Changing Shots/Pace

Wesley J

Rookie
Outside of when what you're currently trying isn't working...what makes you decide to throw in a curve ball such as a lob or drop shot from the baseline? Any particular timing such as up 40-0, first return game of the set, or your opponent is getting into a groove in a rally?
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
What I believe is my thinking versus reality:

Drop shot: when I see them camped on baseline and not coming in
Reality:
A. Drop shot turns out to be a short ball and I get it shoved down my throat
B. Amazing drop shot is result of total mis-hit

Lob: Under pressure at baseline and out of position (wide or scrambling) with opponent(s) at mid court or at net
Reality:
About the same as my thinking ... this one I can execute
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Outside of when what you're currently trying isn't working...what makes you decide to throw in a curve ball such as a lob or drop shot from the baseline? Any particular timing such as up 40-0, first return game of the set, or your opponent is getting into a groove in a rally?
dropper... only if i'm on the offense, and have the option to attack... they are back on their heels
if i drop from the baseline, it's low percentage, most folks will read and get to it.
lob, only on defense.

other change of pace... moonball, slice...
anytime i feel like we're rallying, but you're winning the groundie battle, i'll try to change pace...
 
Are we talking singles? I will assume so since you've only posted videos of you playing singles.

I never lob if my opponent is on the BL and I'm not in a defensive position. At my level [4.5], guys will typically step in and either hit a swinging volley or an OH. I'd be giving away a lot of points. Maybe a TS moonball for a change of pace.

I will DS from the BL taking into account my distance and balance vs my opponent's distance and balance [and overall how well they move]. My typical time to DS is off of the return of a 2nd serve from the Ad court using a 1HBH slice. Usually I am inside the BL, though.

I think it's worth throwing in there even if only A) to make them sprint to the net; and B) to let them know you can hit the shot. Otherwise, if they see you behind the BL, they can camp out on the BL also because you never try a DS from that position.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I rather try a deep loopy shot to the BH wing of my opponent rather than dropshot. Unless you have develop the skill for it and can pull off in tough situation. Dropshot is not for everyone. Deep topspin to the BH is a different story, can buy you some time or even restart the point.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Drop shot

-After hitting a deep heavy topspin ahot and pushing them way back I might decide depending on circumstances
-If they are very deep in general il go for them more
-If they are very slow and/or very bad at the net I might go for dropshots more

Lob

-When they attack the net after rhey hit a good shot and im way stretched and cant do much else than lob
-When they attack the net but have bad positioning, like standing way too close to the net and leaving ton of space behind
-Other situations I always passing shot but sometimes I might throw a lob to make it unprectable
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Drop shot

-After hitting a deep heavy topspin ahot and pushing them way back I might decide depending on circumstances
-If they are very deep in general il go for them more
-If they are very slow and/or very bad at the net I might go for dropshots more

Lob

-When they attack the net after rhey hit a good shot and im way stretched and cant do much else than lob
-When they attack the net but have bad positioning, like standing way too close to the net and leaving ton of space behind
-Other situations I always passing shot but sometimes I might throw a lob to make it unprectable
I don't lob much because I suck at them, but in terms of drop shots / short slices, I will throw them in at the height of a high intensity rally. So both of us may be swinging for the fences for a few shots and then I'll hit a drop shot.

If it's executed well then it obviously works as well, but if the DS is executed too poorly then it backfires hard.

In terms of changing pace, I've been experimenting with that a lot more on serves. I'll throw in some softer slice first serves once in a while, or hit a few big second serves if I'm up something like 40-0.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
dropper... only if i'm on the offense, and have the option to attack... they are back on their heels
if i drop from the baseline, it's low percentage, most folks will read and get to it.
lob, only on defense.

other change of pace... moonball, slice...
anytime i feel like we're rallying, but you're winning the groundie battle, i'll try to change pace...
Are we talking singles? I will assume so since you've only posted videos of you playing singles.

I never lob if my opponent is on the BL and I'm not in a defensive position. At my level [4.5], guys will typically step in and either hit a swinging volley or an OH. I'd be giving away a lot of points. Maybe a TS moonball for a change of pace.
Sometimes I will just hit a random, floaty lob when we are both at the baseline which has resulted in more points won than lost (I usually end up in either an attacking position or in a lob battle until one of us messes up). I guess that is just a level thing where as I move up people will go after it more.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Sometimes I will just hit a random, floaty lob when we are both at the baseline which has resulted in more points won than lost (I usually end up in either an attacking position or in a lob battle until one of us messes up). I guess that is just a level thing where as I move up people will go after it more.
In my experience, at higher levels guys will just hit an overhead if it's floaty enough without tons of topspin. Like a serve from the baseline, except that they get the entire court to hit into! I personally like to hit overheads on these shots with a bit of slice for control.

I will also hit a floaty lob like you describe, but only as a desperation shot when I'm pulled way out of position and need to buy a lot of time, and am willing to give up a defensive ball to do so...
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
that shot is so disgustingly difficult for me
Just hit it like a serve!

After all, that's roughly where you hit your 1st serve from, and you probably get 50-60% of them in. Difference is, for the baseline overhead, you have the entire court to hit into, instead of just a little service box!

Just don't over-hit it, which can be the tendency (it's not a high-percentage shot to try to hit a winner). This is why advanced players and pros will often use a little slice for control.
 
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GBplayer

Hall of Fame
If you want to learn these shots, practice them. Club nights, hitting partner , cardio tennis or coach. After a while they become natural shots, winning only matters in matches.
 
What level are you seeing the baseline bounce overhead being made to a high percentage or leaving the guy hitting it up in the point?! I play alright and that shot is so disgustingly difficult for me
I hit OHs from the BL but I usually don't hit them the same as if I was in front of the SL: I usually will hit with more spin, possibly even hitting UP on the ball, to place it in an awkward area for my opponent. Slicing it wide is a great, high % play. No one said an OH had to be blasted.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Very good question op. For me its not conscious. I rarely hit droppers and some of it is just because the cosmos align and I feel like I can pull it off. Sometimes its solely because I am sick of the rally going past 2 balls and just want it to end

This is a rare vid where I actually hit some. Only similiarity is that both times I have my tennis dress on. Thats my answer: when I have my tennis dress on

See at 30 sec and 1:35
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Outside of when what you're currently trying isn't working...what makes you decide to throw in a curve ball such as a lob or drop shot from the baseline? Any particular timing such as up 40-0, first return game of the set, or your opponent is getting into a groove in a rally?
I usually don't throw in a drop shot from the baseline. I prefer to be inside the baseline, at least 10 feet for drop shots. On changing things up? I usually respond fairly mechanically to incoming shots but sometimes change things up. That's the nice thing about being an all-court player - there are a lot of options; sometimes too many.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I practically never hit a drop shot. Probably a weakness but that's the way I play. I will hit drop volleys when it feels like the right shot.

As far as changing things up, I will do these things:

1. if in a topspin rally, hit a BH slice to change spins and speeds. A lot of opponents will miss it simply because its different.
2. hit a short BH slice that stays low. Usually, I do this on a ball that I can contact above the net. sometimes this draws in opponent and sometimes they will return it and back up. Most don't tee off on it and I'll frequently get a ball I can hit aggressively.
3. hit a high roller topspin if engaged in a rally with good pace. lots of players like pace and like contact around waist high. A high roller can slow things down and bounce up high.
4. when serving, i will occasionally hit a 2nd serve as a first serve. the slower ball and higher bounce can get an occasional error.
 
I think it's not conscious.

I've been hitting away from the opponent.
DTL vs. CC.
It is so much fun to mix this up and confound the opponent.
It frustrates opponent when he guesses wrong a few times in a row.

I never lob unless defensive.
Drop shot is not that effective. Too much bounce.

My variety comes down to depth and pace.
I like to mix up serves and give a 2nd serve as my 1st.
This is so often screws with his timing and gives me a free point.

Sometimes, I will vary the arc just to throw off this timing.
 

NuBas

Legend
It comes unexpected from me and often its instinctual but you could use it when you are in a tough situation like when you are about to get broken and down 0-40. Other times its just a way to change up the rhythm so my opponent doesn't groove too much and I become predictable with my shots.

You should incorporate it into your game, use it sparingly and often when not expected but obviously calculated by you. Its kinda like chess, you gotta think about doing it a step ahead so you avoid messing up the shot and losing the point.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
It comes unexpected from me and often its instinctual but you could use it when you are in a tough situation like when you are about to get broken and down 0-40. Other times its just a way to change up the rhythm so my opponent doesn't groove too much and I become predictable with my shots.

You should incorporate it into your game, use it sparingly and often when not expected but obviously calculated by you. Its kinda like chess, you gotta think about doing it a step ahead so you avoid messing up the shot and losing the point.
Great post.

And not only throwing in dropshots but also varying your shots.
Throwing in slices, hitting lower arc pacey shots then maybe higher arc heavy spin... variety variety!
It seems like nowadays newer players have absolutely no variety, similar to the ATP aswell.
They just ballbash from the baseline non stop, and hit the same shot non stop.
No shot variety.
No slices.
No dropshots.
No attacking the net.
I wish more players would be more open to a more all around game instead of just 1 dimensional.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Drop shots: You've given me 14 short balls already that i've pounded to your BH corner so you are already moving that way. A little CC dropper to the FH side works marvelously as a "Now you've got 2 things to think about on those short balls"

Lobs: Anything you can lob, I can lob better. If you start a baseline lob war, I will certainly continue it just to demonstrate it's a ludicrous tactic. I can be as patient as anyone in that situation. And if you put a lob down that's in my serve type overhead wheelhouse, I'll step in and slice serve it at you. I never start a lob war, but I'll continue it, especially if you are doing it non-defensively.

Other curveballs: If I'm in a baseline rally that I'm clearly not winning I'll start throwing in slices off both wings and loftier topspins just to see if i can induce a short ball to attack and get back in control of the point. It also helps to find out if the opponent can handle high or low balls well.
 
I think of variety as junkball.
It ain't pretty, but its effective.

Seeing 2 people with perfect strokes bash it out at the baseline is beautiful.
Things like a drop shot from the baseline is also pretty, but is also a low % shot.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Outside of when what you're currently trying isn't working...what makes you decide to throw in a curve ball such as a lob or drop shot from the baseline? Any particular timing such as up 40-0, first return game of the set, or your opponent is getting into a groove in a rally?
Against a opponent clearly below your level, it's usually a good time to try shots that you want to work on. This gives you a bit of margin to fail and resort to your original game.

It also depends on the opponent and your range of shots. If you are trying to figure out a competitive opponent, then it's probably better to try everything at the beginning of the game and set.

If the opponent thrives in long rallies and rhythm, then it's more effective to shake him up from the beginning so that he can't get into any rhythm and gain momentum. This will take him out of the match mentally. Obviously, you've got be able to execute successfully. This is also a good tactic if you are trying to figure out an opponent. I think Federer's match against Hyeon Chung at Indian Wells is a great example of this. From the beginning, Federer tried a few different tactics and shots until Chung picked up on it and not to give him any rhythm. The first set score was close (7-6), but Chung didn't get into the rhythm and didn't have any momentum in the second set and lost 6-1 (or 6-2)..
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
There was a time when lob technicians were my weakness. But I've overcome that with:
Improve my groundstroke consistency and hit short balls.

I don't go for dropshots since I suck at them. But rather shallow topspin FH that just go over the net and dip. Not a lot of pace on it. So they HAVE to come up. I follow with a couple steps in as I know they can't:
1) do their normal lobs
2) typically have to hit it slice or flat since my shot stayed low
3) will most likely be a weak return

Then I get ready to hit my next shot deep with topspin as they will most likely be out of position.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
Outside of when what you're currently trying isn't working...what makes you decide to throw in a curve ball such as a lob or drop shot from the baseline? Any particular timing such as up 40-0, first return game of the set, or your opponent is getting into a groove in a rally?
I never hit the dropper or the lob as a "curve ball"... Only as a part of a combo or when the situation calls for it.
 
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