Lob Queens

SuperLotto

New User
Can someone tell me what the the best strategy is against lob queens (doubles)? I can lob back, but the points go on forever.
 
Try playing a little further back from the net than usual (perhaps barely in front of the service line) and take them as overheads.

People stop lobbing after 2-3 good overheads.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I'd overhead like crazy, unless it's the kind of lob that bounces around the baseline and over your head.
 

GetBetterer

Hall of Fame
I would smash that thing, but assuming you can't, hit some topspin shots that still stay relatively close to the net and go back into the court, except don't make them lobs.

Do they lob because you're at net, or do they just do it...for the sake of doing it?

Play aggressive, get at the net and smash that thing, do a drive volley!
 

thebuffman

Professional
Can someone tell me what the the best strategy is against lob queens (doubles)? I can lob back, but the points go on forever.
unfortunately superlotto lobqueens are the dominators of 3.5 and below doubles leagues. the reason is because at this level, most players have never practiced hitting the overhead smash. lobs are a last resort defensive shot primarily for high levels of play because unless it is well placed, the lob is going to get returned with incredible pace down and into the court. at the lower levels of play though, the lob is used to mix things up or is very well used as a regular rally ball.

my suggestion is begin practicing overhead smashes until you become comfortable with the shot. after you do that, you will own lob queens. i am speaking from experience mind you as i also play 3.5 level. i practiced my overhead and now i am very comfortable with smashing and i typically make the lob kings pay when they try that soft mess on me.

oh and consider this. there are different variations of smashing. if you want to go for a safer smash, consider hitting it as you would a slice serve especially if you are not comfortable laying into the smash. also don't make the mistake of trying to kill it. trust me on this. if you master a very smooth smash with nice pronation into the ball, it will be a harder/faster shot than most forehands. even if they get it back, typically it sets you up for another smash but this time it is usually closer to the net, and thats when i CRUSH it, bouncing it over the fence LOL!
 
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Blake0

Hall of Fame
Net person should move back a little closer to the service line as mentioned to cover more lobs except the really good ones.

If they're hitting topspin lobs, you've gotta hit more slices and keep the ball low so its harder for them to lob well.

If they're hitting plain lobs, mix it up. Anything out of the opponents comfort zone makes it harder to execute lobs consistently well. You can increase the pace, add more spin, and make them hit lobs from different areas of the court. Hitting short slices/dropshots is effective too.

The server should be mixing up serves if they lob returns a lot. It's hard to lob a kick serve, and flat serves with good pace on them. Slice serves are easier to lob unless you can really get the slice spin on the serve. Its good to mix up your serve though, and go more toward the body and backhand side, most people usually have less control there.
 
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Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I face a lot of lob queens. And at times I morph into a lob queen myself. Usually when I'm losing. My partners and I have turned around entire matches -- even at 4.0 -- by lobbing our heads off.

The trouble with the standard advice (hit your overhead, hit slice) is that if either you or your partner can't execute these shots, you are in trouble.

Another tactic that has worked for me is two back. They lob. You lob it back. When your lob bounces and your opponents are distracted trying to lob it back, you launch a sneak attack. You go to the service line, in front of the player who is about to hit the ball.

And you intercept it. If you can overhead it, great. If not, just hit a volley angle off of it. Any pathetic volley will work so long as it isn't deep, because lob queens can't run down anything that doesn't come right into their wheelhouse at the baseline. And your short, angled volley will be difficult for them to hit a lob off of because they have less room to work with and they aren't so great at moving forward anyway.

In the last match where my partner and I used this tactic, our volleys were well and truly embarrassing. Horrific dribblers off of our racket, nasty volleys that bounced high into the air. Didn't matter. There was so much confusion on the other side of the net that we won point after point by volleying short.

Good luck. I hate lob tennis. It must be stopped. Except when I do it.
 

mlktennis

Semi-Pro
it is a rite of passage to get past the lobbers just like the pushers. It shows what you need to work on in your game. patience,
postioning,
slice,
counter lobs,
Solid angle volleys,
overheads, and
drive volleys.

This is the order of stuff I have worked on to beat up on the lobbers...still don't have the drive volley down yet :(

Patience for me is key! They usually can't hurt you so just choose your moment.
 

mlktennis

Semi-Pro
i would hit a hard top spin shot at them and try to come in.
That's what they want. Unless you can blow them off the court consistently (hard b/c they are camped out deep on the baseline) , you will make more errors or get lobbed again and back you go-getting tired and fustrated. If you had a good overhead, then there would be no discussion anyway-
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
No one has mentioned hitting angled ground strokes short into the court. If they're camped on the baseline and do not come in, these shots will force them to come in to cut off the angles. If they don't come in, then these shots are winners. Then there's also drop shots and angled volleys as suggested by CindySphinx. IMO, it's a rite of passage. No one lobs if they can help it at 4.0+ because the ball is just put away.
 

NLBwell

Legend
When teaching 3.0 and 3.5 women, I emphasize moving for the overheads. Getting back to the proper place quickly is the key, so you have time to set up for the overhead. Start moving back FAST as soon as you see a lob coming - if you go too far, it is easy to move forward. Then, since you are set up well for the overhead, it is not a difficult shot and you should be able to put it away. Unless you make them pay for lobbing, there is no reason for them to quit doing it.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
When teaching 3.0 and 3.5 women, I emphasize moving for the overheads. Getting back to the proper place quickly is the key, so you have time to set up for the overhead. Start moving back FAST as soon as you see a lob coming - if you go too far, it is easy to move forward. Then, since you are set up well for the overhead, it is not a difficult shot and you should be able to put it away. Unless you make them pay for lobbing, there is no reason for them to quit doing it.
One problem some of my partners have (and I sometimes have!) is that it can be difficult to put away an overhead against two lobbers at the baseline. If you try to generate enough pace to blow it by them, you miss. And if you are steady and consistent with your overhead, that's not good enough. This is no surprise considering the slow serve speed at 3.0/3.5. If these ladies cannot hit their own serve hard, how are they going to hit an overhead hard when they don't control the toss and have to move to set up?

That's why I think that it is important to improve your overhead, but it is equally important to learn to handle these balls with your volley and with short groundstrokes.
 

NLBwell

Legend
One problem some of my partners have (and I sometimes have!) is that it can be difficult to put away an overhead against two lobbers at the baseline. If you try to generate enough pace to blow it by them, you miss. And if you are steady and consistent with your overhead, that's not good enough. This is no surprise considering the slow serve speed at 3.0/3.5. If these ladies cannot hit their own serve hard, how are they going to hit an overhead hard when they don't control the toss and have to move to set up?
Practice, practice, practice.
You've got to become a better player than them to win.
 

mlktennis

Semi-Pro
No one has mentioned hitting angled ground strokes short into the court. If they're camped on the baseline and do not come in, these shots will force them to come in to cut off the angles. If they don't come in, then these shots are winners. Then there's also drop shots and angled volleys as suggested by CindySphinx. IMO, it's a rite of passage. No one lobs if they can help it at 4.0+ because the ball is just put away.
True,

I was getting a sound beatdown from a 4.0+ player. Hit harder, more consistent, faster etc. Nothing was working and Eventually resorted to moon balling and lobs...lost even quicker. What works great at 3.5 is death at 4.0
 

athiker

Hall of Fame
Can someone tell me what the the best strategy is against lob queens (doubles)? I can lob back, but the points go on forever.
Are both your opponents staying back and lobbing or is the deep person lobbing deep to give their net partner time to poach a groundstroke reply (since it has to cover a lot of ground just to get back to the net)?...or testing to see if your lob reply is too short in which case, again, the net person can intercept and overhead smash? I am assuming this is doubles?
 

EggSalad

Rookie
Resurrecting this thread from the dead. This was me last night. I agreed to play doubles with three guys I’d never met before at my club. It was a lob fest. Absolutely the most boring tennis I’ve played and I hadn’t seen that since JV tennis in early high school and even then it wasn’t very common.

Wish I had thought to camp out on the service line. I was being polite and letting me partner take the cross court lobs. I could have brought a book and lawn chair with me for when I was at the net.
 

Morch Us

Professional
The skill needed is overhead from 3 feets behind the service lane. Till you learn that stroke, with enough consistency, you won't have confidence to move forward and take time away from the lobber. When you stay beyond baseline, you are essentially playing to their preferred pattern.

Can someone tell me what the the best strategy is against lob queens (doubles)? I can lob back, but the points go on forever.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
The skill needed is overhead from 3 feets behind the service lane. Till you learn that stroke, with enough consistency, you won't have confidence to move forward and take time away from the lobber. When you stay beyond baseline, you are essentially playing to their preferred pattern.
You might need a much larger font for your reply so that the OP can read it in 2010 (or 2012, the last time he visited)
 

BlackMagic

New User
There are a couple guys I know that love to lob in doubles games. They play 1 back 1 front and the back guy moonshots it. I over head smash that stuff but occasionally it goes in net or out too far so theyre not scared to lob to me. Last week I changed tactics. Every time the back guy would lob to me, I over head smashed it hard towards his partner at the net. The ball goes too hard for him to volley. Twice I hit him hard and then he started ducking. He then asked his partner to stop. I think if they both go to baseline, I’ll pull one in with a drop shot and aim at them on the next lob he doesn’t back off.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Resurrecting this thread from the dead. This was me last night. I agreed to play doubles with three guys I’d never met before at my club. It was a lob fest. Absolutely the most boring tennis I’ve played and I hadn’t seen that since JV tennis in early high school and even then it wasn’t very common.

Wish I had thought to camp out on the service line. I was being polite and letting me partner take the cross court lobs. I could have brought a book and lawn chair with me for when I was at the net.
Don't really need to camp out on the service line (6+ m or 20+ ft off the net).

Perhaps you are playing the net too tight if you are constantly getting lobbed. Does it still happen when you 3 meters (10 ft) off the net? This should be a good offensive position at the net. If you are getting lobbed effectively at that position, then set up about 4 m (13 ft) off the net in situations where you are expecting to be lobbed.

This would require your opponents to hit a much better lob. Might have a better chance of hitting an effective & discouraging OH from that position.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
unfortunately superlotto lobqueens are the dominators of 3.5 and below doubles leagues. the reason is because at this level, most players have never practiced hitting the overhead smash. lobs are a last resort defensive shot primarily for high levels of play because unless it is well placed, the lob is going to get returned with incredible pace down and into the court. at the lower levels of play though, the lob is used to mix things up or is very well used as a regular rally ball.

my suggestion is begin practicing overhead smashes until you become comfortable with the shot. after you do that, you will own lob queens. i am speaking from experience mind you as i also play 3.5 level. i practiced my overhead and now i am very comfortable with smashing and i typically make the lob kings pay when they try that soft mess on me.

oh and consider this. there are different variations of smashing. if you want to go for a safer smash, consider hitting it as you would a slice serve especially if you are not comfortable laying into the smash. also don't make the mistake of trying to kill it. trust me on this. if you master a very smooth smash with nice pronation into the ball, it will be a harder/faster shot than most forehands. even if they get it back, typically it sets you up for another smash but this time it is usually closer to the net, and thats when i CRUSH it, bouncing it over the fence LOL!
Good advice, especially the part about needing to practice the overhead. Also, you want to hit it with pace, but don't go nuts. Be careful to hit it deep and off the sweetspot. This will usually make the ball hit the back fence on one bounce. Usually, that's enough to win the point for you. No one will hit you lobs to practice on? Then hit a high ball, let it bounce and practice your smash. Soon it will be your favorite shot, and lob queens your favorite opponent!
 

EggSalad

Rookie
Don't really need to camp out on the service line (6+ m or 20+ ft off the net).

Perhaps you are playing the net too tight if you are constantly getting lobbed. Does it still happen when you 3 meters (10 ft) off the net? This should be a good offensive position at the net. If you are getting lobbed effectively at that position, then set up about 4 m (13 ft) off the net in situations where you are expecting to be lobbed.

This would require your opponents to hit a much better lob. Might have a better chance of hitting an effective & discouraging OH from that position.
This was just me never having played with 3.0 doubles players and trying to be polite.

I’ve actually never really played the USTA stuff, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself in to.

I am a high school player getting back into playing after a 24 year break. Most of our high school team played D1, so this was a new experience to me.

I’ll probably hit overheads without mercy next time I play in that scenario and I’m kind of looking forward to it. But it’s awkward when you’re a few levels up and playing casually with people you’ve never met.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I know 2 female players that are 5.0 rated and they both have very good 2 handed backhands but their best shot is the lob. They have an uncanny ability to hit lobs that land within 2-3 feet of the baseline. I am male but play mixed against one of these lob queens. I don't close the net as much against her and typically stop about a yard inside the service line and split step there. You'll close forward if it's a drive but you're in relatively good position if it's a lob. Be prepared to run a lot because you might have to turn and chase if you cannot reach it with an overhead. Also, you'll need a decent overhead so practice it more than the 2 overheads you take when warming up for a match. It is also my experience that if you hit a really approach shot, or volley or ground stroke; you can force weaker lobs too. But, a good lobber is nightmare to play in my opinion.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
This was just me never having played with 3.0 doubles players and trying to be polite.

I’ve actually never really played the USTA stuff, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself in to.

I am a high school player getting back into playing after a 24 year break. Most of our high school team played D1, so this was a new experience to me.

I’ll probably hit overheads without mercy next time I play in that scenario and I’m kind of looking forward to it. But it’s awkward when you’re a few levels up and playing casually with people you’ve never met.
Sounds like a plan. They don't have to be vicious overheads but solid & infective enough to get the point across.

I played competitive badminton for a while in the 80s. So when I came back to tennis, I had no groundstrokes but was quite dangerous with volleys and overheads. Even as a 3.5 player, 30+ years ago, players respected my OH. I had a tennis doubles player who had played badminton at a higher, national level. His OH and net game were even deadlier than mine. After opponents at the 3.5 and 4.0 level saw how well we hit the OH, they stopped lobbing us early on.

Eventually, my groundstrokes got better and, with my serves and net game, was able to get to a 4.5/5.0 level in just a few years.
 

bitcoinoperated

Professional
Resurrecting this thread from the dead. This was me last night. I agreed to play doubles with three guys I’d never met before at my club. It was a lob fest. Absolutely the most boring tennis I’ve played and I hadn’t seen that since JV tennis in early high school and even then it wasn’t very common.

Wish I had thought to camp out on the service line. I was being polite and letting me partner take the cross court lobs. I could have brought a book and lawn chair with me for when I was at the net.
This is reason number ___ why I never play doubles. Unless people have every shot in tennis at a fairly solid level (rare), it is awful. SOmetimes when I've played I've actually gone and got my coat because I've got cold.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
As a dubs player and notorious Lobber I find it hardest to play my game when my opponents do the following some of which have been previously noted:

1. low slice (It is harder to get up and under the ball and leads to less effective lobs).
2. Angled low shots (Running forward while reaching to hit a lob and keep it inside the baseline is harder. Just be sure to follow it in and cover the near sideline with partner covering center leaving few options).
3. As others have noted, move back to service line and stand/play taller.
4. Study your opponents and when/which wing they like lob from. I prefer to lob from my backhand. I play with several players that also prefer this so just before they make contact from that side I turn my body preping for the overhead and start heading back. That leaves me vulnerable to a groundstroke to my backhand side but if I am in the ad court that is not leaving a lot of room (it is a good shot if they make it) and if I am in the deuce court I leave the ball for my partner's forehand (Communicate).
5. Making your first serve is important in dubs and if you have a decent one that you can move around in the box it is very difficult for lobster's to immediately start utilizing their tactics.

Lobbing is part of the game. If you get bored by lobbers then you are letting them win at their game vs. making them pay for that approach and forcing them to play your game which I assume you are stating is not lobbing and thus is to your advantage. You have to have the game however to do it!
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
IN the words of the Jollymeister, "You learn to hit overheads so you don't have to."

Several years ago i lost a mixed match to a couple that just lobbed my wife and I relentlessly. We blew overhead after overhead. After that match I told my wife we don't ever go to the court without working on overheads.

Now lobbers don't bother me because I can take a baseline lob off the bounce and hit a slice overhead that's hard to return. I can take a short lob and smash overhead directionally away from them on a consistent basis. i'm not the most powerful overhead striker out there but i'm very consistent and it serves as a significant deterrent.

So the answer is like the answer to how you get to Carnegie Hall, "Practice, practice, practice." There is no cheap and easy solution to beating lob queens. You either make them pay and deter the lob or you put up with playing vertical tennis your whole life. My wife has taken it step further and nailed most of the women that try to lob her. Many of them are too frightened to put lobs up now because she can hammer the ball pretty hard.

Of course learning overheads is one way but the other way is to assess their impatience. If you think the opponents are less patient than you, then get in a lob war with the attitude, "Anything you can lob, I can lob better." After the 15th lob goes up, very few people will persist. One thing about practicing overheads with my wife, I've gotten really good at lobs so I'll sometimes have fun with the lobbers and pop up lots of balls with different spins until they grow tired of it.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Go at the ball with a less-steep swing with topspin and sidespin. That is how the lob height is reduced.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Baseline smash usually does the trick, especially if you have a big flat serve. It's the exact same thing except you don't have to hit it into the service box so it'll pretty much land just short of the baseline once you get a feel for it.

If you aren't as confident about the flat overhead because of consistency or lack of physical height (I'm just over 6 ft tall so I'm just tall enough to hit them pretty reliably) then a nice slice overhead will do just fine, if not better because you provide less linear power for the opponent to work with on the defence. If you're worried about overslicing it and hitting wide, then aim slightly to your right (if you're a righty), and let the ball's sidespin take the ball from right to left.

A far less ethical option is to start mercilessly smashing your overheads directly at the netman on the other side. If you can convince the netman to start getting annoyed by his partner's failing lob strategy that can put a dent in their team chemistry.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Baseline smash usually does the trick, especially if you have a big flat serve. It's the exact same thing except you don't have to hit it into the service box so it'll pretty much land just short of the baseline once you get a feel for it.

If you aren't as confident about the flat overhead because of consistency or lack of physical height (I'm just over 6 ft tall so I'm just tall enough to hit them pretty reliably) then a nice slice overhead will do just fine, if not better because you provide less linear power for the opponent to work with on the defence. If you're worried about overslicing it and hitting wide, then aim slightly to your right (if you're a righty), and let the ball's sidespin take the ball from right to left.

A far less ethical option is to start mercilessly smashing your overheads directly at the netman on the other side. If you can convince the netman to start getting annoyed by his partner's failing lob strategy that can put a dent in their team chemistry.
Actually, I don't really mind receiving the baseline smash as I typically have time to successfully throw up another lob and often find my consistency in returning with a lob is better than my opponents ability to get that shot in. I find it much more difficulty to deal with the other tactics.

As far as drilling it at the net man I say go for it. That is part of dubs. If they are vulnerable in that particular situation they should not be up there anyway. If they sense you are scrambling to hit that smash then they should be in a good position for a put away.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Actually, I don't really mind receiving the baseline smash as I typically have time to successfully throw up another lob and often find my consistency in returning with a lob is better than my opponents ability to get that shot in. I find it much more difficulty to deal with the other tactics.
That's why i prefer the slice overhead from the baseline. Bit easier to control and keep low and skidding to the lobber. Add in the sidespin and you tend to get the slightly framed short lob or sitter that's more easy to attack. I'm not trying to win the point from back there. I'm just trying to make the next shot less comfortable.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Actually, I don't really mind receiving the baseline smash as I typically have time to successfully throw up another lob and often find my consistency in returning with a lob is better than my opponents ability to get that shot in. I find it much more difficulty to deal with the other tactics.

As far as drilling it at the net man I say go for it. That is part of dubs. If they are vulnerable in that particular situation they should not be up there anyway. If they sense you are scrambling to hit that smash then they should be in a good position for a put away.
I can properly crush the overhead so usually when I hit one they don't come back so long as I don't hit it directly at someone camped 20 ft behind the baseline.

But you're right that a baseline smash can backfire if you don't place it well, because the overhead usually has enough pace for a defender to lob another ball back over to you. But so long as I angle the baseline smash just a bit, usually I don't have an issue even in doubles with two people behind the baseline. Slice is actually less effective in doubles unless you can get it to hit the side fence quickly after the bounce because the defenders can rely on each other to cover the other half of their side of the court.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
That's why i prefer the slice overhead from the baseline. Bit easier to control and keep low and skidding to the lobber. Add in the sidespin and you tend to get the slightly framed short lob or sitter that's more easy to attack. I'm not trying to win the point from back there. I'm just trying to make the next shot less comfortable.
You're in good company as Nadal employs slice baseline smashes to attain good consistency and he's considered one of the most consistent smashers
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
You're in good company as Nadal employs slice baseline smashes to attain good consistency and he's considered one of the most consistent smashers
Slice is easier for me to get in at a consistent basis as I am under 6' tall.

However, I still find it more difficult to respond to the other options when me and my partner are pushed back behind the baseline and in lobbing mode. Especially given we have left the forecourt open to angles etc.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Slice is easier for me to get in at a consistent basis as I am under 6' tall.

However, I still find it more difficult to respond to the other options when me and my partner are pushed back behind the baseline and in lobbing mode. Especially given we have left the forecourt open to angles etc.
Overhead drop shot

Edit: I mean when you're the one with the opportunity to smash
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Overhead drop shot

Edit: I mean when you're the one with the opportunity to smash
That certainly would give me problems. Again, an overhead drop shot isn't a percentage play compared to the others but if you feel you can pull it off consistently go for it.

It also isn't as easy to give away as other drop shots...

Think of it this way... is it more easy for you to hit a fake overhead drop shot or an angled cross-court forehand?
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Overhead drop shot

Edit: I mean when you're the one with the opportunity to smash
I've done that when I'm right at the net and the opponents are 2 back. As the option right there is to hammer the ball down hard to go over the fence or just dink a little angled dropper. Unless it's a 20 something on the other side, the dink overhead is the safer and easier shot. Anything where the swing is high RHS has a chance of screwing up.

Of course you do need to have shown you can really nail an overhead before the dink OH drop shot works.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
Learn to hit hard enough so they can't hit lobs.
If anyone lobs your balls, that means you're hitting powder puff shots.

Last time I played a lobber, I went on full attack crush.
He hit 3 lobs in 2 sets.
 
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