Lost Slice Backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by laingrm, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. laingrm

    laingrm New User

    Aug 30, 2009
    lately my slice backhand tends to float and sit up versus bounce low and skid like before. I switched to a smaller and heavier racket (kblade tour) which may be the reason and I have to get used to it. It is mostly a problem when I try to chip and charge a second serve. Anyway, what typically causes slices to float rather than stay low and skid? Thanks
  2. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Feb 19, 2004
    hard to tell without a video.

    but a balance neutral racket like the wilson (as opposed to a more head light frame), makes it more difficult to hold the racket head back during the forward swing.... the racket head wants to release more.

    if you the racket head passes the handle, you have release the head and no longer have control, which produces a floater by the open racket face.

    if your slice used to be good, this could just be a timing issue that will go away with time.
  3. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

    Jul 12, 2009
    Snoqualmie, WA
    You may no longer be hitting through the ball but brushing all the way underneath it, lifting it up instead of driving it forward.

    Try to push it forward more, close the face of the racket a bit if it helps. You can start from a "mostly-flat" drive and then gradually add more underspin and downward motion to it.
  4. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

    Apr 26, 2008
    Big Orange Nation
    it took me forever and a year to learn to hit a good slice backhand with my kblade tour...the really tight string pattern makes you reallly have to hit through it..
  5. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2009
    It could be a timing issue, hitting the ball late, or you're releasing the wrist at a bad time. I just recommend hitting your slices with a short backswing and hit through the ball, keeping your wrist pretty firm throughout the stroke. Keep it as simple as possible. Once it comes back you can go back to the wrist release and the longer backswing.
  6. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Go back to your old racket! That's what I had to do.
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Be sure to stay CLOSED stanced, back to the opponent, early prep, full high to low stroke, and stroke thru the ball with underspin.
    Any racket can hit hard skipping low slices. If you chop at the ball with any racket, the ball will float and be a target for any decent opponent.
  8. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

    Sep 1, 2006
    univ houston courts
    you probably have this racquet strung a little looser than your old one or it could just be a dead string in that racquet. I would say that the slice is a feel shot and you should know when and just how much to knife under it to create a good deep slice. Btw are u using dunlop balls? for some reason dunlops always tend to fly on me...
  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    The classic cause for what you're describing is getting stuck on your back foot and arming the racquet out in front too far. That makes the face open up and lets the racquet slide under the ball instead of powering though it.

    Get onto that front foot before your stroke with a forward lean into the shot - sort of the way you'd lean forward to bump a door open with your shoulder if your arms were full of groceries. Without this, the stroke has no energy no matter how much you try to "arm" it. Contact has to be farther back beside you than where you'd hit the ball for your topspin stroke - back in the area of your leading hip or knee. Too far in front and that racquet face opens up.

    A full stroke will make you accelerate the racquet through contact, so even though contact happens early in the stroke, take it to a full finish without breaking down that "L" formed by the racquet and your forearm. If this stroke isn't deliberate with good weight transfer, it turns to mush and gives you nothing more than that cream puff. Even though you're not smoking the ball with topspin, you absolutely need to go after it for penetrating slice.
  10. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

    Aug 23, 2006
    the wrist only bends so much thus extending past 90 degrees not critical. just keep the grip firm and not floppy. here's a vid where Fed's wrist opens past the 90 at about the 36 second mark.

  11. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    That's a terrific video.

    Completely agree with keeping the wrist firm and not floppy. My advice on maintaining the "L" is inferring the same idea (I hope). My thought is to sustain that general geometry throughout the shot instead of letting the racquet release and the wrist turn over as it would with a topspin 1hbh. In that case, the tip of the racquet might be pointing up or over to the player's right.

    Fed's follow through for that slice is actually rather abbreviated - much better for a short slice than a more penetrating one. For a full stroke, I'd expect to see his follow through take the racquet up and out to his right (after a descending blow through contact) so that the tip of his frame is roughly pointing toward his target.
  12. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2009
    The heavier weight and the smaller head should HELP with knifing a slice backhand...

    But like someone said, the string pattern could be the real culprit. I don't know the pattern off the top of my head, but something tells me 18x20? 16x20?

    Never tried the [K]Blade Tour but the nBlade 98 is fine. I think the [K]Blade 98 works pretty well too but I don't remember if I hit any slices with it. Otherwise, they're fine rackets.
  13. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Jun 18, 2004
    something to try:

    Hit some flat backhands for a while and then start putting a little slice on it. Gets rid of chopping habits or opening the racket face, might make you realize if you are getting too much backswing,

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