higher percentage shot - BH topspin or BH slice?

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Was discussing with a tennis partner.

BH topspin has higher net clearance but requires more precise timing to hit since racket face only points in correct position during small part of the swing, and generally longer swingpath.

BH slice has lower net clearance but easier timing to hit since racket face is open during entire swing.

Graf could hit 15-20 high-quality slices in a row, deep in the court. Fed can do the same.

Nadal/Joker can hit numerous topspin BH in a row deep in the court.

Is one shot higher/lower percentage for a rec player between 4.0 and 5.0?

If you had a $100 bet to hit 10 deep, non-attackable balls in a row, landing at least halfway between the service line and baseline, which BH would you choose to hit?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
For me, it's the slice. I've been working hard on the TS drive but it just doesn't have the reliability that the slice does [yet].

For example, every now and then my BH TS will go off the rails and I'll bottom net it or go 10' long. I'd think "where the heck did THAT come from?". That rarely happens with my slice, which I think is just a simpler shot, bio-mechanically.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
i choose slice for $100

[edit] tried this over the weekend in a clinic... my slice was NOT consistent enough on all balls to hit back as a neutralizing shot (ie. played half court games to 15)... my topspin shots were way more effective (even the "short" ones landing at the service line - often had enough pace/spin to prevent being attackable). when I hit my slice short (ie. mishit a floater), it was almost always a "sitter" (given the amount of time they had to adjust/setup/prep)
 
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Doc Hollidae

Hall of Fame
Was discussing with a tennis partner.

BH topspin has higher net clearance but requires more precise timing to hit since racket face only points in correct position during small part of the swing, and generally longer swingpath.

BH slice has lower net clearance but easier timing to hit since racket face is open during entire swing.

Graf could hit 15-20 high-quality slices in a row, deep in the court. Fed can do the same.

Nadal/Joker can hit numerous topspin BH in a row deep in the court.

Is one shot higher/lower percentage for a rec player between 4.0 and 5.0?

If you had a $100 bet to hit 10 deep, non-attackable balls in a row, landing at least halfway between the service line and baseline, which BH would you choose to hit?
The higher percentage shot is the topspin shot due to more net clearance and the spin to bring a ball down.

The easier/more reliable shot for most is the slice.

For $100, the topspin backhand is less attackable.

Crazy to think you can play top tennis without a true driven BH. Then again, I watch super seniors who just have that impeccable placement and can beat up on anyone, all other things being equal.
Helps when you have a forehand that is like a nuclear bomb. All DelPo needs it one forehand to take control of a point.
 
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Kevo

Legend
Depends on the person hitting the backhand, and the person they're hitting against. Typically I'd say against slice take the slice, and against a topspin baseliner, I'd take the topspin shot.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
When tired, lacking confidence, or very low ball, pulled very wide on ad or for change of pace - slice. When feeling great or ball bounces too high - topspin.
 

SavvyStringer

Professional
To finish a point, top spin. To elongate a rally or reset the rally, slice. If I had to just make balls slice. When playing singles I typically slice a lot more off the bh side to control a rally and push the person around when playing doubles I only use a slice defensively to get into the net. Doubles is all topspin off the bh all the time so it isn't as easy to poach.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
singles match, 10 in a row, I am going slice for $100 I want the safety margin and if it floats, I don't get killed.

Doubles match, 10 in a row, I am going TS drive for $100, can't risk the floater

And for the record, I can do (have done) 5 in a row of both in each situation ... I will fail before the 10th for certain!
 

WildVolley

Legend
I don't think there's an answer to this question, because it depends on the player. If we are talking %s, then a high % of rec-players can only hit the slice bh.

In my case, I'd guess that my 2hbh topspin would be the more consistent shot. Against a standard rally ball I can hit the topspin shot consistently, or at least consistently for my level. That said, my slice bh isn't bad. But if I try to hit it consistently deep, it is possible to net or float the shot long.

I think most rec-players, assuming no obvious injury issues, should develop both shots.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
For $100 I'd go with the slice. As long as you don't hit it too hard, you can get plenty of net clearance.
One big problem answering the OP’s question is whether the OP knows how to hit a proper backhand slice as a preliminary matter. Ironically, although I have seen several videos posted of members with excellent topspin 1h and 2h bh’s, to my recollection, I have not seen a single proper bh slice posted by a member of this forum.
 
One big problem answering the OP’s question is whether the OP knows how to hit a proper backhand slice as a preliminary matter. Ironically, although I have seen several videos posted of members with excellent topspin 1h and 2h bh’s, to my recollection, I have not seen a single proper bh slice posted by a member of this forum.
Navigator has a good one.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
One big problem answering the OP’s question is whether the OP knows how to hit a proper backhand slice as a preliminary matter. Ironically, although I have seen several videos posted of members with excellent topspin 1h and 2h bh’s, to my recollection, I have not seen a single proper bh slice posted by a member of this forum.
Really? There have been many vids, wow.. what do you think most people do wrong?
Mission accepted, going to work hard on my BH slice now so I can post a video where you finaly see a good proper bh slice from a member of this forum.


@IowaGuy

My answer is, it depends!

Do you mean higher percentage only by safety and getting the ball in, or overall??

A defensive slow slice has a very high margin for error in terms of getting the ball in play repeatedly, while a hard hit winner BH topspin drive has less margin for error.
However the BH slice is easy to handle or even attack you but the hard hit BH topspin is not, so it depends what ur definition of higher percentage is.

I think its closer than people think.

You can hit a more easy slow slice and have huge margin for error and high percentage, but you can also hit a rally type BH topspin with alot of arc and topspin thats also very high percentage.

But you can also hit a rly fast topspin BH with lower net clearance that is lower percentage, but you can also hit a nasty knifing low net clearance high backspin slice thats also not as high percentage.

So both shots can be very safe and very unsafe depending on how much you put into it, if its 70% or 80%, or all out.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
One big problem answering the OP’s question is whether the OP knows how to hit a proper backhand slice as a preliminary matter. Ironically, although I have seen several videos posted of members with excellent topspin 1h and 2h bh’s, to my recollection, I have not seen a single proper bh slice posted by a member of this forum.
Here is OP's slice BH:

Yes, a couple floated a bit, but overall it ain't bad
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Here is OP's slice BH:



Yes, a couple floated a bit, but overall it ain't bad
Thanks. That is not a slice. It is a chop. A chop has a much steeper trajectory, much more spin, and is a much riskier, lower percentage shot than a proper slice, nor does it substitute for a slice.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Thanks. That is not a slice. It is a chop. A chop has a much steeper trajectory, much more spin, and is a much riskier, lower percentage shot than a proper slice, nor does it substitute for a slice.
Old school driven slice? Hmmm, can't think of anyone around here who hits it like that. Not even the pros do it anymore
 

ubercat

Professional
Are there any good threads or vids here on how to slice a high topspin shot to your BH or is that not a good idea.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Thanks. That is not a slice. It is a chop. A chop has a much steeper trajectory, much more spin, and is a much riskier, lower percentage shot than a proper slice, nor does it substitute for a slice.
OK. Please define a "slice" as compared to a "chop."

My understanding is that "slice" is a shot with underspin on the ball (of course, you can vary the side-spin, too, but underspin is the key).
 

FiReFTW

Legend
OK. Please define a "slice" as compared to a "chop."

My understanding is that "slice" is a shot with underspin on the ball (of course, you can vary the side-spin, too, but underspin is the key).
He seems to be of an opinion that the modern across slice that provides a lot of backspin is not a slice in his book, but a real slice is an old school very straight and towards target with little backspin slice.
 

WildVolley

Legend
The primary distictions are in my comment that you quoted.
OK, get it. You think that a proper "slice" has only a little backspin and a flat(?) trajectory? Or do you like the floaty slices you'll often see on rec-courts that have a lot of net clearance and sit up on the bounce?
 
Definitely slice. Why else would players tend to slice the BH in extreme defensive situations?

And as for modern "chop" vs. classical drive slice, why would anybody purposedly give an easier ball for opponent? Chop slice is still safer than a topspin. I hit probably like 60-80% of my BHs as chop slices.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
OK, get it. You think that a proper "slice" has only a little backspin and a flat(?) trajectory? Or do you like the floaty slices you'll often see on rec-courts that have a lot of net clearance and sit up on the bounce?
I’ve written exhaustive explanations on backhand slice technique. You could try a search if you’re interested.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
lol, technically “slice” not “chop” are not terms that describe the ball spin. opposite of topspin is underspin or backspin.

how steep a high to low swing you execute is gonna vary. the steeper the swing the less window you have to make clean contact,... similar concept applies to topspin.

how risky the shot is, is at least partially dependent on how good the individual is at executing it.

so i’m presuming we are not categorizing swing steepness by like 5 degree increments? then you’ll also need to create a category of oscar wegner “slice across” type underspin which will have a sidespin component... or an extreme side curving “banana slice”,... or the steffi graf “drive slice”, but now i’m just getting pedantic, lol.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
how steep a high to low swing you execute is gonna vary. the steeper the swing the less window you have to make clean contact,... similar concept applies to topspin.
True.

It also depends on where your contact point is, on very high slices ur going to swing down more, while on very low slices ur going to swing more straight.
 
Opinions, why players actually tend to hit slice in extreme defensive situations on BH but not on FH? Is it simply because (outside of Williams sisters) on BH players close the stance whereas on FH the modern player hits open stance with more reach when stretched, i.e no need for FH slice?
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Opinions, why players actually tend to hit slice in extreme defensive situations on BH but not on FH? Is it simply because (outside of Williams sisters) on BH players close the stance whereas on FH the modern player hits open stance with more reach when stretched, i.e no need for FH slice?
In extreme defensive positions mostly always pro players will slice it, BH or FH.
In less extreme defensive situations they will slice it on BH side but on FH side they tend not to since the slice is a better shot from the BH side, with ur FH slice u cant really hit it as well
 

Curious

Legend
Yes! But, if you’ve read my posts (some directed to you), then you know I’m not so nostalgic regarding tennis technoque.
Sure. I appreciate your feedback mostly but not so much your grumpy old man attitude:D. I'm sure you have given me a lot of good tips and I'm still adopting your old school backhand slice.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Opinions, why players actually tend to hit slice in extreme defensive situations on BH but not on FH? Is it simply because (outside of Williams sisters) on BH players close the stance whereas on FH the modern player hits open stance with more reach when stretched, i.e no need for FH slice?
People do hit slice on extremely defensive forehands, at least some of the time.

The squash shot fh hit on defense is usually a slice shot hit with a continental grip.
 
People do hit slice on extremely defensive forehands, at least some of the time.

The squash shot fh hit on defense is usually a slice shot hit with a continental grip.
Yea but in general you gotta be forced to more extreme defense on FH than the BH to slice it. Is open stance the reason for that?
 

WildVolley

Legend
I’ve written exhaustive explanations on backhand slice technique. You could try a search if you’re interested.
I checked some of your older posts and see you're a fan of the slice drive.

That's a good shot, but I consider just one variation of the slice bh. I would agree with you that it should probably be the first variant taught as it can be quickly adapted to volleys.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Yea but in general you gotta be forced to more extreme defense on FH than the BH to slice it. Is open stance the reason for that?
Yes, I think you're correct that it is difficult to hit a topspin 1hbh out of an open stance and not difficult to hit a topspin fh from an open stance. Most 1hbh shots are best hit from a closed stance, and the deeper the ball gets on your bh side, the more likely a player is to revert to the slice.

A lot of 2hbh players will use a flat 2hbh as a defensive shot. Djokovic actually turned it into a weapon.
 
I checked some of your older posts and see you're a fan of the slice drive.

That's a good shot, but I consider just one variation of the slice bh. I would agree with you that it should probably be the first variant taught as it can be quickly adapted to volleys.
Yea I think my earlier troubles with volleys were related to the fact that I've never used drive slice, but use the chop slice a lot. Then I think I chopped the volleys too much.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Was discussing with a tennis partner.

BH topspin has higher net clearance but requires more precise timing to hit since racket face only points in correct position during small part of the swing, and generally longer swingpath.

BH slice has lower net clearance but easier timing to hit since racket face is open during entire swing.

Graf could hit 15-20 high-quality slices in a row, deep in the court. Fed can do the same.

Nadal/Joker can hit numerous topspin BH in a row deep in the court.

Is one shot higher/lower percentage for a rec player between 4.0 and 5.0?

If you had a $100 bet to hit 10 deep, non-attackable balls in a row, landing at least halfway between the service line and baseline, which BH would you choose to hit?
Top for me. Similiar consistency but the top is less attackable.

You tell me. Here is a high bh drill where I mix slice with top. Equally bad with both but the top ones are faster and less attackable

 
C

Chadillac

Guest
Top for me. Similiar consistency but the top is less attackable.

You tell me. Here is a high bh drill where I mix slice with top. Equally bad with both but the top ones are faster and less attackable

Hit more on top of the ball with a lvl follow through for the slice.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I use both. 2hbh topspin and 1hbh slice. if confident, i prefer to hit the topspin. if opponent is pressuring me, then I may go to slice. I think for balls where I have good balance and the strike zone is good, the topspin is more consistent. While for really high, really low, or really wide balls; the slice is more consistent. I will sometimes throw in a slice to change up the pace and spin too and I will hit a lot of slice approach shots off the backhand.
 

Morch Us

Professional
Effectiveness and easiness of depth/target on backhand slice is a lot more dependent on the incoming balls pace/height/spin/position, than that of a backhand topspin. I can hit both consistently, but based on situation, one is probably a bit more consistent shot than other, if I need to have a pre-defined depth/pace/aggressiveness. If none of that matters and just need to get it over the net, slice is a lot more consistent for me, but it will land wherever based on what the opponent provide me with on the ball.
 
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