5 Keys To Hitting An Effective Drop Shot
The drop shot can be one of the most effective shots in tennis. When Roland Garros arrives each year, the drop shot comes out in droves. Below are 5 keys to hitting a great drop shot.
1) Learn to hit with backspin.
Every great drop shot is hit with backspin or slice. The backspin on the ball causes it to “bite” when it hits the court. Your opponent in turn has to run farther to track the ball down making it more difficult to return in play.
2) Get out the hairpin.
Many of you have played badminton. The drop shot in badminton is referred to as the “hairpin.” The reason for the name is that the birdie’s trajectory travels close to the net, barely clearing it and falling as close to the net on the other side. This forces your opponent to hit up on the birdie making it easy for you to hit a smash or lob in return. The same concept can be used in tennis. I tell my players to make sure that the drop shot lands as close to the net on your opponent€™s side. Also, the ball should bounce at least 3 times before it reaches your opponents service line. If you can stop the ball dead in its tracks, that’s even better.
3) Gambling is illegal on big points.
Too many times players try and make a difficult shot like a drop shot on a big point. Players have a tendency to get tight on big points, hitting a drop shot is not a percentage shot in this situation. Instead, wait until you have your opponent out of position or you have a lead to hit a drop shot.
4) Trick or Treat?
The pros are best at disguising their shots€¦..especially on drops shots. Just like on Halloween, people like to dress up and disguise themselves. Do the same with your shots. Carlos Moya was one of the first players I witnessed do this. He brings his racquet back like he is hitting a topspin forehand and then in an instant, he switches his grip from his forehand grip to a continental or slice grip. Don’t blink, it happens fast. The disguise of this transition keeps his opponent at bay making his drop shot more effective.
5) Can No Man’s Land be your friend?
My players know not to hit a drop shot from behind the baseline. Don’t make a low percentage shot even lower. The reason for not hitting a drop shot from behind the baseline is that the ball has to travel a considerable distance before it crosses the net giving your opponent plenty of time to run it down. Make sure you are inside the baseline and your weight is moving forward to increase your percentages.