Offensive Slice vs Defensive Slice

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tdnxxx444

Guest
Besides the purpose for each type of slice, is there any difference in the stroke for each slice?
 

kicker75

Rookie
the German slice

There is actually a way to hit a more agressive slice with intent on it being for offensive purposes. If you hit a slice with an eastern backhand grip, you will cause the slice to stay low with more bite, and thus a harder slice for an opponent to return. I wouldn't say you would hit this for winners, but it can push your opponent back pretty well. It's called a "german" slice because Steffi Graf used this type of slice so well. Steffi did not have a topspin backhand at all, just utilizing the "german" slice, and it would constantly work in pushing her opponents back to the baseline.

The german slice is a bit harder to hit than the conventional continental grip slice, but it is a more aggressive shot.
 
I can't slice very well with eastern, but I can do very good offensive slices with the continental. I always assumed that a defensive slice was more or less a dink ... and it pretty much is. But I have notices federer uses it alot so it can't be that bad of a shot.
 

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
I've "chipped" defensively ... which you'd probably call "defensive slices." But I tactically use hard slices and soft slices a lot -- especially if my opponent is a Western grip topspinner type. They tend to be bothered by variety of slices.

(Not sure I'm answering your question....)

- KK
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
My defensive slice is with a continental grip or semi-western forehand grip. My offensive slice is with a eastern backhand grip. I use the same mechanics. Change in grip allows me to hit the ball later for defense.

My mechanics do change when I'm drawn far out of court though. Basically it's a similar stroke that results in a backspin moonball. You see pros use this quite a bit in defensive clay court tennis.

EDIT: Whoops! Sorry, not semi-western forehand grip, I meant eastern forehand grip. This is for really late balls.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
tdnxxx444 said:
Besides the purpose for each type of slice, is there any difference in the stroke for each slice?
You can hit both slices from either a continental, an inbetween grip, or an eastern backhand grip.

The hand position needs to be firm throughout the forward swing and through contact as this allows you to "trust" in how the racquet face will be at contact - not too open at contact. Therefore, you can take a relaxed smooth swing through the ball.

No slice is muscled because racquet weight and gravity is really all you need to hit a driving slice. The defensive slice is more of a block/volley slice and the offensive slice goes through the ball more in general. However, the slice is such a unique stroke that you can finesse the ball with a full stroke and float it or make it land short and bring the opponent forward more. It depends on how your racquet brushes the ball and at what racquet speed.

Lately, I have been testing the fisted continental that was the cause of a disagreement between myself and another poster named Gary. I must say I was quite surprised in how it improved my forehand slice and my backhand slice. I was actually ready to concede to Gary on his opinion of what the grip wasnt until I had great success with the slice on both wings.

In my opinion, the reason the grip worked well was because the racquet was up more in the hand and was stationary.

The slice is swung from the shoulder. Once you feel the racquet dropping and going forward, let it go, dont try to add anymore then that.

For a power slice (or the German slice) the legs are used to thrust and move the weight more forward. Many people think it is more upper arm swing strength and it is not. It is more leg thrust, balance, and pressure against the ball at contact.

If you have joined EASI Tennis, they have some great instructional articles on the Ken Rosewall slice and other techniquues on executing the slice backhand.
 

RonP

Rookie
I've been working on my slice backhand lately with my coach regarding me dropping my racquet during my swing instead of "pushing" my racquet like a flat block (almost volley-like) along with leaning forward onto my lead foot to hit the slice backhand. Am I hitting more of an offensive slice?

Also, I've always wondered how Federer hits his slices with his swing. It's like how I have been wrongly doing my slice backhands, yet he does it consistently well. I know it's due to his skill, genetics, and so on, but I wonder, is Federer's way of hitting the slice backhand a viable way for others to do so or just an exception? How can one do so?

Thanks in advance. (I've asked this question before and have searched the forum, but I have gotten nothing in response, Marius.)
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
RonP said:
I've been working on my slice backhand lately with my coach regarding me dropping my racquet during my swing instead of "pushing" my racquet like a flat block (almost volley-like) along with leaning forward onto my lead foot to hit the slice backhand. Am I hitting more of an offensive slice?

Also, I've always wondered how Federer hits his slices with his swing. It's like how I have been wrongly doing my slice backhands, yet he does it consistently well. I know it's due to his skill, genetics, and so on, but I wonder, is Federer's way of hitting the slice backhand a viable way for others to do so or just an exception? How can one do so?

Thanks in advance. (I've asked this question before and have searched the forum, but I have gotten nothing in response, Marius.)
For your first paragraph, yes leaning on your lead foot does make it more offensive with more forward drive.
Second para, Fed does a very conventional slice drive, are you sure you watch closely the slice backhand drive that he uses most of the time?
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
i think the answer to this one is racquet head speed and weight transfer. alot of people seem to think a slice should be struck with a lazy type swing but that doesnt result in a nasty penetratng slice. so i suggest lots of shoulder turn on the slice too, racquethead speed, and move your weight forward through the shot. youcan accomplish this with nore than one grip, but something neutral like a continental or a soft eastern is what to use for this shot.
 
S

SageOfDeath

Guest
Well if you look at pros if they are like diving for a ball then most likely it will be a slice lob. I would say that could be either way but more commonly its defensively. I've hit a hard slice before and it just really hits deep. I find it hard to find that perfect point. Where its not a floater and not going into the net.
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
SageOfDeath said:
Well if you look at pros if they are like diving for a ball then most likely it will be a slice lob. I would say that could be either way but more commonly its defensively. I've hit a hard slice before and it just really hits deep. I find it hard to find that perfect point. Where its not a floater and not going into the net.
A floating slice is not that bad if it lands deep and has good backspin. I make this comment from seeing Federer consistently make this slice as an alternative to his topspin backhand.
 

wlxxiii

New User
from what i see on tv it seems like federer is chopping down on the ball at great speed.....

any chance that he may actually be supinating at contact so that the racquet face will be square?
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
wlxxiii said:
from what i see on tv it seems like federer is chopping down on the ball at great speed.....

any chance that he may actually be supinating at contact so that the racquet face will be square?
Yup, it's *quite* close to chopping down on the ball at great speed. Higher levels of play usually have more spin for every stroke, in comparison with lower levels.(with exception of volleys probably) If you look at where his racket ends, I really don't think he's supinating much or at all. Key point is that his slice is effective in keeping his opponent at bay.
 

wlxxiii

New User
but won't that cause the ball to pop upwards? how can u have an open racquet face and not cause the ball to pop up? the racquet face must be square at contact right?
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
wlxxiii said:
but won't that cause the ball to pop upwards? how can u have an open racquet face and not cause the ball to pop up? the racquet face must be square at contact right?
Fed's slice is quite square at contact, yes. Slightly open I think. Depends on your strength and pace of your opponent's return I think. And his slice pop upward to about head level, as do pro topspin groundstrokes travel at head level.(which also brings up the point that pros seldom aim groundstrokes to pass the net barely)
 

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
Ed makes a very good point. Especially when learning to incorporate the drive slice BH into your arsenal, you ought to concentrate on exaggerating the shoulder turn on your backswing.

Regarding Federer's use of hard and soft slices: In a lengthy rally a soft deep slice helps ...break up the metronomic feel of a point, disrupting your opponent's rhythm ... you catch an extra breath ... get you back into better position ... etc. It's not necessarily "defensive," but tactical.

- KK
 

RonP

Rookie
So how does Federer do this highly-spun, change-of-pace slice with a severse chop-like motion? How is his swing throughout the stroke? Could someone just explain his slice backhand?
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
RonP said:
So how does Federer do this highly-spun, change-of-pace slice with a severse chop-like motion? How is his swing throughout the stroke? Could someone just explain his slice backhand?
LoL, we can copy his mechanics exactly but even if we perform the exact same mechanics we will not have the same results as Federer, precisely because he is a lot physically fitter and stronger than us. Best study some video of his slice and modify it according to your person. A video shows a thousand pictures and a picture says a thousand words.
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
roger employs a number of sliced backhands so pretty hard to just define the federer sliced backhand, but the basic one for almost everyone is as BB and I described earlier...variety with that shot is key and better players use various types of sliced backhands depending upon what they are wishing to accomplish.
 

RonP

Rookie
x Southpaw x: Would you happen to have any video of Federer hitting a slice backhand?

NoBadMojo: I was refering to the slice backhand that Federer seems to use a "chop-like" motion to put extreme backspin on the ball as a "change-up" from a topspin backhand or even a driving slice backhand (which you were saying is what Federer predominately uses). Maybe what I perceive as a Federer's "change-up" slice backhand is actually Federer' driving slice backhand; I don't know.
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
it's simple..i think you guys are way overcomplicating this. less racquethead speed would give you more of a floating buy yourself some time change up slice backhand and more would give you a more penetrating shoot thru the court low skidding nasty sliced backhand <in general>. the grips, mechanics, etc are <essentially> the same. the key is to get the basic sliced backhand right (that would be the big shoulder turn weight moving forward one>, and then start learning the variations on your own by hitting a large volume of balls in practice. everyone does it slightly differently and should develop their own style...thats one of the beauties of tennis.
 

AngeloDS

Hall of Fame
On my offensive slices my back is pretty much to my opponent and I'm moving into the ball as I slice. My defensive I don't move much and I let the ball float over.
 
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