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How to Hit a Slice in Tennis

Let tennis pros Joe Perez and Kirk Moritz teach you how to hit a slice in tennis in this Howcast video.


What is a slice? A slice is kind of the direct opposite of a topspin stroke. If topspin the ball is rolling forward, slice the ball is rolling backwards. The advantage of slice is that the ball can stay low. The disadvantage is it's not a power stroke. It's an off speed shot. It's a shot designed to make your opponent's life a little more miserable.

How do we hit it? It's a high to low stroke as opposed to the topspin which is low to high. So, when Joe turns, and pivots, and takes his racket back, his racket head is above the ball. Once he steps he swings down through the back of the ball, not the bottom of the ball, the back side of the ball, and then he finishes up. So, it's high to low to high again.

And my face, if you'll notice, is open, because I need to get that slice. I won't be able to slice if I'm hitting the ball like that, with the face closed. So, the face has to be open, and I have to be hitting the back of the ball and then underneath the back of the ball so I create that backspin. And the ball bounces like when you throw a stone on a pond, and you see it skip along the top of the pond, that's the way the ball bounces when you hit a really good slice.

Continental grip recommended for that?

Continental grip is absolutely recommended. You can also hit a slice on the forehand side. It's not used that often, but sometimes in desperation you'll see a tennis player chop at a ball. Again, it's this high to low motion. Hitting the back of the ball and chopping through it. And it creates that low bounce. It can also be used on a shot called the drop shot where you hit a tremendous amount of backspin very soft and high. The ball goes slowly, but it's spinning violently. It bounces and can even bounce back towards you, because the spin is spinning towards you.

When you first start to hit slices, if the ball's going too high you're hitting the bottom of the ball instead of the back of the ball. So, to hit the effective slice, slice through the back of the ball.

And that's the basics of slice.

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