There are some importance instances where hitting a knifing backhand slice will be effective:
- When you have a double backhand and you cannot reach the ball in time for a double handed drive, and you need the extra reach with just one hand;
- When the ball is very high and you are not in an atheletic position to hit a jumping backhand drive;
- Off the return of serve which is both High and Wide;
- When your opponent is teeing off on every shot that is above the net in his court and you need to keep the ball low;
- When you need to hit the short cross court draw to take your opponent off the baseline; and
- When you have a double backhand, and you need to hit an approach shot and follow it to the net.
Coach Dave Regencia’s bests tips on how to hit the knifing backhand slice
- Use the chopper/ continental backhand for the backhand slice;
- Get sideways on to the ball with a good unit turn and shoulder turn;
- Use your non hitting hand to raise the racquet above the left shoulder;
- Your hitting hand is in an L shape;
- Your non-hitting hand is on the throat of the racquet and pulling on it to facilitate a greater release of energy into the shot;
- Your knee bend is crucial, especially for low balls. A deep knee bend allows you to hit through the ball and penetrate the slice shot as the racquet knifes underneath the ball, even on low balls;
- Take a few small steps to position yourself well, followed by a large final forward step using your front foot ad transfer the weight of your body into the shot to create weight and forward momentum;
- Make contact well in front of your body;
- If the ball is high, come down on the back of the ball vertically. If the ball is low, come under the ball. The backhand slice should be executed with a knifing action with your racket from a high to low direction;
- While a slice is a smooth shot,it is still essential to accelerate through the ball;
- Non hitting hand is going backwards and downwards, mirroring your playing hand, to counteract the shoulders from opening, almost stretching the chest muscles, to keep your body side on;
- For double backhanders who will rotate their bodies, it is important to have a mental discipline to keep the body side on for longer to create the forward momentum (as opposed to angular rotation) on this shot.
Tactical Opportunities with the knifing backhand slice:
- Slice low so the opponent has to hit up and still land it in the court. If this is not well done, it (a) fails to clear the net, (b) sails long, or (c) if just a conservative shot, you are set to pounce.
- slice down the line is extremely effective off a hard struck inside out forehand. Opponent has a long way to run, forced to hit up, and you have the entire court to attack into, or back behind.
- You can use the slice to bring the opponent into parts of the court they are not comfortable, such as a short crosscourt draw forcing them to approach with a backhand from a diagonal run after their forehand up the line.
- You can use the slice to change the rhythm or to buy time to recover when you are out of position very effectively to limit the damage your opponent can inflict on you on the next shot.
- A well set up slice is the perfect disguise for a backhand drop shot.
- It can turn the tables on an opponent with a high kicking second serve.
The TAG International Tennis Academy Definitive Guide Series
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This article is part of the TAG Definitive Guide Series which encompasses the best tennis advice available on the internet. If you enjoyed this article, some other interesting tennis instruction articles you may like:
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- Best tips to a reliable Double Backhand by TAG Coach Israel Abarquez
- Best tips to a powerful serve by TAG Coach Michael Mantua
- Best tips to a on the return of serve for a one-hander by TAG Coach Peter Egos
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- Best tips to a knee buckling drop shot by TAG Coach Ten Rapeepat
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Tournament Preparation Guide
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If you are looking to improve your tennis, you can look to some of Singapore’s best private tennis coaches such as the tennis coaches from the best tennis academy in Singapore, TAG International Tennis Academy by taking private tennis lessons. We can be contacted at +6598395232, or contact us HERE.
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