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greystar403
12-29-2011, 10:26 PM
Roger Federer apparently does this really well.

A backhand slice is mainly a defensive stroke.

What defines a slice to be "offensive"?

Snowwiedragn
12-29-2011, 10:32 PM
I would say one that stays low and pierces into the court.

USERNAME
12-29-2011, 10:36 PM
Mine clears the net low, lands past the service line (unless going for an angle), and skids through the court. Gotta step in to lean on it hard and follow through the ball.

fuzz nation
12-30-2011, 04:54 AM
For most of us, I'd say that the bh slice is used to deal with a ball on that wing that's out of our strike zone, especially when stretched out wide or when the incoming ball is very low. Those are more defensive shots. It's handy as a quick option for returning a hard serve, and some players like to use it for a change of pace against an opponent during a baseline rally. Those options are more about variety than pure defense I think.

My impression of Fed's offensive slice is when he uses it as a setup shot. He doesn't hit the slice deep enough through the court to be a typical rally stroke, but it's also not so short that it's a drop shot. He lands this slice just beyond the service line so that it draws his opponent forward into no-man's land by only a step or two, but it makes for a lot of trouble.

If that opponent tries to come to net, that slice is deep enough that they've still got some ground to cover to get there - that gives Fed an opening for a pass. If that opponent doesn't take the bait, then he has to slam it into reverse to get back to the baseline. Tough to play with much initiative while retreating. If "east-west" tennis is about sideline to sideline action, this semi-short slice is much more about the "north-south" dimension I think.

I'm not sure whether this is specifically the offensive slice you've heard about, but it's a really interesting tactic in the Fed-man's bag of tricks. That epic Wimbledon final between Roger and Andy Roddick had this specific shot on display through much of the match. Andy showed just how much his game had evolved in that five-setter when he was shrewd enough to avoid getting sucked forward by that short slice too often. He'd learned enough to counter with a slice of his own if he didn't have good positioning.

joe sch
12-30-2011, 05:12 AM
A slice is a defensive stroke in tennis, always has been.
Any good player should be able to attack a slice return or reply defensively with a counter slice. A slice serve should be an offensive weapon.

papa
12-30-2011, 05:15 AM
Well, a slice drive isn't necessarily a defensive shot keeping it deep at FN suggests. Actually, its a shot were seeing more and more of these days but don't expect it replace TS. However, its a great way to change the pace, mix things up and keep your opponent deep.

I would suggest it "can" be an offensive shot as long as its kept low and deep.

Bobby Jr
12-30-2011, 05:21 AM
My impression of Fed's offensive slice is when he uses it as a setup shot. ... He lands this slice just beyond the service line so that it draws his opponent forward into no-man's land by only a step or two, but it makes for a lot of trouble.
So often when he hits that shot you can almost hear his opponents thinking "you ****, not again".. :lol:

It is seriously one of the classic Federer plays which for decades would have been considered a no-no by most coaches around the world. Drawing an opponent forward? No way. The way he has used it demonstrates perfectly how few players, even at the top level, really move well longitudinally.

Kurte954
12-30-2011, 05:25 AM
For most of us, I'd say that the bh slice is used to deal with a ball on that wing that's out of our strike zone, especially when stretched out wide or when the incoming ball is very low. Those are more defensive shots. It's handy as a quick option for returning a hard serve, and some players like to use it for a change of pace against an opponent during a baseline rally. Those options are more about variety than pure defense I think.

My impression of Fed's offensive slice is when he uses it as a setup shot. He doesn't hit the slice deep enough through the court to be a typical rally stroke, but it's also not so short that it's a drop shot. He lands this slice just beyond the service line so that it draws his opponent forward into no-man's land by only a step or two, but it makes for a lot of trouble.

If that opponent tries to come to net, that slice is deep enough that they've still got some ground to cover to get there - that gives Fed an opening for a pass. If that opponent doesn't take the bait, then he has to slam it into reverse to get back to the baseline. Tough to play with much initiative while retreating. If "east-west" tennis is about sideline to sideline action, this semi-short slice is much more about the "north-south" dimension I think.

I'm not sure whether this is specifically the offensive slice you've heard about, but it's a really interesting tactic in the Fed-man's bag of tricks. That epic Wimbledon final between Roger and Andy Roddick had this specific shot on display through much of the match. Andy showed just how much his game had evolved in that five-setter when he was shrewd enough to avoid getting sucked forward by that short slice too often. He'd learned enough to counter with a slice of his own if he didn't have good positioning.

One of Fed's "go to" plays is variety in the bh-bh exchange, slice and topspin, to move the opponent not just side to side, but forward and backward and wait for a ball he can run around and attack with his fh. The variety keeps any player from getting a good rhythm and exploits proper footwork. In addition, Fed's bh slice is one of the best - it stays really low, sometimes around knee height or lower, on some surfaces. It's pretty much impossible to hit anything but a defensive type shot off a ball that low, which sets up Fed to run around and hit that GOAT forehand. The play is genius in it's simplicity and how safe of a play it is.

If you're playing against a player that has difficulty hitting quality shots against a low ball, a good slice shot that stays deep in the court and bounce low is always going to be effective at giving your opponent difficulty.

It also depends what level you're playing. Some lower level players don't recognize spin and just hitting slice or side spin to them will draw an error.

Cindysphinx
12-30-2011, 06:04 PM
A slice is offensive if it prevents the opponent from hitting the shot she wants to hit.

If I come to net off of a slice, you can't lob me as easily. Which means I can safely close more.

That means it isn't a defensive slice.

Xizel
12-30-2011, 06:17 PM
One of those flat backhands with a miniscule amount of slice instead of topspin is what I have in mind.

fuzz nation
12-31-2011, 07:14 AM
A slice is a defensive stroke in tennis, always has been.
Any good player should be able to attack a slice return or reply defensively with a counter slice. A slice serve should be an offensive weapon.

Okay... I definitely agree that a slice bh is as essential as a decent 2nd serve with spin, etc. Every player should learn that shot either right out of the gate or immediately in the wake of getting both a basic forehand and backhand up and running. It's certainly used a whole lot more in a defensive context for sure.

I'd offer that a bread & butter return of serve in good doubles matches is a backhand slice though. It's employed specifically because it steals the initiative from a charging server by putting the ball down on his/her feet. Returning in general has certainly become stronger and more offensive in recent history, but I don't see the slice return becoming marginalized at either the recreational or the pro level.

When a return is weak, that may include a topspin attempt that's short in the court yielding something to attack. A bad slice return is even more pathetic though, because the thing typically floats and then sits right up to give the server a laundry list of options. Good slice returns in singles are those biting shots that land a couple feet inside the baseline. Spectacular? No, but they're a great neutralizer, forcing the server to step back, reset, and rally with much less advantage.

rkelley
12-31-2011, 09:41 AM
Roger Federer apparently does this really well.

A backhand slice is mainly a defensive stroke.

What defines a slice to be "offensive"?

A slice can be a very offensive stroke. It depends on the players. I saw a guy years ago playing Michael Chang (on TV). His strategy was to slice hard and often to Chang's bh and make Change scoop up his low bouncing, slithering shot. He would just hit that slice over and over again to Chang's bh trying to get a weak ball out of Chang.

A lot of 2hbh players like to slice on lower balls. It's partly a response to the lower ball, but the shot can still be quite aggressive. Get the racquet cocked up by the ear and rip down through the ball. The spin (that makes it tail and bounce low), along with good pace and depth make the shot hard to handle and a good change of pace.

As Cindy mentioned it's a great approach shot. The Federer strategy is pretty advanced, but you can give that a shot too.

Where I'm personally weak is aggressively slicing higher balls. It's a great play if you can do it. I practice it, but when it matters I usually just take them with my two hander and drive them.

USERNAME
12-31-2011, 01:18 PM
A slice is a defensive stroke in tennis, always has been.
Any good player should be able to attack a slice return or reply defensively with a counter slice. A slice serve should be an offensive weapon.

Tell that to Fed next time he hits one as an approach shot.

KMV
12-31-2011, 06:42 PM
A slice is a defensive stroke in tennis, always has been.
Any good player should be able to attack a slice return or reply defensively with a counter slice. A slice serve should be an offensive weapon.

The best offensive slice i have seen is from Dudi Sela. Stays short, low and bounces twice unless you are genuinely quick.. Had players like Wawrinka and some of the other big hitters who stay behind the baseline scramble, make unforced errors and provide weak short balls that can be put away.. also saw a couple of these end up as winners..

Havent seen Fed play live, but should be even more offensive i believe

Nostradamus
12-31-2011, 06:52 PM
Roger Federer apparently does this really well.

A backhand slice is mainly a defensive stroke.

What defines a slice to be "offensive"?

You can actually hit the slice very hard. I have seen pros hit slice passing shots. Offensive slice hits the court and skids very quickly and thru the court. It stays so low, you will rip off your headguard on your racket trying to hit it.

passive_aggressive
12-31-2011, 07:32 PM
So often when he hits that shot you can almost hear his opponents thinking "you ****, not again".. :lol:

It is seriously one of the classic Federer plays which for decades would have been considered a no-no by most coaches around the world. Drawing an opponent forward? No way. The way he has used it demonstrates perfectly how few players, even at the top level, really move well longitudinally.

Doesn't anyone try to use this play on Federer, and, if so, who, and how does Federer respond to it?

35ft6
12-31-2011, 07:48 PM
A slice is a defensive stroke in tennis, always has been.Not really. It's how you use it. Just like a change up in baseball. It won't end points, but like a good jab in boxing, it can keep opponents guessing, off balance, disrupt their rhythm, and set up knockout blows.

If you can keep it low and deep, and hit both corners consistently, that should be enough to make it an offensive (at the very least, neutral) shot at the 5.5 level and below. I have a good slice, but at 5.5 or above level, those guys can just demolish it. Like once or twice a year in college, I would play some decent D-1 or D-2 guy who could just take a deep slice in the corner and crush it up the line and I knew I was about to get double bread sticked.

mikeler
01-01-2012, 05:39 AM
Doesn't anyone try to use this play on Federer, and, if so, who, and how does Federer respond to it?


I don't think too many players are keen on bringing Federer to net since he is one of the best net players on tour.

larry10s
01-01-2012, 07:22 AM
A slice is a defensive stroke in tennis, always has been.
Any good player should be able to attack a slice return or reply defensively with a counter slice. A slice serve should be an offensive weapon.

roger federer has hit slice returns his whole carreer against good players
they didnt attack most of his returns.
ken rosewall used his slice offensively
federer as mentioned above uses his slice offensively
so the slice has NOT been a defensive shot for always in tennis

2ndServe
01-01-2012, 08:04 AM
imo any shot can be offensive once in while but on the whole it is quite defensive. You need exceptional speed and footwork to rally with a slice because you're going to be running after the next shot. Graf, Fed they use it so well partly because they move the best and they use it to setup their main weapon the forehand.

Having seen guys like Karlovic, F. Lopez, Fred Stolle's son play live they all have great slice backhands, some of the better ones I've seen. There movement is top notch too but in the pro game it's sub par so they get killed by a better player every time they hit a slice backhand. If you have ridiculous speed and a fantastic forehand having a slice bh is a great compliment, otherwise the higher level you go the more disadvantaged you are.

Kurte954
01-01-2012, 08:55 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B01nhqJizTc

Most of these "winners" are lunging stabs, but the rally starting at :50 you can see how Fed uses a slice/top spin variety with his back hand to keep his opponent moving horizontally and vertically in the court. Fed slices to his opponents forehand a few times, but very few players can hit an offensive shot off of Fed's offensive slice because the ball stays low. This is how Fed works to get an advantage in a rally very often.

Nadal hits with so much top spin already, he can get the arch on the ball to keep it in with decent pace, which makes Fed's slice less effective against Nadal. Clay also makes the slice sit up more, which is why Fed has a lopsided record against Rafa on clay. On a faster hard court, especially the indoor London courts the WTFs were held, the ball skids and stays extremely low and is too tough even for Nadal to handle. That's why Fed owned Nadal on that court two years in a row. The Miami hard courts are more grainy so they play more like clay, which is why Fed lost in 2011 to Nadal

Other players cannot handle the variety of a low slice that they must step into the court and hit a neutral ball and then a top spin ball they have to move back on without making an unforced error or leaving a ball Fed can be offensive with.

If you watch Nole def Fed in the AO 2011 SF, you'll see that Fed gets ahead in a set by playing a lot of variety and almost junk balling Djoker. It's when Fed starts going for toe to toe power rallies that Novak gains the advantage.

Nadal and Djoker will grind, or hit the exact same ball over and over until the opponent his a "bad" shot that results in an error or a short ball. This is one of the reasons why Nadal lost to Djoker 6 times in a row - Djokers backhand is far superior so Nadal would ultimately hit a ball Djoker could be extremely offensive with.

Anyway, Federer's backhand slice, which is one of the best among today's players, is rarely if ever punished and has been part of a tactic he has used regularly to be the most dominant player of all time.

westcoast777
01-01-2012, 05:00 PM
When hitting a slice, it is vital that you bend your knees. My definition of what an offensive slice /b/should be/b/ is any ball that you have time to set up, get a full knee bend, and hit the ball about waist height.

Nostradamus
01-01-2012, 05:16 PM
When hitting a slice, it is vital that you bend your knees. My definition of what an offensive slice /b/should be/b/ is any ball that you have time to set up, get a full knee bend, and hit the ball about waist height.

i think better use of this thread is to show people how to hit a offensive cutting slice. Most people don't have to the right technique so what happens is floating weak slice that stands up and saids HIT ME. Show the people the technique on how to hit a slice that cuts thru the air fast and skids as fast as any big Flat shots.

scotus
01-01-2012, 05:54 PM
Search for Bungalo Bill's posts under offensive slice or German slice.

Here is your perfect model for an offensive slice--the one and only Ken Rosewall:
http://passionfortennis.com/ken-rosewall-and-tim-henman-backhand-analysis/

martini1
01-02-2012, 07:16 AM
I think a slice with heavy underspin is great against those flat hitters and counter punchers on the run. They would have to hit the ball up to clear the net. If they don't do a good job they could pop it up too high which sets up an offensive opportunity for you.

Torres
01-03-2012, 04:29 AM
Search for Bungalo Bill's posts under offensive slice or German slice.

Here is your perfect model for an offensive slice--the one and only Ken Rosewall:
http://passionfortennis.com/ken-rosewall-and-tim-henman-backhand-analysis/

Interesting link. Ta.