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Serve em Up
08-24-2007, 04:14 AM
I played last night against a guy that was a great dopshotter. He could hit a dropper from just about anywhere on the court. He was especially good with hitting a dropper from the BH side.

He had good wheels and got to most everything I hit. If I hit with good pace he would simply hit the dropper and come to net. I would run up to get the dropper, hit it over for him to just get the easy put away volley.

He bageled me in the first set, 6-0.

After my dismal first set performance I changed a few things. I ended up winning the match for basically three reasons.

One was he had trouble getting his first serve in. He had a really soft second serve. The second reason is I started lobbing effectively over his head when he came to the net. Third, I started hitting with a lot less pace. He was using my pace in the first set to get the dropper over the net with basically no swing involved. He had much more difficuilty hitting the shot when there wasn't any pace.

How do you play against this type of player. I've never played anyone whose primary weapon was a drop shot. His first serve was very good when he got it in. If he had gotten his first serve % up I would not have won.

HellBunni
08-24-2007, 06:16 AM
how are his other ground strokes?
if they are weak, then stay inside the baseline and be ready for his dropshots.

Serve em Up
08-24-2007, 06:23 AM
He would slice his BH around the serice line in depth. He could hit a good FH topspin past the service line.

Geezer Guy
08-24-2007, 07:25 AM
Nice job adapting and changing your strategy.

LuckyR
08-24-2007, 11:44 AM
Nice job adapting and changing your strategy.

Agreed.

Personally I have never run across anyone (except myself back in HS) who used a dropshot as their "primary weapon". I know if I did, though, that I would be looking for it and might start rallying from a step inside the baseline. I probably would invite them to hit drops (ie feed them what they like to hit drops), but try to get the jump on the ball, as I am rather quick, and punish their dropper.

Steady Eddy
08-24-2007, 04:22 PM
I think you don't see that many dropshotters because people don't respect the shot. True; a dropshot doesn't take strength to hit, but what is also true is an excellent dropshot takes skill. Tennis is primarily a game of skill, not a test of fitness and strength. I'm not saying that fitness doesn't help, it does, but a beginner who is strong and fit will probably not be a good tennis player.

The pro at my parents club was in his 60s and had a great dropshot. It was why he could be everyone else at the club. If your opponent has a good enough dropshot you might not have an answer, and might have to accept that you'll lose. Dropshots can be effective even at the highest levels. There was a player in the early 60s, Whitney Reed, who mostly depended on touch with his dropshot and lobs. How good was he? In '61 he had wins over Rod Laver and Roy Emerson with those weapons. Don't diss the dropshot!

cj011
08-24-2007, 04:51 PM
I came across a good dropshotter once. Make him run to the net to get one of your drop shots and he will try one himself. Then run like heck and peck his butt. A nice ball in the stomach will make you think twice about pulling the cheap garbage again. From then on, anticipate like mad and crush the ball. Get control of the point early, and realise that when in danger your opponent will tend to use the dropshot. When you look of balance, anticipate the drop shot. Anytime you are recovering fast, anticipate the drop shot.

Steady Eddy
08-24-2007, 05:02 PM
...A nice ball in the stomach will make you think twice about pulling the cheap garbage again...

Why is it "cheap garbage"? If the drop shot isn't hit correctly it will be either an easy set up for the opponent, or will fail to even cross the net. It's a gutsy gamble and a player who can do it repeatedly is showing that she can control the ball well.

Same goes for lobs. Anyone can loft it into the air, but to have lobs land on the baseline time and again is a great talent. These skills allowed Bobby Riggs to beat Margaret Court so badly when she was in her prime and he was 55 years old.

At the highest level, the best players have great skills, fitness, and strength. But at other levels players who are short, fat, and out of shape can still do very well if they can control the ball. Tennis isn't a great test of athletic ability, that's the decathlon. What tennis skills reveal is mostly that you've spent alot of time playing tennis.

cj011
08-24-2007, 05:11 PM
Yes I agree it does take skill to hit a drop shot, no question about that. I called it cheap garbage because it's a cheap way to win a point. For myself, I prefer to not hit the drop shot and take the extra shots to beat my opponent. I compare it to the underhand drop shot serve when the returner is paying attention. I also politely disagree about tennis not being a good test of athletic ability. The amount of speed and endurance it takes to play at the better college programs and pro level is astounding. Can you ask the average person to swing as hard as they can and then run a wind sprint, and then repeat that over and over for three hours?

Steady Eddy
08-24-2007, 06:08 PM
I also politely disagree about tennis not being a good test of athletic ability. The amount of speed and endurance it takes to play at the better college programs and pro level is astounding. Can you ask the average person to swing as hard as they can and then run a wind sprint, and then repeat that over and over for three hours?

Maybe we don't even disagree. You said, "better college programs and pro level", what would this group be as a percentile, something like 99.998? I said that at the very highest levels the player cannot afford to have a single chink in his armor. But at the other levels you can't judge much by appearances. Where I play there's this guy who looks like Dick Cheney who serves at over 100 mph. He's a 4.0. Bet alot of people wouldn't think he's that good by looking at him.

Hot Sauce
08-24-2007, 06:29 PM
Sounds like you did a great job analyzing his game and adjusting.

LuckyR
08-24-2007, 09:52 PM
The beauty of tennis is that is not a game of skill or a game of touch. It can be won in almost an infinite variety of ways. Endurance, foot speed, power, anticipation, cunning, tactics, gamesmanship, psychology, spin, touch, pace, serves, groundies, volleys, drops, lobs... the list goes on and on.

koopa_troopa
08-24-2007, 11:17 PM
I have to disagree with calling the drop shot cheap garbage. To me, thats like saying having a 150 mph serve is cheap.

Mick
08-24-2007, 11:30 PM
How do you play against this type of player.

A few years ago, I played with this guy who would drop shot a lot. At the time, I was not in shape to chase down the ball, so everytime he hit a drop shot he would win the point. I came up with the strategy of hitting really high balls that landed close to the baseline. I figured it would be tough to hit a drop shot of a high ball and it worked. He could not produce his drop shots and I ended winning that match.

Andres
08-25-2007, 04:07 AM
Yes I agree it does take skill to hit a drop shot, no question about that. I called it cheap garbage because it's a cheap way to win a point. For myself, I prefer to not hit the drop shot and take the extra shots to beat my opponent. I compare it to the underhand drop shot serve when the returner is paying attention. I also politely disagree about tennis not being a good test of athletic ability. The amount of speed and endurance it takes to play at the better college programs and pro level is astounding. Can you ask the average person to swing as hard as they can and then run a wind sprint, and then repeat that over and over for three hours?
So basically, drop volleys are also cheap shots, and you have to volley deep each time, until he passes you, or you have a volley winner to the open court? (gotta be deep, of course. God forbids hitting a ball before the service line)

Loco4Tennis
08-25-2007, 05:45 AM
a drop shoot is not garbage, often times its a reflex responce for me, to your good shoot, but the responce is a smart play because it's hit to a section of the court (usually just over the net) where you are not,
the initial poster found a way to over come this, but i bet he was also running like crazy the first set and would not have lasted long otherwise, which is also another good reason for a drop shoot, to exaust your opponent,
bashers don't like this style of play because they are forced to come to net and get creative with their shoots, they can no longer swing for the fences in most cases; but all court players and serve and volliers would eat them alive.

herosol
08-25-2007, 06:07 AM
i wont say dropshot is my weapon, but man it is my favorite.
get your opponent a little too worked up in a baseline rally and then "WHAT?"
bam land a dropshot from a short angle

you pretty much let it drop and just walk off the court

WildVolley
08-25-2007, 08:37 AM
I love to hit dropshots to baseliners who hate coming to the net. You'll win a lot of points outright if your dropshot is deceptive and not hit too high.

When I'm timing a serve return well, I can either hit through the return or chip/dropshot the ball over the net. Admittedly, these are usually kick second serves that aren't going over 70mph.