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Slice & Topspin in Tennis

In tennis topspin is where the ball rotates forward as opposed to backspin or slice where the ball rotates backwards. We can use topspin and slices on both forehand and backhand sides on all court surfaces.

One main thing that every person who wants to play tennis should know is that in tennis we have 3 types of spin:

1. Top Spin in tennis:

What you need to do when trying to hit a tennis ball with topspin is to start the racket low and lift it up while hitting the ball. When using topspin shots in tennis the ball is spinning forward, towards the opponent. After successful topspin shot, the ball goes into a parabolic trajectory and dips down on the ground; afterwards, it bounces higher than the flat shot. The main advantage of topspin is that the ball goes above opponents hitting zone which makes it harder for them to return a flat shot. Basically the spin of the ball is reversing when hitting a topspin shot.

  • In order to master a good topspin you will need to use a fast racket head speed.

2. Flat stroke:

When hitting a flat stroke, you simply hit the ball forward with almost no topspin or any kind of ball rotation; you are simply going for long shots, the ball’s direction is simply straight forward.

When you make a flat shot, make sure that you bend your knees.

You have to prepare earlier and hit the ball in front of you, do not allow the ball to pass you and then to hit it.

3. Tennis Slice:

Slice or also called backspin causes the ball to spin backwards; it is also the exact opposite of topspin. What happens is that after the player hits the ball by sliding the racket underneath the ball, the spin’s direction that has been produced is towards the player who just hit the ball as it is going away to the other player.

Common mistakes to watch out when trying to hit a slice:

  • Do not swing horizontally through the ball.

  • Do not swing your arm round.

There are few games that could help you master the different type’s ball spins in tennis: One example of such games is to throw the ball up in the air and try to catch it on the racket before it bounces. Try to make it spin backwards by using your racket and not letting the ball to bounce, you should be able to see the ball spinning through the air away from you.

For more info on my tennis specific footwork methods please Follow me on Twitter @CoachEMethod I will also follow you back.


Emil Vassilev, TPT

Emil Tennis Method

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