Is the drop shot worth it?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    If the opponent is way out of position, a short slice works just as well. Yeah, it is not as short but it is faster so it probably bounces twice in a shorter time too. It is less risk and easier to hit. Even if the opponent reaches it, it is less subject to attack.

    If the opponent is not way out of position, a drop shot is almost always a bad idea unless he really sucks. Well in that case you can win do anything anyway.

    So I don't see any situation where a drop shot is the best choice of shot. Of course if you are one of those people who is really talented with the drop shot then go for it by all means.
     
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  2. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    Drop Shot. Think Evil. Hardest shot to pull well in the game i would say.

    Situation - Your Up 40-0. A nice lob followed with a well placed dropshot to tire him out, even if he does win the point. When your up by 40, try tire him out with a dropshot and win the next point.
     
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  3. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    If your the type of player that can make your opponent stay on there heels, you need the drop shot.
     
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  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    If you hit a few really good ones in a row, it is really irritating to the opponent.
     
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  5. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    I think a drop shot is an excellent choice after pushing your opp back with some deep TS shots where he's not out of position, but behind the baseline. And it doesn't have to be perfect to achieve the desired results of running him around and opening him up to a pass or lob.
     
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  6. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Sometimes I wonder if the OP plays tennis.

    Just a few examples:

    If you hit hard, your opponent can cheat back behind the baseline and the drop shot keeps him honest.

    The drop shot is an easy finish if the opponent is pulled off the opposite end of the court and hits a weak reply.

    A drop shot properly executed to the Duece side can set up a forehand winner to the ad side (Federer does this a lot).
     
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  7. Venetian

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    deleted...
     
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  8. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, as a guy who uses the drop shot and has dealt with many opponents who do as well, it is all about dynamics.

    Heavy hitter with drop shot touch = a better player, tougher to predict.

    Junk Baller with drop shot touch = a drop shot lobber (hated combo by many).
     
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  9. qwanta

    qwanta New User

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    It's also a way to bring an opponent who is uncomfortable at the net to the net.
     
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  10. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I don't tell other folks to not hit drop shots from their own back court, but I just don't think that they're very practical. On the other hand, a drop shot volley is just deadly I think.

    Sure, hitting a dropper can force an out-of-position opponent to really scramble, but that's not an easy shot to deliver with consistency. I'm routinely amazed when watching a pro match and someone bails out of a rally by going for a dropper when they're in control of the rally. Although that's usually the only time when a player can attempt that shot in a tight contest, the pros miss those droppers much more than they succeed with them.

    Way too often in a pro match, the dropper will sit up too much and make for a free lunch for an opponent or it will just plain miss either in the net or sometimes land out wide. Yes, there's that element of wearing an opponent down by forcing that scramble, but too often I interpret that early attempt at a dropper as a player "blinking". Instead of remaining patient and maintaining control of the rally, they decide that they're going "all in" on a gamble. At higher levels, I think that can be a big sign of mental weakness when a player goes to that shot too much.

    If it's the case where you can just shred an opponent with that shot, I'd say that you're probably already controlling most points just fine. The dropper is as reasonable an option as several other shots when you've got most of the initiative throughout a match.

    I think that the drop volley is a great option because the ball's flight time is so much shorter than when we pooch that drop shot from our own baseline. It's not a tough shot to disguise and even if the drop volley isn't terribly well concealed, it's both easy to land up short in the opponent's court and the time from hitting the ball to that second bounce is a lot shorter than when the dropper is attempted from back at the baseline. Hit a half-decent drop volley and an opponent probably won't get to it even if they anticipate that shorty.
     
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  11. Douggo

    Douggo Semi-Pro

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    Yup. [10 char]
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The faster the opponent, the less effective which is why you don't see this shot as often at the top levels.
     
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  13. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    It's also a great way (if you own an effective drop) to bring a net man up on your terms instead of his. You can open up the court and angles for your stroke doing this well over letting him hit the approach and come in as he wishes.

    If you have the hands for it, there are numerous effective and safe ways to use a drop. If it's a more difficult shot for you to hit safely, then it's best avoided.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
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  14. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I use it in doubles in a good 1-2 punch. When I'm returning deuce court, especially against a second serve, I'll try and hit a nice deep topspin shot to keep the server back and the net player frozen. When they return the ball back cross-court to me (if my partner can't poach), I like to knife a hard backhand dropper that spins out wide - away from both players. When it works, it's beautiful. If they catch on, I lob over the net player.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    EVERY tool has an ideal time and usage. But before using it, you must know WHEN and HOW to use it, right? Say, a right angle auto hammer. You won't be using it to pry a sliver out of your thumb, right? And if you don't have a middle finger, you won't ever need to use it.
    A drop shot is effective when the opponent is slow to move forwards, or slow to cover the entire court. You don't need it, but it's another tool in your toobox.
    You also don't need a flat first serve. Just hit winning top/slice first serves. But now, you're lacking a tool that CAN be used.
    You don't need a topspin forehand. Just slice it for clean winners every other hit. OH, you can't? That's why you try to hit a topspin forehand.
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You can live a long and happy life without a drop shot.

    I just paid for a private lesson on drop shots and drop volleys. That's how badly I need a drop shot now.

    As a doubles player who has finally figured out to hit a groundstroke, I am finding a lot of teams are playing two back against me. It is not easy to have enough power to hit through two people at the baseline. What I want to be able to do is drive them wild with drop shots and drop volleys so that playing two back is unsuccessful.

    Also, there are lots of times when I need to play to the weaker player, even taking some risk to do it. If I can hit a drop shot in front of the weaker player, she will often pop it up or there will be confusion between them as to who will play that ball.

    Finally, there are a lot of players who do not approach well but love pace. A soft dropper may not be a winner, but it will at least be outside their comfort zone.

    I am finding it very, very hard to incorporate a drop shot into my game. It just doesn't occur to me -- I am used to trying to blast everything. It is a goal for the winter to recognize when the time is right for some touch.
     
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  17. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    Just don't go popping it from the baseline like Djokovic and you'll be fine.
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If your name is Mayer,Santana,Nastase,Panatta,Orantes or John Mc Enroe, it certainly is worthy
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mostly when I try a drop shot, it is NOT intended to win with that shot, nor the following one. It's an attempt to test the speed and desire of my opponent, and I preplan to follow it up with another lob, usually deep CC so he can't stand there and make a depth judgement, he must at least react, turn, and run half way.
    Every opponent worthy of my game can get to 95% of my drop shots. I hit them to force them to huff and puff a bit, to test their mental determination, and to see if they CAN cover it, and run the length of court several times.
    If I allow my opponents to stand in and groove their shots, I will seldom get past breadsticks.
     
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  20. SLAMburger

    SLAMburger New User

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    Drop shots totally have a place in the game.

    Drop shots from the back of the court are a bad idea imo, but otherwise...sure...drop shots can be nasty for a variety of reasons. You also have to take a few variables into account before you decide to go for it:

    -A lot of it depends on the type of player you're against.
    -It's hard to effectively drop shot someone with good court speed; easy to drop shot a big, slow guy.
    -It's always awesome to hit a drop shot on a tired opponent.
    -Drop shots keep people guessing.
    -Assuming you're drop shotting a short ball, it's always a good idea disguise your intentions. For instance, if I am approaching a short ball and preparing to hit a drop shot, I coil up like I'm going to hit a big ground stroke winner, and at the last second, I drop shot the ball...throws most people off. And just to keep them honest, sometimes I do go for a big forehand or backhand instead.
    -Mixing in drop shots at the right moments can suck all of the morale and life out of your opponent, helping break them down emotionally, mentally and physically.

    I think it's a tough shot to learn, and as with anything in tennis, you just slowly chip away at the rough edges of your form and it slowly gets better and better.
     
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  21. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    Great, evil shot....if you can execute it. But I don't think many of us at the recreational level can execute it consistently. I try it every once in a while and berate myself after I inevitably eff it up.
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You are what you practice. If you only practice pounding hard groundstrokes, how can you hit delicate touch drop shots?
    Practice the drop shot. Try to use your normal groundie stroke for that side, and softly caress the underside of the ball for backspin and depth control. You will never get it until you practice it.
     
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  23. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Today I played a guy who is better than me from the baseline and has a game very similar to Davydenko's. The second that I saw that I cant hang with him at the baseline I started giving him lots of drop shots and started S&Ving to his backhand on the ad side. I lost that set 4-6, but I would have lost alot worse had I not had those extra tools or plan B.

    It really is a good shot to have. So many people have great baseline games but cant back it up at the net. You dont really need to hit a perfect drop shot either. Hit it short, and prepare and anticipate their response so you can pass/lob them

    In short, yes it is worth it
     
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  24. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I have been complimented by a few teaching pros as having one of the best "natural drop shots" they have seen from someone my age. It's just a great shot to have, and it's a good tool to have where you can unleash it anywhere! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  25. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly right the dropper can be deadly after pounding heavy top spin shots deep.
     
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  26. rst

    rst Rookie

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    Well in that case you can win do anything anyway.


    what does that mean??
     
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  27. rst

    rst Rookie

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    Is the drop shot worth it? try it and find out.

    i would expect there to be certain game conditions where it would be worth it.

    a baseliner hitting a short ball would be one. to do the drop he would then give an additional worry for later points rather than expecting/anticipating another deep paced shot. might be a good way to keep an opponent on their heels by having them think a split second longer.

    maybe like a head fake in b-ball.
     
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  28. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    The Dropper

    In Modern Tennis Methodology the drop shot is an effective tool and quite easy to execute. The pros use the drop shot, so should you. I agree with LeeD that it's important to understand how and when to use the dropper (eg: I wouldn't use it in doubles unless the opponents are in a 2-back configuration). I hope you got your money's worth with the private lesson. For an effective dropper you should be able to get the ball to bounce gently at least 3 times inside the service box, with plenty of back and side spin. You need to understand from what part of the court to execute it, too. Like all other shots in modern tennis, you must slow down and take your time rather than rushing to execute. And like all other shots, if you practice it often enough with proper technique it will be an asset, not a deficit.
     
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  29. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Good observations there, Cindy. Lots of tennis these days centers around power and a lot of east-west thinking (side to side) where we want to put the ball through open court. It sounds as though you're beginning to build instincts for the north-south aspect of doubles (short vs. deep), which I think is critical for seizing the initiative and controlling the action.

    In a doubles setting, we get a court that's only nine feet wider than for singles, but we cover that width with twice as many players. That means that in a straight slugfest, it's harder to hit around our opponents when playing doubles. One great way to set the other guys up for a put-away is to leave a short, low softie up around the service line. Not necessarily a true drop shot, but more of a short low slice that doesn't penetrate the court with so much bite. That denies a baseline ripper a good ball to crack and forces him/her to scramble forward and shovel the ball up. Stand by for your free lunch... you've earned it!

    That shorter touch shot doesn't need to be a miraculous drop shot and it can work against a team that's either in a two-back formation or one-up, one-back. Just feed it to the open half of the "short court" away from the lone net player. Force them to hit up and you'll become the team that's hitting down. That's the biggest advantage any doubles team can ask for.
     
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  30. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Dropshots are amazing!!!

    1. Dropshots are possibly the most BA shot in tennis, besides the tweener. This is obviously personal preference :)

    2. Dropshots can totally throw off opponents, especially slower ones.

    3. Dropshots require so much less energy than other shots, though they also are harder to successfully make; I like to use them later in matches when not only is my opponent tired, but I also appreciate conserving energy.

    4. In comparison to a slice, a dropshot, if executed correctly, has a WAY higher chance of being a clean winner. Often just seeing a drop shot discourages anybody for running towards it, whereas a slice is an easier shot to return.

    5. Do NOT hit drop shots when YOU are out of position. This is my bad habit. They should be used when you are inside the court, and your opponent ideally outside the court.
     
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  31. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    If you need the point or on major points ... don't use it. You have a small window of court to make it worth your while.
     
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  32. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    Most amateur players who hit drop shots overuse it to the point that it hurts more than it helps.

    One of my junior doubles partners had a great groundstroke game, but if you got him into a protracted rally he would often panic and try and hit a drop shot from the baseline (or even behind it). He wasn't bad at the stroke but you're kind of on a hiding to nothing trying to hit it from back there in dubs.

    Extremely frustrating for me at the net. Especially given the fact that he probably would have won the majority of baseline rallies if he just had the patience to wait for the unforced error, even if I didn't get a chance to poach.
     
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  33. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    If you are playing age 85 and over tournaments, the dropshot can be your best
    friend.
     
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  34. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    That's a good point. Old codgers hate being drop shotted. Even if you're beating them comfortably it's fun to run them around and hear them moan about their 40+ y.o. knees.

    Then they will whinge about you constantly and pretend they could have beaten you if you hadn't taken advantage of their decrepit old body.
     
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  35. mhj202

    mhj202 Rookie

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    Generally agree with your post but with respect to the above statement, I think that sometimes (1) a drop volley (maybe a different animal from a std drop shot?), and (2) a drop shot with strategic angle, can both be quite effective, especially if properly disguised and not overused.
     
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  36. Rjtennis

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    Its a tough shot and not a good one to break out on important points. It is nice to have in the tool box though.
     
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  37. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Everyone is saying that it's not advisable on tough shots, which is technically right, but therefore it is all that much more encouraging to yourself when you successfully pull it off on say a break point or whatever!
     
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  38. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    If I get a short ball below the knees and in front of the service line, I drop it off. I can't seem to do anything else with it.
     
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  39. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    Slice to backhand corner, close to net.
     
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  40. saltair

    saltair New User

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    Pretty fun to drop shot fast guys a couple times as a set up. They may get to the ball, and you may or may not win the point. Play the shot again purposely telegraphing whats coming, watch them break early and then just drive a slice deep. Nice to keep them off balance and guessing.
     
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  41. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This play is probably more effective than the drop shot itself but you have to hit a few droppers to set it up.
     
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  42. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    a djoker drop shot is risky (from the back of the court); on the other hand a federer drop shot is very effective (mid court shot, prepare for an offensive forehand and change in the last moment to a dropper; of course you will have to crush a few forehands to set up this play).
     
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  43. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    I think some of the confusion about the drop shot is because, while it is hit softly, it is an aggressive shot. Most of the time we associate aggressive play with hitting hard. But a strategy that depends on hitting softly and very accurately (like a drop shot) is just as aggressive - if you mess up even a little bit you will most likely lose the point.

    Since the drop shot is an aggressive play, you should only use it when you are in good position and inside the baseline - similar to when you would go for other aggressive shots like approaches.

    I saw Douggo's posting earlier in this thread. I still remember when he and I played a few years back and he was killing me with drop shots!
     
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  44. Douggo

    Douggo Semi-Pro

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    You're too kind. My memory of it was more like bringing nail clippers to a gunfight. ;)
     
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