Tennis Slice

The Backhand Slice is a great alternative to the Backhand Topspin.

The Backhand Slice is often used by One-Handed Backhand players because of their ability to disguise the shot. One-Handed and Two-Handed Backhand players use the Slice to:

  • Change up the pace
  • Hit Low or High Shots
  • Hit Defensive Shots
  • Give themselves time to recover

It’s a great alternative to the Backhand Topspin: the ball spins in the opposite direction, catching the opponent off guard and forcing them to adjust their timing.

Grip: Continental Grip

Backhand Slice Guide

(Click image to view larger)

1-6. Moving towards the ball; Rotating shoulders while preparing racquet over the shoulder with the right elbow bent to an “L” shape. Left elbow is holding the throat of the racquet.

7.     Racquet is behind the head with shoulders fully turned; “Lock” position, ready to “Roll” (uncoil).

8-9. Stepping forward with knees bent; Wrist cocked back, the face of the racquet almost parallel to the net.

10.   Leaning forward, using body weight to hit the ball; Racquet is swung from a high to low position with the racquet open; Hitting arm is starting to straighten out.

11.    Left arm is released just before contact and raised back: Hitting arm is straight at contact; Weight is forward while back foot is off the ground; Head is still and eyes are watching the ball through contact.

12.    Follow through is straight and left arm extends back to keep the body balanced; keep the body as sideways as possible to maintain balance.

How to: Forehand Slice

The Forehand Tennis Slice is great to use when:

  • Your opponent hits a very low shot
  • When you’re out of position and unable to set up for a Topspin Forehand. (Since the Slice is relatively slow compared to the Topspin, you have time to recover, if out of position)
  • You want to disguise your shot when hitting a lob (high shot) over your head or a drop shot near the net.

Grip: Continental

Forehand Slice Guide

(Click image to view larger)

1-4. Racquet preparation is initiated while moving towards the ball; Racquet is open faced and above the ball in order to swing from high to low; Shoulders rotate to create the “Lock” position; Left arm is parallel to the ground.

5.   This Slice footwork movement is similar to the Running Forehand; This shot is executed with an Open Stance; In this case, the last step before the shot is taken by the right foot.

6.   Uncoiling begins; As the player makes contact with the ball, the left leg crosses in front of the right leg; Body is opens up to the net.

7.   Racquet follows through the ball; Head is still to keep balance.

8.   Once the shot is hit, the right leg comes around in order to recover for the next shot.

18 Responses to “Tennis Slice”

  1. I like a lot of your instructions because they address the three positions: low, mid and high.

    However, your videos do not cover all these positions for all strokes. It would be wonderful if you could do that because the technique is different in all cases (or at least if it is similar it should be mentioned in the video).

    I struggle a bit with placing the short balls (i.e. when I’m inside the box, or noman’s land and I have to hit a winner). Usually the balls fly long so I would like to know about a better technique to land the balls inside the court. Any tips?

    Also, it would be nice to have a series about the transitional game. Maybe I’m asking too much, he he.

    Thanks for the instructions anyway.


  2. Hi Frank,
    Thanks for posting and thanks for the feedback. Different positions will be more discussed on the premium site after I cover most of the strokes.
    In terms of the short ball hitting, you don’t want to go for a “winner.” If you tell yourself that you have to hit a winner, you’ll most likely over hit it. A more practical way of thinking is to hit a solid shot and expect your opponent to get it. If he doesn’t and you hit a winner… great!

    Also, look at the approach shot video to get a better understanding of hitting the ball from “no man’s” land. You can start there. Hope this helps.


  3. I understand the point about the “winner”. I guess I am a bit too agressive and want to finish the point fast so the concept is “don’t rush” if it is not necessary. well put. The “good shot” in this case would be a shot that will cripple the opponent while allowing me to regroup in case the opponent is lobbing or trying to pass.

    looking forward to seeing the premium site material then…

    Thanks for replying and for the tips again. Keep up the good work.


  4. Where is the grip section? I can’t find it.


  5. greetings from romania (a state in europe) !
    first of all excuse my english (where applicable)
    you done a very good job with this site.
    i started playing tennis 2 months ago i’m 25 years old) and i’m left handed. my style of play alternate between good strokes, especially cross-court beckhand (double or single, i’m indecisive) and powerless strokes or balls which overdraw the baseline. another weak point it’s second serve, powerless and, i guess, wrong hit.
    anyway, i don’t waiting for an answer with solutions, there are into the videos you posted, i want to congratulate you for the work you’ve done, with much patience.

    all the best!
    george puchiu


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