Although not as popular as it used to be, slice can be a very effective weapon, particularly if playing a ‘drop shot’. A slice is a shot played with backspin, which is effectively the opposite of topspin. The racquet, once again, should be almost parallel to the court, and ‘sliced’ underneath the ball. The more friction you get against the bottom of the ball, the more backspin will be applied to the ball. This has the effect of returning the ball whilst keeping it spinning in the same direction as your opponent’s shot. This means that when the ball bounces, it should not bounce to a height comfortable for your opponent; they will have to stoop, and should have difficulty in playing an aggressive returning shot.
The slice is particularly effective when combined with a drop shot, as the ball ‘dies’ when it bounces, meaning your opponent will have to be very quick on their feet to play the return.
Players also make good use of slice as an approach shot; they can be played with accuracy, and it gives the player time to get to the net. If the slice is played effectively, the receiving player should find it difficult to make an aggressive return, and the player poised at the net may be able to play a winning volley.
If you are able to anticipate a sliced shot being played against you, move towards where the ball will bounce – if you get to it in time, as the ball ‘sits up’, you might be poised to make an aggressive return.