Tsitsipas' Slice Thread đŸ§”

1/ Tsitsipas can struggle with his open/closed stance on his slice. Ideal stance for slice backhands is closed, i.e for right hander to step across themselves w right foot, making contact while right leg is leading Ă  la Federer, Dimitrov, Thiem below:
2/ Here's a Federer slice (Top) vs one of Tsitsipas' slices today in Vienna (Bottom)đŸŽ„

Federer = closed stance, right foot across body, making contact while right leg is leading. Tsitsipas = open to semi-open stance, making contact while left leg leading
3/ Biomechanically it's extremely difficult to get the requisite power & downward cut on a slice backhand unless you're in a closed stance & lead with that right leg (for a right hander). The players right arm wants to stay tight to the right leg during that downward slice swing
4/ A semi-open stance slice = much less control & power on the slice swing with a more open body position & less support from the right leg if it's dragging behind Ă  la Tsitsipas

This is one of the big reasons Tsitsipas' slice can either float up or lack power

Few examples:
5/ Tsitsipas doesn't do this all the time (can hit both closed & open stance slices). & he's certainly improving a shot which is quite unnatural compared to many elite single handers (probably because his topspin backhand is so great, so less need, especially on slower surfaces)
6/ But his semi-open stance variant regularly results in errors or easy, floaty put-aways for opponents.

And it's one of his most important area to improve, as that running slice backhand is vital in combatting the primary disadvantage of single handers: backhand defence.
7/ But I'm sure we'll see him planting that right leg out in front more he develops. And it's testament to how truly great the rest of his game already is that he's top 5 regardless


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