Coaching Tip - June 2019

    Use the Backhand Slice
    To defend and attack

    The Slice backhand in brief
    • Use a Continental or Hammer grip
    • The swing is from high to low down the back of the ball
    • The slice (spin) when hit well creates a lower flatter trajectory over the net so that the bounce is low
    A slice backhand is essential for all tennis players whether they hit a two hand backhand or one hand backhand as a regular shot on that side of the body.
    While it is possible to hit a slice backhand with two hands it is much easier and more reliable to use one hand for this stroke.

    Players with one handed Backhands should use slice as a means of defence
    • When the ball is above chest height on the backhand side
    • To cope with extremely short or very wide balls
    • With the faster balls the shorter backswing for the slice makes it possible to get these balls back into play

    Two handed back handed players should use the one handed slice to defend
    • when playing the wider balls
    • and also when dealing with the extremely low balls
    which are almost impossible to play consistently with 2 hands

    The slice backhand is an important offensive weapon for all advanced players but it can also be a very important tool for tennis players at all levels.
    When to use the Slice
    • as an approach shot
    The sliced ball tends to keep low forcing your opponent(s) to hit the ball up so that you can either hit the volley away for a winner or put away the shorter ball
    • Many two handed players don’t handle the low skidding balls and make errors when facing a sliced backhand or forehand groundstroke
    • Try some backhand slices as a mix up during your rallies particularly if your opponent is handling your topspin or flatter backhand groundstrokes with ease
    • The backhand slice can also help to keep your opponent at the back of the court
    This shot will float or knife further in distance through the air and has a low skidding bounce which is quite different than your topspin shot
    Your opponent will need to adjust to cope with the difference and this may force some errors
    if the adjustment is not spot on

    The Club Professional at your Tennis Club can teach you the skills needed to hit a Backhand Slice but you will need time on court to practice so that you are confident to use this stroke during your tennis matches.
    This will help you to take your Tennis game to a higher level.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime.

    Coach Steve