Originally Posted by rkelley
Fundamentally once you see the ball curving you just have to anticipate it and make adjustments.
One of the most common places to see it is from a low slice. Just like on a sliced serve, you have to position yourself to allow for the slice. From a low, bh slice for example (a rightie to a rightie), if you're going to take the shot as a fh you have to let the ball come at your body so by the time it gets to your racquet it's moved off to the side into your hitting zone.
The side spin balls that are harder to hit are the ones that kick on the bounce differently than they were slicing in the air - kind of an American twist groundie. You see these on occasion, especially off of higher balls. You just have to keep your eye on the ball and watch it. If the ball kicks in some unanticipated way it you just have to deal with it.
And this is one of the bigger reasons why all the spin in today's game is more than just about keeping the ball in. All that spin makes the ball kick in ways that mess with your opponent. Combined with the fact that the ball is going really fast, it can get really hard to get a clean hit sometimes. Then you have a weak ball that can be attack.
Slice sidespin is not a problem for me. The ball is low, so it does not mess with my eyesight. Then, the turn is very predictable. Of course, if the degree of turn is high, I will have a problem reaching to it, but it is not fundamental.
One question: when playing a rightie opponent and being a rightie, the side spin on slice is usually one which moves away deeper into the forehand. Have you seen a slice which curves the other way, i.e., deeper into the backhand? I have seen that on backhand volleys, but I think it is not easy to do that with groundies.
The main problem is top spin + side spin. There was one ball from Cheetah on Sunday which looked like a regular topspin, and I was expecting it to curve wide out into the forehand side after bounce. Instead it curved into me because of the sidespin.