Spacing: Part 3

Dave Hagler

Spacing is equally important when hitting slice.

In the first parts of the series we addressed spacing on shots where a player is moving laterally and hitting with topspin. (Click Here for Part 1.) Click Here for Part 2.) Now let's look at some drills for spacing on slice.

Sliced groundstrokes are a great illustrator of how different spacing facilitates different spin variations. Slices may be hit with almost pure underspin, but usually they have a sidespin component as well.

Typically the sidespin is inside spin. A right handed player's slice backhand will move to the left to varying degrees. But it can also be purer underspin where the trajectory is the same in flight as after the bounce.

I remember watching a pro point where Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori were hitting backhand slice to backhand slice. Nishikori's backhands had almost pure underspin – the flight of the ball after the bounce stayed on the same path it was on prior to hitting the ground.

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Dave Hagler is a Tennis Professional based in Los Angeles, California. He works with players of all ages, but he has a special passion for junior development. He has coached numerous sectionally and nationally ranked junior players and several national champions. Dave is a USPTA Master Professional and National Tester, a PTR Master of Tennis – Performance, and was one of the first 100 coaches to complete the USTA's High Performance Coaching Program. He has been the USPTA California Division Pro of the Year and one of 5 National Recipients of the “Pro of the Year” award from Head and the PTR.

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