How to beat a total slicer

#1
I haven't played this backspinning maniac in a long time so we start off the first game with a break. This clown is slicing and dicing everything and I keep my sw grip on the forehand side and my ebh grip only to get broken the very first game. I switched back to the efh and a continental for the backhand to counteract his low bouncing balls and I beat him 6-1. Want to beat a slicer? Open up your grip because those low bouncing balls are easier to return when you don't have to contort your wrist.
 
#2
And also vary your shots. If he is great slicing waist-high balls then apply more topspin to your shots and give him high balls. At an opportune moment push him deep in his baseline corner and come to the net because from that deep position he may not be able to pass and you will have longer look at the ball (at the net).

I also believe that angled/short-cross-courts work very well against the slicers. From my own experience, I am good at slicing a ball which is coming to me on one straight line such as down the line, but I am not good at slicing when the ball is curving away from me either to my right or left i.e. when my opponent hits an angled cross court.

If you have a great serve (and volley), try serve and volley tactic because slicers do not possess great passing shots.
 
#3
Mahboob Khan said:
And also vary your shots. If he is great slicing waist-high balls then apply more topspin to your shots and give him high balls. At an opportune moment push him deep in his baseline corner and come to the net because from that deep position he may not be able to pass and you will have longer look at the ball (at the net).

I also believe that angled/short-cross-courts work very well against the slicers. From my own experience, I am good at slicing a ball which is coming to me on one straight line such as down the line, but I am not good at slicing when the ball is curving away from me either to my right or left i.e. when my opponent hits an angled cross court.

If you have a great serve (and volley), try serve and volley tactic because slicers do not possess great passing shots.
He doesn't possess great passing shots, but he is a lobber. I was able to beat him by serving into his body and by returning all his low shots that would have forced errors on any western gripper. I tried to come in on him and he drew me in as well, but as deep as my approach shot or return was (near the baseline), he still lobbed successfully. Luckily for me, I could return just about anything he cut at me.
 
#4
I agree. I have had very good luck with a classic Eastern FH grip for generating low dipping topspin shots with significant angle (because of the easy sidespin access). Slicers struggle with shots running away from them and a lot of their returns will sit up a bit (because of the slice) which is prime for taking as first volleys.
 
#5
LuckyR said:
I agree. I have had very good luck with a classic Eastern FH grip for generating low dipping topspin shots with significant angle (because of the easy sidespin access). Slicers struggle with shots running away from them and a lot of their returns will sit up a bit (because of the slice) which is prime for taking as first volleys.
Good for you, Lucky, good for you. Do you normally use an efh grip? I normally use a semi-western, but against Mr. slice and dice, I go to the old school grip because his balls are just too low and it's easier to hit up on a ball with an eastern grip than with a sw grip any day. Slicer got me on the backhand side a few times, but I also opened up slightly and went to a mild eastern or a strong continental because I once again had to hit up on his low skidding shots. My normal backhand grip is a strong eastern or close to a western backhand.
 
#6
whatever you do, don't get into long rallies from the baseline... if he's a good slicer (that sounds weird btw) he will get the best of it.... come to the net, hit different shots, and when you notice something that gets him uncomfortable, stick to that. good luck
 

Swissv2

Hall of Fame
#7
RiosTheGenius had some good tips.

To add to that you need to try to hit away from him to get him on the move. Against deep slicers, their very best shots are when they can plant and dig deep.

Moving them side to side, and front to back will force them to pop their slice up a bit more to give you an opportunity to get under the ball for topspin.

GL.
 
#8
RiosTheGenius said:
whatever you do, don't get into long rallies from the baseline... if he's a good slicer (that sounds weird btw) he will get the best of it.... come to the net, hit different shots, and when you notice something that gets him uncomfortable, stick to that. good luck
I actually outpushed him and yes, it was pushing because with the efh, you won't find my usual forehand blast. The problem with the net is that he loves to lob. I'll try to get my approaches as close to the line as possible, but that leads to one more problem; he loves calling line balls out. No, this isn't Raul, but yes, he's another big time cheat.
 
#9
RiosTheGenius said:
whatever you do, don't get into long rallies from the baseline... if he's a good slicer (that sounds weird btw) he will get the best of it.... come to the net, hit different shots, and when you notice something that gets him uncomfortable, stick to that. good luck
sounds like the strategy to play against a pusher :)
 
#13
nopiforyou said:
Crap Rickson. You use an easter, SW, and a western forehand depending on your opponent? dang. im impressed.

western is probably a bit extreme. I think using SW and eastern does not require much difficulty to master. and i think top players all switch grip based on the shots they are receiving. :)
 
#15
It used to be that whenever I heard, "Oh he'll pushs you around all day/ he's a junk-baller/ all he hits ar slices dinks and lobs/ he hits nothing but wild topspin" I would try to stay away from those guys. Why because they are frustrating and not fun to play. We all like to hit against players that are convention, who hit shots we are familliar with.

I found, though, that the best way to beat them in match play is to play against them in practice. The more I played them the less irritating there style became to me.

Now, it is hard to get practice with them-- because they don't want to play me.
 
#16
nopiforyou said:
Crap Rickson. You use an easter, SW, and a western forehand depending on your opponent? dang. im impressed.
Not quite a full western, but a strong sw. If I deviate too far from my normal grip, I fall into bad habits. The range is actually mild sw to sw for normal (no extreme spin) opponents and eastern to not quite a full western for slicing fools and topspinning maniacs.
 
#19
You could also serve and volley: it's worked for me. Just make sure you kick the ball on your serve so he has a hard time slicing, then go to net and make him run!
 
#20
Kind of obvioius but if you are getting lobbed, don't come in as far. Nothing puts an end to lobs like a few good overhead smashes. Once you've established that you can take his lobs out of the air the net game should open up nicely for you.
 
#21
mattm said:
Kind of obvioius but if you are getting lobbed, don't come in as far. Nothing puts an end to lobs like a few good overhead smashes. Once you've established that you can take his lobs out of the air the net game should open up nicely for you.
Took some out of the air, but he recovered quickly. The jumping volley is one of my best shots. I'm not saying he gave me a lot of trouble because I did beat him 6-1, I'm just saying that slicers are annoying and that you should make the proper adjustments.
 
#22
Rickson said:
Good for you, Lucky, good for you. Do you normally use an efh grip? I normally use a semi-western, but against Mr. slice and dice, I go to the old school grip because his balls are just too low and it's easier to hit up on a ball with an eastern grip than with a sw grip any day. Slicer got me on the backhand side a few times, but I also opened up slightly and went to a mild eastern or a strong continental because I once again had to hit up on his low skidding shots. My normal backhand grip is a strong eastern or close to a western backhand.

Yeah, in the age group of my opponents (retired guys or close to it) there are no 20-something Western FH baseline-bashers so it's old school vs old school. I have acquired a SW FH for the specific shot of a high topspinning FH, but other than that, old school.
 
#23
I played one of these guys for the first time in the past two weeks. This guy sliced every single forehand and every single backhand. He has beaten a couple 3.5's, for a couple different reasons. He does hit winners though and moves people all over the court. His slices rarely sit up. He has perfected his game.

The first time I played him I got one set off him in a best of three. He wore me out and I played what ended up to be a stupid game. I tried to slice his low skidding slices right back to him. I tried to do it off both sides and I was an idiot for believing I could beat him at his own game. He was simply better. I had a couple days to sleep on the loss.

The next time we met I decided to play my game (play within myself as P-Mac might say). I figured if he can't hit topspin, dealing with it is probably hard for him. I hit top spin off both sides. I rarely hit a slice. As long as I kept myself together and continued with the game plan, he had a hard time. I won a best of 5 and a best of 3 against him.

Because of the topspin the slicer couldn't time his slices right. He could not handle the high bounces and I quickly learned he was feeding off my own slices. He loved to slice slices.

I guess what I learned is that trying to beat someone at their own game is ill-conceived. Once I put some thought into the match and got a game plan, things went much better.

I think this is a very useful thread, one of many on here!
 
#24
I like playing people who slice. I have a hybrid forehand (between eastern & semi-western; federer's grip). It allows me to get under the ball easily and create a lot of pace + spin/kick; taking low balls = my favorite.

You just need to bend your knees and have a lot of acceleration from low to high.
 
#25
Bagumbawalla said:
It used to be that whenever I heard, "Oh he'll pushs you around all day/ he's a junk-baller/ all he hits ar slices dinks and lobs/ he hits nothing but wild topspin" I would try to stay away from those guys. Why because they are frustrating and not fun to play. We all like to hit against players that are convention, who hit shots we are familliar with.

I found, though, that the best way to beat them in match play is to play against them in practice. The more I played them the less irritating there style became to me.

Now, it is hard to get practice with them-- because they don't want to play me.
I used to be very frustrated when playing one of my regular hitting partners. He exemplifies what I derisively call "old man hack tennis." They have Popeye forearms and they use the continental to either slap the ball or viciously cut it.

It's good practice for the pushers I play for high school tennis. The only difference is the wrist. High school pushers usually have limp wrists and they just pop the ball up. My hitting partner really CUTS it. Lots of errors, yes, but if it gets in, it's tough to return.
 
#26
AngeloDS said:
I like playing people who slice. I have a hybrid forehand (between eastern & semi-western; federer's grip). It allows me to get under the ball easily and create a lot of pace + spin/kick; taking low balls = my favorite.
This is basically what I did minus the topspin. When a ball is coming at you and it's knee height, the optimal grip is not one of the western grips. You have to open up your racquet face and although I can do it with my usual sw fh grip, it's much easier with an efh grip and that's where I make my adjustment. The whole point of this thread was to inform posters that switching to a more open grip when playing slicers could be very useful. Too many people are stuck on keeping their western grips no matter what the situation and that stubbornness can cost them against low skidding balls.
 
#27
They can still do it; but they have to aim cross-court and have a lot of racquet speed. I wouldn't advise it if you have: a light racquet, poor technique, tennis-elbow/weak arm and what-not. Just to protect your tennis longevity and to not injure yourself.

Though, you have to see what their tendencies are. Most people tend to slice cross-court (and maybe 20% down the line) on their backhand. You want it to go low to your stronger side. So force them to hit to it by just being observant.
 
#29
RiosTheGenius said:
whatever you do, don't get into long rallies from the baseline... if he's a good slicer (that sounds weird btw) he will get the best of it.... come to the net, hit different shots, and when you notice something that gets him uncomfortable, stick to that. good luck
Actually i find the opposite to be true. One of guys i play with is a pure slice and dicer. I use SW FH and EBH. I use TopSpinning shots with angles to corner him and then rip a winner Xcourt or DTL. Generally the matches end up with long rallies but so far he hasnt won a match against me. However he has beaten other people who beat me. May be my game matches up well with him. I never tried Net game with him.

He is uncomfortable with the same shot most of us have issues with. High Topspin strokes on Backhand side.
 
#30
Rickson said:
I haven't played this backspinning maniac in a long time so we start off the first game with a break. This clown is slicing and dicing everything and I keep my sw grip on the forehand side and my ebh grip only to get broken the very first game. I switched back to the efh and a continental for the backhand to counteract his low bouncing balls and I beat him 6-1. Want to beat a slicer? Open up your grip because those low bouncing balls are easier to return when you don't have to contort your wrist.


you need better footwork
 
#32
I would not teach the slice, particularly the bhand to a total beginner. Once players learn this junk the chances of them learning bhand drive seem reduced. I honestly think it's a lazy shot that 80% of male club players fall back on time and time again
They may get coached on a drive but in the heat of a match will not play it out of fear.This shot impedes a players development.
If you want to beat a slicer play them in the wind.The wind will blow the floaters out. The low slices will often blow down into the net!
 
#33
Holy Necro thread..

I agree with your sentiment but..

Young guys will learn the 2 hander - so will not be tempted to slice. And OHBH adults who learned the slice - aren't going to improve much anyway.. Let's be honest. Even a 1.0 NTRP is really rare IMHO.. Everyone talks about how they are going to be playing 5.0 and such in a year - but its generally - slot in a 3.0/3.5 and maybe move up half to NTRP in their career. Sure USTA keeps stats on this..but I would wager they are pretty bleak..
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
#34
Levels of play.
Lots of slicer's are 3-3.5, so they're easy to beat.
SOME slicers, most of which are oldster's who used to play at high levels of tennis, play their slice game at the top of 4.0, bottom of 4.5 levels, so they're not so easy to beat.
The good slicers easily handle high bouncing heavy topspin ball, EITHER side, and just angle it short and wide like a high backhand volley, or just slice it DTL deep and penetrating.
Unless you're solid 4.5, you aren't going to beat the better slicers.
And of course, if Olivier Rochus decided to slice you to death, you can't do a thing to counter him except to walk off the court.
 
#35
The requirement of perfect timing to hit a low biting slice is actually higher than hitting a fast heavy topspin ball. I find by focusing on hitting a deep heavy ball usually can get a weak slice or an outright error from the slicer.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
#36
Very few of us can hit a "heavy deep ball" every time against a low skidding slice, or even against a deep floaty slice.
If you can, you beat the slicer.
However, CAN you?
If you can hit a "heavy deep ball" every time, perhaps your peers are Federer, DJ, and Murray.
 
#37
Very few of us can hit a "heavy deep ball" every time against a low skidding slice, or even against a deep floaty slice.
If you can, you beat the slicer.
However, CAN you?
If you can hit a "heavy deep ball" every time, perhaps your peers are Federer, DJ, and Murray.
Yes but many can hit a loopy topspin forehand to the slicers backhand. Works about the same at giving up a more floaty slice.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
#38
No you can't, if the slicer is at least as good as you.
Slicer just high volleys short angle CC, forcing you to run up and forward, digging the ball with your backhand off your shins.
DTL, he float's it deep and slow to your forehand side, so you have to create pace to pass him.
A slicer is no easy player to beat, unless you are a higher level of player than him.
 
#39
No you can't, if the slicer is at least as good as you.
Slicer just high volleys short angle CC, forcing you to run up and forward, digging the ball with your backhand off your shins.
DTL, he float's it deep and slow to your forehand side, so you have to create pace to pass him.
A slicer is no easy player to beat, unless you are a higher level of player than him.
When he slices crosscourt short you drop shot DTL with your back hand.
When he floats the ball DTL you hit a CC short angle topspin out wide.

These battles usually come down to who's faster. A fast "pusher/slicer/junk baller/baseliner/serve and volleyer" will always be a tough out in tennis.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
#40
Everything is easy on paper, in theory, and in the laboratory.
Out on a court, like Tyson says, it's easy until you get punched in the face.
 
#41
I would not teach the slice, particularly the bhand to a total beginner. Once players learn this junk the chances of them learning bhand drive seem reduced. I honestly think it's a lazy shot that 80% of male club players fall back on time and time again
They may get coached on a drive but in the heat of a match will not play it out of fear.This shot impedes a players development.
If you want to beat a slicer play them in the wind.The wind will blow the floaters out. The low slices will often blow down into the net!
Holy Necro thread..
Love it. Was going to refer to it a Lazarus thread, but I like this better. Don't think that the OP, Rickson, has been around much in the past few years. He came back for a short time about a year ago, I think.
 
#42
Everything is easy on paper, in theory, and in the laboratory.
Out on a court, like Tyson says, it's easy until you get punched in the face.
True. There are tactics and there is execution. It's important to have the plan. If you can't execute it then you have something to work on, or you need a better plan. My plan works for most 3.5 level matches. My plan fails when I play a 4.0 who's quicker and better than I am.

But I will say the plan wasn't devised in a lab. It was devised in court from facing the shots.
 
#43
I played and won against an excellent slicer recently. Very difficult match. I used my regular sw grip trying to produce as much topspin as possible which is very hard from low buried shots.

But it s exactly where you need it most in order to hit a decent shot to lift it enough and make eit fall in.

A more open n grip I think would have sent my returns either in out or too slow opening him up for even faster and more buried slices.

He was slightly worse on his backhand so tried to focus there. He could not slice body shots if they were fast and hard enough. Higher deeper topspin balls on his backhand produced from him more manageable slices.

My first shot in a rally was very important to not allow him to start his series of very low fast slices.
I had to take riskier shots when possible to shorten the rally and shoot winners because he lobbed and defended exxcelently.

Angled cc topspin were vvv. Important and fortunately I do them well. But with a v. Good slicer as mine they had all to be winners otherwise he would slice them back like hell.

Staying low bending the knees. To spin and moderate power is how I managed to return his shots. And sometimes more powerful lower shots.

Hitting winners from sitters and drop shots was vv. Important.
 
#45
go to the net... slices are terrible passing shots because they 'rise' instead of dipping down... easy put away at the net.
As someone who attacks the net, I have been dismantled by someone who mainly hit slice passing shots: very few of them actually got past me but by the time I volleyed them, they were on my shoelaces. These are definitely not "easy" volleys and I wore myself out trying to keep up. And if I got too close anticipating the slice, of course he lobbed me.

A well-hit slice will still dip due to gravity; just not nearly as much as with TS.
 
#47
lol you guys just need to improve on the volley...

watch the pros play.. unless it's an absolute emergency, who passes with slices? nobody, even chronical slicers like Graf, Lopez etc, when they have to hit a pass they hit over the ball... because slices are bad passing shots!
 
#48
lol you guys just need to improve on the volley...
From a relative standpoint, no: what I need more improvement on is my serve and patience for choosing the right time to approach so this particular opponent, who is a level above me, can't so easily hit low slices when I approach.

watch the pros play.. unless it's an absolute emergency, who passes with slices? nobody, even chronical slicers like Graf, Lopez etc, when they have to hit a pass they hit over the ball... because slices are bad passing shots!
At the pro level, slices are bad passing shots. There are many things that would be bad at the pro level.

However, we're at the rec level so the standards aren't quite as high. As I outlined in my example, I rarely got actually passed with the slice but it made volleying difficult and left me exposed and off-balance if I didn't nail the volley.
 
#49
lol you guys just need to improve on the volley...

watch the pros play.. unless it's an absolute emergency, who passes with slices? nobody, even chronical slicers like Graf, Lopez etc, when they have to hit a pass they hit over the ball... because slices are bad passing shots!
Apparently you haven't seen the legend Ken Rosewall play tennis. The guy only hit slice off the backhand. It's not always the tools that define the player, but rather how well they use the tool. If you have total control over your slice, you can give hell to a player at net.

In high school, people legit stopped serving and volleying against my backhand because they couldn't deal with a heavy slice at their feet.

From a relative standpoint, no: what I need more improvement on is my serve and patience for choosing the right time to approach so this particular opponent, who is a level above me, can't so easily hit low slices when I approach.



At the pro level, slices are bad passing shots. There are many things that would be bad at the pro level.

However, we're at the rec level so the standards aren't quite as high. As I outlined in my example, I rarely got actually passed with the slice but it made volleying difficult and left me exposed and off-balance if I didn't nail the volley.
Sliced passing shots aren't necessarily bad at the pro level. Rosewall and Federer have proven that to be true. The issue is that the amount of control needed to make it work is higher, meaning your margin of error is lower. It's always nice when you can just rip the ball as hard as you can and still get the ball to dip down to either give them a low ball or pass with a sharp angle while hitting with pace. That's basically not an option with the slice, so you're left with beating them with control, and need to either keep it out of reach (which isn't so bad if you have a high level of control and pick the spot where they can't cover as easily) or you keep it low and either dead or heavy. Going heavy, they might miss, but if they don't and they hit strings, it'll usually come back as a solid volley. Going dead, they'll have to work harder to hit a decent volley because they have to hit up, generate their own pace, and keep it inside the lines. But they'll miss fewer (unless they're an inexperienced volleyer) and have easier access to the drop shot as an option from that position (since they don't have to take pace off the ball, and simply need to direct it). However, knowing that neither option is coming with pace and is likely to be hit up and float a bit, you can run in and prepare to hit your own volley off of theirs (this should actually be your instantaneous reaction the instant you know executed your shot correctly, and you should be moving before they even hit the ball).


And the example of pros isn't really the greatest. Given the heavy skew of player skillsets towards baseline grinding, volleying skills in general aren't nearly as clean as players of the 20th century. In the old days, the first volley was the attacking shot that set up the easy second putaway volley. Now, it's the big approach shot or big groundstroke that is the first shot while the first volley is the easy putaway volley. In the old days, you can charge in off of anything that gave you time to get to the net and be fine because your volleying skills could probably handle whatever comes your way if you can get a racket on it. Nowadays, if you charge in, it's easier for players with the newer rackets to control the ball and give you something tough to volley. Nadal in his early years was a great example of perfect execution of the ATP transition. He only came in when he knew the first volley would be the easiest of putaways. It didn't matter if it was in the middle of a rally or after a big forehand approach shot, he knew exactly when he hurt his opponent enough to get a freebie for the next ball. Most baseliners currently do the same concept but with varying levels of success based on how well they picked their timing to come in. If they chose a poor timing to come in, their approach shot has to be really good to make up for it. If they chose a perfect moment, the approach shot just has to be decent. You can argue that in such cases, it'd be no different if these pros simply sat back and hit a big forehand off the next ball that will likely be a sitter, and you'd be wrong. Taking the volley out of the air quickly has a higher success rate in its execution and has a tempo advantage, which means that if your opponent is out of position, they have no time to get back into position. With the big forehand, you're hitting from farther back, meaning success rate drops (even if only slightly) and you lose some tempo, which means the other player has some time to recover towards the center as well as the option to take a coin flip to guess which side you'll hit to and put all their efforts in defending a ball that lands on that side.
 
#50
People just have to bring up Ken... let him try in today's game filled with poly-produced heavy spin, that slice will be eaten up by any net rusher... in the old days the ball comes in flat, so he could hit a driving slice, almost a flat ball.

just look at today's game and answer my question? which pro passes with slices.

And you have a 'heavy slice'? lol, it looks heavy and effective only because your opponents aint that good.
 
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