Would swinging low to high with a slightly OPEN racket face at contract make slice?

Would swinging low to high with a slightly OPEN racket face at contract make slice?

  • The ball will have slice on it

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • The ball will have absolutely no spin on it

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • The ball will have topspin on it

    Votes: 12 66.7%

  • Total voters
    18

thomasferrett

Hall of Fame
Thread title should obviously say 'contact' and not 'contract'...

You swing low to high, but at contact your strings are pointing slightly open (i.e. towards the sky). The ball is obviously going to travel pretty high over the net, but is that ball going to have topspin or slice on it?

If it produces topspin, (and NOT slice), is it ever a good idea to hit topspin shots with a slightly open racket face, as that way you will get a lot of height over the net and some spin, so if you get it deep as well, that ball is likely going to be very nasty for your opponent to deal with. Are there any downsides to hitting that kind of shot?

And if you hit topspin (instead of slice) on this kind of stroke, how much reduce will your topspin be compared to hitting the same racket swing path and racket head speed, but with a perpendicular or closed racket head face? Topspin is reduced by 20%? 50%? 150%?
 

rkelley

Hall of Fame
This thread seems to be predicated on the idea that the amount your racquet face is open or closed produces topspin. Don't think like that. It doesn't help.

Keep it simple. Low to high swing path makes topspin. High to low makes slice. Racquet face angle controls the height of the ball over the net.
 

thomasferrett

Hall of Fame
This thread seems to be predicated on the idea that the amount your racquet face is open or closed produces topspin. Don't think like that. It doesn't help.

Keep it simple. Low to high swing path makes topspin. High to low makes slice. Racquet face angle controls the height of the ball over the net.

Yes, but, racket face clearly has an impact on spin. You are more likely to make topspin with a closed racket face, and you're more likely to make slice with an open one.

So, if you swing fast with a low-to-high action, but with a slightly open racket face, does the racket face over-ride the swing-path, resulting in a high trajectory slice ball being hit? That's what I'm getting at.
 

rkelley

Hall of Fame
Yes, but, racket face clearly has an impact on spin. You are more likely to make topspin with a closed racket face, and you're more likely to make slice with an open one.

So, if you swing fast with a low-to-high action, but with a slightly open racket face, does the racket face over-ride the swing-path, resulting in a high trajectory slice ball being hit? That's what I'm getting at.

The face angle does have some impact on spin, but thinking about the face angle and trying figure out what spin you're going to end up with is the tail wagging the dog.

Start with the swing, topspin or slice. On a topspin shot you're generally going to close the face more to keep the ball in. On a slice shot you're generally going to open the face more to keep the ball from going into the net. Then are you hitting the ball on the rise or fall, because this can have a significant effect on how the ball comes off the racquet. The more on the rise, the more you need to close the face. Figure out the face angle you think you'll need so the ball goes over the net at the height that you want. I can't think about any more than this during a shot, and even this should be pretty automatic after a while.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
If you can hit open faced at impact, and with a low to high swing, you are hitting moonballs or very slow groundstrokes, for them to drop IN.
Swinging normal speed, it's almost impossible, but if it does land IN, it would be very deep near the baseline.
 

Rui

Semi-Pro
If you are brushing up the backside of the ball, it will be top spin. If you drive the ball low to high it will hit the back fence.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
It depends on how open the face is and how steeply upward the swing path is.

Plugged in -6 for the racket face angle (meaning it's open 6 degrees) and plugged in 76 for the swing path (meaning an upward swing path of 76 degrees). It sez it yields this topspin lob (the red dots) that has 2073 rpm's of topspin.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/16789281796/

From TW University at http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/trajectory_maker.cgi#output

I find it to be a valuable tool whose results match up with my real world experimentation. This stuff ain't rocket science, but seems folks are reluctant to take advantage of it. Swing path and face angle *both* matter when it comes to spin and trajectory. AAMOF, the incoming spin on the ball *also* matters - a *lot*. Play with the numbers with this shotmaker tool that Tennis Warehouse so kindly provides, free of charge.
 
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LeeD

Bionic Poster
Red ball is useless for tennis, unless you want to play like TLM, in which case, it's the most important shot in all of tennis.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
Red ball is useless for tennis, unless you want to play like TLM, in which case, it's the most important shot in all of tennis.

TLM?

I find the topspin lob and the well timed lob volley to be the most devastating and feared shots against me.

I would think that the ideal style of play is the one that works best against a given opponent - as long as it's legal. Pretty sure topspin lobs is be legal. :)
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
TLM?

I find the topspin lob and the well timed lob volley to be the most devastating and feared shots against me.

I would think that the ideal style of play is the one that works best against a given opponent - as long as it's legal. Pretty sure topspin lobs is be legal. :)

Lefties and lobs should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. So should not using a vibration dampener :)
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
I always try to swing high to low for backhand slice.

But I was surprised to discover can also generate backhand slice shot by swinging low to high, just like my backhand drive swing path, and opening the racket face at the last instant just before contact. Not as much slice spin doing it this way, but opponents tell me the ball has slice on it.
 
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mntlblok

Hall of Fame
I always try to swing high to low for backhand slice.

But I was surprised to discover can also generate backhand slice shot by swinging low to high, just like my backhand drive swing path, and opening the racket face at the last instant just before contact. Not as much slice spin doing it this way, but opponents tell me the ball has slice on it.

Let's see it.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I think we went over this in another thread. I was contradicted many times but no one could disprove me at the end.

A low to high swing in which the racket is moving forward with an open face CANNOT produce topspin "by itself," meaning that it does produce a tiny amount of topspin due to the recoil of the strings (which is also produced by a stationary racket).


PS: Unless you really try to understand the above and want to discuss it seriously, don't waste my time with insults or video-less claims of being able to do it. I answered all the questions before and don't want to put in the effort again.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
I think we went over this in another thread. I was contradicted many times but no one could disprove me at the end.

A low to high swing in which the racket is moving forward with an open face CANNOT produce topspin "by itself," meaning that it does produce a tiny amount of topspin due to the recoil of the strings (which is also produced by a stationary racket).


PS: Unless you really try to understand the above and want to discuss it seriously, don't waste my time with insults or video-less claims of being able to do it. I answered all the questions before and don't want to put in the effort again.
So, what did you make of this??
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/16789281796/
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
See this description:

Racquet tilt: Forward tilt postive (typical 0-5); backward tilt negative (tilt measured degrees from vertical).

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/trajectory_maker.cgi

An open face as we understand it would have a NEGATIVE number for the tilt.

I think when TW Prof says 5 degrees open, he simply means tilt angle is 5% closed. If it was 5 degrees open, he would have said "-5 degrees open." His "open" is both closed and open depending on sign of angle.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
See this description:

Racquet tilt: Forward tilt postive (typical 0-5); backward tilt negative (tilt measured degrees from vertical).

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/trajectory_maker.cgi

An open face as we understand it would have a NEGATIVE number for the tilt.

I think when TW Prof says 5 degrees open, he simply means tilt angle is 5% closed. If it was 5 degrees open, he would have said "-5 degrees open." His "open" is both closed and open depending on sign of angle.

I think the prof also means an open face has a negative number associated with the tilt. Anyway, a negative number is what I programmed into this one for an open face.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I think the prof also means an open face has a negative number associated with the tilt. Anyway, a negative number is what I programmed into this one for an open face.

Are you sure? If I go with the default settings on the page and just change the tilt to -5 for both columns, I get:

Incoming Spin 4000 rpm
Top Spin 4000 rpm
Top Spin
information button Launch Spin (assuming racquets with same string) 52 rpm
Top Spin 913 rpm
Top Spin

In other words, the spin off the racket is very small compared to the incoming massive spin.

It is very different from +5 degrees:

Incoming Spin 4000 rpm
Top Spin 4000 rpm
Top Spin
information button Launch Spin (assuming racquets with same string) 1035 rpm
Top Spin 1787 rpm
Top Spin
 

WildVolley

Legend
Just change shot B to racket tilt (-5) and the swing angle to (75) and you get a topspin lob that lands in the court with a launch spin over 2000rpm.

Try it.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Just change shot B to racket tilt (-5) and the swing angle to (75) and you get a topspin lob that lands in the court with a launch spin over 2000rpm.

Try it.

With an incoming spin of 4000 rpm? Of course. Even with no incoming spin, you get top spin, I think I have pointed this out a 1000 times by now.

Even Nadal's TS is not 4000 rpm most of the time.

Quite different from your claim that you got topspin with open face in your backyard by drop feeding the ball.

PS: Please don't pretend again that you did not read my caveat about top spin being produced even with no incoming spin. If you believe that the 2000 rpm was "created" by the hitter and not because of the incoming spin, go ahead, but I will not respond any more. Thanks.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Quite different from your claim that you got topspin with open face in your backyard by drop feeding the ball.

I've seen the video so I know sometimes you actually play tennis.

Next time, take a ball and drop it onto the court with no incoming spin. Put a dot on the ball so you can see it. Swing through the ball low to high with a slight open racket face and you'll see topspin on the ball.

Seriously, I may be missing your point, but I don't understand your claim.:confused:

OK, you're claiming that all that topspin is caused by recoil of the strings. Don't know how you have the evidence to prove that? Isn't recoil of the strings topspin still topspin. It can be done, easily, trivially, which is my point.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I've seen the video so I know sometimes you actually play tennis.

Next time, take a ball and drop it onto the court with no incoming spin. Put a dot on the ball so you can see it. Swing through the ball low to high with a slight open racket face and you'll see topspin on the ball.

Seriously, I may be missing your point, but I don't understand your claim.:confused:

Seriously, what are you up to? Did you even read this:

A low to high swing in which the racket is moving forward with an open face CANNOT produce topspin "by itself," meaning that it does produce a tiny amount of topspin due to the recoil of the strings (which is also produced by a stationary racket).
 

WildVolley

Legend
Seriously, what are you up to? Did you even read this:

A low to high swing in which the racket is moving forward with an open face CANNOT produce topspin "by itself," meaning that it does produce a tiny amount of topspin due to the recoil of the strings (which is also produced by a stationary racket).

How small is a tiny amount? I mean if you can visibly see the ball topspinning, which I can, even in my yard, that suggests it is more than a trivial amount of topspin. Didn't measure the RPM, but of course it isn't anything like a heavily hit shot with a slightly closed face.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
Changing spin direction

With an incoming spin of 4000 rpm? Of course. Even with no incoming spin, you get top spin, I think I have pointed this out a 1000 times by now.

Even Nadal's TS is not 4000 rpm most of the time.

Quite different from your claim that you got topspin with open face in your backyard by drop feeding the ball.

PS: Please don't pretend again that you did not read my caveat about top spin being produced even with no incoming spin. If you believe that the 2000 rpm was "created" by the hitter and not because of the incoming spin, go ahead, but I will not respond any more. Thanks.

Wait. You think that incoming topspin helps with outgoing topspin? Say it ain't so. If that *is* what you think, then not responding would be a most excellent choice. :mrgreen:

When you try to generate topspin against incoming topspin, you have to change the rotation on the ball. It takes *more* effort to yield a topspin shot off a ball that comes at you with lots of topspin than one that comes at you with very little.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
How small is a tiny amount? I mean if you can visibly see the ball topspinning, which I can, even in my yard, that suggests it is more than a trivial amount of topspin. Didn't measure the RPM, but of course it isn't anything like a heavily hit shot with a slightly closed face.

It is actually easy to see a very low rate of topspin compared to a high one
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
Seriously, what are you up to? Did you even read this:

A low to high swing in which the racket is moving forward with an open face CANNOT produce topspin "by itself," meaning that it does produce a tiny amount of topspin due to the recoil of the strings (which is also produced by a stationary racket).

Essentially every pro feeds with a continental grip, with a slightly open face, and the feeds have topspin.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Wait. You think that incoming topspin helps with outgoing topspin? Say it ain't so. If that *is* what you think, then not responding would be a most excellent choice. :mrgreen:

When you try to generate topspin against incoming topspin, you have to change the rotation on the ball. It takes *more* effort to yield a topspin shot off a ball that comes at you with lots of topspin than one that comes at you with very little.

That is called counter top spin and I know about it. Go look at TW Prof's setup. He gets top spin even when the strings are stationary. It is due to friction and sliding and recoil. Even bouncing off the ground converts incoming backspin to top spin so the only shots with backspin are the ones you see in volleys!!!

The counter topspin is used to hit back a ball in an offensive way and control it. If you want to punt it back HIGH as a lob with an open face, you don't need counter top spin. You can do exactly that and still get topspin. Of course, it is a defensive shot, that is why people talk about reversing topspin and counter-attacking.

Man, I am done with this discussion. Really. You guys carry on since you don't want to accept defeat or learn anything new.
 
I've seen the video so I know sometimes you actually play tennis.

Next time, take a ball and drop it onto the court with no incoming spin. Put a dot on the ball so you can see it. Swing through the ball low to high with a slight open racket face and you'll see topspin on the ball.

You're likely pulling back during that swing without even knowing it. With open face racquet swing FORWARD low to high, can't really get topspin since strings can't brush up on the back of the ball UNLESS you are pulling back (even subtly) not going forward.
 

WildVolley

Legend
You're likely pulling back during that swing without even knowing it. With open face racquet swing FORWARD low to high, can't really get topspin since strings can't brush up on the back of the ball UNLESS you are pulling back (even subtly) not going forward.

I think it isn't easy enough to just say "low to high" and "open."

I'm definitely going low to high at a fairly steep angle and I'm only slightly open and it is definitely producing topspin.

However, I'm going to agree that if I make the low to high angle more shallow and the racket face even more open it should be possible to underspin the ball with an open face and a low to high movement. I've definitely done this hitting volleys.

I don't know the exact angles for going from underspin to topspin (obviously, a very open racket face is going to make it almost impossible to hit topspin), but that might be why people are seeing different things.
 
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I think it isn't easy enough to just say "low to high" and "open."

I'm definitely going low to high at a fairly steep angle and I'm only slightly open and it is definitely producing topspin.

Yes, so steep that it is slightly negative (wrt to the vertical) at contact, i.e. pulling back and not continuing forward low to high.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Yes, so steep that it is slightly negative (wrt to the vertical) at contact, i.e. pulling back and not continuing forward low to high.

No. It definitely has a vector in the forward-horizontal direction at contact. Try it yourself and you'll see.

As someone else pointed out. You can easily hit a mild topspin feed with a slightly open face using a continental grip.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
I think it isn't easy enough to just say "low to high" and "open."
>>>>>>>>>>>>
I don't know the exact angles for going from underspin to topspin (obviously, a very open racket face is going to make it almost impossible to hit topspin), but that might be why people are seeing different things.

Played with the inputs a bit and came sorta close to no spin (77 rpm's of topspin) with the following:
incoming spin of 1000 rpms of topspin
swing speed of 25mph
swing angle of 65 degrees upward
racket tilt of -20 degrees
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/16223661184/

Interestingly, it's not a straight line change for the spin when you manipulate just one of the above parameters.
 
No. It definitely has a vector in the forward-horizontal direction at contact. Try it yourself and you'll see.

As someone else pointed out. You can easily hit a mild topspin feed with a slightly open face using a continental grip.

Two possibilities:
1) As you're swinging forward you begin with an open racquet face but due to quick follow through it's actually slightly closed at contact - but feels to you like it was open.

2) Again due to the quick follow through it feels to you like the swing path is forward, but actually at contact it ever so slightly going backward with an open face

Unless you video in slo mo, you won't know anything except what you feel.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Two possibilities:
1) As you're swinging forward you begin with an open racquet face but due to quick follow through it's actually slightly closed at contact - but feels to you like it was open.

2) Again due to the quick follow through it feels to you like the swing path is forward, but actually at contact it ever so slightly going backward with an open face

Unless you video in slo mo, you won't know anything except what you feel.

I don't understand the confusion over this issue. Perhaps we have a different definition of "slightly open racket face." By slightly open, I mean that the face is open just a few degrees past vertical.

With a racket in this position, the trig is trivial to show that with an upward vector of the racket you can get a brushing motion up the back of the ball without pulling back.

What am I missing about this discussion? Are we defining the terms differently or do we have a fundamentally different view of reality?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I don't understand the confusion over this issue. Perhaps we have a different definition of "slightly open racket face." By slightly open, I mean that the face is open just a few degrees past vertical.

With a racket in this position, the trig is trivial to show that with an upward vector of the racket you can get a brushing motion up the back of the ball without pulling back.

What am I missing about this discussion? Are we defining the terms differently or do we have a fundamentally different view of reality?

What you are missing is that your "slightly open" is actually "slightly closed." A perpendicular from your strings pointing forward is pointing downward.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Two possibilities:
1) As you're swinging forward you begin with an open racquet face but due to quick follow through it's actually slightly closed at contact - but feels to you like it was open.

2) Again due to the quick follow through it feels to you like the swing path is forward, but actually at contact it ever so slightly going backward with an open face

Unless you video in slo mo, you won't know anything except what you feel.

That is the next possibility. He thinks his racket face is open but at contact he is subconsciously closing it.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
No. It definitely has a vector in the forward-horizontal direction at contact. Try it yourself and you'll see.

Forward-horizontal means face is vertical to the ground. Slightly open means the vector is forward and above horizontal. Your vector is forward and below horizontal.
 

WildVolley

Legend
What you are missing is that your "slightly open" is actually "slightly closed." A perpendicular from your strings pointing forward is pointing downward.

I'm assuming you are serious and not just trolling me.

The racket face at vertical would have a perpendicular parallel to the ground.

I'm calling "slightly open" to mean that the perpendicular to the racket face would be a vector with a vertical component going up and out. "Slightly closed" would have a vector going out and down toward the ground.

Also, you've already admitted that it is possible to hit some topspin with a slightly open face so why are you back-tracking and now claiming that it is impossible?
 

WildVolley

Legend
Forward-horizontal means face is vertical to the ground. Slightly open means the vector is forward and above horizontal. Your vector is forward and below horizontal.

No definitely not.

You now seem to just be trolling. Seriously, until you try hitting the ball with a slightly open racket face and an upward swing path you shouldn't be allowed in the conversation.

It is trivial to empirically demonstrate what I say is true. Just do the experiment yourself and stop trolling.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The racket face at vertical would have a perpendicular parallel to the ground.

I'm calling "slightly open" to mean that the perpendicular to the racket face would be a vector with a vertical component going up and out. "Slightly closed" would have a vector going out and down toward the ground.

Also, you've already admitted that it is possible to hit some topspin with a slightly open face so why are you back-tracking and now claiming that it is impossible?

First 2 paras: correct.

3rd para: I am sorry I am done with you but I am curious. Did you or did you not read what I said about topspin being always there due to friction (and increased one at that if incoming ball has itself a lot of spin) and the important distinction between that and putting your own counter topspin with a closed face? I am really curious because however many times I repeat that, it doesn't seem to get through to you.

The court surface even converts incoming backspin to topspin. Does it mean that the court is sliding backwards to the ball direction and consciously putting topspin on it? If you lie on the court facing down, a topspin ball landing on your butt will still come out with topspin. Are you then creating topspin with your butt?
 

WildVolley

Legend
3rd para: I am sorry I am done with you but I am curious. Did you or did you not read what I said about topspin being always there due to friction (and increased one at that if incoming ball has itself a lot of spin) and the important distinction between that and putting your own counter topspin with a closed face? I am really curious because however many times I repeat that, it doesn't seem to get through to you.

Yes, I have no idea at all what the above means?:confused:

What is the "friction" that "always" creates topspin when an incoming ball has spin? Are you talking about friction from the bounce off the court (which occurs long after the spin off the racket - spin off the racket being what we are concerned with in this discussion), friction from the bounce off the string (this is what I assume you are talking about), friction from the air?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Friction = macroscopic term which includes deformation of ball and strings, sliding of strings, and recoil effect of strings if any.

Without friction, no rolling motion can be generated. See any mechanics book.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Friction = macroscopic term which includes deformation of ball and strings, sliding of strings, and recoil effect of strings if any.

Without friction, no rolling motion can be generated. See any mechanics book.

OK, so you're talking about friction off the string.

Why do you believe friction off the string "always" creates topspin? I can hit a ball with underspin. I've done it many times.

Second, if we agree that friction off the string can cause topspin, why does that have anything to do with the empirical fact that it is possible to hit a ball with topspin into the court with a low-to-high swing path and a slightly-open racket face?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Why do you believe friction off the string "always" creates topspin? I can hit a ball with underspin. I've done it many times.

Not always. A high to low swing uses friction to create backspin. But a stationary racket with an open face moving up will only create a little topspin, or more if the incoming ball has a lot of topspin.
 
With a racket in this position, the trig is trivial to show that with an upward vector of the racket you can get a brushing motion up the back of the ball without pulling back.

Please show that simple trig! Think about it, if racquet face is slightly open, say a few degrees, it will strike the ball from below its equator. The ball is only on the string for maybe 5 ms. There is no brushing action if the racquet is going forward, it's simply a flat pat to the ball below the equator. Suresh is saying any topspin that results will be similar to the topspin you'd get if the racquet was not moving at all. So yes you will get topspin but not from the low to high motion.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Please show that simple trig! Think about it, if racquet face is slightly open, say a few degrees, it will strike the ball from below its equator. The ball is only on the string for maybe 5 ms. There is no brushing action if the racquet is going forward, it's simply a flat pat to the ball below the equator. Suresh is saying any topspin that results will be similar to the topspin you'd get if the racquet was not moving at all. So yes you will get topspin but not from the low to high motion.

He is doing it deliberately to troll. Don't answer his questions.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Please show that simple trig! Think about it, if racquet face is slightly open, say a few degrees, it will strike the ball from below its equator. The ball is only on the string for maybe 5 ms. There is no brushing action if the racquet is going forward, it's simply a flat pat to the ball below the equator. Suresh is saying any topspin that results will be similar to the topspin you'd get if the racquet was not moving at all. So yes you will get topspin but not from the low to high motion.

Why are you now specifying a horizontal racket path?

We are talking about a forward and up vector in my example for the racket path.
 
Why are you now specifying a horizontal racket path?

We are talking about a forward and up vector in my example for the racket path.

Yeah, that's what I mean, forward and up. When you go forward and up with a slightly open racquet face, the strings will strike the ball from below the equator of the ball and it can only hit it flat from below the equator of the ball.

To brush when striking below the equator of the ball, you have to pull back towards you a bit.
 
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