How to Hit Your Groundstrokes with Underspin or Slice

  1. Hit the backhand with one hand. Release the left (or non-dominant) hand at the start of the swing.
  2. Coil with your upper body to set your racquet for the backswing. Coil with your hips and rotate your shoulders to set the racquet head in the set position and to prepare for the oncoming shot. Remember to also take adjustment steps and secure your footwork in preparation for the shot.
  3. Utilize the continental grip for both the forehand and backhand. Position the base of your index knuckle and the heel of your hand on the second bevel of the racquet handle.
  4. Lead with the butt end of the racquet. Leading with the butt end of the racquet combined with the continental grip opens the racquet to the ball at contact.
  5. Lead with the bottom edge of the racquet. This is another way to ensure the face is open at contact.
  6. Hit with a high/low/high swing pattern. Start above the ball and strike the ball in a high to low pattern. Extend the racquet face through the strike zone (with an open face) and then finish up and out (pointing the tip of racquet to the target). The racquet face should be open to the sky or ceiling at the finish.
  7. Hit with an outside-inside pattern. Start out away from the body with the racquet head and drag the racquet head in (towards your body) and out to the target through the hitting zone. A more dramatic or exaggerated outside-inside pattern generates sidespin on the ball.
  8. Keep your head and eyes down to the level of the ball. Hit from a wider stance (particularly on low balls) and get down to the ball. The positioning of your head and eyes is similar to the positioning for the volley.
  9. Extend your left (or non-hitting) hand back and out as you extend forward with your backhand swing. Start the swing pattern with the left (or non-hitting) hand positioned at the throat of the racquet. Use the left (or non-hitting) hand to change to the continental grip and to place the racquet in the set position. Release the left (or non-hitting) hand as you start your forward swing or as the racquet head crosses your shoulders. Extend the left (or non-hitting) hand back with the forward swing (as if you are squeezing your shoulder blades together).
  10. Adjust the position of the racquet face at contact to hit with more or less spin. Hit through the ball with less downward action and only a slightly open racquet face at contact to hit a flatter drive. Open the racquet face and adjust your swing pattern for more spin.

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