“Surgical Swiss surgeon Roger Federer” – Serena Williams’ ex-coach picks Swiss’ slice backhand as the best of all time

Roger Federer plays a backhand
Roger Federer plays a backhand

Roger Federer's backhand slice has been adjudged the best in tennis history by Serena Williams' former coach Rick Macci.

Known for his elegance and precision, Federer possessed a one-of-a-kind slice backhand. It was a trick he had up his sleeve throughout his career, right from his younger days.

Federer frequently made his opponent's job tough with the slice, which allowed him to project the ball at an extremely low height at a dying pace. The slice is also the go-to option for tennis players when it comes to the drop shot.

However, in the Swiss' own words, he started playing the shot to make up for his weak shoulder back in the day.

"It's the only shot I could hit when I was younger because of a lack of power in my shoulder. I struggled to come over [the top] when I was little. Then, as I grew stronger, my backhand started to evolve in terms of my coming over the backhand. But my base, in a way, has always been my slice. I always enjoyed playing that shot," Federer said at the US Open in 2019.

Rick Macci, who coached Serena Williams and Venus Williams in their early teens, recently claimed that the 20-time Grand Slam champion's slice backhand was the best ever on tour.

"Was asked who had the best slice backhand of all time on the ATP TOUR. Nobody on planet earth could slice, dice, chop, pop, knife in their life than the surgical Swiss surgeon Roger Federer," Macci wrote in a tweet.

"Never try to imitate Roger Federer’s backhand" - Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou

Serena Williams with Patrick Mouratoglou
Serena Williams with Patrick Mouratoglou

Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou recently warned aspiring tennis players against trying to emulate Roger Federer's slice backhand. He argued that the Swiss' technique was unique and personal.

"Never try to imitate Roger’s backhand. I know it’s beautiful, it’s probably one of the best slice backhands I’ve ever seen in my life. But his technique is extremely personal and if you try to do the same, probably, you’re not going to get the result you want," Mouratoglou said.

The Frenchman further pointed out that Federer's slice backhand involved dropping the racket low in the hand, which might not suit every tennis player.

"He has a motion up to down and it doesn’t follow through the ball. So, don’t do it like Roger, don’t let your racket completely drop [below] and the arm go [sideways]. Have your hand go in the direction of where you want to play it."
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Mouratoglou coached Serena Williams for 10 years between 2012 and 2022.

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