Is it bad etiquette to drop shot older guys during league play?

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
In doubles if you drop shot the serve is the server or the net person supposed to get the ball?
Depends on where the drop shot lands and who can get to the shot to make the most effective return. If both players can reach it and make an equally effective shot, it's usually best to have the server do it so both players can be at the net. But even if it's the server's teammate who gets the ball, the server should close to the net behind the teammate. Get up to the net as soon and often as possible.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
In doubles if you drop shot the serve is the server or the net person supposed to get the ball?
If the server is playing S&V, it's his ball. If he's staying back then it's the net guys responsibility.

And if as a net guy, you see the slice/drop shot takeback, you better be on your horse as you've got a big opportunity for a poach. Force them to angle it out as wide as possible.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
In doubles if you drop shot the serve is the server or the net person supposed to get the ball?
Like most things, it depends:

- How quick is the returner?
- How quick is the net man?
- How far away is each person from the contact point?
- What will the subsequent position of the two players be depending on who gets the ball? Which one is less bad?
- Can both partners adjust on-the-fly [some doubles players can't adjust very quickly in real-time: once they start moving for the ball, they're committed]?
- The net man will be able to move diagonally or even parallel to the net; that makes stopping and reversing a lot easier than the returner, who has to run more perpendicular
 
If you really want to feel better, prior to play just tell them that your best and favourite shot is your Drop Shot and you tend to win a lot of points using it.

They will then have a heads up and have no reason to complain when you whip them with it.
 

egrorian

Rookie
In a highly competitive match anything goes but in social play drop shots always seem rather poor form somehow.

I recall starting a warm up and all the other guy wanted to do was blast winners.... in the warm up. Prat.
 

HelenCH

Rookie
In a highly competitive match anything goes but in social play drop shots always seem rather poor form somehow.

I recall starting a warm up and all the other guy wanted to do was blast winners.... in the warm up. Prat.
Warm ups are different. Generally considered a poor move trying to "win" one, unless of course you are playing with friends. We always do it to each other, but with players from outside of our circle we behave) However a match is not a warm up so every shot is a legitimate one. Tournament, league or social. It's not even discussed. You are expected to hit in such way that it would be difficult for the opponent to return. Otherwise it's not a match but a cooperative rally.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Warm ups are different. Generally considered a poor move trying to "win" one, unless of course you are playing with friends. We always do it to each other, but with players from outside of our circle we behave) However a match is not a warm up so every shot is a legitimate one. Tournament, league or social. It's not even discussed. You are expected to hit in such way that it would be difficult for the opponent to return. Otherwise it's not a match but a cooperative rally.
I generally play the same way in social, league or tournaments. I just smile and laugh more in social. But I'm there to hit a ball that you'll either not reach or make an error on. That's my goal on every shot I'm not merely defending.

If you are giving up the forecourt to hang back, you'll get a drop shot. If you are hugging the baseline to protect the forecourt, I'll hit a deep groundie. The goal is to win points by making life hard for your opponent. It's his job to cover his court and make life hard for you. If you don't want to see a drop shot, then don't hang back and give up a short ball.
 

socallefty

Legend
There is no etiquette based on age. There is etiquette if you play someone who is several levels worse than you. There are many old players who are way better than the majority of young players. We even have a computer-ranked 4.5 at our club who is 77 years old and plays both singles and doubles - of course, he is a national champion for his age group and since he is a 4.5, he whips 95% of everyone he plays irrespective of age.

What is ‘old’ anyway - depends on how old you are? Many ‘old‘ guys who belong to a tennis club and play frequently are in much better shape than 90% of younger players who play occasionally.
 

J B

Semi-Pro
He then had the audacity to accuse me of taking the pace out of the ball the whole match. Had he just rallied with me more he would have easily beaten me. Instead he beat himself.
Changing pace is what increases your level not a bombing winner. I cant for the life of me figure out why the pros dont do it to bangers more. I tell all my students when they are playing a banger hit with them till it reaches about 75% of you ability then take the pace off. A large percentage of the time the banger hits the next ball out. Now I would recommend changing pace up NOT just down, or you are stagnating your level, along with spins.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Changing pace is what increases your level not a bombing winner. I cant for the life of me figure out why the pros dont do it to bangers more. I tell all my students when they are playing a banger hit with them till it reaches about 75% of you ability then take the pace off. A large percentage of the time the banger hits the next ball out. Now I would recommend changing pace up NOT just down, or you are stagnating your level, along with spins.
It only takes a few years of rec leagues to realize that you beat bangers by feeding them off pace junk. Slice, short angles, loopy moon balls etc. Just avoid the strike zone. IT's like dancing around a home run hitter. You'll get more strike outs with mixing up than trying to beat power with power.
 

EggSalad

Rookie
In a highly competitive match anything goes but in social play drop shots always seem rather poor form somehow.

I recall starting a warm up and all the other guy wanted to do was blast winners.... in the warm up. Prat.
LOL. I’ve had some hitting partners like that recently. Rather than warm up and trade ground strokes, they are looking to hit winners on ball #3. I’m like, you realize I’m hitting it down the middle at 75% pace for a reason, right?

As for drop shots, in a real match anything goes. If it’s casual, I might throw a few drop shots in when the opportunity presents itself but that’s more to work on my game. I wouldn’t exploit an old man relentlessly with drop shots in a casual match. But I do think you have to hit them sometimes because getting that touch down when the opportunity is there is important.
 

dkshifty

Rookie
LOL. I’ve had some hitting partners like that recently. Rather than warm up and trade ground strokes, they are looking to hit winners on ball #3. I’m like, you realize I’m hitting it down the middle at 75% pace for a reason, right?

As for drop shots, in a real match anything goes. If it’s casual, I might throw a few drop shots in when the opportunity presents itself but that’s more to work on my game. I wouldn’t exploit an old man relentlessly with drop shots in a casual match. But I do think you have to hit them sometimes because getting that touch down when the opportunity is there is important.
^THIS!!
We have this exact type of player at our local courts. When we split the court in half to warm up, once we go back, this guy hits slice drop shots that barely clear the net. Needless to say, its quite annoying as I can't get warm.

In a match, you do what you gotta do to win. If its a casual match, I probably wouldn't be doing that. However......there was this time in Hawaii where my buddy and I were set to play two (said by opponents) "rusty" 4.0s. We are USTA 3.5. They weren't as rusty as advertised. The older gentleman was quite into the match, at times looking down at us, possibly because we were much younger? I dropped the old man, he came running to the net and almost ate it. My partner starts laughing and goes "that's f**ked up.....good shot."
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
One of my summer projects was really learning to execute a drop shot. Primarily being able to do it from or near the baseline.

I used it with great success last night in a league singles match. Finally hitting the right depth (e.g. over the dang 3' obstacle but not deep in opposing court), with good backspin or slice.

I even nailed one drop shot off a serve. I am so dang proud of myself.

She's about 15 years younger than I am ... so not worried about breaking an unspoken morality clause.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
One of my summer projects was really learning to execute a drop shot. Primarily being able to do it from or near the baseline.

I used it with great success last night in a league singles match. Finally hitting the right depth (e.g. over the dang 3' obstacle but not deep in opposing court), with good backspin or slice.
Now that you can DS, the backspin lob should be a piece of cake.

She's about 15 years younger than I am ... so not worried about breaking an unspoken morality clause.
But if you are 95, she's 80, so you're still drop shotting an older person.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Now that you can DS, the backspin lob should be a piece of cake.



But if you are 95, she's 80, so you're still drop shotting an older person.
Lobs. After quite a few years of working on them, I have multiple lobs now. I even use them!
Topspin on both wings
Chip lob backhand only .... cannot do it on my forehand
Forehand weird slice lob ... can only do it when I get a ball with pace ... it is very odd but reliable.

And yes, at some point someone 15 years my junior will be considered an older person .... but not yet!

I wear a serious knee brace (no ACL among other issues) so people try to drop shot me all the time. But, it is the rare dropper that I cannot get to and I love the results of my angled roller response.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
How about the classic frame shot dropper? That one always gets me because it comes off a full swing and sound travels slower than light.
The frame shot, hit the tape, hang there for a second dead drop?

Oh yeah, I can always get to those .... especially if I am on the baseline ... no problem. :censored:
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
I'm 65 and play against guys in their early 40s. I have zero problem with them hitting drop shots, I'd feel slighted if someone held back. I can still get to a fair number of those droppers, when I can't I'll just have to do what I can to prevent my opponents from being able to hit them.
A couple years ago I was in a club league with a guy in his mid-70s who must have been the equivalent of a 5.0 or 5.5 in his younger days - if you hit anywhere near him he was going to put the ball in one of the corners with pace and with maybe an inch to spare. We would all hit drop shots, or otherwise make him run around. He didn't like it, and ended up quitting. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen (oops - I guess that is pickleball).
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Funny conversation. Reminds me of Hingis at the '97 Open, drop shotting the pregnant Tami Jones and asking her if it was alright to keep doing it.
 

davced1

Hall of Fame
Maybe if it was practice sets you should go easy on them but an actual match drop shot then all you want and
If you win I assume you will move on to better opponents and they will mostly play others in their age group.
 

vandre

Hall of Fame
in league play, anything is on the table. you have a plan. they can try to keep you from executing your plan. all good.

sidebar: if you see a guy wearing huge braces on both knees do not automatically assume drop shots will phase him. there was a guy in my old league who i was almost sure was just wearing them to bait everyone into hitting drop shots to him. he didn't move like a guy who had two bum knees and i don't remember him not running down a drop shot. ymmv...
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Guys who drop shot the elderly and infirm are usually losers in every other area of life and desperately need a "win" in their life while their wife is staying late at the gym with her new pilates instructor, Sergio.
 

mauricem

Rookie
I'm an old(er) guy with dodgy knees and have stopped fixture play because I know my opponents will mercilessly drop shot me at every opportunity. After all its what I'd do to them if the roles were reversed;)
 

FedLIKEnot

Professional
Casual play, rallying, warmups, that is when drop shot is in bad taste. When a match starts, drop shot away.

There was a pro at our club once who would never engage when people would complain about there opponent, in any capacity about any topic. On topic I heard him on so many occasions answer a complaint about opponents drop shot by saying what did you do to make it harder for them to drop shot? Did you move them around the court more? Did you try to change the levels of your bounce, underspin, topspin, or flat? Did you punish them for doing this by maybe playing a step or two closer to, or inside the baseline to pounce on it. And it most cases as we are recreational players the answer was almost always no. Haha.
 
I am new to playing in adult leagues, and I'm in a low league (3.0-4.0) where guys do compete and take it seriously enough. I was watching some Agassi/Fed highlights from the 2005 USO, and McEnroe says, after a nasty Fed drop shot, "Oh, that's against the unwritten rules. You can't drop shot an old guy like that!" [paraphrasing]

Now, of course, he's being tongue-in-cheek, because almost anything goes at the pro level, even underhand serves and the infamous SABR. But is he referencing a casual/rec-player unwritten rule that I should be aware of? I ask this because I've been crushing the 50-somethings with my drop shot on their serves, and more than one guy has seemed unhappy about it. Problem is that you can't tell if they're unhappy with you or themselves, per usual. Any thoughts?
If the person agrees to play with you, he agrees to try to deal with your game. I don't care if you're 18 or 60, I'm going to try to break you down.
 
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