Tennis Shots: The Drop Shot

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For players with anything other than the ultimate level of mobility around the court, one of the recurring nightmares which prevents them getting a night’s sleep must be the thought of facing a player blessed with a good drop shot. This shot may be one of the most frustrating to face when playing an opponent who knows how to hit it. If hit correctly and at the right time, a drop shot is unplayable.

The idea behind the shot is that it is hit with little pace just over the net. On passing over the net, it will literally “drop” just inside the opponent’s court and pretty much stop dead. Even if it does bounce a little, the angle of the shot required to get it back will be beyond all but the most gifted opponent.

The key to hitting the perfect drop shot is believed to be “soft hands”, which entails slackening one’s grip on the racket at exactly the moment of impact, allowing the racquet to absorb more of the force of the shot and take much of the pace off the ball. This in turn means the bounce on the other side of the net will be lower.

Frequently, a drop shot will be played on the volley, known as a “drop volley”. Although this shot existed long before his time in the game, John McEnroe is believed to have turned it into an art form, making him arguably the greatest serve-volley player of all time.

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