Understanding Slice in Racketsport

In the thrilling world of racket sports, mastering various techniques can elevate your game to new heights. One such technique that often goes unnoticed but can be a game-changer is the slice.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, understanding and mastering the slice can provide you with a unique edge on the court.

In this article, we’ll delve into the art of the slice, exploring what it is, when to use it, and how it can turn the tide in your favor.

Roger Federer Slice Backhand
Roger Federer Slice Backhand.

What is the Slice?

The slice is a versatile shot employed in several racket sports, including tennis, table tennis, and squash.

It involves striking the ball with a glancing motion, imparting a strong lateral spin that makes the ball curve or dip unexpectedly.

The slice can be used offensively or defensively, making it a valuable tool in a player’s repertoire. To execute a successful slice, you’ll need to focus on the following key aspects:

  1. Grip: Begin with the right grip. In tennis, the Eastern or Continental grip is commonly used for slicing. In table tennis and squash, a slight variation of the standard grip is often employed.
  2. Positioning: Your stance is crucial when attempting a slice. You should be well-balanced, with your body aligned perpendicular to the net and the ball.
  3. Backswing: Initiate a controlled backswing, keeping the racket face slightly open. This helps set up the desired spin on the ball.
  4. Contact: Make contact with the ball slightly below its center, allowing your racket to slice through the ball’s side. This will impart the desired lateral spin.
  5. Follow-Through: After striking the ball, a smooth follow-through should be executed, with the racket pointing toward the target area.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the slice, let’s explore when and how it should be employed.

When to Use the Slice

  1. Tennis: In tennis, the slice can be a tactical marvel when used at the right moment. One prime situation is when your opponent is positioned deep behind the baseline. In this scenario, executing a well-placed slice can keep them pinned back and off balance. For example, during a tennis match, your opponent stands far behind the baseline, expecting a powerful topspin shot. You seize this opportunity and send a well-disguised slice skidding low over the net, landing near the service line. Your opponent, unprepared for the change in pace and spin, struggles to return it effectively.
  2. Table Tennis: In table tennis, the slice is a weapon often used to create deceptive angles. When your opponent serves with topspin, you can respond with a backspin slice, causing the ball to dip suddenly upon reaching their side of the table.Imagine a heated table tennis match. Your opponent serves with a wicked topspin. You swiftly react, delivering a backspin slice that causes the ball to drop abruptly just before it crosses the net, catching your opponent off guard and leading to a point in your favor.
  3. Squash: Squash players often utilize the slice as a defensive strategy. When your opponent delivers a powerful shot that’s difficult to volley, a slice can add unpredictability to your return.Picture yourself in a competitive squash match. Your opponent fires a blistering shot towards the front wall. Instead of a standard return, you opt for a well-executed slice, causing the ball to curve and dip unexpectedly. Your opponent, anticipating a different trajectory, struggles to return your shot effectively.
How to Slice in tennis.


The slice is a subtle yet powerful technique in racket sports, offering players a unique advantage on the court.

To master the slice, focus on the right grip, proper positioning, a controlled backswing, precise contact, and a smooth follow-through. Whether you’re playing tennis, table tennis, or squash, understanding when to employ the slice is crucial.

In tennis, use the slice to keep your opponent guessing, especially when they’re deep behind the baseline. In table tennis, turn the tables with a deceptive backspin slice when your opponent serves with topspin.

In squash, add an element of unpredictability to your returns by employing a well-executed slice.

By incorporating the slice into your repertoire and knowing when to use it, you’ll gain a competitive edge over your opponents. It’s not just a shot; it’s a strategic move that can help you control the flow of the game and secure those crucial points.