How to backhand slice high balls?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by peakofthebounce, May 15, 2014.

  1. peakofthebounce

    peakofthebounce Banned

    Apr 21, 2014
    I thought that the slice was meant to be more forgiving of contact point than topspin 1hbh?

    That's not my experience though, I find it much easier to topspin backhand high balls than slice them. However, I want to add the slice off the high ball to my arsenal for the sake of variety and saving energy in rallies (slice takes less energy to hit).

    My wrist feels in a really uncomfortable position when slicing high balls. Aren't you meant to use a continental grip? It's uncomfortable to hold the wrist in a position that allows the racket face to be closed enough to make the ball not sail long (this is what happens to most of my high backhand slices).

    Do you use a different slice grip when you know you're going to be hitting a high ball? If so, what?

    How do you get the racket head in the correct position? And should it be more closed than when hitting a slice off a normal height ball?
  2. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

    Mar 23, 2014
    no, you just make a steeper downwards motion for the high slice.
  3. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2011
    Turn your back more toward the opponent. There will be plenty side spin.
  4. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    May 10, 2012
    Agree with above. Try to feel the carving motion across the outer half of the ball.
  5. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

    Oct 14, 2009
    The Peak of Good Living
    Agreed, don't need closed racquet face to slice a high ball. High to low swing, neutral or slightly open racquet face. This shouldn't be uncomfortable with a conti grip.

    Here's an example on a ball hit at chin height:
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Turn your back to the opponent, adopt a late contact point, or...
    Switch your grip to extreme eastern backhand, so you can close the face more and get solid contact on a slice that has pace and bite.
  7. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

    Jan 15, 2006
    Excellent examples. Actually, a bit of variation with the different shots. Bottom line, to me, is that the human anatomy doesn't allow us to come straight down the back of every height ball - high ones in particular. As Roger is doing in these, the "circle" of yer swing has to start high (high hand), and looking from behind Roger, he's swing in a counterclockwise "circle", with the racket traveling at something like 11 o'clock to 9 o'clock or thereabouts. Wouldn't be surprised if those balls maybe had some left-to-right curve back across the net.

    Another way to deal with them - and this is more often done with high backhand volleys (pretty much the same stroke) - is to simply stop the stroke at contact - at the point where the racket face is essentially vertical. Not ideal, but if the ball is high enough to be a real problem, it at least gets you out of a mess. . .
  8. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2010
    The idea that there's a circular zone of contact from low to high is the key. For those high balls the racquet is vertical, even past vertical. The racquet is still making a right angle w your lower arm. When you prep for the swing allow the racquet to lay back a bit. When you pull down to start the swing allow the racquet to rotate forward, towards the ball. Turn your shoulders into the ball too.

    As also previously noted, on the higher balls there will be a side spin on the ball going from L to R. On low balls there's side spin that makes the ball go from R to L.

    This is hard to describe words, but it's not that hard if you can see it.
  9. Lance L

    Lance L Semi-Pro

    Nov 15, 2013
    Halifax, NS

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