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How to Beat a Slicer in Tennis

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


Joe Perez: How to beat a slicer in tennis. What is a slicer? A slicer is a person that chops the ball, creates backspin and makes their shots land in very, very low and skid a lot. If they hit it hard they skid and a slice that's hit softly tends to bounce and stop.

So how do you beat a slicer? The main thing, and the most important thing is that you're going to have to bend a lot because that ball is going to be very, very low. So you have to bend your knees and get under that ball to make sure you don't hit it in the net.

The other thing that you have to remember to try to beat a slicer is that you want to give them a shot they're not able to slice too well. What is that? A good shot to hit against a slicer is a tremendous top spin shot, something high and soft and deep. That means that the ball's going to be bouncing up here and it's much harder to hit a slice when the ball is high than when it's low. A slicer likes the ball low, so you want to keep that ball at a slicer's eyeball so that now the slice is a softer, not as effective shot. Okay?

The other thing about a slicer is generally they don't like pace. If you can hit a lot of pace, a slicer is going to have trouble handling that pace. But again, it has to be with top spin, high, because then the slice has less effect. To be honest with you, thinking about that, a slicer, when the pace is low, actually likes that because they take the pace off the ball. So a lot of times by hitting the ball low and soft, the slicer has trouble. The slicer likes pace but not pace that's high.

Kirk Moritz: Also the slicer typically is going to have a problem hitting a passing shot. So if you are playing the ball a little high to the slicer's backhand and you follow it in to the net, if he only has a slice he's going to have a hard time executing a particularly good passing shot. Slicing shots are not typically nearly as fast as a top spin stroke so you'll generally be in good position to handle the volley. Get your racquet on the volley. Attack the slicer when you can.

Joe: I agree and the other thing that you have to be very careful about when playing a slicer is that a slicer can disguise a drop shot. So they can hit a ball very short with back spin and you're going to have to run up a lot. So you have to be careful to be aware and anticipate when a slicer might want to hit a soft, short ball with back spin or slice. Then you have to get up to the net, and again, play offensive and force that slicer to try to hit a slice passing shot, which is again, like Kirk says, not a very hard shot. That's how you beat a slicer.

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