Would you do this?


Hall of Fame
Would I do it? No, I likely wouldn't consider it the percentage play for me at that point.

Is it fair game? Sure, no rule against it and if it works and you win the point and match, more power to you. But be prepared for the blowback from those that may consider it a bit underhanded to do so. Just because something is legal and allowed doesn't necessarily make it the sporting thing to do.


It depends on the situation. If it's just a friendly match then sure I'd do it, it makes for a good laugh no matter the outcome. If it's a close match for a league or something then probably not mostly because I'm more confident in winning the point off my normal serve then catching them off guard with the drop serve. Nothing wrong with it though, and I think anyone who gets butthurt about it needs to lighten up. It's a part of the game and a legitimate tactic to get into your opponents head, especially if you succeed.


I've definitely done a drop shot return to win a match.

I don't think my drop shot serve is reliable enough to pull it out at 40-30. I'd probably stand a better chance with an out wide serve and follow that up with a hit to open court.

I think these kind of tactics are highly specific. If you have someone standing way back behind the baseline, a short shot is perfectly acceptable strategically. It's no different than hitting to the forehand corner when an opponent has run around his BH. If the opponent is going to put himself in a vulnerable position defensively, you absolutely attack the vulnerabilities.


I wouldn't do it personally, but I have had similar situations lately where it used more. Outwardly I just say "nice", but inside I replace their name with Richard (as mentioned above).


Hall of Fame
IMO totally fair game. I wish that I had such a serve :p

I don't really see the difference between employing a drop shot and employing a drop serve. Your goal is to win the point. Whatever legal means you execute to win that point .... it is all good.

Put a different way and solely on the service:
If my opponent has been seeing nothing but Flat T serves or slice body serves from me all match ... is it uncool if I hit a topspin serve out wide on match point? Isn't that really the same thing? As long as it is in the box, served from correct side and without a foot fault, it is a valid serve.

I don't think it is a Richard move at all.


Hall of Fame
Of course it is fair game. Why wouldn't?

On the other hand, is it from an ATP forehand or WTA forehand?

Matthew ATX

Yes, of course it's fair game.
Would I do it? No, because I have a higher percentage chance of winning a point with my regular first serve than with a drop serve.

Wesley J

The only time I felt a type of way about a underhand/drop serve is if the server doesn't give you time to set yourself, similar to how some people miss their first serve and then try to quickly take their second serve as you are resetting.


I would fault so... nope. If I could do a good one I’d do it for sure. If Rafa “stands a mile behind the baseline” Nadal says it’s a fair serve, then I’m good.


Are you talking about a drop serve that is an overhand serve or an underhand serve? I have never seen a drop overhand serve and don’t know at what level it has a chance of working. How immobile does the returner have to be to not be able to take advantage of a slow, shallow serve? I guess it would be OK to hit one, but the chance of it working at a 4.0+ level is slim to none.

If you are talking about a drop underhand serve with crazy side spin, it has a chance of working partly due to the surprise element. I think it would be considered unsporting by many players and might ruffle some feathers. I certainly would never dream of trying it. Isn’t it easier to just go for a big first serve which is usually what I would do on match point?


What a sissy (not shaking hands).
Ha. I bet the opponent was thinking "What a sissy" (drop serving on match point)

I've only done it in fun rec play after another guy tried it on us. We play old man doubles, so it can work if we're not aware. Mine was a little different in that I used the normal serve motion with the high toss, then letting the ball drop down to my knees and side spinning it in the ad court. Got the point and a good laugh and never used it since.

mental midget

Hall of Fame
i trust my regular serve odds-wise much more, but in terms of...moral qualms? none whatsoever, totally legit play anytime, anywhere. hopefully tennis has moved past that silly prejudice, i think it's a lot of fun when people go for it.


Ha. I bet the opponent was thinking "What a sissy" (drop serving on match point)
Maybe, as he was packing his bag and sulking to his car.

I generally return from inside the baseline unless I'm facing some huge basher,
but he/she would have no need to serve underhand if that is the case.

I do play several folks that stand deep and hit returns off their shoe tops.

Whatever blows your dress up. Just don't be hooking and we're good.


Hall of Fame
Yes. I wouldn't do it because I don't own that shot but I've had it happen to me and it's legal so no issue.


It's probably ok if you're playing at a level that you have a "drop serve."
As well, I would presume you had not tried the "drop serve" previously in the match because if you had, the element of surprise--crucial to its success--would be lacking, so pulling it off would be high risk.

Anyway, if I had played well enough to get to match point, I'd just use the shots/strategy that got me to that point, not some untried trick shot.


Hall of Fame
I didn't have a drop serve that I had actually practiced and had any confidence that I could get it in, but in a sectionals match to determine who went to nationals, I purposely took all the pace off my first serve on match point and hit a slicey floater to try to induce an error, and sure enough, after 2 hours of serving hard, flat first to them, the guy badly overhit the floater on match point and we went to nationals.


I wouldn't have the nerve to do it, but if someone had the nerve to do it against me and the expertise to pull it off, more power to him.


Hall of Fame
Yes. Why else have I been pushing the returner back all match with first serves? Plus, I actually am pretty good with an underhand slice serve.
I tried it as a joke last night in my contract court (so social tennis between friends), but not on match point. I missed the serve badly. LOL.


just curious... why wouldn't you do it?
because some moral code?
or because you don't have confidence in the effectiveness of you underhand serve?
I wouldn't call it a moral code, but it's awfully sneaky.
Also I've never trained to do it, so it probably wouldn't even work.