Floating backhand slice

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by goeblack, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. goeblack

    goeblack Rookie

    Oct 10, 2011
    My backhand slice is more often than not a reliable shot. BUT, on occasion I will float the slice way too high. Even though it usually land in the court, I am a sitting duck. I really would like some advice as to what I am doing wrong when this happens.(yes I know my racket angle is too open).


  2. SeriousSummer

    SeriousSummer New User

    Dec 13, 2010
    Dang! I thought someone wanted instruction on how to hit a floating backhand slice.

    That's one of the only areas of tennis I'm an expert on and qualified to give advice.
  3. greystar403

    greystar403 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2010
    Transfer your weight forward as well.

    Other than the open racquet face, you should see some improvement.
  4. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2010
    Hard to say without seeing it, but fundamentally if your slice is high over the net but still landing in the court, then you're not hitting it hard enough and the racquet face is too open. A high slice should go long, not land in.

    Make sure you set the racquet angle early in the forward stroke and then maintain that angle through the contact zone.

    Here's a youtube link that was really helpful for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II7Wo0y6fC8
  5. blip

    blip Rookie

    Apr 7, 2011
    Like stated above step in and close the face more. It's easier to hit a good low slice when someone is hitting shots to you with some pace. If not then its all up to you to generate the pace by stepping in and hitting the slice.
  6. Ducker

    Ducker Rookie

    Jun 1, 2010
    blip is right. if your playing with low level players and they are giving you slow balls ur slice is going to be alot weaker than if your playing high level player that just hit a hard ball low to your backhand.

    Slice is all about stealing your opponents pace.
  7. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    Even though the slice is a "downward" stroke, it must also travel forward-- through the ball- especially when you must create your own pace.

    Think about focusig the momentum of the racket head through the ball and in the direction of the intended placement-- and then have someone toss you a hundred balls-- and practice hitting them low and to a specific spot until the feel of it becomes part of you.
  8. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    Hold on a minute... try something to give you a better concept of what's happening when you execute a backhand slice. Take a few half-speed or even slow-motion slices without hitting a ball - do this in front of a mirror if you can to get an even better look at what's happening. What you should see is that the racquet face is more vertical at the outset of the forward swing when it's still back beside you. That's where you can best drive a slice, but wait, there's more!!!

    Watch the racquet face as the stroke progresses and you should see it open up as the racquet moves forward. That's the contact area that produces those floaters. Even though a topspin stroke does better when we go out after the ball, that "out front" area is where the racquet slides under the ball and floats it when we're trying to slice. That makes the idea of driving a slice rather counterintuitive when working from a foundation of topspin strokes. Got to catch the ball farther back beside you to drive a slice.

    I definitely agree with the idea of starting the racquet slightly above the ball, but swinging forward through it instead of high-to-low. That helps with steering clear of "trap-dooring" the slice with a release of the wrist and killing its drive and bite.
  9. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

    Jan 15, 2006
    driving slice

    Various combinations of swing paths and racket face angles can yield the same trajectory. Nothing better than this http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/trajectory_maker.cgi for learning about it.

    As others have said, swinging flatter with a more vertical face can get yield a less "floaty" trajectory, but, in my experience, that's much more difficult to predictably pull off than *opening* the racket face even more (or not, depending upon how open you have it now), but swing more steeply *downwardly*. Note: you can't do this if the racket head isn't well above the ball just before that downward acceleration. My mental picture is that I'm contacting the ball above its "equator", but that is probably impossible to do with an open racket face.

    This combination requires a harder swing (and big backswing) and yields more spin and a lower, nastier bounce. Think Federer's slice. It "sounds" risky, but, in my opinion, not so much. A racket with a large "spin window" helps. . .

  10. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

    Mar 3, 2004
    All slide will float if you hit at 6:00 o'clock, the harder you slide, the more underspin you created. The more underspin you create, the more ball float:
    A simple solution is to hit at 7:00 or 8:00 o'clock or simply put it: hit the outside of the ball. A combination of side spin and underspin will make ball slide down, no float.
  11. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Sometimes you want to float the slice to give yourself time to get back into the court.

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