Slice Backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by 5263, May 12, 2017.

  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    As I see it, bending the elbow adds an unnecessary variable to the swing and tends to promote straightening the elbow to generate forward swing, whereas keeping the arm straight from the beginning of the forward swing promotes the proper use of upper body and arm rotation to execute the forward swing.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    I think you have it 180 degrees backwards. Federer's old chop technique was ill equipped to handle Nadal's high bouncing cross court forehand. It was all he could do to float back weak replies. Recently, Federer has learned to his a proper drive slice, for which he credits Edberg, which is one of the reasons his backhand is no longer so easily exploited by Nadal. A backhand chop is a good shot to have, but, it cannot substitute for a proper slice.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    Just looked at the first few seconds and didn't need to go further. This guy doesn't know how to hit a proper backhand slice. BTW, he's hitting much more than 100 rpm's.
     
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  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    It amounts to a pointless puffball against Nadal's cross court forehand. That's why Fed sought out Edberg to teach him how to hit a proper drive slice.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    No. Keep your elbow straight, rotate your upper body away from the target and pronate your straight arm. Then rotate your upper body back to the target, supinate your arm and hit a walloping drive slice on any ball from ankle height to balls that bounce above your head.
     
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  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    Then why did Federer go to Edberg to learn how to hit a proper drive slice?
     
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  7. 2HBH-DTL

    2HBH-DTL Guest

    extension. when you watch a pro hit a 2 handed backhand and as they're driving through the shot, the arms are straight out as they meet the ball out in front. same with forehand and other strokes. extension.
     
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  8. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    He didn't.

    Even if he did I covered it when I said "If there was value in hitting a more lineal old-school type slice players would (learn to) do it more, but there isn't for most players in most situations."

    Notice the word "most" in there twice? Not "all" or "every". Most.
     
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  9. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    I used to love the "only pass" 4.5s on those hot summer tournament days. My overhead was one of my most reliable shots, but 2 hours of back pedalling overheads in 100 degree heat was a workout. I tend to lob in the following situation. The net rusher is on the way in ... and I go for pass or low neutral pass. Net rusher hits good enough volley to my bh corner where pass is very low percentage (I love bh dtl ... so I prefer to hit it). I will hit a low lob off slice trying to just clear opponent now with his nose on top of the net. If I pull it off ... running down the lower trajectory lob is much more taxing on the opponent. Then there are those "barely got to it hoist it up lobs". I like to bring rain with the height of those. :p
     
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  10. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    Depends ... Agassi was with straight/straight 2hbh ... Djoker is only straight with left arm at contact w/bent/straight. ???
     
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  11. Dolgopolov85

    Dolgopolov85 Hall of Fame

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    On another note, wasn't Fed going for mostly topspin backhand against Nadal in these recent matches? The one time he hit a vicious slice in the AO (which Nadal barely got to and hit into the net), it was short and skiddy, more like his usual slice and not a drive slice.
     
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  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    He did, and he credited Edberg for it at the AO.

    There is more value to it for 1hb players in terms of handling high bouncing balls. 2hb players are generally better off hitting high bouncing balls with 2 hands, although, there is a limit to that. But, in my view, it would be an excellent option for any player who wants to hit a forceful and dependable backhand when reaching for the ball be it high, low or laterally.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  13. jm1980

    jm1980 G.O.A.T.

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    I have several problems with this:

    1. Federer's recent success against Nadal should be credited to reduced used of the slice altogether, and an improved topspin drive BH
    2. Federer himself thinks his slice has gotten worse since he got the new racquet, which coincides with when he started working with Edberg
    3. Nadal in his prime ate up everyone's slices. He was just very well equipped to handle that shot.
    4. Federer still had what was widely regarded as one of the best slices BHs on tour
    5. If Nadal amounts of spin are what's required to break down this shot, I will gladly take my chances with it. You aren't going to see 5000 rpm topspin in rec tennis
     
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  14. jm1980

    jm1980 G.O.A.T.

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    We can also take a look at the 4 next best players in recent times and see how their slices look.







     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    Federer, himself, gave credit to Edberg with helping him to develop a proper drive slice. Federer's previous underspin backhand was a chop, not a slice. Nadal's success against underspin backhands was, in large part, due to the fact that no one in his era hit a proper drive slice until Federer recently added it to his repertoire.
     
    #65
  16. jm1980

    jm1980 G.O.A.T.

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    This counters none of my arguments, except 3.

    You can argue that nobody knows how to hit a proper slice, but I'd say it's more like nobody would want to hit a Rosewall style slice against a 3000 rpm topspin shot
     
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  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    From these 4 videos, the closest example of proper drive slice technique is that of Djokovic at about 10 seconds. Djokovic's backhands at 22 and about 27 seconds have some proper technique, but, not as clearly as the one at 10 seconds. The opening backhand in the Murray video demonstrates some proper technique, but, his low finish indicates a chop, not a slice.
     
    #67
  18. jm1980

    jm1980 G.O.A.T.

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    What I'm getting at is that the best players in the world today don't hit slices like Rosewall did
     
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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    I have countered all of your arguments and premises (express and implied), except #1 in which you are correct.

    PS: In my view, on grass and fast hard courts, today's players would have more trouble with Rosewall's backhand than he would with their topspin. On clay and today's hyper-aggregated hard courts, the topspin would be more troublesome for Rosewall, in my view.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  20. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    No one in the history of tennis has hit slices like Rosewall. That's not the issue. I have been saying for many years that the drive slice backhand is a lost art.
     
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  21. jm1980

    jm1980 G.O.A.T.

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    You are going to have a hard time convincing me prime Federer's slice was bad, or that it was worse than his current slice. Most forum-goers also think it's gotten worse.
     
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  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    You misunderstand my point. Federer's chop backhand is a great shot in the right circumstances. But, it doesn't substitute for a proper drive slice which, in my view, is a necessity if you have a 1hb.

    In my view, most board members can't distingish between a backhand chop and a backhand slice.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I'm dying to see this slice of yours in action.

    Please post video at your earliest convenience.

    J
     
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  24. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Source please. I recall him talking about Edberg's influence but not in reference to driving slice backhands.
     
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  25. jm1980

    jm1980 G.O.A.T.

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    Seems like a lot of tennis coaches, commentators, and even professional players themselves can't make that distinction
     
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  26. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    A chop looks a lot better on the rpm meter they have in their buttcap :) But ruins the proper slice.
     
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  27. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    With amateurs there will never be one answer, because amateurs hit with a lot more (accidental) unpredictable variety in spin and depth than the pros do because of poor or unorthodox technique.

    The most important thing is that you hit the slice that is required for the occasion. Really, it's just an application of playing within your limits. That said, if more backspin (than what you are currently capable of) is necessary to hit the kind of slice you need for a given occasion, then by all means try and improve in that department. However, from my limited experience, most B grade players and below have dodgy footwork anyway so any unexpected variation of pace and spin (or junk balls in general) is going to throw them off their rhythm.

    In my case, slices do not bother me that much because it forces me to actually consciously brush up on the ball, and involve my footwork and knees more in a Pavlovian way. There is a guy I played with once or twice who really carved his slices low and purring with backspin, which took me by surprise at first. Fortunately for me, he did not have any shots off that BH wing other than the slice, so I got used to that spin very quickly, which left him nothing to hurt me with. The odd baiting floaters here and there tend to be more dangerous for me because I find it too tempting to take huge cuts at a ball when a more modest putaway will do.

    So to your question 'Does the rec player really increase winning percentage by increasing slice backspin?'...yes and no. Like everything else, that will always depend on the opponent, and how many or how few opportunities you give your opponent to get used to your backspin. Even a 5,300 rpm slice backhand will eventually lose you points if that's the only shot you hit off that wing. Variety is key. So to that extent, having that monstrous backspin slice is great, because heavy backspin delivered with your body weight keeps slices real low, and is a PITA for people with insufficient RHA to deal. But should that be the end goal of every slice you hit? Of course not; you're playing a match, not drilling your opponent.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  28. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    Both Nadal and Djokovic have vastly improved their slices since those two videos were made.

    Nadal's slice is one of the best on tour now, and Djokovic's has improved leaps and bounds under Becker.

    Only Murray and Stan's slices have remained largely the same, and I dare say Andy's slice has gotten worse.
     
    #78
  29. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    That's my topspin Bender ... even a foot off the ground.

    - Re-slice
    - Re-droppa
    - slice into the trees, re-slice out of the trees
     
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  30. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    True (although I know you are being ironic). Similarly, many coaches, commentators, etc., don't fully understand the mechanics of the modern, ATP style forehand, or the role of the legs in serving.
     
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  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    A chop is a more difficult shot to time because of the steep swing path, and to contol because of all of the spin. In my view, a drive slice backhand is probably the easiest shot to learn, it's easy to control, and it's a very reliable, repeatable shot.
     
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  32. Dolgopolov85

    Dolgopolov85 Hall of Fame

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    In this video too, he says the reason Fed hits the slice like that is because he is taking it on the rise against heavy balls. For us recs, he advises taking the racquet forward, i.e., a more conventional slice.

     
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  33. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    Thanks, i see what your talking about now. I use the chop on lower balls but dont see how he could do it on high balls (will watch a few matches).

    One thing i notice from the chop is it adds a little side spin, when i hit one up the line it moves a bit outward. Focusing on hitting the top on the leveling it off around waist height. People who float it are probably dropping it to low
     
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  34. Dolgopolov85

    Dolgopolov85 Hall of Fame

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    Well do you get the racquet across in your chop slice? That's what Fed does. The Fed slice is like a vertical semi circle while the old slice - the Graf slice if you will - is more horizontal. It cannot be completely horizontal but you get the drift.
     
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  35. KenC

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    Loosely defined, I think the drive slice is a lot like a drive forehand except that we want the racquet face slightly open instead of slightly closed. When contact is made, the racquet is moving toward and in line with the target position. I think today everybody is super-obsessed with spin and are trying to maximize spin with the BH slice, and now are trying to incorporate a bit of sidespin in with their backspin. It makes the shot unnecessarily complicated and starts to rob pace. For a really effective slice backhand, it is probably better to concentrate on mastering net clearance by as little as possible and with as much pace as possible.
     
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  36. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    For that one i do, using the video a bit up. Come down a bit vertical but finish with the knuckles out. Twisting counterclockwise, the wrist seems to open nicely with that motion.

    When slicing crosscourt i'll do the normal flick, since its moving that way.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  37. Dolgopolov85

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    Hmm I guess without vid it's hard to tell. I agree with what coach Mauro says in that video - high ball is almost the only situation in which the Fed slice works. Actually that and when he's pulled wide; at other times Fed simply hits a topspin backhand. That is, he doesn't usually slice those balls that somebody like Graf would. As a rec hack, I have to use the drive slice when the ball is low but not enough width or time to set up a TS backhand. So if I hit a double hander I almost wouldn't be slicing at all except to hit a drop shot.
     
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  38. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

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    Mauro is correct. My only counter is that if you have a decent topspin OHBH - on a normal ball you might as well hit a topspin shot - assuming you are not stretched out wide.

    Few people can do it but it you can really hit a OHBH with some topspin - its free points. Both the slice and the two hand backhand tend to come in pretty flat on the backhand slide - so people have trouble dealing with heavy topspin shots to backhand.

    Even in Mauro's demonstration - two of those were like good looking slice. But some of the early ones kinda floated high and would be easy to return.
     
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  39. Dolgopolov85

    Dolgopolov85 Hall of Fame

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    What I said. And if you do want to hit a slice off a regular rally ball just to slow down the pace and induce an error, a Fed-like floating slice which curves through the air is more likely to like get the other guy to hit without getting his feet close enough to the ball. If you can hit a good top spin backhand, a drive slice is not very useful except as an approach shot OR, as I mentioned earlier, when you just don't have enough time or room to set up a top spin backhand (one handed).

    As for Mauro's demo, I'd cut him some slack because it's tricky to hit a backhand with self-feeding, lol. You can see he was telling himself to get it lower through the air but it's not easy to time a slice like that. He should have got somebody to feed him a few balls for the slice.
     
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  40. chikoo

    chikoo Hall of Fame

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    Shave it

    [​IMG]
     
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  41. chikoo

    chikoo Hall of Fame

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    A smooth unrestricted flow, unencumbered by trying to navigate through an elbow turn.
     
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  42. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

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    Legit. I only hit like 10 slices a set now off the backhand - and maybe a slice or two (squash shot) of forehand if I get really fouled up. The fed plan of working on hitting a better topspin OHBH is probably the right one for most rec players..
     
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