Lob as an approach shot?

#1
Especially if you delay going to the net. With a lob, the ball is dropping vertically, so it's harder to time a horizontal swing. It's easier to return a lob with another lob. So stand slightly behind the service line, so you can smash the lob that's likely coming back.

Good idea?
 
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Enga

Professional
#6
Depends on the type of lob. The lob as an offensive shot? I would say impossible to attack. Assuming you gave it enough spin, the ball can bounce off the court tremendously, making it quite difficult to attack it. So yes, it could work, but to the contrary of what you might think, this is a low percentage shot. Its hard to get under a ball well enough while still imparting topspin, so the lob itself may go out. But if hit well, then the opponent would have either two options, hit it on the first bounce as a swinging volley or overhead which is difficult to time, or wait for the second bounce, potentially having to give up a lot of the court in order to hit it. They may just opt to counter-lob you.

Otherwise, if you plan to hit a backspin lob, this type of lob can sit up very well for a player to attack.

I think most people prefer short slices because they're easier to hit if you have the feel for it. Riskier approach shots are more of a "flat" slice towards the corners, which are harder to attack. Normal topspin approach shots are less effective, but at least consistent if you can move the opponent around.
 
#7
works at the 4.0 level and below...
lob to the bh, and come to net after a slight pause...
typically works if they don't have a strong bh, and tend to float the return back
 
#8
works at the 4.0 level and below...
lob to the bh, and come to net after a slight pause...
typically works if they don't have a strong bh, and tend to float the return back
Agreed, you can certainly throw this in as a surprise tactic at the 4.5-5.0 level and probably do well on those points. But if you did that more than a few times you'd be in some trouble.
 
#10
Especially if you delay going to the net. With a lob, the ball is dropping vertically, so it's harder to time a horizontal swing. It's easier to return a lob with another lob. So stand slightly behind the service line, so you can smash the lob that's likely coming back.

Good idea?
Sure, under the right circumstances.

If the opponent is adept at OHs from the BL, probably it's a bad idea. But how many people do you know under 5.0 that are this good? I know exactly one guy who consistently pulls this off.

If the opponent can short-hop lobs, also probably a bad idea. Again, not an easy shot.

You can even delay until after the bounce and the ball reaching its apex because he will no longer be looking at you, even peripherally. You could catch him completely by surprise, as if you had just teleported to the net.
 
#11
Sure, under the right circumstances.

If the opponent is adept at OHs from the BL, probably it's a bad idea. But how many people do you know under 5.0 that are this good? I know exactly one guy who consistently pulls this off.

If the opponent can short-hop lobs, also probably a bad idea. Again, not an easy shot.

You can even delay until after the bounce and the ball reaching its apex because he will no longer be looking at you, even peripherally. You could catch him completely by surprise, as if you had just teleported to the net.
In my group everyone sucks at OH, (except me, I'm not bragging, I'm the only one who practices the shot).

Also, they can't deal with short hops.

Finally. Yeah, that's my idea, sneak up there when he's not looking. With a lob, you've got a lot of time to get into position.
 
#12
In my group everyone sucks at OH, (except me, I'm not bragging, I'm the only one who practices the shot).

Also, they can't deal with short hops.

Finally. Yeah, that's my idea, sneak up there when he's not looking. With a lob, you've got a lot of time to get into position.
If they are pushers and uncomfortable with hitting passing shots, especially from that deep in the court, you could lob and then literally walk to the net. By the time they contact the ball, you'll probably be at the SL, ready for the counter-lob.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
#16
I do this. But not like the op described it. Occasionally I’ll hit a high loopy ball that’s going deep. Maybe it was a shank. Maybe it wasn’t. That’s neither here nor there. But while my opponent is cursing the frame spin that’s driving the ball ever higher and deeper I’ll almost always do a short approach. No closer than the service line. If he blasts a winner from the back court, too good. But most of the time it’s another loopy ball and HELLO overhead smash.

It has to be high enough that your opponent is looking above not at you and deep enough that he would have to hit some amazing BS to pass you.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
#17
Especially if you delay going to the net. With a lob, the ball is dropping vertically, so it's harder to time a horizontal swing. It's easier to return a lob with another lob. So stand slightly behind the service line, so you can smash the lob that's likely coming back.

Good idea?
Its more of a sneaky move, you have alot of time to close off the net since your moonball is in the air for so long. Just dont do the massive sneaker squeak or they know you came in. The ball is high so they cannot see you move in, their eyes are up.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#18
Horrible idea, a good player will crush that ball with an overhead, goodluck with that.
Overhead from the baseline?
One of my hitting partners stands near the net and can volley those overheads. And you have to have some skill to really crush those from the baseline without being an UE machine.

However...

Especially if you delay going to the net. With a lob, the ball is dropping vertically, so it's harder to time a horizontal swing. It's easier to return a lob with another lob. So stand slightly behind the service line, so you can smash the lob that's likely coming back.

Good idea?
Why not making a high trajectory deep pure topspin hit approach shot with less pace, landing before the baseline? Those cannot be hit with overhead (too low) and your opponent still deals with an unpleasant ball (no pace, highish bounce, deep).
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#19
Overhead from the baseline?
One of my hitting partners stands near the net and can volley those overheads. And you have to have some skill to really crush those from the baseline without being an UE machine.

However...
Yes you need skill thats why I said good player.

Im saying a good player can hit really fast overheads from baseline, and if the other player is still transitioning to the net that would be an extremely hard volley, even if he would get up to the net it would still be difficult due to the pace of the ball, however then a good option would also be to lob him.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#20
Yes you need skill thats why I said good player.

Im saying a good player can hit really fast overheads from baseline, and if the other player is still transitioning to the net that would be an extremely hard volley, even if he would get up to the net it would still be difficult due to the pace of the ball, however then a good option would also be to lob him.
If you hit a slower approach shot no matter what it is, you won't be transitioning when passing shot occurs, you'll be there.
 
#21
  • What if the opponent can hit down on lobs well?
  • What if the opponent can hit overheads from the baseline well?
  • What if the opponent lobs you right back?
  • What if the opponent hits a short topspin ball that lands at your feet?
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#22
  • What if the opponent can hit down on lobs well?
  • What if the opponent can hit overheads from the baseline well?
  • What if the opponent lobs you right back?
  • What if the opponent hits a short topspin ball that lands at your feet?
Ive never seen anyone play lobs for an aproach shot at any remotely decent tennis level... but hey.. it must be a good strategy since ttw forum says it is.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
#23
Ive never seen anyone play lobs for an aproach shot at any remotely decent tennis level... but hey.. it must be a good strategy since ttw forum says it is.
Doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad idea. Especially because players don't quite expect this, and won't likely be prepared when they face it. It might work at least against some players.
In my view, any approach shot with depth has its value. No matter what you do, you want your opponent as far behind as possible, with as little time to make a shot as possible.
Also in my view, lobs are the biggest variable and uncertainty. If you know your opponents simply likes to go for passing shots that's great. You can then attack the net more aggressively, closing down the angles, ensuring yourself better position to volley. If you have to protect yourself from the lob then you need to stay back but are generally much more vulnerable to dipping passing shots, the angles and far corners...there's no single best solution, you need some lucid decisions. It is an art, in general. So in that view, why not trying occasional lob approach shot? If they don't go well it's easy to give it up.
 
#24
Overhead from the baseline?
One of my hitting partners stands near the net and can volley those overheads. And you have to have some skill to really crush those from the baseline without being an UE machine.

However...



Why not making a high trajectory deep pure topspin hit approach shot with less pace, landing before the baseline? Those cannot be hit with overhead (too low) and your opponent still deals with an unpleasant ball (no pace, highish bounce, deep).
"Overhead from the baseline" aka "serve"... and you don't have to hit into the little box!
both work, but your option requires you to get under the ball, and either hit a descending lob, or wait for it to bounce which will push you back
 
#25
The rule with a lob has always been that if you get the lob past the opponent at the net you go to the net.

Are you talking about when he is at the baseline?
Yes, you can go to the net behind a moonball that forces the opponent deep. It is difficult for him to get pace and angle on the ball if he is deep or moving backwards. If it is a true lob, you are running to the net as he moves up into the court and hits an overhead at you.
If the guy's overhead is not good, it might work well. If it is good, you might not finish the match.
 
#27
The rule with a lob has always been that if you get the lob past the opponent at the net you go to the net.

Are you talking about when he is at the baseline?
Yes, you can go to the net behind a moonball that forces the opponent deep. It is difficult for him to get pace and angle on the ball if he is deep or moving backwards. If it is a true lob, you are running to the net as he moves up into the court and hits an overhead at you.
If the guy's overhead is not good, it might work well. If it is good, you might not finish the match.
You have enough time on a lob to pick and chose when to go to the net. If the lob isn't deep, don't bother going up. If the lob is well into the court, then sneak up after the bounce, because he's probably looking at the ball, (no sneaker squeaks).
 
#33
Then talk tactic. Tell me what do you do after you hit a lob toward your opponent who is already standing there waiting.
You stay there in the middle of court, I hope your volley game is good.
You move up to cover the net, your opponent will have all the time to lob you.
You run back to the baseline, so you were in attacking position, then you restart the point back to neutral. Great.
 
#35
if your singles opponent or doubles opponents are at the net and you get a lob over their heads that they have to play on the bounce, you should ALWAYS move to the net behind your lob. Rule of thumb is if you see your opponents butt as he/she is running backwards, you should be moving in.

In singles with opponent at baseline, if you hit a deep lob that bounces high enough for opponent to hit an overhead, I would not go in behind it. But, if you are just hitting a really high loopy shot that lands very deep; then yes you can move in behind it especially if you hit it to their weaker side.

Same in doubles, if you hit a high loopy ball that lands deep, you can move in but you probably don't want to lob to a doubles opponent at the baseline and move in if the lob is so high they have time to smash it.

You said stop behind service line when you move in. I think it is never a good idea to stop and position behind the service line. If you are concerned about a lob, position yourself about 3 feet inside the service line and hang there. You should be able to cover all but the very best lobs from that position and you aren't as vulnerable to a low passing shot.
 
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