Pro Tips – The Backhand Slice

As an instructor at Carmel Valley Tennis, Donald “Don” Gomsi assists players at all levels. Don Gomsi focuses on helping beginning and intermediate players to develop good technique and advanced players to work on their game strategy.

The backhand slice can help a player in a number of ways, including as a way to slow the ball down or as preparation for an approach shot. The technique creates backspin as the strings make contact underneath the ball, but it requires careful attention to mechanics. A proper backhand slice should have a subtle high-to-low path, which the player achieves through upper-body rotation and by turning the shoulder.

A well-executed backhand slice also involves bending the knees, which allows the player to swing through the ball. This helps the slice to take on a length and smoothness that, when combined with acceleration, puts power behind the ball. Power requires control to be effective, however, so a player employing the backhand slice should attempt to scoop under the outside edge of the ball as he or she sends it on its way.

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