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June 2012 Article

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The Drop Shot In Doubles

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

I used to hate teaching a player the drop shot, because they would always try to use it at the wrong time. However, if used at the right time, it can be very effective.
 
Here are some things to remember:


  • Use it to set up a point, not directly win with it. You might not ever hit the perfect drop shot.

  • Use it when you are 3/4 depth from the net. This always gives you the time to recover if you hit it too high.

  • Use it against a player who loves the baseline, but not the net. Use it to draw them in to the net.

  • Use a high to low technique like a volley motion. The under spin will help your control.

  • On occasions, return the serve with a drop shot. Mix it up. Sometimes hit the drop shot and move back to the baseline and possibly hit an offensive lob over your opponent. Sometimes, hit the drop shot and move in. This will force your opponent to come in and play the point close in where you are more comfortable.

  • Most players hit the drop shot with a continental or volley grip. Makes it easier to hit under spin.

  • As you get more comfortable with the drop shot, mix it in as an alternative to the approach shot. Instead of taking the short ball and hitting it deep and moving in, hit the drop shot and either move in or move back.

  • Remember it is not a primary shot. It is used occasionally as a change up. If used all the time it will get you killed.

  • You might try to hit the drop shot about 6 times in a match to get comfortable with it.

Good luck on the courts!
 

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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