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View Full Version : What's The Point Of Slicing?


CivicLx
09-25-2005, 09:06 PM
I realize that sometimes you have to slice if you're in a defensive position and I slice quite a bit when I approach the net on my bh side...but why do players do it when they're at the baseline and it looks as if they could have taken their normal swing.

Also, are a slice and a chip the same thing?

Noelle
09-25-2005, 09:15 PM
Players hit slice even when they could have hit a topspin shot in order to change the rhythm of the point and maybe force an error from the opponent. Some people play very well against a backboard-type of player, but when the spins start to alternate--topspin, underspin, sidespin--they get thrown off.

A chip is a kind of slice, but not all slices are chips.

CivicLx
09-25-2005, 09:24 PM
I thought it had to do with forcing an error but I'm not sure. Normally when a ball is sliced, it bounces low am I correct? So I was thinking that like when I chip/slice off my backhand, I try to keep the ball low and deep to force my opponent to hit up so I have an easier volley. When you're at the baseline though, it seems like often times the next shot, by the person receiving the sliced ball, will hit a forehand into the net...like the ball was sliced to them and it stayed low and they were never able to get the ball up in the first place so it goes into the net...does that make sense?

Thanks for your reply :)

GrahamIsSuper
09-25-2005, 09:55 PM
A lot of juniors have trouble hitting the low slice...especially if there's a target at net. Its generally due to them either A) trying to hit way too hard on a difficult shot, or B) their western grip styles arent easily accustomed to having to scoop up skidding balls.

Against a good player though, you will be in trouble using all slice. It is typically considered a defensive shot, even if it's low and hard. Slice just isn't as..."penetrating" as topspin, thus it isnt as widely used by a lot of people now.

Prince_of_Tennis
09-25-2005, 09:59 PM
I love hittin the slice....mhhmmmmm

A lot of people love pace so throwin in a slice now and then to throw off like everyone else has said is a good tactic.

I believe a chip is more of push I dont' know really know how to put it into words. egh

Kaptain Karl
09-25-2005, 10:00 PM
Noelle's reply was correct.

I slice a lot ... for a variety of reasons. (And I have very good slices off both wings.)
... To tire my opponent by making him bend more to hit it back.
... To change the pace / keep him from establishing a comfortable rythym.
... To throw off *his* timing. The driven sliding slice bugs many of my opponents.
... To use as an approach shot.
... To catch my breath. (It's the easiest shot to hit. If I've been on the defensive, I get an extra breath before I'm running again.)
... Because many Baseline blasters love it when I hit hard driving topspins back at them ... and I prefer to give 'em what they don't like. (These days, many Baseliners don't seem able to handle slices.)

I think of a "chip" as a softer slice, with a more abrupt (and maybe a "choppier" motion). I use the chip to:
... Accurately place the ball in a low strategic location.
... Float a soft ball to the baseline and give him a "no pace" shot where he must wear himself out supplying all his own power.
... Use as a high floating passing shot against an attacker who closes on the net really well. (They usually expect a low driving topspin shot. The soft high floater down-the- line can really mess him up. CAUTION: It helps to set this up properly by first establishing the threat of your sharply diving topspin pass.)

- KK

CivicLx
09-25-2005, 10:08 PM
that's great KK just messing your opponents all up :mrgreen: unfortunately I play against my dad quite a bit and he seems to have trouble with everything so if I were to slice a lot, he'd be complaining a lot...I think sometimes he forgets that tennis is a competitive sport and the person on the other side of the net is your opponent and not your team mate

andreh
09-26-2005, 12:18 AM
The slice is also used as a defensive stroke, mostly on the backhand side, when you don't have the time to set up a drive.

It is also used to approach the net. It's a slower ball which gives you more time to get into position for a volley and it skids low off the surface which makes it hard to hit a passing shot. This style isn't much in use in modern tennis, unfortunately.

Noelle
09-26-2005, 12:27 AM
Yes, andreh, CivicLx said those were some of the applications of slice that he knew of. The question asked in this thread is "What else is slice used for?"

BreakPoint
09-26-2005, 12:44 AM
When you're at the baseline though, it seems like often times the next shot, by the person receiving the sliced ball, will hit a forehand into the net...like the ball was sliced to them and it stayed low and they were never able to get the ball up in the first place so it goes into the net...does that make sense?


I think you just answered your own question. If you're playing someone who's used to receiving high bouncing topspin shots, if you slice it at them they get all discombobulated and don't know what to do and many times they are unable to get the ball back up higher so it goes into the net. Watch old tapes of McEnroe or others constantly slicing to Connors' forehand. Connors always had trouble lifting low slices back up with his forehand so he would net lots of them.

Slicing is also good for variety and to mix things up so that you don't just get into a baseline bashing battle.....boring.

People also use slice on approach shots because the ball travels slower which gives them more time to get into the net and into position to knock off the volley.

A chip is when you chop down on the ball without much follow-though. It's used most often on service returns since you have less time to take a full swing. It's more of a blocking motion with the racquet face angled and slightly open to produce underspin on the ball.

CivicLx
09-26-2005, 01:15 AM
thanks again Noelle and also andreh and BP...that's pretty much what I thought but I just wanted to be sure...I was trying to explain to my dad why Roddick might have been slicing so much in today's match against Rochus. He kept on saying something about not getting winners and I don't know if he actually thought that people try to hit slices for winners or not. I tried to tell him that I thought they were to force errors but I don't know if he understood me or not.
I actually like doing it especially when I get a short ball and approach on my bh side. I don't have a good enough backhand to be able to put a ball away close at the net. A normal bh would probably fly out so I just try to keep them low and deep.

dakels
09-26-2005, 01:50 AM
To add to the great posts, westerners hate low skidding shots which a good slice does.

Also, a slice like Kaptain Karl said is a much easier quicker shot to get off at times, especially on a backhand then a driving topspin or flat shot. Many times a shot you have to reach far for on the BH or high is more easily sliced then smacked back.

Developing a good solid slice is not easy. Do not mistake junky chips with a good slice. Many people try to slice and often hit a chip that sits up making it a easy shot for a decent opponent. I'm sure there are plenty of articles here about a good slice shot but most importanbtly make sure to drive through your slices with a fairly low trajectory over the net. A solid slice shot has more of a straight line then a chip which rises and sinks at the end leaving a sitting duck. Chips have their place, but not if you are just giving your opponent all the time in the world to set up a winner off your gentle sitting chip. Steffi Graf and Martina Navratalova had very nice buzzing BH slices if you can find a video of them. They relied almost solely on that for their BH.

Marius_Hancu
09-26-2005, 05:32 AM
Slice classics:
http://www.jericho.ca/tennis/The%20Slice%20Backhand.htm

Kaptain Karl
09-26-2005, 06:59 AM
"Marius comes through again"

I recommend all TW-ers *first* just "Ask Marius" their questions. His ability to find appropriate links is ... unparalelled.

Nice job -- again -- Marius.

- KK

Camilio Pascual
09-26-2005, 07:47 AM
I realize that sometimes you have to slice if you're in a defensive position and I slice quite a bit when I approach the net on my bh side...but why do players do it when they're at the baseline and it looks as if they could have taken their normal swing.

Steffi Graf used her BH slice from the baseline as a rally stroke that was highly reliable and kept her in the point. She was waiting for an opportunity to crack that huge FH.

Dimethyl Sulfoxide
09-26-2005, 07:59 AM
Many opponents down like hitting against low skidders. If a player has a nasty low skidding slice, they can force a weak reply off their opponent.

Superior_Forehand
09-26-2005, 10:30 AM
Noelle's reply was correct.

I slice a lot ... for a variety of reasons. (And I have very good slices off both wings.)
... To tire my opponent by making him bend more to hit it back.
... To change the pace / keep him from establishing a comfortable rythym.
... To throw off *his* timing. The driven sliding slice bugs many of my opponents.
... To use as an approach shot.
... To catch my breath. (It's the easiest shot to hit. If I've been on the defensive, I get an extra breath before I'm running again.)
... Because many Baseline blasters love it when I hit hard driving topspins back at them ... and I prefer to give 'em what they don't like. (These days, many Baseliners don't seem able to handle slices.)

I think of a "chip" as a softer slice, with a more abrupt (and maybe a "choppier" motion). I use the chip to:
... Accurately place the ball in a low strategic location.
... Float a soft ball to the baseline and give him a "no pace" shot where he must wear himself out supplying all his own power.
... Use as a high floating passing shot against an attacker who closes on the net really well. (They usually expect a low driving topspin shot. The soft high floater down-the- line can really mess him up. CAUTION: It helps to set this up properly by first establishing the threat of your sharply diving topspin pass.)

- KK

You sound like the player of my nightmares...

Kaptain Karl
09-26-2005, 10:57 AM
You sound like the player of my nightmares...<Cue Evil Laugh> Wa-Ha-Ha-Ha-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-ha-ha-ha!!! </Laugh>

- KK