What causes slices to pop up?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by johndagolfer, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    I love hitting high slices, they bite pretty well. My low slices seem to work pretty well at keep my opponent back. However the slow medium height balls seem to always pop up and end up long. I know one possible reason is that I am hitting them too far around in front and this is causing my racquet face to open up.

    I really really hate slow loopers to my backhand sigh especially when I have to move more than a few steps and thus cannot setup for a backhand drive....any suggestions on how to handle a mid height slow loopy ball that you have to slice?
     
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  2. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Return to sender.

    A slow, loopy ball that's hard to drive with control (or do much else with for that matter) can often be sent back nice and deep to the other end with the same delivery. Not exactly a slice, but I think this is a smart option here. It's sort of like exchanging cross-court forehands where you send the ball back down the same flight path. Changing direction is where things can get funky with timing and accuracy.

    If an opponent is testing your patience with that slow looper, simply return the favor and maybe even tack a little note on the ball that reads, "Nice try" or maybe "Thanks, but No Thanks".

    Those medium height balls are in what most players would think of as their wheelhouse, but slice backhands are often reserved for balls that are low or maybe rather wide. Make a deliberate move through the shot if you slice it, but don't go out in front too far to hit it, or the racquet face will open up. You might be able to hit a more penetrating slice if you can take that ball more on the rise off the court - this is a great option for my forehand slice, btw.

    Just don't fall for the sucker shot where you try to add too much heat to that slow ball. That can easily produce a flier. Whether you slice it or hit with some topspin, think of adding no more than 5% pace to the ball to keep control of your shot. Patience is key.
     
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  3. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    when high ball, if you keep your grip in neutral, you will hit at 7:00 o'clock. same wrist at low ball you will hit at 6:00 o'clock.
    when you hit at 6:00 too much underspin will cause it float, no matter who.
    when you hit at 7:00 you reduce the underspin and add side spin, it will not float and it penetrate nice.
    so at low ball, simply laid you wrist up, you will hit at 7:00.
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Too much open face
     
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  5. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Then What time is dinner ???:confused:
     
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  6. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    AGREE, how do you make sure your racket face is fairly closed on impact ? Firm wrist helps for sure but when on the run, it is little more difficult.
     
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  7. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    think a little longer.
     
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  8. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    A couple of possible causes:

    1) Your angle of attack toward contact is too steep, resembling a chop vs. driving more horizontally toward contact;


    Here's a gif of Rosewall's driven slice:

    [​IMG]

    Check the height of his hitting hand from takeback to contact to followthrough. While he demonstrates the classic "U" shaped swing for slice his hand doesn't stray too far above the intended contact point in either the take back or the followthrough. IOW it's a very flat U shaped swing. In an attempt to impart backspin, many players employ an exaggeratedly high take back with their playing hand above shoulder height, even though they are going to make contact at about hip level. That high a takeback sets up for a much more severe downward path of the forward swing, describing nearer a right angle between the path of the ball and the path of the swing. That severe an angle creates a very narrow window requiring exceptional timing for clean contact. The faster the incoming ball the more precise the timing will have to be with a very severe downward motion. Again look at how compact and quiet Rosewall's stroke is, look at the hitting hand, not the racket head. Note how "flat" Rosewall's U-shaped path is.

    This link draws a distintion between the example of Rosewall vs. Federer. Compare the flatness of Rosewall's playing hand to Federer's "relative chopping motion" and to yours.

    http://www.tenniscruz.com/content/view/27/9/

    2) Dr. Jack Groppel, PhD, a tennis coach who bases alot of his coaching on science states in "High Tech Tennis" that if the trajectory or ball flight from the strings to the bounce hit with underspin strikes the court surface at an angle of 45 degrees or greater, the rebound will tend to be greater than that and that in inverse is true at incoming angles less than 45.

    For example a ball which impacts the court at 55 degrees will rebound at an angle of 65 degrees, where everything else being equal a ball impacting the court at 30 degrees will rebound at 28 degrees.

    5
     
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  9. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    YOU ARE Awsome....this will fix my problem for sure. Are you a Lengedary tennis coach in disguise by any chance ????????:)
     
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  10. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    ^^Yes that Chopping motion of Federer Just does NOT work for me..
     
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  11. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I use something similar to the rosewall backhand. I like to think of it as a flat shot with underspin, rather than a slice. Basically a volley with a bigger swing. It is an extremely reliable and underrated shot. When I rally (which is about once a fortnight), I can hit 100s of these without missing more than a handful.

    The chopping/slicing motion never worked for me either. Some popped up, some dragged into the net.
     
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  12. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    i'm not sure, even you hit horizontal. but if you hit at 6:00, ball still float.
    just try on the court and you will see.
     
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  13. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    You swing horizontal, but not with a horizontal face. The rosewall backhand is kinda flat with only a bit of an open face.
     
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  14. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    the path of the racket face is not a straight line, it can be but hard to control due to the fact that ball stay on racket face a short period of time. the path of racket is like a banana, it can hold the ball a little longer. you kind of carve in the ball.
    But whatever you do, if you carve at 6:00 too much underspin will float the ball.
     
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  15. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    just try, you will see, it will float if you slice hard.
     
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  16. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    Interesting article and analysis, thanks. I've tried the "chopping" style recently with the very high take back after noticing it in Fed and other pro videos. Results were not pretty...just don't have the timing for it I guess...or the incoming ball is different IDK. My goals most of the time are more similar to Roswell's...deep and low to the corner or DTL for an approach shot. The flatter smoother stroke is much more consistent for me at this point.

    Its interesting to read the theory that the "chop" style has evolved to defend against a rising and heavily topspinning ball of the modern game. I'll try to keep that in mind when I face the relatively few players I face who hit with "big" topspin. Reflex defensive slices are pretty much naturally a chop anyway, since there is no time to set up...more of a chop/block back on fh and bh sides.
     
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  17. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    there is only one Ken, beside if he hold a new racket and hit straight hard ( i mean hard!) horizontal with a nearly vertical face, he either float or out.
    need a little more advance mechanic than that now to have a consistent deep and low slice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
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  18. ZackO

    ZackO New User

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    Here's a tip that no one has mentioned yet: watch out for the opening up of the body. One the slice and one-handed backhand, there is one thing that you never, ever, want to do: open the body up. This is the best way to lose control.

    Whenever you are opening up, it's usually the result of one of two things: not pulling the left arm back, or taking your eye off the ball/moving the head. The left arm pull-back ensures that the hips don't turn into the shot. Keeping the head and eye on the ball ensures the same. Always remember: whatever the head does, the body does too. It's body physics.

    If you find that you're point of impact is good, and your motion is good, then it may be time to look at the hips, arm, and head, and see if you're opening up and losing control.

    Hope this helps,

    ~Zack
     
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  19. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Obviously, if the racquet face is open, facing the sky, it will yield little forward pace, and/or a ball flight path in excess of the 45 degrees that Groppel cites, no matter what the swingpath is and a ball that will sit up. Again, obviously.

    *Also, to the OP another factor which the technique requires/rewards is making contact at a higher optimal contact point. Taking the net out of play by getting comfortable with making contact above net height allows for that flatter more horizontal path through the ball.

    OTOH, ALLOWING balls to drop below net height unnecessarily will penalize the player resulting in either a more floated flight path and/or forcing the player to reduce his/her margin for error net clearance.

    5
     
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  20. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    Although you were clearly told to slice down horizontally, and it seems to have worked for you, out of subconscious panic you are not doing it.

    A slice is meant to put underspin on the ball to slow it down.

    When you want to attack, people don't do this, they get to the ball early but the follow through (as seen in the .gif above) angles the racket face up causing your racket to angle upwards popping the slice up.
     
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  21. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I love using the chop slice. It puts massive spin on the ball. A driving slice is a good shot to push your opponent back, but the more spin you can put on the slice, the more of a pain it is on your opponent. To me, the difference between the driving slice and the chopping slice is that one is a solid shot that your opponent won't attack and the other is a frustrating shot that will eat your opponent's footwork and strokes alive. Guess it depends on what you want out of your slice.
     
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  22. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    double post
     
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  23. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    The key to altitude on slice as well as TS shots is the pulling across aspect.

    On slice, you bring the racket face to feel the ball, then pull down and Across on contact.

    You can see Fed's coming across the ball as he comes down and across the contact.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXXM3I9E4E8&feature=related
     
    #23
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Aim lower over the net.
    Swing faster and longer.
    Contact the ball more solidly, with less chopping effect.
    You achieve this by closing your stance more.
     
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  25. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Too much open of a racket face at contact, also your swing path
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Related question:

    What causes a slice to be short even when the player doesn't want it short?

    My practice partner hits a 1HBH slice a lot. When I see her setting up for a slice, I know to take off toward the net because a short ball is a'comin'. When she plays singles matches, her opponents figure this out too, and she gets killed.

    My take on this is that her problem is that she is too sideways to the net when she hits her slice. I know when I hit a 1HBH slice, I try to have my right front knee really bent, and I tend to be facing the net or maybe 45 degrees diagonal. My friend is much more sideways.

    Any ideas about this that I can pass along for our next practice session? She's getting awfully frustrated!
     
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  27. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Cindy, tell your friend to lean forward more, load more weight on the front foot as she slices, and the racket face, at contact, faces more foreward, as if her opponent can see the full logo on it.
     
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