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fuzzfactory
10-18-2007, 12:36 AM
hi all,

i played an opponent today who constantly drop-shotted and lobbed the ball and although it was a fairly close game, i lost 7-6, 6-3. i think the main reason i lost was not because he was that much better of a player, but because i got REALLY fatigued from all the running all over the place.

is there a way to beat an opponent like this?

i am an aggressive baseliner (NTRP=~4.0-4.5) and i have strong groundstrokes, but they become pretty useless when dealing with very low bouncing sliced short balls and moonballing lobs. the strategy i employed was to hit hard angled balls (my strength) so that he would have difficulty drop-shotting, but it didn't work well enough. when i tried to smash the short balls, most of the balls simply flew into the net. does anyone have any suggestions on playing these type of players? keep in mind that his drop shots are very good and that they probably bounce at furthest halfway in the service box, and with a decent amount of slice also. his lob shots are high arcing and bounce near the baseline.

also, are there any tips on how to put away very short balls? i tried to drop those shots back at him but im not too good at that. when i watch pros, they seem to just slam the ball away.. but my balls always run into the net. i hit with a semi-western grip if that helps.

thanks for any info!!

downdaline
10-18-2007, 01:02 AM
I've played with my share of drop-shotters and yeah, their stuff can drive u crazy.

From experience, there's no one solid way to beat a dropshotter, but i'll list a few methods that i've used against them. Hope it helps and im sure there're better players on this forum who have better advice than this.

1) Approach the Net - This takes away the distance factor of having to run for the drop shot. It may not be in ur strengths, but at least throwing it in every now and then will make them think twice abt using the drop shot if u're so close to the net.

2) Watch for it - Observe this guy, what does he do differently when he hits the drop shot? Most pple plant their feet and slow down their swing, which is a good indication that it's a drop shot. This'll help u get the jump on his drop shot and run it down more easily without having to scramble.

3) Hit flatter groundstrokes - This one is a pretty good tactic in my opinion. The reason why a good dropshot is good, is because it doesnt bounce. The reason why it doesnt bounce is because of a combination of slice and sidespin. If u hit with heavy topspin, when he slices for the dropper, he's slicing WITH ur spin, so he's kinda like using what u gave to him. Hitting flatter groundstrokes makes it difficult for him to hit with LOTS of slice, and if he does slice, it'll sit up more.

Note: What most pros do is they shorten their swing. Instead of using a shoulder turn with a forearm roll and bending of knees, they go with a little bit of shoulder turn only with lots of forearm roll. The smaller shoulder turn means the ball wont sail long and the forearm roll gives all the topspin to keep it in the court with good speed.

One match that comes to mind is Roger Federer versus Djokovic at the USOpen and Federer versus Gonzalez at the AusOpen. How Federer dealt with those dropshots is a model for u.

Hope this helps anyway.

Sliceboy2
10-18-2007, 06:53 AM
As soon as your opponent knows that you are fatigue, he will certainly hit drop shots again and again on every opportunity. Work on your conditioning and try to read his drop shots. Run and try to reach to the ball while it is still higher than the net or at least you still could pull a good shot. If you could hit some winners on some drop shots, he would think twice doing it again and again. There is not much you can do if you reach a drop shot lower than the net or at your knees already except place it deep as much as you could and then try to read his next shot which I think a lob.

ananda
10-18-2007, 07:10 AM
one of the drill i occasionally do, is stand around the service line, or just behind and have my trainer feed me short balls.
Now i have to give down the line or cross-court returns, pref within the service box, which requires putting a lot of topspin into it.
gr8 points mentioned in previous post.

when he dropshots you, where is he standing? close to net ?
then you need to learn lobs too. on the side of his weaker hand. and you also need to practice hitting overheads.

WBF
10-18-2007, 07:26 AM
hehe. One of my favorite players was an old coach of mine... He was this massive body builder-esque character who could absolutely bash the ball, but would typically end points with perfectly placed dropshots that infuriated his opponents.

For someone who hits loopy balls or dropshots though... How are your volleys and overheads? I'd recommend approaching as often as possible, or even playing mid court if the guy doesn't have any power, and putting away loopy balls (overheads) or dropshots (either go for angled dropshots or deep angles to his backhand).

lkdog
10-18-2007, 08:10 AM
Sounds like the guy is a pretty strong player overall who is quite consistent and has excellent control.

As a player whose best shots are a pretty aggressive forehand and backhand and drop shots I will offer a few comments.

1) Keep your balls deep. I only drop shot from inside the baseline from a position where I can do three things (Hit an approach, go for a putaway attempt, or hit a drop shot). Because I can hit all three shots reasonably well on a good day my opponent cannot overplay any of them so it makes each of them effective. Bottom line- He is not going to hit drop shots to you if he is behind the baseline unless you are way out of position.

2) Increase your spin or pace on your ground strokes. It is hard to hit effective drop shots on harder hit or heavier incoming balls. Even if your ball is short-if it has a lot of pace or spin he will not as easily drop shot.

3) Get in to net a bit more as noted above by others and improve your approach shots and putaway shots.

As for how to deal with low short balls with little pace - try fooling around with a buggywhip forehand where your follow through is on your right side. You have to hit them crosscourt but you can yank the low short ball in play with pace and hurt your opponent. Otherwise hit a low slice back and make him hit up to you.
On the BH side I just hit low slice back and follow it in. Again make him hit up.

If he is easily lobbing those balls it means you did not make him move enough for the ball so he can set up and simply dump it over your head and run you silly. Make him hit a low wider ball on your return of the drop shot.


Other suggestions are good. Get fitter. React better.

He is a good player-do not sell the rest of his game short. He also gets in people's heads as for some reason people think using a drop shot is a sign of weakness.
Tell me someone who likes playing a guy with a good drop shot.

Andres
10-18-2007, 09:07 AM
Give him his own medicine. If he dropshots you, dropshot him back, and lob him afterwards ;)

fuzzfactory
10-18-2007, 02:27 PM
As for how to deal with low short balls with little pace - try fooling around with a buggywhip forehand where your follow through is on your right side. You have to hit them crosscourt but you can yank the low short ball in play with pace and hurt your opponent. Otherwise hit a low slice back and make him hit up to you.
On the BH side I just hit low slice back and follow it in. Again make him hit up.



what do you mean a buggywhip forehand? is it like an upward loopy flick?

thanks for all the advice guys, cant wait to play him again!

lkdog
10-18-2007, 02:49 PM
what do you mean a buggywhip forehand? is it like an upward loopy flick?

thanks for all the advice guys, cant wait to play him again!


Chang used to use it a lot. The follow through is on the your right side and high.
I think some people call it a reverse FH around here. Your SW grip will allow you to try it at times.
I use it on certain short low balls or short low wide balls. It is often hit on the run.
Your racquet face is very closed as you swing at it and the racquet head is pointed downward.
You will feel like you are grabbing the ball near the end of the racquet head and throwing the ball (by whipping upward violently) over the net.
Your momentum carries you to the right.
It is kind of an all or nothing shot if you are really running hard to the right.
If you do not hit it well-they really have the whole court open against you.
If you hit it well-you have a crosscourt winner or they are scrambling to just get it back and you have time to recover and volley the next shot away.

It is a fun shot. The same general mechanics hold true for attacking a low short ball on the FH side. Really close off the racquet face and swing very aggressively low to high to impart spin to get it to come down in the court since you have less court.


Oh- and I agree with the above poster (as a person who uses the drop shot)- I hate others drop shotting me.
I can get to them, but I am the one who is supposed to be dictating play from the baseline-not them! :)

LuckyR
10-18-2007, 03:49 PM
I find it much easier to hit the buggywhip with an Eastern FH than a SW.

IMO the key to these guys is:

1- Keep the ball deep so he can't hit good droppers. Lousy drops from behind the baseline should provide you with easy winners, even with a SW grip. This should be easy for you as you are a baseliner w/ topspinning shots.

2- As others have noted, anticipate short shots (not just dropshots) if you can do #1 correctly. If you get there early enough you should able to put them away, even w/ a SW grip.

Slazenger
10-18-2007, 04:13 PM
Some ideas:
1. As an aggressive baseliner, you can try making it hard for him to hit the drop shot in the first place, by hitting well placed, deep hard groundstrokes and getting him on the run.
You have to be very confident and playing very well to execute this game plan.

2. Once you identify he likes to hit the drop shot, be anticipating it. You know the shots you hit that aren't offensive as soon as it leaves your racquet. Start anticipating the drop shot right from then. You will be on top of it should he actually drop shot.

3. Learn the art of the return dropshot. The dropshot off the dropshot is really good because you can put a ton of backspin on the ball and it will still go over the net. Don't just bunt it over (unless your opponent is way off court). Place the return dropshot well too.
Place it into a corner, and cover the net. If you hit the dropshot well it will be hard for him to pass effectively but you should be ready if he tries.

Forza Milan
10-18-2007, 04:24 PM
If someone hits a dropshot and you run down the ball and about to hit it back...NEVER go cross court, unless you know it is going to be a winner. Go down the line, and you'll be in better position for the next shot...once you go cross court, and it's not a winner...you're done.

Rickson
10-18-2007, 10:50 PM
I played a clown like that who used to frustrate me, but I decided to play with a more open face to scoop up his corny little sliced droppers and I wound up bageling him. I normally use a semi-western fh grip, but I played the dropshot clown with an eastern and it worked out very well for me. Don't try to rip those low skidding balls and you'll do fine and remember to adjust your grip accordingly.

downdaline
10-19-2007, 05:48 AM
If someone hits a dropshot and you run down the ball and about to hit it back...NEVER go cross court, unless you know it is going to be a winner. Go down the line, and you'll be in better position for the next shot...once you go cross court, and it's not a winner...you're done.

I think this piece of advice is priceless.

Bottle Rocket
10-19-2007, 07:19 PM
i played an opponent today who constantly drop-shotted and lobbed the ball and although it was a fairly close game, i lost 7-6, 6-3. i think the main reason i lost was not because he was that much better of a player, but because i got REALLY fatigued from all the running all over the place.

is there a way to beat an opponent like this?
!!

I've got a slightly different approach than the rest of the posters.

The most important thing is that you are fit to play someone with this style.

That means you can repeatedly run down these drop shots quickly enough to give yourself time and options to deal with them. You've got to be able to run them down as many times as it takes, even if it takes a 3rd set tie breaker. If you aren't completely confident in your fitness, especially deep into a match, that should be your first priority. This alone might solve your problem.

Then there is your weapon. What are you doing to dictate play? Why are you letting yourself get jerked around by drop shots and lobs? If you're an aggressive baseliner, you should be dictating play. You should be moving the ball around corner to corner to the point that your opponent doesn't get the chance to hit a drop shot on his own terms. Really, hitting the ball with pace and DEPTH should be enough. If he is hitting drop shots on the run, you should be at the net to take care of them. If you don't have the confidence to volley them (now you know another area of your game to work on), you know you're going to get a short reply, so step into the court and anticipate the short ball.

The issue of dealing with drop shots and short balls when you get to them has been covered all over this board. Hitting an approach shot of some sort down the line and planning on finishing the point with a volley on the next ball is usually the way to go. If you're beating 4.0's and 4.5's (do you play tournaments, or was that just a guess?), I suspect you can deal with a short ball, which is why I think you should focus on your ability to repeatedly get to them with time to spare.

LafayetteHitter
10-21-2007, 03:41 PM
Deep heavy balls will tend to force a drop shot guy to make more errors. The drop shot is a low percentage shot so you can usually force the guy to make an error if you put enough pace and keep the ball deep.

Seifersquall1
10-22-2007, 02:49 PM
hi all,

i played an opponent today who constantly drop-shotted and lobbed the ball and although it was a fairly close game, i lost 7-6, 6-3. i think the main reason i lost was not because he was that much better of a player, but because i got REALLY fatigued from all the running all over the place.

is there a way to beat an opponent like this?

i am an aggressive baseliner (NTRP=~4.0-4.5) and i have strong groundstrokes, but they become pretty useless when dealing with very low bouncing sliced short balls and moonballing lobs. the strategy i employed was to hit hard angled balls (my strength) so that he would have difficulty drop-shotting, but it didn't work well enough. when i tried to smash the short balls, most of the balls simply flew into the net. does anyone have any suggestions on playing these type of players? keep in mind that his drop shots are very good and that they probably bounce at furthest halfway in the service box, and with a decent amount of slice also. his lob shots are high arcing and bounce near the baseline.

also, are there any tips on how to put away very short balls? i tried to drop those shots back at him but im not too good at that. when i watch pros, they seem to just slam the ball away.. but my balls always run into the net. i hit with a semi-western grip if that helps.

thanks for any info!!
You need to do some approach shots, get to the net, and volley without hesitation :D I'm an aggressive baseliner too and sometimes have problems against drop shotters. But I always beat them ;)

wmrhawk
10-22-2007, 05:10 PM
1. watch and anticipate (my drop shot nemesis also watches me closely and throws in the occasional backhand slice drive to deep in the forehand corner to keep me honest).
2. don't panic. unless it is really a great dropper, you can usually get there in time. as you are approaching the ball, take a look to see what your opponent is doing. if he stays back and the ball is low, return w/a drop shot. if the ball is high, drop shot or put away drive. if he comes in, passing shot or lob depending on height of ball and how much time you have and his position.