Originally Posted by rkelley
I'm just imagining folks going out, tilting their racquet face more toward the ground, and wondering why they're not getting anymore topspin and hitting the ball into the base of the net.
That is unfortunately wrong. Up to a point, closing the racket face does have an impact on spin. Formally speaking, it does not create spin. It actually increases the spin/pace ratio.
The idea is that you have a certain amount of energy that will effectively be transmitted to the ball. It can accelerate the ball or the edge of the ball (that is, making it spin) or both. It's the ball's roundness which is useful here because you can in fact make contact in different places on it. Like pool, hitting on the top does make the ball spin. Of course, the string bed and the ball are not solid like rock, but it gives you an idea of what happens.