How to Return a Slice in Tennis

how to return a slice in tennis

We promise you that one day you will find that butcher who will slice every shot you throw at him. You will be forced to run to the net on every shot as everything will be super low and short. He or she will take you to the edge of depression by the end of the match. Although this can be very frustrating to play against these opponents, the truth is, there are plenty of tactics you can utilize in order to counter this playing style. Although you have to remember that the reason this style of play exists is simply because it works.

Now you know that this style of game is inevitable hence it is important to learn how to return a slice in tennis. First, let’s understand about this slicer. This player who slices everything most likely has a very limited range of shots so you won’t have to face many surprises. You will have an advantage if you are a well-rounded player, and a great motivator to practice various strokes from all parts of the court. Do not expect these matches and points to be ideal.

As a matter of fact, they’ll probably be the exact opposite.  You have to play for each point, you will have to be patient and remain disciplined throughout the entire match. Take everything point by point and realize that points are going to be long and untraditional. 

We have listed the below strategies on how to return a slice in tennis for a memorable winning match:
  • Slice the slice

You have limited options to return the really low slices from your opponent, we have to slice these shots back to them. However, not even in your dreams should you try to fight the slice battle with these opponents, as they like the ball low. Be careful to not get trapped into their playing their own game. They will first try to bring you into their own comfort zone and then beat you with experience.

  • Drop Shot is the key

Force them to come to the net and here they will be pressurized to hit up on the ball in order to get the ball over the net. This is your chance to hit the winner and get that point. This is only possible with a great drop shot. The drop-shot is a great shot to use against these players this can help you to pull them forward enough while keeping the ball low.

  • Strengthen your Knees

These players will ensure that you are going to play half of the match on the net. They will pull you forward and put you in some awkward places on the court. So, you have to strengthen your knees as you are going to stay low to keep yourself in complete control of the game. If you do stay low, we believe that this can help you win many points through volley by simply using your legs.

  • Aim for the Moon

Keep them high and dry that’s the key to learn how to return a slice in tennis.  The major weakness of a slicer is that they are cannot hit their favorite shots above the shoulders. So, go ahead and sincerely moon-ball these players. There is high probability that they are not ready to give you a proper reply other that just giving you simple short ball.

If you can hit high-hard and heavy with conservative angles to the inside targets you will be able to force these players to hit balls above their shoulders, on the run, and behind them. There are very few players who can hit decent slices in these situations. We promise you that you can use this tactic ALL DAY LONG! High hard and heavy balls to their weaker slicing side and keep hunting for your chance to come in and finish the point.

  • Find their weakness

If you can mastery in this skill set and you can win back to back points without sweating out much on the court. Everyone has a weaker side and we should have a keen eye to watch for this. Usually the forehand is the weaker slicing side of these slicers. However, we have seen some extra ordinary players out there. Sometimes these players won’t actually slice on one side.

Be sure to look at the height of their contact point in correlation with where their balls tend to land on your end of the court. Everybody has a different contact point. Once you are able to find this correlation your opponent will be surprised to see you in position to return each of his slice which will eventually break his rhythm.

  • Volley it out

If you want to run a marathon on the court then you should definitely play from the baseline and if you want to win the match you probably don’t want to hang out on the baseline against these players or you will be in for a very long match. Play smart shots and find your way to the net. Watch out about getting too close to the net. Always keep in your mind that the slice is very similar to the lob. Both the shots have same grip and the same starting points for the swing of the racquet.

The only difference you can find is in the finish of the shot. Be alert to hit a lot of high volleys and overheads because these slicers can usually lob pretty well. Once again, don’t kill these balls out of frustration. It is very likely that the majority of the points in this match will not be as you imagined.

  • Don’t Over hit

We assure you that we have not found many of these players hit the ball very hard or go for big shots. Therefore, we are pretty sure that they are just using your pace against you and you don’t want to be beating yourself by going for too much. The slice is a shot that is used for changing up the pace of a point, so these players are very good at absorbing pace and not creating it. The slice can be hit with restricted speed only.

All said and done

Slicer are very good opponents to force you to add new dimensions in your game. As hard baseline hitters make the game powerful but monotonous on the other hand slicers keep you on the edge all the time of the game. How to return a slice in tennis? Keep practicing hard till you ace the suggested skills and techniques.

READ MORE: How to Choose a Grip Size for a Tennis Racquet

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