The tennis drop shot is generally executed when you are near the net. A drop shot is done in a very delicate manner where the ball lands very softly near the net at your opponent’s side. Although some players try to execute a tennis drop shot in the baseline, the success rate is quite low. The shot can either be a miss (ball does not cross to the opponent’s court) or the opponent may be able read the drop shot and run quickly towards the ball making the attacker in a vulnerable position. For better results, execute the drop shot when you are inside the boundaries of the service boxes close to the net.
The best tennis grip for drop shots is the continental grip. Professional tennis players learn to quickly change their forehand grip to the continental grip to hit the tennis drop shot. This is essentially the same grip used to hit a tennis volley and one that also best suited for the drop shot.
Normally, if you want to hit a tennis drop shot, you do not take a backswing. A backswing is only used as a disguise. The disguise backswing is very important if you want to surprise your opponent. If you do not initially begin with a backswing, your opponent will be able to read your plan and be ready for your drop shot. The only thing you need to remember to execute your drop shot is that the racket should be about one foot above the point of contact. This is for you to create the brushing effect of the ball, thus creating a backspin. Backspin slows down the ball as well as results in a shorter bounce once it lands in the court. The shorter the bounce of the ball, the better it is because it means less chance for your opponent to return the ball.
Variations of the tennis drop shot
The way you execute your tennis drop shot depends on the ball movement (ball is on the rise or ball is falling) and position (ball level is way low for net clearance). Hitting a drop shot when the ball is on the rise and when ball has limited net clearance can be very risky. To create backspin, you must be able to execute a downward swing. At this stage, your racket should have dropped (from the previous position) for more than two feet and you body follows the downward movement.
Less than a second from the ball contact, maintain the same racket angle and avoid curling the racket as this can result to inconsistency. At this stage of the drop shot execution, your low body position made possible the horizontal position of the racket’s long axis. In return, perfect racket angle is achieved.
The point of contact should be in front of your body. Generally the most comfortable height of ball contact is between your shoulder and your waist, although the waist height should be the easiest to execute. It’s also important to fix your eyes on the point of contact seconds after the contact.
Some drop shot executions do require a long follow through. However, a drop shot will have a follow through if you racket moves very fast resulting in more slice upon ball contact. This type of drop shot creates a large amount of backspin.
Tips to consider in tennis drop shots
Fundamentals of the tennis drop shot
A good drop shot is hit with slice and backspin as the result of the brushing effect between the ball and the racket face during contact. Slice or backspin slows down the ball once it passes over the net. You will know if your drop shot is good if the ball bounces 6 times before reaching the service line. Be reminded that a perfect drop shot is always short. The closer the ball to the net the longer the distance that your opponent has to cover. Another characteristic of a good drop shot is when the ball falls down when it reaches the net.
When is a best time to hit the tennis drop shot?
You can land your drop shot in the service box where it is farthest away from your opponent. The tennis drop shot is best executed when your opponent is far behind the baseline. As soon as he anticipates a deep rally ball, a drop shot can be done to throw him off balance and keep him off guard.
There are many reasons as to why you should do a tennis drop shot and one of them is to make your opponent run for the ball, keeping him off balance in hopes to win a point.
It is very important to have a good timing to hit a drop shot. One option is when your opponent is positioned way back in the baseline. If he is in the center part of the court, hit the ball to the farthest side. You can also do the same when your opponent is way out in the sideline. Make sure that you hit the drop shot in the opposite side forcing your opponent to cover the longest diagonal distance. Remember to use the drop shot at the most unexpected time and when you are hitting against the wind. Do not hit the ball when your opponent expects it or else you will lose the point.
The tennis drop shot is ideal if your opponent is not a fast mover. If your opponent is a fast runner make sure that you drop your shot very far from him that no matter how he fast he runs, he still can not make it. You can also hit a drop shot if your opponent is not a net player.
What to do to improve your tennis drop shot?
To improve your drop shot, you need to practice more often with another player. The ideal way to do this is to start with a groundstroke rally first. Then, one player should hit a ball in the service line and making sure that ball bounces high. Once the ball bounces high, hit a drop shot. Practice hitting your drop shot in different areas of the tennis court (near the net or inside the service box).
These tennis drop shot tips cover the fundamentals of the stroke. Make sure to practice these often to refine this shot as it is just as important as the ground strokes.