My slice vs Roger’s

Curious

Legend
Simplification didn’t quite work. I somehow need the rotation of forearm and shoulder. Watching the stroke from side, do you think my contact point is too much in front contributing to too open racket face resulting in frequent floaters?


 
Simplification didn’t quite work. I somehow need the rotation of forearm and shoulder. Watching the stroke from side, do you think my contact point is too much in front contributing to too open racket face resulting in frequent floaters?


If anything, I think you need to lean forward a little, which will let you hit it more in front. I can't tell for sure from this angle, but you might be doing what I used to, which is to flex the wrist while making the stroke (before contact). Maybe that is what leads you to open the racquet face too soon. You keep the wrist steady and don't move the elbow either. With both these parts static, now try to get the racquet from a slice takeback and finish with a slice follow through. That's how it should be hit. It will initially be difficult to time the shot this way but with repetition, you will get used to it.
 

Dim Sim

Rookie
Some improvement but you are still too back-weighted, rotating too much and your racket face is too square to the ball for that shot (racket face angle obviously varies depending on where you are taking the ball and where you are sending it).

Step into the ball and keep the weight moving forward (rather rotating so quickly after contact). Reduce the angle of the racket face, the contact side needs to face the sky more to reduce the launch angle and height after contact you are getting; try making the the tip of the racket point at the net for longer after contact. To visualise it: step into ball, flatten racket more and scoop more under the ball and keep tip of racket pointed at net. Lastly, really accelerate into the shot to prevent it lofting. All that will happen very quickly and the racket will clear in the follow through but it should help get your orientation and contact with the ball sorted out.
 

Dim Sim

Rookie
just try it - for higher balls your racket face will be more closed; for a slice that you are getting at or below waist height if you open the racket face more you will get a lower launch angle over the net, assuming you are putting enough weight and pace behind the ball. The differences in degrees is not huge.
 
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Curious

Legend
If anything, I think you need to lean forward a little, which will let you hit it more in front. I can't tell for sure from this angle, but you might be doing what I used to, which is to flex the wrist while making the stroke (before contact). Maybe that is what leads you to open the racquet face too soon. You keep the wrist steady and don't move the elbow either. With both these parts static, now try to get the racquet from a slice takeback and finish with a slice follow through. That's how it should be hit. It will initially be difficult to time the shot this way but with repetition, you will get used to it.
You know, at the beginning of the forward/downward swing the racket face is open, right?
So there are two possibilities to explain the floaters:
1. Contact point too far in front
2. I cannot close the racket face soon enough due to lack of supination/external shoulder rotation before contact.
 
You know, at the beginning of the forward/downward swing the racket face is open, right?
So there are two possibilities to explain the floaters:
1. Contact point too far in front
2. I cannot close the racket face soon enough due to lack of supination/external shoulder rotation before contact.
But you don't close the racquet face for a slice. That's the whole point of a slice. It's not a topspin stroke, it's underspin. So the racquet face starts out slightly open and remains that way through the forward swing. That is also why the racquet is still descending down at contact in a slice, whereas in a topspin backhand or forehand, it would be going up already. You HAVE to keep the face slightly open and your racquet should be getting under the ball. I cannot look at high speed videos and analyse this, I am going purely by perception because I rely on these cues to make shots. Your racquet face is open at say a 10 or 20 degree (at most) obtuse angle as it meets the ball. It does NOT close at contact because the effect of that would be to send the slice crashing into the net. But it also does not become like a flat bed in which the ball lands; that would be too open and send the ball skying up. That is also why I mentioned leaning forward into the shot when you hit a slice. That forward movement of the body gives momentum and when combined with a good follow through on the slice, will make it drive through the court rather than sitting up. All that said, I am not comparing your technique to Fed's slice but to the conventional slice as taught by coaches. I don't believe recs need a chop slice most times because we are not dealing with that kind of top spin.
 
Simplification didn’t quite work. I somehow need the rotation of forearm and shoulder. Watching the stroke from side, do you think my contact point is too much in front contributing to too open racket face resulting in frequent floaters?


Watching again, your slice is popping up because you are letting the hitting arm drop off to the right after contact. In a traditional slice, the racquet descends a little more after contact before going up and finishing parallel to the shoulder, i.e, not quite like a topspin shot but not too dissimilar. If you want to learn Fed's slice, you should first analyse what you want to do with it. Because if you already hit a good traditional slice and want the Fed slice as a supplement, it's different. But if you want to slice effectively and decided to use Fed's slice as a model, maybe rethink that. Copy Graf's slice instead, a far better model for recs.
 
This coach teaches the slice pretty well. At least...the model he is teaching is good, don't know how succinct his explanations necessarily are.

 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Simplification didn’t quite work. I somehow need the rotation of forearm and shoulder. Watching the stroke from side, do you think my contact point is too much in front contributing to too open racket face resulting in frequent floaters?


Try to make more small step adjustments instead of that big one you make most of the time. Basically, you're making that step before you hit the ball from way too far back, resulting most of the time in a stance that is too wide. OTOH, in a match you'll be forced to hit slices from various unfavorable positions so maybe that's not useless, though it shouldn't happen when machine is feeding you balls. Maybe not stand that far behind the baseline to start with? Federer is pretty lazy with his feet in his slice video too, but still rarely gets into a wide stance.
 

Dim Sim

Rookie
Mate, you’ve been getting consistent advice through the thread about movement and address at the ball, weighting into and through contact and racket face orientation. I reckon spend a few hours getting the basics right and the slices whizzing low and fast before you worry about trying jazzing it up like roger.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
If I walked up to the fence watching you hit slices I would think “dude hits a good slice”.

Longer post coming ... but:

1) post a video of you hitting all slices with a very small step.

2) you talked about “simple technique” ... steeper is always less simple with slices. Rosewall above simpler than steep Fed shots. Flatter hand path with more open rf simpler than steeper with less open rf imo. Note ... setting rh high behind head doesn’t require swinging every time from there ... can let racquet drop some before swing.

3) to me strings toward sky behind you is way open because of forearm roll ... and if the forearm didn’t roll back some closing rf you would hit ball with edge of racquet. Rolling is good ... effortless slices. btw ... check old McEnroe bh volley video ... same strings pointing to sky behind him.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
k
You know, at the beginning of the forward/downward swing the racket face is open, right?
So there are two possibilities to explain the floaters:
1. Contact point too far in front
2. I cannot close the racket face soon enough due to lack of supination/external shoulder rotation before contact.
I can't see exactly from the video, but something is a little off with your wrist movement and follow-through.

Have you tried hitting any hand-feeds where you have to supply all the pace?
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
k


I can't see exactly from the video, but something is a little off with your wrist movement and follow-through.

Have you tried hitting any hand-feeds where you have to supply all the pace?
I like that ... that should eliminate his broad jump 8-B into contact.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I had said:

"Note ... setting rh high behind head doesn’t require swinging every time from there ... can let racquet drop some before swing."


Doesn't look like I got that idea from Fed ... in 8 minutes of slices below ... all hand swing paths start from where he sets hand at the top. I know I let my hand drop some like we do with bh drives. As a rec player I will take the added variable of backswing drop variations over the difficulty of that very steep swing path. I have always opted for low accurate moderate backspin over biting slice ... never needed biting slice for my level. But that's the thing ... you have to define "simple", that Fed consistent repeated thing is far from simple. Simple w/biting slice ... or simple without biting slice. :p

 

Mountain Ghost

Semi-Pro
Simplification didn’t quite work. I somehow need the rotation of forearm and shoulder. Watching the stroke from side, do you think my contact point is too much in front contributing to too open racket face resulting in frequent floaters?


That's 100% better ... I especially like hits #2 and #3. Now that the arm is extending from 90° to straight as your primary first movement forward to contact ... your contact point WILL not be as far in front as before. Two slight issues ... ONE ... I'd like to see your right elbow pointed a little less forward ... and a little more pointed down throughout ... which WILL require your contact point to be less in front ... ... ... and TWO ... at your racquet back position your wrist is a bit "cocked" ... at like 90° between forearm and racquet shaft ... and then it extends to beyond the optimal 130° after contact. This variance in the wrist is a sign you're using wrist as a way to gain racquet head speed ... which is not stable. For now ... you're ELBOW is the only things that should be flexible ... as your grip is firm and your wrist angle remains at a FIXED 130°. At racquet back position ... your elbow should be at a FULL 90° bend ... with the wrist at 130°. The elbow extends ... but wrist does NOT. To clearly see this ... stand sideways in front of a mirror ... arm straight and down ... racquet level to the ground and the wrist at 130°. With the elbow and upper arm stationary ... FIRST ... bend the elbow up to a full 45° and allow the wrist to flex up as well (to 90°) ... and pull the racquet head down where both the elbow and wrist flex down ... ... ... THEN ... bend the elbow up but keep the grip and the wrist FIRM (still 130°) ... and pull the racquet head down where the elbow flexes down but the wrist stays fixed. Your GOAL is to have a totally flexible elbow while at the same time having a totally firm grip and wrist ~ MG
 
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ubercat

Semi-Pro
Sorry haven't read the entire thread so ignore me if must.

There is no braking.

Sometimes you get caught late which is actually ok with the slice and so naturally it's a shorter follow-through.

if the ball is high and you were basically axe chopping 45 degrees down the follow through is shorter up because otherwise you hit the ground.

if it's a low ball and you want to finesse it into the corner with sidespin so it's going to be bouncing low and away from the player you would use a slower stroke and a much longer follow-through.

If you are doing an inside out backhand slice particularly a short one and you want a lot of side it's going to be at a shorter follow-through more to the side.

I know you are asking about shotmechanics here but it's worth making the point that slice is an entire game of its own. I know a guy beatsbetter looking other players including me all the time because he's mastered his game of slice with vicious side spin and top spin with vicious sidespin i.e. both short angles. And he has a good flat forehand drive into the corners. It's something I'm looking to copy into my game.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I know you are asking about shotmechanics here but it's worth making the point that slice is an entire game of its own.
Yep ... make your fh cookie cutter ... not your bh slice. That said ... based on the progress @Curious has made on this stroke in a short time ... he is just about through with pouring the foundation. He will soon be using those @BounceHitBounceHit nails to add rooms. 8-B
 

Curious

Legend
I'd like to see your right elbow pointed a little less forward ... and a little more pointed down throughout ... which WILL require your contact point to be less in front ... ... ...
Didn’t quite understand this part.
at your racquet back position your wrist is a bit "cocked" ... at like 90° between forearm and racquet shaft ... and then it extends to beyond the optimal 130° after contact. This variance in the wrist is a sign you're using wrist as a way to gain racquet head speed ... which is not stable. For now ... you're ELBOW is the only things that should be flexible ... as your grip is firm and your wrist angle remains at a FIXED 130°. At racquet back position ... your elbow should be at a FULL 90° bend ... with the wrist at 130°. The elbow extends ... but wrist does NOT. To clearly see this ... stand sideways in front of a mirror ... arm straight and down ... racquet level to the ground and the wrist at 130°. With the elbow and upper arm stationary ... FIRST ... bend the elbow up to a full 45° and allow the wrist to flex up as well (to 90°) ... and pull the racquet head down where both the elbow and wrist flex down ... ... ... THEN ... bend the elbow up but keep the grip and the wrist FIRM (still 130°) ... and pull the racquet head down where the elbow flexes down but the wrist stays fixed. Your GOAL is to have a totally flexible elbow while at the same time having a totally firm grip and wrist ~ MG
(y)
 
Yep ... make your fh cookie cutter ... not your bh slice. That said ... based on the progress @Curious has made on this stroke in a short time ... he is just about through with pouring the foundation. He will soon be using those @BounceHitBounceHit nails to add rooms. 8-B
Agreed, @Curious is a good athlete, dedicated, and obviously a fast study. His tennis future is bright!


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