Slice Backhand Drive
A classic shot, in times past considered a standard backhand but now regarded as a variation shot.
Although it may not win the point it will enable you to stay in the point and rally or negotiate further and look to use one of your attacking weapons.
A ball hit with slice or underspin tends to hang in the air and bounce low – such a shot is clearly defensive.
The grip is Continental and towards Eastern Forehand and used with a firm wrist. The extent to which you open the racket face depends very much on the height of the ball you are going to hit.
A low bouncing ball requires a more open racket face to get under the ball whereas a high bouncing ball you will need to hit with a more closed racket face.
Make the change to your backhand grip, using your left hand to hold the racket by the throat, as you begin turning your body to the left.
The arc of the hit is from high to low with a very pronounced turn of the shoulders and upper body. Open the racket face and give a sharp downward swing of the racket moving under the ball and imparting maximum underspin.
Your body weight should be moving forward after contact with the ball. Racket-to-ball contact should be slightly in front of the leading hip and to the lefthand side – this gives more control of the shot.
A helpful practice drill can be ‘tramline’ hitting – you both hit within the tramlines one player hitting slice and the other hitting flat or topspin. Mix it up and vary your shots – count how many balls you can hit before an error occurs.
If hitting your shot crosscourt right to left you can create sidespin by hitting under the ball and inside the line of flight.
This extra sidespin will swing the ball to the outside of the court and even take your opponent off court on his forehand side – it’s called the Banana shot.