Tag Archives: Rafael Nadal

How to Hit a Slice Shot in Tennis

In the tennis world, we have a variety of shots to change up the pace on the ball and mix up things for our opponents. There’s lobs, regular groundstrokes, flat shots, shots with a lot of topspin, dropshots, tweeners (which are impossible for me to master, haha), slice shots, and the list could go on forever. Hitting with slice can be challenging, and I know that I struggled to get it at first but with time and practice, I think my slice shots are pretty effective. Here’s how to hit a slice shot.

When you hit with slice, you are putting backspin on the ball and your goal is to keep the ball low and out of reach for your opponent. Nowadays, a lot of people play with a big Western grip which allows for them to get great topspin on the ball. However, when the ball is hit lower, they struggle to keep the ball in play because their racket face is almost parallel to the court and it’s difficult to stay in the point.

  1. When you want to hit a slice shot, either an Eastern grip or continental grip will do just fine. I am successful hitting forehand slice with an Eastern grip and on my backhand slice, I find positive results with the continental grip, which is also what I use for my regular backhand. Hitting with these grips maximizes the underspin or backspin you get on the ball.
  2. As you prepare to hit your slice shot, it’s crucial to get a good shoulder turn. You’ll want your upper body turned with your chest facing one of the sidelines. As with all other shots in tennis, use your non-dominant arm to guide and track the ball into your racket.
  3. You’ll also want to make sure your knees are bent. This will allow for you to hit through the ball and get a good swing at the ball as your racket comes under the ball.
  4. Finally, you’ve made contact with the ball and your swing begins. Take a nice, relaxed, and long swing. A slice shot is a pretty and smooth shot and is not meant to be hacked or chopped at. Even if a slice shot is a more delicate tennis shot, you should still be accelerating through the ball. On slices, you’ll also want to start high and finish low and as you come through the ball, transfer your weight forward.

Another thing to remember with slice is that it often is NOT used as a winning shot or put-away shot. Many players, especially those on the tour, like Federer, Murray, and Nadal use their slice shots to move their opponents off the court and create openings for winning shots. Be smart with your slice shots and they will do great things for you.

How to Hit a Slice Shot in Tennis
Here is a guide to understanding the different grips and hand positions on the racket in tennis.

And here is a video on how to hit an effective backhand slice shot. There are plenty of other great videos on how to hit slice and there are plenty that focus on the forehand slice if you’re interested.

The Djoker

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen like #1 men’s singles tennis player, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is a person that has reached his full potential because he loves and dedicates his life to tennis, works to become a better person and athlete daily, believes that his family is important, takes care of himself, inspires others, and accepts whatever happens in his life and makes the best out of it.

Novak Djokovic picked up a racket for the first time when he was four years old during a summer camp in Serbia. From that moment on, he decided to dedicate his life to the sport and traded in recess and playtime for tennis lessons. He worked long hours with his coaches, who knew ‘he would become a champion [because] he was focused, conscientious, and above all, talented’ (Novak: Novak Djokovic). Despite economic and political struggles in Serbia, Novak’s family sacrificed a lot of time and money and was able to support him to travel to Munich, Germany to receive training at a prestigious tennis academy. According to Djokovic, “…family is the most important thing and you have to stick with the family”. In Munich, he was able to grow extensively as a tennis player. As time went on, young Djokovic became a more dominant and developed player winning important tournaments throughout Europe. Finally in 2003, Djokovic acquired his first ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) points and turned pro. Since then, Djokovic has dominated the men’s professional tour with 703 career wins and 63 titles (Novak Djokovic: FedEx ATP) and is considered one of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time.

He inspires tennis players, young and old, all over the world with his amazing sense of humor earning him the nickname, “the joker”, his powerful presence on the court, and beautiful technique. Djokovic has reached his full potential because of this. The 28-year old tennis player is always looking to better himself as an athlete and person. He spends long hours on the court as well as off the court perfecting his technique, sticks to a strict, healthy diet, and conditions his body often to improve his strength. Being #1 in the world can be a tough position to hold onto, especially with players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal challenging Djokovic often. Djokovic says that to keep his top spot he vows “to work twice as hard” (Stutchbury). Even though Djokovic is #1 in the world and has been successful, he has dealt with failure along his path to reaching his full potential. Djokovic says, “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances”. Being able to accept his mistakes and losses have been able to make Djokovic the strong person and tennis player he is. On top of balancing his personal life with his tennis schedule, the #1 singles tennis player founded his own foundation which helps “preschool-aged children from impoverished areas get the chance to learn and play in a safe, creative, and nurturing environment” throughout Serbia (About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation). With the help of many volunteers and generous donations, Djokovic’s foundation has already been able to build 18 schools, support 325 families, train 636 teachers, and help over 10,000 children (About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation).

Novak Djokovic has reached his full potential because he has taken advantage of his talents and abilities. He knows that he can make a strong impact not only on the tennis court but around the world. Djokovic said, “I believed I could do it” and that he did.

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Works Cited

“About Us: Novak Djokovic Foundation.” Novak Djokovic Foundation. Novak Djokovic Foundation, 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Novak Djokovic.” Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Novak Djokovic: FedEx ATP Win/Loss: ATP World Tour: Tennis.” ATP World Tour. N.p., 2015. 01 Apr. 2016.

“Novak: Novak Djokovic.” Novak Djokovic. N.p., 2012. 30 Mar. 2016.

Stutchbury, Greg. “Djokovic Vows to Work ‘twice as Hard’ to Stay at Tennis Summit.” Evening Standard. N.p., 31 Jan. 2016. 30 Mar. 2016.