Should the slice goes from up to down or up, down and up again?

Golden Retriever

Hall of Fame
Some say it should be up to down, some say it should be up, down and up again. Which is correct? If it is up, down and up again, wouldn't it make the ball float?
 

Rui

Semi-Pro
High to low. After that the ball is gone and you can put a flourish on the end of your swing any way you want.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I hit most, but not all, of my slice shots using a high-low-high action. If done correctly, the ball does not "float" (unless I float it on purpose). The low-to-high follow thru part of the swing is most likely a byproduct of what is happening just prior to and during ball contact. As such, it is not really a superfluous motion. If my contact is a bit on the late side, I'm more apt to employ a high-to-low motion w/o the high follow-thru.
 

larry10s

Hall of Fame
what really happens on a slice is the racquet face starts open closes toward contact the opens again . the swingpath is high to low to high.. if you only swing high to low you are chopping at the ball and definitely look like a hacker
 

Frank Silbermann

Professional
If your follow-through ends with the racket as far out in front of you as possible, then your fist will be at shoulder level. This will be higher than it was at ball contact. The lowest point of the swing is just before ball contact on the drive, or just after ball contact on the slice.

This is with traditional (i.e. correct) grips and styles. The post-modern away from "correct" technique (as per all the tennis books published from 1935-1990) back to the pre-WWI western grip changes things, but that doesn't apply to the slice.
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
I think on 1-handed slice BH the entire stroke should resemble a banana. High, low, high. Good players would drive their slice BH just that at the point of contact the racket face is a bit open to impart underspin to the ball. If you are just hitting high to low the ball might go into the net, or land short!
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
If you've ever studied a sound golf swing, it's important to accelerate through the hitting zone, so you see that nice full follow-through. Lots of tennis shots are the same.

Contact is made in a high-to-low swing path for the bh slice, but it's important to accelerate through contact to get good energy and control on the ball. To do that, a full follow-through with a rising finish is popular because it also helps the hitter to finish with good balance. Stopping the swing too soon can make it too choppy and break down its geometry - that's when the face of the racquet opens up and slides under the ball too much.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
Slice BH Swing Path

So an “up-again / banana-style / high-low-high” slice backhand it is! Sorry, but I’ll just keep on teaching a good old fashioned “chopping / hacker / into-the-net / short” Federer style . . . if I summarized correctly.

Any issue people might have with a straight high-to-low slice BH has a lot more to do with a lack of proper instruction in the style than it does inherent problems with the swing path.

MG
 

pabletion

Hall of Fame
Best tip Ive come across regarding the slice shot was from TENNIS magazine. It showed a tennis ball with a shadow covering the south-western quarter of it. That is the part of the ball you have to atempt to hit when doing a slice; so, in my opinion, from experience, you sing high to low, but out to in, trying to bring that south-western quarter of the ball kinda in. Thats why the cross court slice is easier, cause its natural. If you try and slice from the bottom, youll then float the ball, with side spin. Watch videos on youtube of the pros, if you see them carefully you'll see that they hold their position (specially the front shoulder) through the follow through, going forward. Hope this helps!
 
S

Slicendicer

Guest
depends on the effect you are trying for... typically U-D-U is the slice I suggest.
 

Expired

Rookie
wtf is up-down-up, and how do you swing out to in?? -__-

You just swing up to down, coming down across the ball..
Impossible to swing "out to in", and why would you go "up-down-up".. it is essentially the same as down-up because you only make contact with the ball once.

I'm still trying to picture this in my head..
 

ronalditop

Hall of Fame
high to low and then a little high again if you're slicing a low ball, but if its high ball, then its just high to low.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
So an “up-again / banana-style / high-low-high” slice backhand it is! Sorry, but I’ll just keep on teaching a good old fashioned “chopping / hacker / into-the-net / short” Federer style . . . if I summarized correctly.

Any issue people might have with a straight high-to-low slice BH has a lot more to do with a lack of proper instruction in the style than it does inherent problems with the swing path.

MG
I'm pretty sure that I've seen Federer executing both types of slices.
 
high to low and then a little high again if you're slicing a low ball, but if its high ball, then its just high to low.
Ding Ding Ding

We have a winner!

If you're trying to slice a low ball, you need to finish up to help lift the ball over the net, after you've applied the high-to-low spinning action.

On high balls this is not necessary...
 

larry10s

Hall of Fame
So an “up-again / banana-style / high-low-high” slice backhand it is! Sorry, but I’ll just keep on teaching a good old fashioned “chopping / hacker / into-the-net / short” Federer style . . . if I summarized correctly.

Any issue people might have with a straight high-to-low slice BH has a lot more to do with a lack of proper instruction in the style than it does inherent problems with the swing path.

MG
federer is trying to get extreme bite on the ball that is why he gooe for extreme high to low but look at where he finishes extrreme high.
 
S

Slicendicer

Guest
wtf is up-down-up, and how do you swing out to in?? -__-

You just swing up to down, coming down across the ball..
Impossible to swing "out to in", and why would you go "up-down-up".. it is essentially the same as down-up because you only make contact with the ball once.

I'm still trying to picture this in my head..
Variety of spin... again depending on the effect you want. Up-(high)-Down-(to low)-Up-(finish with the racquet higher than contact zone)
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Well as stated, on the high balls, it is just high to low, on the low balls, the video ends before he comes back up with the followthrough.

J
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
Banana Shape Slice!

Obviously, in some cases a quick high to low slice might do it, but if you are slicing off a deep low ball, you may want to have some follow-through when the racket head finishes above the level of the net, to really drive your slice like Ken Rosewell did.

When we discuss a stroke, we discuss a full stroke; we do not discuss emergency shots, or shots hit in less than ideal situation.

Because a slice is hit in many situations, it's shape might be altered here and there, but basic look of a standard 1-handed BH slice is that of a Banana. If the high-low chop is working for you, who are we to interfere? I have a pretty good slice and my swing pattern is high-low-high. And I am number 2 in the world in the ITF's ITN Skill testing 55+ (www.oncourtassessment.com).
 

Rui

Semi-Pro
Djokovic proved me right. Watch his follow-through.
Wrong.

Mountain Ghost is correct. The ball is not affected by the lifting of the arm after the ball is on its way over the net. So, it is not necessary for the execution of the slice.

Rather, the player, any player, is getting into his/her ready position...arms come up and together...to get ready for the next shot.
 
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ksqwqb

New User
should go high to level. The pros go high to low because of the tremendous racket head speed they are able to produce. For the average player this results in a lot of floaters. High to level will produce much more reliable results for the typical player.
 
its weird cuz whenever i hit my backhand slice, i do a low to high motion but i dont stop my motion.
i let is continue all the way down. It is very consistent, has good pace, great underspin, and rarely goes out or into the net. Also has great depth. Amazing offense as well as defensive shot for me
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
Wrong.

Mountain Ghost is correct. The ball is not affected by the lifting of the arm after the ball is on its way over the net. So, it is not necessary for the execution of the slice.

Rather, the player, any player, is getting into his/her ready position...arms come up and together...to get ready for the next shot.
"The ball is not affected by the lifting of the arm after the ball is on its way over the net".

OK, you are driving a car at speed 140 km per hour. All of a sudden an animal comes right in front of you. You apply sudden breaks but the car does not stop there, it keeps on skidding, why? Momentum?

Similarly, if you stop your swing halfway through the process of stopping has occurred as you strike the ball. Get the point?

Even on ground strokes though the ball has already left your strings but you continue follow-throughing because you do not like to stop your momentum.

Watch any good 1-handed slice BH and you will see that the swing pattern is pretty much high-low-high.
 

Rui

Semi-Pro
OK, you are driving a car at speed 140 km per hour. All of a sudden an animal comes right in front of you. You apply sudden breaks but the car does not stop there, it keeps on skidding, why? Momentum?

Similarly, if you stop your swing halfway through the process of stopping has occurred as you strike the ball. Get the point?

Even on ground strokes though the ball has already left your strings but you continue follow-throughing because you do not like to stop your momentum.
Nobody is stopping their swing.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. If you're trying to say that momentum causes the arm to reach out and then rise. That's different than saying the high-low-high banana is an integral part of a slice stroke. It's not. The shot is dictated by the high-low dynamic. Since once the ball has left the strings, there is nothing else you can do to it to affect its flight. You could let go of your racket and that wouldn't make the ball land out or in.

The momentum you speak of coupled with a desire to get ready for the next shot will bring your arm back up again. But, the ball is long gone by then.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Since all 3 of these vids are truncated, we don't really see the full follow-thru action. The 1st two videos are of Federer hitting a slice with a pretty high contact point. As ronalditop pointed out, the follow-thru will be primarily high-to-low for a high contact. The contact point is also a bit on the late side for these 2 shots -- they are hit nearly even with the front shoulder, or only slightly forward of the shoulder. As I had indicated previously, this will often result in a follow-thru that is mostly high-to-low.

The 3rd video shows a low contact point -- that is also a bit forward of the front (hitting) shoulder. If the rest of the follow-thru for this shot was displayed it would undoubtedly show that the arm & racket both rise again after contact.



Wrong.

Mountain Ghost is correct. The ball is not affected by the lifting of the arm after the ball is on its way over the net. So, it is not necessary for the execution of the slice.

Rather, the player, any player, is getting into his/her ready position...arms come up and together...to get ready for the next shot.
This may or may not be true for some shots. However for many (if not most) shots, the follow-thru is often a manifestation or a direct result of the actions which come before it. What happen at contact, and just before contact, will dictate, in large part, what happens during the follow-thru.

If the follow-thru is abbreviated, abruptly stopped or altered in some other way, the roots of those follow-thru changes will actually happen during & prior to impact. Those impact changes or swing path changes may be difficult to detect w/o very high speed video. However, those minor changes often become overt (or obvious) when viewing the follow-thru.

An important function of the follow-thru on most shots in tennis is to prevent stress or injury to the shoulder and arm. The racket speed just after contact is probably more than 75-80% of the pre-impact racket speed. For fast swings, the follow-thru must be fairly long to minimize stress to the shoulder & arm. For a medium or low contact point on a fast BH slice, the swing path should normally be high-low-high to minimize that stress.
 

DNShade

Hall of Fame
That looks much more like a drop shot - not a true slice backhand. And I wouldn't look to Novak to see real slice shots being used...

As for the question...you can swing high to low/low to high/high to low to high - all about the face of the racket when it makes contact. Just depends on what kind of "slice" shot you are hitting - offensive, defensive, drop shot - buying time - changing pace - chip and charge - are you looking to have side spin as well so the ball kicks out away or into the other player?

Best answer - get out on court and start hitting.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
^ Good points! However, that would actually be spiral spin (longitudinal spin) that causes the ball to kick off to the side. A vertical axis side spin would cause a horizontal bend in the flight path of the ball but does not cause the ball to kick off to the side on the bounce.
 

Rui

Semi-Pro
If the follow-thru is abbreviated, abruptly stopped or altered in some other way, the roots of those follow-thru changes will actually happen during & prior to impact.
Yes, I'm terming this a 'high-low dynamic.' The swing through the contact point dictates the slice. The follow-through is a result of the high-low dynamic. In other words, the follow-through can vary. But not the high-low part.
 
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