BH slice is a beauty

atp2015

Hall of Fame
#1
Inspired by Fed's use of BH slice in the AO final, I used BH slice to start the point (always used 2hbh CC or DTL to return serve prior to that) and happy to report that it worked like a charm. No winners, but lots of errors from my opponent. On the face of it, slice return (deep or short) sounds so wimpy compared to 'manly' 2hbh top spin returns - but the result is just incredible. It makes the opponents move (short slice) and generate pace to hit the return instead of using my pace to redirect
The effectiveness is multiplied on break points - it gets the opponent to overthink and mess up easily.
 
#4
I am a believer in the slice BH too. I hit 2hbh but will drop the top hand and use slice when returning "big" serves, very low or very high balls, and as an approach shot.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#5
Inspired by Fed's use of BH slice in the AO final
Wawrinka also utilizes BH slice on most service returns (1st serves). Against big servers, he'll use FH slice as well.

I also slice all my service returns against first serves from good servers.

Unless you're getting attacked by S&V, I think a slice return is the highest-percentage service return.
 
Last edited:
#6
BH slice is my favorite weapon shot, when you've got the right string combination to back it up it's amazing how lethal of a shot it can become. I put so much spin(both side and back) that it will do something like )(. Plus it's satisfying to see them try to take it early or get jammed up on contact when they under estimate how much spin it actually has
 
#7
BH slice is my favorite weapon shot, when you've got the right string combination to back it up it's amazing how lethal of a shot it can become. I put so much spin(both side and back) that it will do something like )(. Plus it's satisfying to see them try to take it early or get jammed up on contact when they under estimate how much spin it actually has
 
#8
Wawrinka also utilizes BH slice on most service returns (1st serves). Against big servers, he'll use FH slice as well.

I also slice all my service returns against first serves from good servers.

Unless you're getting attacked by S&V, I think a slice return is the highest-percentage service return.
It's not particularly bad if you are getting attacked by S&V, either, so long as you're capable of directing it with some amount of force.

I use block returns on the huge majority of incoming serves, either wing. (Which become C&C's against weaker serves, often.) Against S&V, a chip near the T sets up a second volley showdown that lets the better man win, more often than not. Yeah, sometimes a great S&V'er will angle that thing off like Edberg. Just as often, though, he'll struggle to do much with it and leave me with an edge. Slices aren't easy putaways for volleyers unless they're floaters and the guy has already closed to the net.

S&V is a percentage game, for both the server and the returner.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#9
Against S&V, a chip near the T
Good point, a chip near the T makes for tough S&V for most rec players.

Maybe the most challenging is when the opponent S&V ~50% of his 1st serves. If he stays back, then a deep chip/slice is a high-percentage return. However, if he S&V, then the deep, floaty slice is a relatively easy putaway.

On the other hand, if he S&V, then your low chip near the T strategy works awesome, sets up a lot of tough low volleys, half volleys, etc. However if he stays back, then a chip near the T becomes a short ball that he can attack.

Against a returner who is slicing most returns, I mix in some S&V to keep them on their toes. Occasional S&V is a good counter-strategy to chip/slice return of serve.
 
#10
I am a believer in the slice BH too. I hit 2hbh but will drop the top hand and use slice when returning "big" serves, very low or very high balls, and as an approach shot.
Very true can't hit a good 2hbh on those shots bouncing high to the bh side pretty much have to use one hand.
 
#11
Good point, a chip near the T makes for tough S&V for most rec players.

Maybe the most challenging is when the opponent S&V ~50% of his 1st serves. If he stays back, then a deep chip/slice is a high-percentage return. However, if he S&V, then the deep, floaty slice is a relatively easy putaway.

On the other hand, if he S&V, then your low chip near the T strategy works awesome, sets up a lot of tough low volleys, half volleys, etc. However if he stays back, then a chip near the T becomes a short ball that he can attack.

Against a returner who is slicing most returns, I mix in some S&V to keep them on their toes. Occasional S&V is a good counter-strategy to chip/slice return of serve.
All of which simply serves to remind me how much we've lost since the best players in the world all have pretty much one strategy now. It used to be a real chess match out there. :(
 
#12
High level players won't feel pressured by slice returns and will also start serving and volleying if they're smart. I feel like it's a better use of time to practice returns like this. Plus it's more fun.

 
C

Chadillac

Guest
#13
The only thing a good slice return vs a S&Vhas to worry about is a good drop volley. They will be hitting up off it. Vs a topspin return they can hit down.

Most players do better on their volley if fed pace, the slice makes them reach and extend, making it weak
 

Avles

Hall of Fame
#15
I use block returns on the huge majority of incoming serves, either wing. (Which become C&C's against weaker serves, often.) Against S&V, a chip near the T sets up a second volley showdown that lets the better man win, more often than not. Yeah, sometimes a great S&V'er will angle that thing off like Edberg. Just as often, though, he'll struggle to do much with it and leave me with an edge. Slices aren't easy putaways for volleyers unless they're floaters and the guy has already closed to the net.
Out of curiosity, what do you do in doubles?
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#16
High level players won't feel pressured by slice returns and will also start serving and volleying if they're smart.
1.) Hardly anyone S&V anymore, so not much of a threat for a slice return.

2.) Many top pros slice their returns (on 1st serves) and put plenty of pressure on their "high level" opponents with a low, deep ball with zero pace. Fed, Dimitrov, and Wawrinka are good examples of players in the top 5 in the world with frequent slice returns.

3.) The video you posted is cool, but really only works on returns of 2nd serves, unless your last name is Agassi.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
#17
High level players won't feel pressured by slice returns and will also start serving and volleying if they're smart. I feel like it's a better use of time to practice returns like this. Plus it's more fun.

This is a good shot to hit when the score is 40-0 or you are up 5-1 30-15 or down 1-5 15-30.
 
Last edited:
C

Chadillac

Guest
#18
3.) The video you posted is cool, but really only works on returns of 2nd serves, unless your last name is Agassi.
2nd serves with no placement. That was like one step to run around bh, and kicked almost 5ft high. Need placement on that thing or people will do that all day.

The ball was also struck at its "peak", receiver couldnt of asked for more.
 
Top