Federer Chop backhand slice---It doesn't work

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Nostradamus, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I am trying this Chop slice Federer uses and it doesn't work for me. I can't get it consistant. I miss 5 out of 10 shots and it always goes into net. At my level, I should be making at least 8 out of 10 shots or 9 out of 10 shots. When I hit the more traditional Ken Rosewall backhand, I am much more consistant. Why is this ? Guys like Will Hamilton might have the answer.

    http://www.todaystennistip.com/2012...he-ball-on-high-slice-backhands-federer-clip/
     
    #1
  2. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    There could be a number of reasons. The Fed chop shot is probably best when used against a ball that is hit with enough pace. Fed isn't generating much of his own pace, just slowing the ball and slicing it crosscourt and low.

    You probably don't have Fed's eye-hand coordination, so your racket face is not at the right angle and you're not getting the racket speed through contact.

    Lastly, you probably just over-estimate your own playing ability and need for practice. Change the racket face angle if you're hitting them into the net.
     
    #2
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    his extreme downward aspect is probably a bit much for most players to handle
    and even leads him to a few UEs in bad situations too.
    Take his across the ball aspect and use that with a less aggressive downward
    drive and see if that doesn't fix things..:)
     
    #3
  4. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Why not just stick with the Rosewall drive slice?
     
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  5. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    not that Feds slice doesn't work, you can't execute his slice. try not to confuse.
     
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  6. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    does across the ball also apply for the slice?
     
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  7. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    It sure does. You drag the racket to the ball from above to some varying extent
    as we are discussing here, then change to bring it more across where the racket
    face will follow the hand and come out tot he contact.

    Pulling to the ball feels like a pretty straight path, but is really more of a
    shallow arc, which then gets more sharp as you work the hand across.
     
    #7
  8. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    OP you are not doing it right.

    The Fed slice is a superior technique comparing to the Kenny slice, in the context of the modern rackets.

    advantages -

    1) easier face control - the chop generates centrifugal force that pulls the racket taut, so you can be extremely precise... the Kenny slice is a flip and requires more forearm strength.

    2) easier timing - the high to low motion goes with gravity, the around-the-body swing path also makes the arm more connected to the body... the Kenny flat-push slice - arm extends out, can have timing problems.

    3) better reach - you can throw the chop very wide or very low without losing balance, you also generate side spin to make the ball curve.... you can't do that with the Kenny slice.

    4) as others said, better in handling incoming topspin.

    The execution of the shot is actually quite simple.. I call it 'aim-and-cut'.

    step 1 - at the top of the back swing, aim the face at exactly the intended trajectory

    step 2 - cut down and push forward at the same time... you do shift weight to the front foot.

    key point (many people do this wrong)... the back of the wrist is 'cupped' at the top of the back swing, but it flattens out and become slightly 'bowed' at the end of the follow thru.... this is the only way to ensure that the face looks at the exact same direction from the start to the finish.

    you have this imaginary windshield... it is behind you at the top of the back swing... it is slightly open, and the racket face is on the windshield.... now you wipe it while pushing the windshield forward at the same time... when you finish the shot, the racket face is still flat on the windshield.

    you can't miss with this technique.
     
    #8
  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Here is the Nadal slice, which tends to be quite good in matches.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=FsV8hmKdYbY#t=55s

    Even though the arc gets sharper close to contact, the arc with him is clear
    from the start.
    I think the pros can use more arc throughout due to the incoming pace.
    In rec play & jrs, it often helps to pull a bit straighter to the ball as you align the
    contact...imo due to lack of incoming pace.
     
    #9
  10. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    You maybe a genius, you know that. I did notice that Federer Chop is easier to execute when opponent hits a 80 MPH big groundie than with slow floating no pace ball. I don't know why this is ?

    Here are fundamentals of slice backhand

    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/backhand/slice-backhand-fundamentals/
     
    #10
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    #11
  12. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    make sure you push forward when you slice a ball that has no pace.
     
    #12
  13. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    It just takes good timing since you've got a much smaller window where the racket is in the path the ball is taking.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Practice against a wall, add pace or spin as needed.
    Just because you couldn't hit it on your first day doesn't mean it don't work.
    And who says you're doing it close to correctly?
     
    #14
  15. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    /\ This :)
     
    #15
  16. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Also agreed. If the ball's coming at you hard you just have to rip across it. If it has no pace then you have to have more forward motion in your swing.

    The modern slice (it's not just Fed) is a great shot in general. You can get wicked spin on the ball that can be hard for your opponent to handle, even the though the ball is not going any where near as fast as with a topspin ground stroke. The net clearance is much less than with a ts groundie so that can increase ufes, but swing path is generally simpler so that helps mitigate some of the risk.

    I find the lower balls easier to handle. You can sweep across the ball and put a lot of side spin on it. If you're more aggressive with the racquet the shot can be more effective, but you can hit a pretty safe shot with good back and side spin on the lower balls.

    I've found that you have to be aggressive with it when it's high. Otherwise you're just blocking it back one handed without a lot of spin. Those balls get pounded, often for winners, so I try not to do that.
     
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  17. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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  18. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I'd say there are more check points to it than this.

    What do you mean by 'cupped wrist'?
     
    #18
  19. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    wrist is laid back... so the back of it looks cupped.
     
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  20. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    ok.

    Anyway here are the check points for the fed slice:

    . start w/ racquet up high and behind head
    . every thing is relaxed and loose at this point. no tension in arm and wrist
    . bring the racquet down and across the body. the swing actually goes across the body. don't chop down on a straight line towards the net. this will cause you to open the face resulting in a floater. the racquet path goes across.
    . weight transfer and hit off the front foot.
    . make contact only very slightly in front of your front foot. almost on the side of your body. Not far out in front as in a 1hbh.
    . firm wrist at contact. don't break the wrist with any radial deviation or extension. The wrist and racquet stay in the same relationship as it was when it was above your head at the beginning of the swing.
    . throw your off hand back otherwise you will open up before contact and that will result in a floater. Don't swing by rotating your trunk. keep that relatively still. use the off hand to prevent that.
    . you should finish w/ racquet and off hand both behind your body.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II7Wo0y6fC8
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
    #20
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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  22. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    wrist and racket does NOT stay in the same relationship.
     
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  23. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    pretty much. fed has wrist extension while it's above his shoulders. (cupped). most players don't do that. but as soon as he starts swinging his wrist goes immediately back to neutral and stays that way until after contact.

    extending the wrist while above your head serves no purpose since contact is not made with an extended wrist and there is no wrist flexation in a slice so it's just a little quirk.
     
    #23
  24. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    fair enough, just wanted to clear this up... i have seen lots people cup the wrist and let it stay cupped thru the swing and the ball pops up.
     
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  25. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    ... and i will add that if you're hitting one of those swervy slices on a low ball then you will have some wrist radial deviation in order to make the low contact.
     
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  26. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    fair enough. i've seen it too. important part is at contact wrist is pretty neutral and contact not too far out in front almost on side and a degree of across in the swing. the across helps the face stay on a consistent plane so you don't open it up plus it adds some margin w/ the spin.
     
    #26
  27. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    yup - Navratilova calls that 'throwing the wrist out'...... well, actually due to the momentum of the racket, that deviation inevitably happens, but more visible when the contact is low.
     
    #27
  28. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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  29. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    What I explained about the forehand is worthy of attention here... the more downward you swing, the lower the ball flies. Federer makes contact pretty high when he hits with extreme downward action and people exaggerate it too much when they try to copy him.

    As you move the ball up your strike zone, a slice should be hit with a more vertical swing... as the ball get lower, players tend to hit it more horizontally. This is a consistent hypothesis with my previous posts and I‘d like it to be further researched... but as it happens, hitting more accross the ball, aiming for more side spin enables player to get some lift on low balls. Hitting way downward drives the ball right into the net, so it‘s hard to do like Fed... if you go too far, you get the net.
     
    #29
  30. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    ^^ no.. swing path and face angle are 2 different things.
     
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  31. Wodz

    Wodz Rookie

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    I can execute this shot perfectly and find that most players have absolutely no idea how to pull this off. Usually because they are trying to hard and skip on the basics. I see a lot of people starting a slice below their armpit and take an aggressive stab at the ball.

    I think Cheetah's post is perfect. Focus on those steps slowly and DO NOT RUSH! Stay very relaxed while attempting this shot
     
    #31
  32. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    No, it is not. It is a different shot for different purposes.
    That is like saying a heavy topspin shot is superior than a medium topspin shot. One is not superior, you use them in different situations.
     
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  33. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    name one pro today who hits the kenny slice
     
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  34. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Everyone on low balls they want to hit back deep into the court with some velocity. Sometimes they put a lot of sidespin on them, and sometimes not depending upon what they want to do.
     
    #34
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is right. His slice was in lieu of an attacking top spin backhand of today. It was a slice drive, intended to serve as more than a neutralizing shot, almost a weapon. You can still see that being hit by older players who used to be on the tour or college.
     
    #35
  36. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    that is the later portion of a chop swing, not a kenny slice.
     
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  37. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    what is a kenny slice? never heard that term before.
     
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  38. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    ken rosewall
     
    #38
  39. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You can really see here how the players who work across the contact like
    modern technique, get way more spin than the old style, where the instruction
    was to push out more down the target line.
    What you can't see is how much better control they have as well.
    Nice link!
     
    #40
  41. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I was intrigued by this part--

    Not quite intrigued enough to sign up for TP though...
     
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  42. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    Quote:
    As I have written several times in the Your Strokes section, (Click Here) I believe that the pro model is not well-suited to lower level and club tennis. Others say that the older style slice drives of players like Ken Rosewall would still work and actually be more effective at the top of the game.


    the above is wrong, due to the 'survival of the fittest' rule.
     
    #42

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