Best way response to a lob

#1
i play a lot of doubles and at the club level people lob a lot.

When you are beaten on a high lob and manage to get back and make a play what is the best response? Lob back? Try to hit down the line? Down the middle low? I usually try to lob back but I feel like this almost never works.

Thoughts?
 

Rattler

Professional
#2
Reset lob..high and deep..gives you a chance to regain a proper position and get back into the point...tweener if you think you can pull it off, rarely wins the point though.

Best senario is a strong overhead, but you said if you got beat by the lob...
 
#3
i play a lot of doubles and at the club level people lob a lot.

When you are beaten on a high lob and manage to get back and make a play
One quibble: What exactly do you mean by "beaten on a high lob"? My definition is that they won the point because you couldn't make a play on it. Your definition seems to be that it merely went over your head. I don't consider that "beaten".

what is the best response? Lob back? Try to hit down the line? Down the middle low? I usually try to lob back but I feel like this almost never works.

Thoughts?
What happens when you lob back? Why doesn't it work?
- It's too short and they put away the OH
- It's deep but they are great OHers and they put away the OH anyway

I doubt it's #2 so I'm leaning towards #1. If so, a deep lob ought to at least reset the point. That's good enough and you won't be "beaten".

My response depends on how good the lob is and what my opponents subsequently do.
- If I'm scrambling just to catch up to the ball, I will almost always counter-lob. Anything else is very low % [which I might try but rarely]
- if I can get behind it and hit an OH, I will. Not a 100% power, flat OH but a 60% power, slice OH. Then, back to the net. If it's not high enough to hit an OH, then I'll hit a regular GS [maybe higher than normal]
- If the lobber moves forward, I'll either try to hit at his feet, if he's slow moving forward and hasn't completely closed, or in the middle like most shots from the BL when both opponents are at net

You have to analyze your points and see what is going wrong. Maybe you're too close to the net or your balance is too far forward and you're getting caught by mediocre lobs. Or, maybe your opponents are excellent lobbers and maybe you should hang out near the SL.
 
#4
One quibble: What exactly do you mean by "beaten on a high lob"? My definition is that they won the point because you couldn't make a play on it. Your definition seems to be that it merely went over your head. I don't consider that "beaten".



What happens when you lob back? Why doesn't it work?
- It's too short and they put away the OH
- It's deep but they are great OHers and they put away the OH anyway

I doubt it's #2 so I'm leaning towards #1. If so, a deep lob ought to at least reset the point. That's good enough and you won't be "beaten".

My response depends on how good the lob is and what my opponents subsequently do.
- If I'm scrambling just to catch up to the ball, I will almost always counter-lob. Anything else is very low % [which I might try but rarely]
- if I can get behind it and hit an OH, I will. Not a 100% power, flat OH but a 60% power, slice OH. Then, back to the net. If it's not high enough to hit an OH, then I'll hit a regular GS [maybe higher than normal]
- If the lobber moves forward, I'll either try to hit at his feet, if he's slow moving forward and hasn't completely closed, or in the middle like most shots from the BL when both opponents are at net

You have to analyze your points and see what is going wrong. Maybe you're too close to the net or your balance is too far forward and you're getting caught by mediocre lobs. Or, maybe your opponents are excellent lobbers and maybe you should hang out near the SL.
So by beaten I mean a lob means it’s over my head and lands close to the baseline but I’m able get back and have a chance to make a play. I feel that my lob back is a very low percentage play but I do it a lot anYway. I’m just wondering if I’m thinking about it wrong.

Yes I may be standing too close to the net but it’s also a function of height. I’m pretty short but I have a good net game so an accurate lob is a good play against me.
 
#5
So by beaten I mean a lob means it’s over my head and lands close to the baseline but I’m able get back and have a chance to make a play. I feel that my lob back is a very low percentage play but I do it a lot anYway. I’m just wondering if I’m thinking about it wrong.

Yes I may be standing too close to the net but it’s also a function of height. I’m pretty short but I have a good net game so an accurate lob is a good play against me.
You mean your lob goes too short? I was told once that when you're on the run and you lob, you'll nearly always lob short. So lob deeper than you think you should, and it will come out about right.
 
#6
Well I would not say I'm a good lobber so there you I need to work on my lobs. I'll make more of an effort more lobs early so I'll be better prepared when I play the points later.

But is that the "best" shot meaning high percentage play (analagous to hitting crosscourt for a regular groundstroke)? It seems like it, so perhaps when my lob improves I'll see the fruits of my sound fundamental tactics.
 
#7
You mean your lob goes too short? I was told once that when you're on the run and you lob, you'll nearly always lob short. So lob deeper than you think you should, and it will come out about right.
Hmmm. I wouldn't say I'm on the run, it's just that when you approach a lob from the forecourt it's very different than almost any other shot since your back is initially to the net. So it's more that I'm likely to be off balance. I think that's why I hit the lob but I feel that it either lands too short (like on the net) or I float it long even if it's a decent lob. So I guess I just need to practice my lob more and junkball these players.
 
#8
Reset lob..high and deep..gives you a chance to regain a proper position and get back into the point...tweener if you think you can pull it off, rarely wins the point though.

Best senario is a strong overhead, but you said if you got beat by the lob...
I can get to enough lobs at my level that it takes a good one to pull it off. The players I was going against had pretty good lobs but I felt like if I could neutralize that I could beat them pretty well. I'm not going to get back to every one, but I felt like I gave away a lot of free chances because my lob sucks.
 

Rattler

Professional
#9
I can get to enough lobs at my level that it takes a good one to pull it off. The players I was going against had pretty good lobs but I felt like if I could neutralize that I could beat them pretty well. I'm not going to get back to every one, but I felt like I gave away a lot of free chances because my lob sucks.
Well there’s only one way to improve your lob...practice, practice, practice...& throw up a few in practice matches.
 
#10
Hmmm. I wouldn't say I'm on the run, it's just that when you approach a lob from the forecourt it's very different than almost any other shot since your back is initially to the net. So it's more that I'm likely to be off balance. I think that's why I hit the lob but I feel that it either lands too short (like on the net) or I float it long even if it's a decent lob. So I guess I just need to practice my lob more and junkball these players.

A tip I was given years ago was as soon as you see the lob, immediately get your racquet up for an overhead and run with your racquet in the ready position...maybe that’ll help...honestly its difficult to suggest anything more than general tips without seeing someone play...not a slight against you, just stating the obvious
 
#11
So by beaten I mean a lob means it’s over my head and lands close to the baseline but I’m able get back and have a chance to make a play. I feel that my lob back is a very low percentage play but I do it a lot anYway. I’m just wondering if I’m thinking about it wrong.
Why do you feel your counter-lob is low %? Is it because you rarely make it? Is it because it gets attacked? Be more specific.

[edit] I just saw your explanation. It sounds like you need to get better at that specific type of lob [on the run, back to the net, moving quickly, etc].

In general, I think the counter-lob is a high % shot [but only if you can execute it].

Yes I may be standing too close to the net but it’s also a function of height. I’m pretty short but I have a good net game so an accurate lob is a good play against me.
If height was the dominant factor, opponents would have lobbed Hingis every time [she's 5' 7"]. They didn't because Hingis has a darn good OH and because her partner [Mirza, Chan, etc] are pounding the ball, making lobs difficult. I'm not saying your partner has to have that kind of firepower, though.

If you're getting lobbed a lot, you have to improve your anticipation, reaction, & movement so you can hit OHs [hopefully on-the-fly] rather than letting them bounce and yielding the net.

It will also help to stand further back: the tradeoff is now you're more vulnerable to the low dipper. You have to make the adjustment.

Also, improving your shot [volley or approach] that precedes their lob will also help: maybe they're able to easily lob because you or your partner are not challenging them enough?
 
#12
The other team should both take the net if their lob goes over your head. If they do and you are well beyond the baseline, your only real option at that point is to lob back. If they stay back, you can hit a groundstroke back. Your goal is merely to reset the point however. I have seen a pro doubles specialist hit an incredible sidearm smash in this situation but that is world class.
 
#13
Your opponents play lob against you probably because of the reasons you mentioned below.

1. You said it, you stand too close to the net. Maybe start a step or two behind against lobbers, and sneak in sometimes as they return. Let them be guessing.

2. I have a feeling that even if your opponents lobs are short, they don't get punished for it (with a good overhead). If that is the case, that would be a larger part of the issue because now it is a huge invite for your opponents. If they fear that the lob has to be good, they will miss more often. So you definitely need to practice the overheads as punishers to scare them.

In summary, you have to turn the tables and make the lob a low percentage play for your opponents.

Everything else comes after that, meaning once they earn that too good of a lob over you. And in that case, there are some good suggestions above, and I don't want to repeat them.

Yes I may be standing too close to the net but it’s also a function of height. I’m pretty short but I have a good net game so an accurate lob is a good play against me.
 
#14
Your opponents play lob against you probably because of the reasons you mentioned below.

1. You said it, you stand too close to the net. Maybe start a step or two behind against lobbers, and sneak in sometimes as they return. Let them be guessing.

2. I have a feeling that even if your opponents lobs are short, they don't get punished for it (with a good overhead). If that is the case, that would be a larger part of the issue because now it is a huge invite for your opponents. If they fear that the lob has to be good, they will miss more often. So you definitely need to practice the overheads as punishers to scare them.

In summary, you have to turn the tables and make the lob a low percentage play for your opponents.

Everything else comes after that, meaning once they earn that too good of a lob over you. And in that case, there are some good suggestions above, and I don't want to repeat them.
For the record I don’t think I stand too close to the net. If I was then I wouldn’t have had a chance to get those lobs back. I just feel like I didn’t hit my responses well enough. Could I have volleyed better? Probably but the main issue was just poor execution on my own lobs. So I will practice more.
 
#15
For the record I don’t think I stand too close to the net. If I was then I wouldn’t have had a chance to get those lobs back.
Not necessarily: there are varying degrees of standing too close to the net.

- The most extreme is when you can't run down the lob.
- Next is having the ball go over your head but catching up to it after the bounce and hitting an OH
- Next is having the ball go over your head but not being able to hit the OH after the bounce and you have to counter-lob.
 
#16
Not necessarily: there are varying degrees of standing too close to the net.

- The most extreme is when you can't run down the lob.
- Next is having the ball go over your head but catching up to it after the bounce and hitting an OH
- Next is having the ball go over your head but not being able to hit the OH after the bounce and you have to counter-lob.
I hear you I think I’m pushing close intentially. It’s a trade off. B cause I’m short I need to push up close to cut off the angle and hit the ball above the net. I’m still able to cover the lob so I think it’s worth it. If this was singles I would definitely be way too close to the net.
 
#17
I hear you I think I’m pushing close intentially. It’s a trade off. B cause I’m short I need to push up close to cut off the angle and hit the ball above the net. I’m still able to cover the lob so I think it’s worth it. If this was singles I would definitely be way too close to the net.
Whether you're Isner or Schwartzman, your height is not the primary determinant of your ability to prevent the ball from dipping too low; it's your distance from the net. Yes, secondarily height comes into play due to reach.

So again, I think you are getting too close to the net based on a mis-judgment of how much your height is a factor.

The bottom line is results: if you're getting beaten by the lob 95% of the time and the dipper 5% of the time, you are too close. Keep moving back [and working on your anticipation, reaction, and movement] until the ratio is roughly 50/50.
 
#18
Whether you're Isner or Schwartzman, your height is not the primary determinant of your ability to prevent the ball from dipping too low; it's your distance from the net. Yes, secondarily height comes into play due to reach.

So again, I think you are getting too close to the net based on a mis-judgment of how much your height is a factor.

The bottom line is results: if you're getting beaten by the lob 95% of the time and the dipper 5% of the time, you are too close. Keep moving back [and working on your anticipation, reaction, and movement] until the ratio is roughly 50/50.
Yeah but as I’ve said I’m getting there in plenty of time and hitting an unforced error really. If fix that and still get genuinely beaten consistently on the lob then Yeah I’ll step back. But for now I’m going to keep crowding that net. I won a lot points that day playing that way. It was pretty even. I figure if just hit half of those lobs back with a decent reply it’ll be enough.

I’ve never really had a good lob and I don’t like hitting them so I haven’t practiced them. Time to change.
 
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#19
Chasing down a lob is a "defensive" situation. So as long as you made the right choices, and winning most of the other points, ending in that "defensive" situation once in a while is not too bad. (You win a match decisively even if you lose 40% of points).
I won a lot points that day playing that way
 
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