One Hand Backhand Slice:
Speeds and Ball Flights

John Yandell

What are the flight characteristics of the various versions of the slice backhand?

In this series we have been looking at the technical characteristics of the slice backhand, and also the differences in the swing shapes between the so-called classic slice and the more extreme modern slice. (Click Here.)

A natural question is what are the flight characteristics of each version? What are the differences in the amount of spin and how do these differences affect the bounce height at the other end of the court?

Using a pocket radar gun (Click Here for more on that) and a high speed camera, I designed an experiment to see. My three great friends, Scott Murphy, Karsten Pop, and Giancarlo Andreani agreed to help me by letting me measure their slice backhands.

All have been 5.0 NTRP players or higher and Karsten in fact once had a world ranking. And they all have different versions of the slice. Karsten, completely classical, Giancarlo fully modern, and Scott somewhere in between. Perfect for doing the comparisons!

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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