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Photo Lesson: The One-Handed Backhand Sidespin Slice

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Starting Backswing
One-Handed Backhand Sidespin Slice: Starting Backswing
(C)2006 Jeff Cooper licensed to About.com, Inc.
The one-handed backhand sidespin slice usually has considerable backspin. The mixture of the two spins varies with each stroke. One shot may have only a touch of sidespin; the next quite a heavy sidespin. Hitting some backspin makes the shot easier to execute, and the backspin helps to magnify the sidespin's effect by slowing the forward velocity of the ball so that the sideways curve is sharper. As with the backspin slice, the sidespin makes an excellent approach shot, and if your opponent looks up to see where you are at the net while trying to hit the ball (a common mistake), the sidspin can move the ball off course enough to cause her to miss or make poor contact. You can also use the sidspin to curve the ball into your opponent (jam him) or make it curve away so that he has farther to run. Probably the only significant drawback to adding sidespin to your slice is the risk of hitting wide by aiming straight down the line and failing to taking into account the ball's curving flight. A sidepsin slice curves both in the air and on the bounce.

A few points to observe in this photo:

  • Left hand on throat to help ensure shoulder turn and set precise racquet position
  • Full Eastern backhand grip
  • Preparing to step forward
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