to chop or to hit through?


New User
hey guys, i have some simple questions to ask, hope u guys will be able to help me......i've read in many of the previous posts that a backhand slice is actually hitting forward with an open face racquet.

then volleys are also supposed to be punched.

but i've seen a lot of people chopping down backhand slice and volleys. yes, chopping down creates floaters, but why do some pros still chop them down? how do i know when to hit thru the ball and when to chop down the ball?


New User
I think I know what you are referring to about seeing the pros doing sort of a dipping motion on their bh volley; I have seen photos of Ferrero and Safin doing said motion...But don't be deceived by these shots, they are still pushing through the ball with their body weight. Note that even though it looks like they are doing a chop motion, they still keep their arm and body under the ball and push through with their weight. The only time you will see a pro actually dropping the racquet below the ball and chopping it is if he is going for a dropper.


Sounds like a question of offensive slice vs defensive slice vs drop shot.

When you hit an offensive slice shot, you lead the shot with your shoulder thrust and weight into the stoke first than your arm/racquet will come around into the ball, hitting through it.... This shot should barely clear the net with quite a bit of pace and land near the base line.

Defensive slice you don't have time to head the shot with your shoulder thrust so the shoulders/weight/arms come into the ball within the same stroke.... Often time with more underspin since you are not fully balance to lead with your shoulder / weight.... You really just want to get the ball back deep on the corner of the court, often times floating since you don't hit through it as much.

What you see on TV at full speed doesn't tell the story, its very misleading to think they are just chopping down. Pros are better than us (of course) at hitting through their slices with their shoulders / body weight.... its their follow through motion that we mostly see on TV...... subtle movements of their shoulder / weight into the shot really can't be seen at full speed on the small TV broadcasts.


ideally you shouldn't chop down on the ball. If you want to hit a drop shot try to carve under the ball, that is how the pros do it,
Pros are NOT chopping through on volleys or slices.

What you see is only at contact, when the racket hits the ball. The force causes the racket to be pushed down. You don't see this on groundstrokes because you're already swinging them at such a high speed before you hit the ball. In slices and volleys, the balls coming at you faster than you're pushing through hit.

Try it yourself. Chop under the ball on a volley, and then just try a compact punching motion. Find out which one gives you more drive and consistency. It's the short punching motion. By short, I mean your elbow shouldn't straighten out through the shot.

If you actually find the chopping motion is working at net, try it again when the balls coming toward you at high velocity. Ball pushing the racket down + chop = FLOATER.


One of the biggest misconceptions in tennis is that pros always slice their volleys. Punch your volleys and stop trying to slice them because while the pros do slice some volleys, the majority of the volleys are punched.


New User
great...guys really appreciate your effort in clarifying most of my doubts. ha i suppose this is the only place where i can ask questions to pros.....

once again thanks for your answers!