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-   -   Forehand slice - the most underrated shot in tennis? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441924)

davced1 10-03-2012 03:36 AM

Forehand slice - the most underrated shot in tennis?
 
I played last night and realised that my forehand slice is much better and more consistent than my backhand slice. For me it's the shot that feels most natural and I can do it without any effort it seems. I can place it wherever I want and almost never miss it.

But you seldom see pros use it except on some low balls and when under pressure in the corners. I feel like it's a shot that is not really accepted to use except in those cases mentioned before. It's just to easy to pull it off, feels almost almost like cheating.

What do you think?

rafazx10 10-03-2012 04:36 AM

Slice in general is a defensive shot, usually not needed on the forehand.

And while it may work great, and even cause some damage at lower levels, at high levels a proper top spin forehand is much more efficient.

fuzz nation 10-03-2012 05:10 AM

I'd say that you're NOT crazy - that shot is definitely among the essentials in my toolbox, but I have to qualify my opinion. I grew up playing serve and volley tennis on grass courts, so I learned backspin shots right out of the gate. Slicing off both wings was a bread-and-butter essential for hitting good approach shots, but even though I've built a stronger baseline game, I still love my slice forehand.

The heavy topspin game with exchanges of loopy deep shots can freak some players out. Some hitters get pushed back by those high bouncers while others may try to hit some of those incoming loopy balls on the rise with a topspin reply - a more demanding shot, but it can be a solid alternative to letting those bounding balls back you up near the fence. Coaching high school kids has given me some perspective because slicing doesn't seem to be among the essentials for so many young (or even older) players these days. It can also be tricky business to teach it.

The drawback with the forehand slice is that it doesn't have as much zip as a decent topspin shot, so it can give a stronger player trouble if it's a low skidder, but it's not a shot that often travels through the court. Sure, consistency and accuracy rank quite high on the list of "stroke priorities", but better opponents may have much less trouble with this relatively slow shot.

In the same way that every player with either a one or two-handed topspin backhand should also learn a backhand slice, I believe that the same reasoning works with the forehand wing. The forehand slice is a strong option for returning serve, changing pace in a baseline rally, approaching the net, putting opponents at the net on the defensive (with a low shot)... blah, blah, blah. I suppose that my biggest problem with this shot is that it can be too much of a security blanket sometimes and I'll use it more than I should. I guess that's more of a tactics issue though, and not a problem with the shot itself.

AnotherTennisProdigy 10-03-2012 05:30 AM

It's fine at the lower level. However, the higher up the tennis ladder if power you go, the harder it becomes to hit a slice without it becoming mauled by the opponent.

dominikk1985 10-03-2012 05:34 AM

it is a nice shot to have but on the pro level it is really rare in those days. the only one who uses it regularly is murray I think

AnotherTennisProdigy 10-03-2012 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 6932958)
it is a nice shot to have but on the pro level it is really rare in those days. the only one who uses it regularly is murray I think

Dolgopolov uses it a lot.

floridatennisdude 10-03-2012 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherTennisProdigy (Post 6932994)
Dolgopolov uses it a lot.

Santoro mastered it, as well as any other uncommon shot.

There's a time and place for any shot. I use slice to mix it up and keep an opponent off balance. In general, I hit with topspin to keep an opponent behind the baseline. But if they camp 5 feet behind the baseline, they'll get a drop shot or slice to keep em guessing.

Power Player 10-03-2012 06:29 AM

5 feet? You better be great at droppers..lol. But yeah I do that too.

Dropshots are tough though. If you don't have them mastered, that drop shot can easily become a free winner for the other guy.

KenC 10-03-2012 06:51 AM

FH slice has its place, and can be useful when you want your opponent to have to hit up on the ball to get it to clear the net. Punch them DTL on approach shots and keep it low and you can bank on an easier first volley.

texacali 10-03-2012 06:57 AM

I love having the forehand slice. I play at 3.5 so not a high level, but if the forehand drive is not working, the slice keeps me in there until I get more comfortable hitting harder. I try to mix it with placement and keep it really low since I also realize it is not the greatest offensive shot. I guess since many folks use some form of western grip, the slice may not be as natural? I grew up with Eastern so no adjustment necessary.

goran_ace 10-03-2012 07:07 AM

There is still a place for the forehand slice in today's game. It may not be your first option, but it's good to have in your toolkit. Two common situations are when stretched out on defense and when hitting an approach off a short, low ball. In the first situation, I know defense can be a dirty word around here, but its a necessary part of the game and you are not always going to be able to set up to hit that big shot you want. When you are strethced out wide and can barely get a racket on the ball a slice may be your only option. In the other situation, if that ball stays down, it's going to be difficult to get under the ball and come over it to hit an effective topspin shot with a western/semi-western grip, so your next best option may be to hit a sliced approach that stays low.

NTRPolice 10-03-2012 07:32 AM

It's not underrated. The thing is, you probably dont understand why.

The ball flight isnt any "worse" on a forehand slice than on a backhand. That's not the reason why people stay away from the forehand slice. In a nutshell, its this: 90% of the time you can hit a slice forehand you can hit a topspin forehand and the same cannot be said about the backhand side.

It's quite easy to junk ball someone with forehand slices, but chances are, if that's securing you wins, you could have done the same thing with a topspin forehand.

Eventually, you'll go up against someone that it just wont work. Slices have to be low, very low, with loads of spin to keep them low after the bounce. If you can hit a proper slice, you should have the ability to hit a proper forehand and backhand (at level).

I thought id never say this... but moonballing is probably better than a forehand slice up until high level 3.5 or 4.0 simply because its easier to hit and harder to punish. A bad slice is simply going to be a floater at the net or a ball that will bounce and sit up right in the strike zone relatively close to the net.

Underrated? No.
Overused and misunderstood? Yes.

robbo1970 10-03-2012 07:50 AM

Its a great shot. Especially against some of the intermediate 'power hitters' I play against. Without having a hard shot played at them, they have to generate the power themselves and dig the ball up to get it over the net, the amount of errors made makes it a very effective weapon to gain control of a rally.

Executed well, its a great tool, executed badly and you feel like a tool.

Ramon 10-03-2012 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NTRPolice (Post 6933137)
It's not underrated. The thing is, you probably dont understand why.

The ball flight isnt any "worse" on a forehand slice than on a backhand. That's not the reason why people stay away from the forehand slice. In a nutshell, its this: 90% of the time you can hit a slice forehand you can hit a topspin forehand and the same cannot be said about the backhand side.

It's quite easy to junk ball someone with forehand slices, but chances are, if that's securing you wins, you could have done the same thing with a topspin forehand.

Eventually, you'll go up against someone that it just wont work. Slices have to be low, very low, with loads of spin to keep them low after the bounce. If you can hit a proper slice, you should have the ability to hit a proper forehand and backhand (at level).

I thought id never say this... but moonballing is probably better than a forehand slice up until high level 3.5 or 4.0 simply because its easier to hit and harder to punish. A bad slice is simply going to be a floater at the net or a ball that will bounce and sit up right in the strike zone relatively close to the net.

Underrated? No.
Overused and misunderstood? Yes.

I agree with this. It's useful if that's your best shot and you are playing at the 3.5-4.0 level. Even 4.5 players can be messed up by someone who really masters the slice and uses it effectively. Beyond that, it's a shot that's used sparingly, either for defense, drop shots, or low approach shots. High level players will eventually either hit a winner or wear you down while you are constantly playing defense.

Larrysümmers 10-03-2012 08:22 AM

yeah ive gone up against some folks who have mastered the slice, (playing some old folks in doubs, whooped us 10-1,10 game pro set match, without breaking a sweat). ive also done the same to people, played a whole match of just slicing right up the middle because he could do virtually nothing with it.

but as NTRPPolice said, one day you'll come across someone who will eat those balls up all day erry day hungry hungry hippo style .

hawk eye 10-03-2012 09:13 AM

FH slice is an ideal approach shot when you're too close to the net to hit a topspin ball. If you can angle it enough you can often put away the ball for a winner. Sometimes straight ahead works well too, when you've got enough open court or can wrong foot your opponent.

USS Tang 10-03-2012 09:29 AM

Having played recently in a couple of national 65s tournaments (grass and clay), I notice that the top seeds hit slice forehands most of the time and very effectively.

cluckcluck 10-03-2012 10:03 AM

I use the FH slice when I'm late on the crosscourt. It floats so it gives me a little bit of extra time to reset my position and view of the court and my opponent.
It's certainly something that I should practice more.

TimeToPlaySets 10-03-2012 10:56 AM

Anything under 4.0 and FH slice can be a huge tool of your game. When the ball is out of the strike zone, I now use FH slice as a defensive probability shot. So do most pros. Anything is better than blasting the ball into the net or back fence. Play the odds. Reduce unforced errors.

And, like you, I can hit FH slice with razor sharp accuracy, and it can even be offensive. (like placing a passing net shot) I've been doing slices since age 6, and it's like a 6th sense.

It's also a killer return of serve shot. (Think of how you effortlessly slice killer "winners" back when the serve is called out)

Trying to hit topspin winner when the ball is at my eyes? That's for 3.0 suckers. Read this:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438284
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=440190

NTRPolice 10-03-2012 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeToPlaySets (Post 6933497)
Anything under 4.0 and FH slice can be a huge tool of your game. When the ball is out of the strike zone, I now use FH slice as a defensive probability shot. So do most pros. Anything is better than blasting the ball into the net or back fence. Play the odds. Reduce unforced errors.

And, like you, I can hit FH slice with razor sharp accuracy, and it can even be offensive. (like placing a passing net shot) I've been doing slices since age 6, and it's like a 6th sense.

It's also a killer return of serve shot. (Think of how you effortlessly slice killer "winners" back when the serve is called out)

Trying to hit topspin winner when the ball is at my eyes? That's for 3.0 suckers. Read this:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438284
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=440190

Over-hitting is bad on any shot and it doesnt only happen on forehands. It just has a tendency to happen more on forehands with people trying to emulate Monfils 90 mph action. People can definitely over-**** slices... I take "assertive" swings on my slices and you need that to send the ball back with a good amount of spin. All the people that ive seen who hit forehand slices as "weapons" tend to over-hit them just like how normal players over-hit their topspin forehands.

Sure, you can say "look at how easy it is to hit winners off serves" but I bet you're not looking at the whole statistic.

What about the fabulous slices that:

Were not killed, but would have been if the ball was live?
Balls that hit the doubles alley in singles?
Balls that hit below the bottom half of the net?
Balls that have no pace on them at all?
The questionable repeatability of these shots?

The logic of "see how good slices are because they're controlled swings" is a bit faulty. If you take a good player with a topspin forehand they definitely dont need to take full swings on everything and have some form of "ease of repetition".

90% of the shots you hit with a forehand slice can be hit with topspin for a much better effect.

If you're chopping winners all over the place, the mobility of your opponent is in question, not the quality of your strokes, IMO.


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