretty popular one, although it may be untrue, will still be going through your opponent's head. Proof for that is right here in this thread, many replies underestimate a sliced-backhand, even you yourself seem unsure of your sliced-backhand. What will this do? It'll give your opponent more confidence and a confident player is pretty hard to deal with.

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-07-2010, 01:06 PM
At 3.0 and above, players will start taking advantage of your bh slice. I suggest you abandon it completely and resort to using 2hbh topspin drive.

Under 3.0 and recreational play is fine, but if you're serious about your tennis drop the bh slice. It's useless. :oops:

... Not even close. To even take advantage of a backhand slice, one of two things must be true:
-The slice was a terrible sitter.
-The other player has incredible pace and control off low balls and as such, is likely a level or more above the player who hit the slice.

BH slice works at non-pro level. However, at pro level i haven't seen anyone winning points with it. Surely it's a tool to mix things up and probably cause UEs for lousy opponents, but I only see BH slice used when a regular drive is likely late or no longer can be done with ease.

Can someone post a clip where Nadal or Fed won a point with a BH slice to enlighten everyone?

Federer 2007 Wimbledon Final, 5th set, 2-all, break point for Federer; Federer hits an incredible knifer that puts Nadal on the defense and sets up the winning forehand for Federer.

Federer 2007 Australian Open Semifinals, whole match; Federer uses the low, short slice to force Roddick in off of weak, conservative approaches (no other shot he can hit from such positions) that set Federer up for dozens of easy passes, making Roddick look like an absolute amateur at the net.

Federer 2004 US Open Finals; Federer used a slice backhand that stayed low and curved wide, drawing Hewitt into the net with a MASSIVE hole on the left side of the net, forcing Hewitt to run faster to cover the hole and opening up the right side, which Federer then proceeds to curve a wicked backhand topspin away from Hewitt.

Gonzales 2007 Australian Open, 3rd round and on; Gonzales essentially makes it to the final of the Australian Open with 3 things alone: his slice backhand, his incredible speed, and his passing shots (namely, his weaker backhand). He uses the same tactic on his opponents that Federer regularly uses on Roddick.

Federer 2005 Miami Masters Semifinals; Federer hits a very low and short slice that literally skims the top of the net which Andre stretches to reach for, resulting in a weak return on which Federer proceeds to step into and roll a wide topspin backhand behind Agassi. Agassi barely gets the strings onto the ball and dumps it into the bottom of the net.

Just off the top of my head too...

You can pretty much look at any Federer vs. Roddick match and see Federer abuse Roddick with the slice, which performs two main functions for him in that match up:
-Diffuse Roddick's power and give Roddick nothing to hit.
-Draw Roddick into the net, forcing him to hit a weak or mediocre approach which allows for an easy look at a passing shot winner.

Slice definitely is a weapon for any situation and at any level.
The question lies on the players skills and confidence. Those who claimed slice is only use as a defensive shot do not really have a clue how to use the slice to their advantage. Let me guess... ahh these are the guys who plays with 2hbh. Too weak or lazy to learn the art of 1hbh play using a slice.

If you pay close attention to the pro's ... Yes, Fed, Nadal , Djokovic, Murray and even Henin. Pay close attention on how these guys use the slice to either use it to set up their next offensive shot (like Fernando Gonzales) or to change the pace of the match, often times causing their opponent to hit an off balanced shot and to the net.

True, its not a spectacular, powerful , high bouncing shot. But it works and you can wins points and even matches if you know how to use it as a weapon.

Very true. The slice isn't about power or spin, but placement. It limits your opponent's options and messes with their positioning. If you hit a very low, skidding slice that's short and a borderline drop shot, your opponent has very few options there, and HAS to come in behind it. Result - even lower level players have the ability to hit clean passing shot winners on their opponents.

I recently played someone recently who I demolished using a slice as a major setup shot. This time around I decided to use high rollers and very sparingly used the slice. I ended up dropping a lot more games because points lasted longer and I was getting fatigued. I became more of a mindless baseliner. I didn't really think as much about how I would set up points and didn't use much of an all court game. And since I kept going deep with the rollers, any additional deep shots did very little additional benefit to me in terms of positioning. When I used the slice to draw them inside the baseline and ripped a deep one, it was far more effective. I probably should've used more drop shots. It's actually surprising to me that I really didn't use that many drop shots that match...

papa
01-07-2010, 02:00 PM
This is an interesting discussion with many good points. However, I'm reminded of a singlesmatch I watched approx a year ago between a guy who was the top player from the US and one, a little older and also from the US, but was/is the top player in the world in his age category. I must tell you, I don't remember a single backhand top spin shot the entire match. The slice drives from both players were wicked and extremely effective.

Is it the way for younger players to follow? Maybe not but to abandon the shot completely is foolish because it has its place regardless of what many might think.

Jonny S&V
01-07-2010, 02:07 PM
In my opinion, all players who learn the one-handed backhand (and I have no students with one at this time unfortunately...) must master the slice before they even move on to flat/topspin. The slice can be used in almost any situation, and it forces the pupil to solidify his footwork so he can't cheat and hit a one-handed topspin backhand with an open-stance (ala Kuerten, which was still a SWEET shot).

That being said, the slice is a great weapon used at the right moments, so while I would continue to work on your flat/topspin backhand, master that slice and you won't go wrong IMO.

Roy125
01-07-2010, 02:42 PM
Just so you guys know, I'm using a 1HBH because my 2HBH falls apart too much and when it's on, it's not that good either. It feels like my arms aren't ever in sync and restricted with the 2HBH which results in a weak sitter in the service box. The turning point for me to switch was when I was feeding myself balls and couldn't even hit most of them past the service box with my 2HBH.

I still use it sometimes for fun, but I mainly use a 1HBH now.

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-07-2010, 03:32 PM
Just so you guys know, I'm using a 1HBH because my 2HBH falls apart too much and when it's on, it's not that good either. It feels like my arms aren't ever in sync and restricted with the 2HBH which results in a weak sitter in the service box. The turning point for me to switch was when I was feeding myself balls and couldn't even hit most of them past the service box with my 2HBH.

I still use it sometimes for fun, but I mainly use a 1HBH now.

Use the left hand to hit the ball and have the right hand just hold the racket and come along for the ride.

JDC
01-07-2010, 06:06 PM
Use the left hand to hit the ball and have the right hand just hold the racket and come along for the ride.

What do others think about this advice? I, too, am working on my 2HBH.

Jonny S&V
01-07-2010, 06:40 PM
What do others think about this advice? I, too, am working on my 2HBH.

His advice is correct, and to aid it, hit lefty forehands where your left hand is in the same position as if it was a righty two-handed backhand (choked up). This will teach you the real dependence of the off-hand in a two-handed backhand.

Roy125
01-07-2010, 06:42 PM
Use the left hand to hit the ball and have the right hand just hold the racket and come along for the ride.

I agree with this advice, when I used to play with 2 hands, the only time I felt out of sync with my shots is when my right hand was trying to dominate the stroke.

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-07-2010, 07:51 PM
His advice is correct, and to aid it, hit lefty forehands where your left hand is in the same position as if it was a righty two-handed backhand (choked up). This will teach you the real dependence of the off-hand in a two-handed backhand.

And I don't even play with a two handed backhand! lol Well, I'm trying to learn to hit one for fun, but I use a one hander when I'm serious.

I agree with this advice, when I used to play with 2 hands, the only time I felt out of sync with my shots is when my right hand was trying to dominate the stroke.

I remember when someone tried to switch me to a two handed backhand... I kept telling myself "why the hell don't I just hit with a lefty forehand?", and that's what I did. But I was a right handed player, and felt that I should be playing right handed, so I stuck with trying to develop a one hander. My hands were fighting for control of the shot, so I decided if I was going to TRY and do a two hander, I'd need to let the left hand to the work, which made it a lot easier to hit. The problem was that the right hand wasn't on the racket. If it even touched the racket, they'd fight for control again... :/

The biggest backhands are those that start with the racket above the wrists and use a strong left hand - Andre Agassi

Well, in Agassi's case though, it looked like he kind of used both hands. Maybe 75% left and 25% right, though it was mainly to guide the racket straight through the ball. His backhand seems to follow the line of the shot further than any other backhand I've ever seen. Still, it's powered mainly by the left arm, and Agassi probably had a strong left arm.

There IS a reason why Nadal has an insane backhand...

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 09:23 PM
There IS a reason why Nadal has an insane backhand...

That's because he's using a 2-handed backhand!! Why all of you didn't just switch to a 2-handed backhand? I have no clue.

No, no just kidding, don't flame me please :)

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-08-2010, 12:35 AM
Why all of you didn't just switch to a 2-handed backhand?

Because not all of us are playing lefty when we're natural righties. :wink:

user92626
01-08-2010, 01:02 AM
Nadal has a great BH because he has trained hard and is very talented with the tennis techniques. That's mainly it. Nothing about being leftie or rightie. Nadal's BH is not leap and bounce ahead of, say, that of Djokovic or Murray or Del Portro, etc. who are all rightie. Each of them can lose to one another on any random day.

fuzz nation
01-08-2010, 04:50 AM
Any tips for getting a faster and lower BH slice? Mine tend to go high/float, they have a lot of back and side spin so can confuse less capable opponents on the bounce but better players just put them away easily.

A slice will more readily float when the racquet slides under the ball too much. This happens more when the contact point is too far out in front of you where basic mechanics force the racquet face to open up. Try a slow-motion slice and look at how your racquet face opens as it travels forward.

To really drive that slice, experiment with a contact point that's a bit more back beside you than out in front where you'd look to hit the ball for a topspin stroke. You also need to very deliberately move onto your front foot and lean into the shot to energize it.

This runs sort of contrary to what we learn to hit a good topspin stroke, but after you nail a few good ones with a contact point that's farther back, the lights should turn on for you. Even though you hit the ball more at the beginning of the stroke, use a nice full follow through for good acceleration and control of the shot.

fuzz nation
01-08-2010, 05:00 AM
I agree with this advice, when I used to play with 2 hands, the only time I felt out of sync with my shots is when my right hand was trying to dominate the stroke.

I sort of know what you mean. My two-hander doesn't come to me all too naturally, but it really feels alive when I make a deliberate effort to extend my left arm through contact. I used to sort of curl both arms through the hitting area in an odd attempt to take the racquet through a low-to-high path, but that was just too dead. When I extended that left arm (I'm a righty) and left my right arm rather passive, it really supercharged my shot.

I take the racquet back with both arms bent, but taking the left arm out straight as I swing forward takes the racquet out through a more broad radius where it can move better for me. You might actually find a better release through the ball for either style of topspin backhand if you think of swinging around the outside half of the ball. I worked for me.

Mahboob Khan
01-08-2010, 05:24 AM
Since I'm in the process of developing my 1 handed backhand, it's still kind of funky and inconsistent. I have a very consistent slice backhand though and can have it go low and skid or be a junk return for serve bombs. I am only using it as a replacement for my 1 handed backhand in tournaments though, not in practice. At what level will this take me until players start taking advantage of it?

Also, just to be clear, a low and skidding slice will bring a lot of trouble to tall people with western grips that try to put topspin on every ball right?

Good slice is always very good to have, but slice has its own disadvantages:

-- If your opponent pushes you back in the BH corner, a slice BH hit from that far position will either catch the net or will be short for your opponent to take advantage of.

-- If your opponent presses your BH and comes behind very good approach shot, you ought to have the standard BH drive to pass him.

Basically you need both the strokes: 1 handed BH drive, and slice.

I think slice BH alone will not take you that far. Your progress will be limited.

papa
01-08-2010, 05:26 AM
A slice will more readily float when the racquet slides under the ball too much. This happens more when the contact point is too far out in front of you where basic mechanics force the racquet face to open up. Try a slow-motion slice and look at how your racquet face opens as it travels forward.

To really drive that slice, experiment with a contact point that's a bit more back beside you than out in front where you'd look to hit the ball for a topspin stroke. You also need to very deliberately move onto your front foot and lean into the shot to energize it.

This runs sort of contrary to what we learn to hit a good topspin stroke, but after you nail a few good ones with a contact point that's farther back, the lights should turn on for you. Even though you hit the ball more at the beginning of the stroke, use a nice full follow through for good acceleration and control of the shot.

Good advice. The contact point for the slice drive has to be almost beside you or you'll just float the ball.

mike53
01-08-2010, 07:47 AM
Basically you need both the strokes: 1 handed BH drive, and slice.


Good advice. Then you can to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g9XC5nkjh0

KenC
01-08-2010, 08:37 AM
Just so you guys know, I'm using a 1HBH because my 2HBH falls apart too much and when it's on, it's not that good either. It feels like my arms aren't ever in sync and restricted with the 2HBH which results in a weak sitter in the service box. The turning point for me to switch was when I was feeding myself balls and couldn't even hit most of them past the service box with my 2HBH.

I still use it sometimes for fun, but I mainly use a 1HBH now.

Roy, maybe you are better off with a 1HBH. You can't learn a 1HBH feeding yourself balls though. Find a ball machine and start slow and in the same spot until you "feel" the mechanics starting to work. Its a lot of practice to get your swing and weight working together while trying to place a ball. Try to hit the same spot, preferably one corner followed by the other. When you start to feel the mechanics working then it is time to have the machine slightly vary the spot or get someone to hit you softer balls that you have to move into position to hit. From there on you can start to rally, although I like to practice with a buddy who is restricted to only hitting to my backhand side. There's nothing like having your BH pounded one shot after another for developing a strong BH.

Don't abandon the slice shot though, as it will serve you well in defensive situations, especially when you are pulled out wide. It also makes for a good approach shot down the line since it keeps the ball low.

Power Player
01-08-2010, 09:14 AM
I spent the past year working on both my 2hbh and my slice. I think a combination of both is a must. I can now make people hit to my forehand much more often.

Zachol82
01-08-2010, 08:46 PM
Nadal has a great BH because he has trained hard and is very talented with the tennis techniques. That's mainly it. Nothing about being leftie or rightie. Nadal's BH is not leap and bounce ahead of, say, that of Djokovic or Murray or Del Portro, etc. who are all rightie. Each of them can lose to one another on any random day.

Poor Federer, no one ever mentions him anymore. His backhand seems to have gotten less effective throughout the year hasn't it? I remember a time where his name was mentioned whenever there was a discussion about backhands.

darthpwner
01-18-2010, 06:45 AM
Ive seen Federer hit a slice bh winner at the French

blue12
01-18-2010, 07:09 AM
Well i've seen 5.0 players with nothing but slice backhands. It just depends on how well you hit it and how big your forehand is, cause if you have a huge forehand that you can use to run around your backhand once in a while the driving backhand isn't so important. I wouldn't look at it as a weakness, i'd just keep working on developing a better drive or topspin ball to add to it.

Manus Domini
01-18-2010, 01:05 PM
you can use the slice to drive the ball through the court. And it can be very heavy (afore the bounce of course). I have a heavier slice BH than topspin or flat, for example.

Slazenger07
01-19-2010, 10:15 AM
The slice backhand will get you a long way as long as you can really carve it and make it skid rather than float it. Federer probably wouldnt have beaten Andreev last night without the backhand slice. That low slice to a Western Grip forehand is a really good play.

papa
01-19-2010, 01:15 PM
A slice will more readily float when the racquet slides under the ball too much. This happens more when the contact point is too far out in front of you where basic mechanics force the racquet face to open up. Try a slow-motion slice and look at how your racquet face opens as it travels forward.

To really drive that slice, experiment with a contact point that's a bit more back beside you than out in front where you'd look to hit the ball for a topspin stroke. You also need to very deliberately move onto your front foot and lean into the shot to energize it.

This runs sort of contrary to what we learn to hit a good topspin stroke, but after you nail a few good ones with a contact point that's farther back, the lights should turn on for you. Even though you hit the ball more at the beginning of the stroke, use a nice full follow through for good acceleration and control of the shot.

Your right, it might "run sort of contrary to what we learn to hit a good topspin stroke" but true. Good advice.

salsainglesa
01-20-2010, 01:48 PM
well, you could develop a DRIVING slice backhand, less spinny stroke, you have to change the swingpath a bit... slice is so underated

35ft6
01-20-2010, 03:26 PM
At 3.0 and above, players will start taking advantage of your bh slice. I suggest you abandon it completely and resort to using 2hbh topspin drive.

Under 3.0 and recreational play is fine, but if you're serious about your tennis drop the bh slice. It's useless. :oops:I used slice backhands 95% of the time in college. It was never really something that could be exploited, although I certainly got spanked on a few occasions. But it wasn't because of my backhand.

If you have a consistent skidding slice, the kind that can do a bit more than keep the point neutral, there's not telling how far you can go. Of course, the rest of your game has to be good, but just recently, saw Fernando Vincent give Michael Russell fits hitting nothing but slice backhands. In backhand to backhand exchanges, I think Vincent was even getting the better of him. Russell was just spooked the length of rallies, lack of pace.

At the higher levels, you do probably need a better than average forehand to compensate, or even better, be an all court player. Also, at the higher levels, you will inevitably run into people smart enough to attack the slice and rush the net. You need to be able to come over the backhand to keep them honest. If nothing else, blast it up the middle, but also, don't be afraid of hitting a slow short slice to make them volley up in order to pass them on the second shot.

You have to think differently with a slice backhand, but to answer your question, you can go very far with a slice backhand, much further than you are ever likely to even get a glimpse of. But even at the pro level, there are people who have better slices, but what really determines how far you will go, IMO, is realizing you have to approach point construction differently with a slice backhand. Against good players, you have to be prepared, even eager, to wear them down with long backhand to backhand rallies. It's like a jab in boxing. You use it to distract, confuse, and annoy your opponents so you can knock them out with your forehand or volley.

TearSNFX
01-21-2010, 07:01 AM
Since I'm in the process of developing my 1 handed backhand, it's still kind of funky and inconsistent. I have a very consistent slice backhand though and can have it go low and skid or be a junk return for serve bombs. I am only using it as a replacement for my 1 handed backhand in tournaments though, not in practice. At what level will this take me until players start taking advantage of it?

Also, just to be clear, a low and skidding slice will bring a lot of trouble to tall people with western grips that try to put topspin on every ball right?


How far this backhand will take you is all dependent on you. There is a downside to slices, you won't really hit winners with them. You will have some but it will be seldom. If you can use your slices to setup points for a forehand winner then you shouldn't have to worry.

I save my slices for very aggressive base liners, and it seems to work just fine. Just keep working on that backhand of yours.

You say its funky and inconsistent? How old are you and do you have a coach? 1 out 5 students I coach have 1 handed backhand and it only takes about 2~4 sessions of basket feeds to have them understand the concept.

Another thing I would like to add is the importance of footwork for 1 handers.

Roy125
01-21-2010, 02:07 PM
You say its funky and inconsistent? How old are you and do you have a coach? 1 out 5 students I coach have 1 handed backhand and it only takes about 2~4 sessions of basket feeds to have them understand the concept.

Another thing I would like to add is the importance of footwork for 1 handers.

I'm 15 right now and I do have a coach. It's been 2 weeks since I made the topic and my coach has been able to teach me to hit the 1HBH correctly which has made it more consistent. Timing still is a major issue for me though but I think that'll fix it self the more I play.

Yaz
01-21-2010, 09:19 PM
You have to think differently with a slice backhand, but to answer your question, you can go very far with a slice backhand, much further than you are ever likely to even get a glimpse of. But even at the pro level, there are people who have better slices, but what really determines how far you will go, IMO, is realizing you have to approach point construction differently with a slice backhand. Against good players, you have to be prepared, even eager, to wear them down with long backhand to backhand rallies. It's like a jab in boxing. You use it to distract, confuse, and annoy your opponents so you can knock them out with your forehand or volley.

I save my slices for very aggressive base liners, and it seems to work just fine. Just keep working on that backhand of yours.


Some good points here...I was able to wear down a much younger 4.5 guy who had heavy top off both sides with my slice backhand. Afterwards he admitted that at first he was trying to play my backhand but the slice was driving him nuts and he couldn't get into a good groove. I threw the kitchen sink at him - low and deep skidders, floaters, and also shallow angles to the service box corners. Then he started to play my forehand to get into some rallies but that side is more of a weapon for me and I was able to end points much quicker.

Like what 35ft6 said above you can use the slice not only defensively, but strategically to frustrate big-hitting opponents even at higher levels.

TearSNFX
01-23-2010, 05:08 AM
I'm 15 right now and I do have a coach. It's been 2 weeks since I made the topic and my coach has been able to teach me to hit the 1HBH correctly which has made it more consistent. Timing still is a major issue for me though but I think that'll fix it self the more I play.

Timing and high balls are 1 handers worst nightmares, I'm sure you will get it down as you said with more play. Good luck and have fun!