Backspin in Tennis is one of the three most common ways on how to return the ball in tennis. The other two include the topspin, and the flat or no spin. Backspin is also commonly referred to as the underspin or the slice. In physics, it is proven that using the backspin allows the player to move the ball up and down and helps in increasing the overall height of the trajectory. Shots that are high opens plenty of opportunity for a backspin.

The Physics of the Backspin

The backspin, also known as the slice is commonly used to be able to stop an opponent from hitting massive topspin shots when returning a ball. This is a controlling strategy that keeps the ball low, creating a slower pace for the rally. To be able to hit the ball with an underspin, another term for backspin, the racket is angled by the player and slides it underneath the ball when hitting. Such strategy exerts a torque around the center of the ball allowing it to rotate in a backward motion as the ball is returned to the opponent. It is characterized by a tangential force applied with speed on the top of the ball pointing towards the opposite direction as a trajectory of the torque applied to the ball when hit.

Sustaining a Backspin in a Tennis Match

A backspin technique in returning the ball to the opponent has several advantages in a game. However, to be able to achieve this, a player must consistently produce a higher spin rate. This takes a lot of practice and endurance to be able to sustain, most especially in a tennis match. A newer equipment may also help in generating the spin rate required to be able to return a ball with a backspin flawlessly. Such technique also forces the opponent to stretch to get to the ball, decreasing the pace and momentum of the game, enough to strategize a feasible attack to gain an advantage against the opposite player. One of the popular examples of a backspin is the one used by legendary Australian champion Ken Rosewall. He is well-known for his slice backhand stroke used to control the game, even without exerting too much power.


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