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ark_28
01-23-2012, 08:10 AM
Hey guys

So I play on this fast indoor court it is carpet and takes a lot of slice, I do try to get into net when I can but am trying to work on my baseline game.

A big problem I have found in my last few practises has been while my forehand is a decent shot, I can rally with it and take on the short ball, I am getting into some trouble with my backhand.

When I hit over the ball on my backhand it is a solid shot not as much of a weapon as my forehand but it is solid because it is not a weapon that I am going to hit many winners from though guys rightly hit to that side, on most surfaces that is not too bad for me I will try and get good depth and try and work a position wherre I can get another forehand or maybe come in.

However on these courts I play the fast carpet, the ball keeps pretty low and I need to play slice on my backhand, but my slice really is lacking the depth it needs and I am dropping to short which is either setting up the easy put away for the opponent, OR handing them total court position where they can work me around and even if they get it to my forehand side I am on the backfoot!

I know I need to work on my slice so that is obvious I have watched a lot of videos on Youtube and am trying to put it right.

But while I am trying to improve it are there any ways I can deal with the low ball for now to mask the short slice that I seem to be hitting?

I feel like on this surface that one shot is going to cost me a lot of close matches and matches against guys that are on a similar level to me or I should be beating!

thug the bunny
01-23-2012, 08:28 AM
This is pretty much why I switched to a 2HBH - I needed to put some attitude on my BH shots.

rkelley
01-23-2012, 08:48 AM
From what I can understand in your post, you're having trouble dealing with low balls to your bh on a fast, carpet surface, correct?

A slice is a really good shot to play, so improving that is a good thing to do. The other two options are hit over the ball, but you'll have to bend your knees and get low, or possibly chip and charge (which is really slicing again, but now you're coming forward toward the net).

I don't know that there's a quick fix to this. Look at it as an opportunity to fix a weakness.

Off The Wall
01-23-2012, 08:55 AM
It sounds like you have a one dimensional view of backhand slicing. Namely, impart a lot of backspin. That would be incorrect.

Slices can be a rolling backspin to a severe backpsin (dropshot type). It sounds like you need more of the rolling type in this instance.

Rolling types fly deeper because the swing path is straighter. You can open your racquet head slighly (aim over the net by a couple of feet) and swing straight. The ball will fly over the net and drop down in a deeper, longer arc.

There are many variations to what I described. You'll need to try them to see what you'll get.

ark_28
01-23-2012, 09:18 AM
Rkelley, you are spot on and I am just going to keep working on it, I do chip and charge sometimes to get to the net strangely enough my slice approach is not too bad its the one in the rally that is too short, thanks for your feedback.

Thug the bunny, I am also switching over to a two hander hopefully it will help me!

Off the Wall, I hear you and yes I meant rolling slice that is what is dropping to short and putting me in lots of trouble, thanks for your tips!

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 09:22 AM
Check out the contrast between Rosewall's and Federer's backhand slices. IMO, Rosewall's slice is the easier to master and the more useful, versatile, shot.

http://www.tenniscruz.com/content/view/27/156/

rkelley
01-23-2012, 09:46 AM
Rkelley, you are spot on and I am just going to keep working on it, I do chip and charge sometimes to get to the net strangely enough my slice approach is not too bad its the one in the rally that is too short, thanks for your feedback.

Thug the bunny, I am also switching over to a two hander hopefully it will help me!

Off the Wall, I hear you and yes I meant rolling slice that is what is dropping to short and putting me in lots of trouble, thanks for your tips!

Thanks ark_28.

On the two hander - short, low balls are killer for a two hander. With a one hander you can reach out more than you can with a two hander. Both hands on the racquet limit your reach low and forward, even when you bend your knees. IMO a one handed slice is a critical shot to develop with a two hander because it's an effective reply to the low, short ball that the two hander isn't good at dealing with.

rkelley
01-23-2012, 10:00 AM
Check out the contrast between Rosewall's and Federer's backhand slices. IMO, Rosewall's slice is the easier to master and the more useful, versatile, shot.

http://www.tenniscruz.com/content/view/27/156/

Having learned both of these slices, I have personally found that the slice Fed (and most modern pros) employs to be easier to hit. The key feature for me is that the modern slice emphasizes maintaining the plane of the racquet face well before to well after the contact point. In Rosewall's (and most pros of his day) slice the racquet plane changes quite a bit both before and after the contact zone. If you don't get the racquet at the correct angle at contact you're going to miss the shot.

The modern slice also yields a lot more spin, both back spin and side spin, while still maintaining good pace. The older slice is a flatter shot - which is not to say it's worse, but just different.

Perhaps this is yet another manifestation of my meager talent, but I can hit the modern slice fairly aggressively and with some level of consistency. That was always harder for me with the old school slice.

And just so you know, there is a bit of an on going conversation regarding slices and which is better.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 10:12 AM
If a great slice is soo easy, everyone, including the OP, would already have it. It takes practice, dedication, and match play time.
Don't give them the ball that they can slice hard and low. It always starts with YOU. YOUR shots can determine what they hit.
If THEIR shots are determining yours, you will lose anyways.

thug the bunny
01-23-2012, 11:51 AM
On the two hander - short, low balls are killer for a two hander. With a one hander you can reach out more than you can with a two hander. Both hands on the racquet limit your reach low and forward, even when you bend your knees. IMO a one handed slice is a critical shot to develop with a two hander because it's an effective reply to the low, short ball that the two hander isn't good at dealing with.

I can pick up a low ball with a 2HBH and impart some decent TS to it. Bend the knees and waist, and I hold the stick more vertcally (head hanging down), kind of like a cricket bat.

But yes, at some point low and forward you will run out of reach, which is why I still keep my 1HBH in my bag.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 11:56 AM
Same as a western grip forehand off a short, low ball. You hit the outside of the ball, imparting both sidespin and topspin, to curve the ball to your target. Depth control is tough to master, but direction pretty easy.
Unfortunately, depth control is very important for effective approach shots, while direction is considered second in value.

rkelley
01-23-2012, 12:38 PM
I can pick up a low ball with a 2HBH and impart some decent TS to it. Bend the knees and waist, and I hold the stick more vertcally (head hanging down), kind of like a cricket bat.

But yes, at some point low and forward you will run out of reach, which is why I still keep my 1HBH in my bag.

Low and forward - that's what I'm referring to.

The slice is a good shot to have in general however. A lot of players hate returning it because it stays so low and is slicing to the side (the modern version at least) as well. On lower balls that I could take with my 2hbh and drive, I'm hitting slice as an offensive option occasionally and seeing how my opponent deals with it.

I've found the newer technique has made my bh slice approaches more aggressive too.

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 01:20 PM
Having learned both of these slices, I have personally found that the slice Fed (and most modern pros) employs to be easier to hit. The key feature for me is that the modern slice emphasizes maintaining the plane of the racquet face well before to well after the contact point. In Rosewall's (and most pros of his day) slice the racquet plane changes quite a bit both before and after the contact zone. If you don't get the racquet at the correct angle at contact you're going to miss the shot.

The modern slice also yields a lot more spin, both back spin and side spin, while still maintaining good pace. The older slice is a flatter shot - which is not to say it's worse, but just different.

Perhaps this is yet another manifestation of my meager talent, but I can hit the modern slice fairly aggressively and with some level of consistency. That was always harder for me with the old school slice.

And just so you know, there is a bit of an on going conversation regarding slices and which is better.

The old school slice that Rosewall hit was the bread and butter backhand of virtually every pro and every tournament junior in the 60's and 70's, (and probably for 50 years before that, although I can't speak to that from personal knowledge). IMO, a traditional 1h slice bh is the easiest shot in the game to learn and execute, except, perhaps, for the smash. Fed's slice is a chop hit with a very glancing blow near the edge of the frame with a very low margin for error, and lack of depth control. It may be most effective for handling high balls above the shoulder, but, it's definitely not as sure as a traditional slice for low skidding balls.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 01:57 PM
Fed, and Haas do not need a great backhand slice because they both can hit very good topspin shots.
Same with Sampras.

rkelley
01-23-2012, 02:04 PM
Having learned both of these slices, I have personally found that the slice Fed (and most modern pros) employs to be easier to hit. The key feature for me is that the modern slice emphasizes maintaining the plane of the racquet face well before to well after the contact point. In Rosewall's (and most pros of his day) slice the racquet plane changes quite a bit both before and after the contact zone. If you don't get the racquet at the correct angle at contact you're going to miss the shot.

Perhaps this is yet another manifestation of my meager talent, but I can hit the modern slice fairly aggressively and with some level of consistency. That was always harder for me with the old school slice.

And just so you know, there is a bit of an on going conversation regarding slices and which is better.

The old school slice that Rosewall hit was the bread and butter backhand of virtually every pro and every tournament junior in the 60's and 70's, (and probably for 50 years before that, although I can't speak to that from personal knowledge). IMO, a traditional 1h slice bh is the easiest shot in the game to learn and execute, except, perhaps, for the smash. Fed's slice is a chop hit with a very glancing blow near the edge of the frame with a very low margin for error, and lack of depth control. It may be most effective for handling high balls above the shoulder, but, it's definitely not as sure as a traditional slice for low skidding balls.

I'm just relating my personal experience with the two shots. I should add that I'm talking about a hard, driving, aggressive slice, not floating it over (and I'm not saying that Rosewall floated his slice).

Any slice, by the nature of the spin on the ball, has to have a small net clearance if it has much pace (and therefore not floated). The old school style with its changing face angles I personally found more difficult to control when I tried to hit it aggressively. Sometimes I got it and admittedly it was very penetrating, but I hit it long or into the net too often to rely upon it for anything except defensive situations. The article even speaks about this. Note that for approaches the stroke is shortened some and the face angle tended to be maintained - I didn't miss many of those. The newer slice, with it's emphasis on setting the face plane early in the stroke and then maintaining it through the contact zone, has become a more reliably shot for me.

There is also way more spin on the ball so it can be very nasty for your opponent to handle this shot.

Maybe my own lack of ability is the problem here. No one's ever accused me being Federer or Rosewall. I'm just saying that for me the new style allows me to hit with more aggression and consistency. Also note that while the old style was the slice used by all pros in the past as Limp says, the new style is what pros today use.

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 04:19 PM
I'm just relating my personal experience with the two shots. I should add that I'm talking about a hard, driving, aggressive slice, not floating it over (and I'm not saying that Rosewall floated his slice).

Any slice, by the nature of the spin on the ball, has to have a small net clearance if it has much pace (and therefore not floated). The old school style with its changing face angles I personally found more difficult to control when I tried to hit it aggressively. Sometimes I got it and admittedly it was very penetrating, but I hit it long or into the net too often to rely upon it for anything except defensive situations. The article even speaks about this. Note that for approaches the stroke is shortened some and the face angle tended to be maintained - I didn't miss many of those. The newer slice, with it's emphasis on setting the face plane early in the stroke and then maintaining it through the contact zone, has become a more reliably shot for me.

There is also way more spin on the ball so it can be very nasty for your opponent to handle this shot.

Maybe my own lack of ability is the problem here. No one's ever accused me being Federer or Rosewall. I'm just saying that for me the new style allows me to hit with more aggression and consistency. Also note that while the old style was the slice used by all pros in the past as Limp says, the new style is what pros today use.

Well, the racquet angle changes on most shots, especially the serve. In any event, I have never had an issue with it, it's not something that I, or anyone I know has ever had to think about. In fact, you are the very first person who has ever raise that issue to me. Think about Fed's or Djokovic's forehands and how much the racquet angle changes from the beginning of the forward swing to contact.

I would also say that I can drive my slice almost as hard as my 2hb, hit it with heavy underspin, or hit it with touch, as needed. If I hit it hard from corner to corner, I have to clear the net by about 3-4 feet to get the ball within 5 feet of the corner.

What the pros use today is mostly in defense of high bouncing modern strokes. I still submit that an old school slice is the more practical shot for anything below the shoulder. Yes, Fed's heavy underspin is like a slider in baseball, very nasty. But, IMO, it is a more difficult shot to execute, with a lower margin for error, and not as effective in handling low shots from the opponent.

rkelley
01-23-2012, 05:50 PM
Well, the racquet angle changes on most shots, especially the serve. In any event, I have never had an issue with it, it's not something that I, or anyone I know has ever had to think about. In fact, you are the very first person who has ever raise that issue to me. Think about Fed's or Djokovic's forehands and how much the racquet angle changes from the beginning of the forward swing to contact.

I think an important concept in all moderns strokes, with the possible exception of the serve, is setting and maintaining the racquet face's plane well before the contact zone to well after. Fed's and Djokovic's forehands, as well as the ground strokes and volleys of other pros that I have studied, utilize this concept. I learned it from Dave Smith's book, Tennis Mastery, and based on what I see and my experience it's a great concept. Of course I'm not saying the plane is maintained during the entire stroke, but it becomes set well before the racquet face enters the contact zone.

The modern slice has this feature. The older school slice sets the racquet face angle just before contact and carves under the ball right after, so the player has to time the contact and racquet face angle just right.

I would also say that I can drive my slice almost as hard as my 2hb, hit it with heavy underspin, or hit it with touch, as needed. If I hit it hard from corner to corner, I have to clear the net by about 3-4 feet to get the ball within 5 feet of the corner.

For me hitting a slice that clears the net by 3-4 feet is going to sit-up too much on the other side - at least for any ball that's waist high or below. My whole goal when I'm slicing is the keep the ball low for my opponent. To do that I need to get it as low to the net as possible with as much pace and spin as possible so that it lands deep. I'm shooting for about a foot over the net. 3-4 feet over the net and the shot will be long for me. Five feet back from the baseline is good.

Personally I can hit my 2hbh with way more pace than my slice, but admittedly I'm putting a lot of the racquet head speed into spinning the ball, not driving through it as much as Rosewall.

Like I said, I've hit that Rosewall shot for years. It works great when it works, it just doesn't work often enough for me. Probably it's my issue, but I've had more success with the modern slice.

I should say that I'm talking about low balls here. Players with good slices can rip a high ball with a very hard, aggressive shot with a lot of pace. That's generally not me, though I'm working on it a bit. If I get a higher ball like that I'm generally going to go with the 2 hander.

Ballinbob
01-23-2012, 06:54 PM
This is pretty much why I switched to a 2HBH - I needed to put some attitude on my BH shots.

Same here man. I feel ya

Anyway, for the slice watch this. And then watch it again

it helped me loads

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II7Wo0y6fC8

Chyeaah
01-23-2012, 07:02 PM
This is pretty much why I switched to a 2HBH - I needed to put some attitude on my BH shots.

Yeah, I had a decent 1HBH, but switched to a 2HBH. The 2HBH has way more power and can hide your slice perfectly if you use a continental-semiwestern 2HBH.

Its easier to lift a ball up with a 1HBH imho, since you can do a topspin lob (like nadal's forehand but with a 2HBH its harder to lift up a ball since you drive it much more and it will go out if you lift it up too much. But my backhand isn't the best so don't take my word on it, just telling you what happens to me.

When you try slicing try driving through the ball alot more if you want more depth, use a continental leaning a tiny bit towards an eastern backhand. If your racquet is too open you kind of do a high dropshot.

rkelley
01-23-2012, 07:04 PM
Same here man. I feel ya

Anyway, for the slice watch this. And then watch it again

it helped me loads

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II7Wo0y6fC8

Loved this video. My introduction to the modern slice. I watched it a few months ago when someone else posted in another thread. I practiced what was taught against the wall for about 30 minutes and then started using it while rallying. As I mentioned in previous posts, I've found this slice to be more effective and more consistent than the traditional shot.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 07:06 PM
Amazing the different shots you can hit on the backhand just by changing the grip.
From strong, fast, low skidding slice to loopy, heavily backspun dead balls, and flat to heavy topspin with more aggressive grips until you loop like Vilas but slower with less spin to barely making it past the service line.
I like conti with eForehand twist for defensive skidded slices.
Full ebh for topspin and flat backhands.
Something in between for mindless fetching.

Ballinbob
01-23-2012, 11:25 PM
Loved this video. My introduction to the modern slice. I watched it a few months ago when someone else posted in another thread. I practiced what was taught against the wall for about 30 minutes and then started using it while rallying. As I mentioned in previous posts, I've found this slice to be more effective and more consistent than the traditional shot.

Yeah its great. I make a point of watching it time to time to refresh my memory. And I agree, the slice taught in this video is very, very effective. I cant comment on the old school slice as I've never hit one, but I know for a fact one cant go wrong with the "fed modern slice"

Chyeaah
01-24-2012, 08:26 PM
I finally got the slice, you need to lunge forward while doing the slice from high to low across your body. Without the lunge you will mis-hit the ball or it won't penetrate the court. But if you lunge too much it will go out. Such a tricky shot.

phnx90
01-24-2012, 08:48 PM
I didn't really read the OP in much detail, but can't you just run around the BH and hit a heavy topspin inside out FH?

Just make sure you max out the racquet head acceleration and you should be okay...that's what I'd do

Chyeaah
01-24-2012, 08:56 PM
I didn't really read the OP in much detail, but can't you just run around the BH and hit a heavy topspin inside out FH?

Just make sure you max out the racquet head acceleration and you should be okay...that's what I'd do

You can't do that every time. and if he slices it back to you I doubt you'll be able to run around the ball and get a decent shot.

phnx90
01-24-2012, 09:27 PM
You can't do that every time. and if he slices it back to you I doubt you'll be able to run around the ball and get a decent shot.

Well I was hoping that by hitting an inside out forehand, then the rally would resume from the advantage court, so a slice back will most likely land to the FH side, which the OP said he has no problems with. Unless that is, the opponent is very accurate with the slice and can create some great, wide angles with the slice, which I'm guessing is rare.

Of course not everyone has Nadal or Federer's footwork, so if OP can't run around it, then maybe he can just hit a loopier slice landing deep to reset the rally or if it still continuously lands short, angle it instead?