4 tips for the perfect tennis drop shot

Tennis might be known for its big shots like serves, overheads and volleys, but in reality, there are other shots than can be key to winning tennis matches. One of the most effective is the drop shot, where a player uses backspin or underspin to make the tennis ball drop barely over the net on their opponent's side. Here are some simple tips to follow to hit very effective drop shots that help win points and matches.

4 tips for the perfect tennis drop shot

1. Don't try a drop shot on a big point

  • Drop shots are difficult shots. They take finesse, and to hit them right (so they win points) you have to hit them with perfect form and spin.
  • Thus, to hit the perfect drop shot, avoid hitting them on a big point. This means a match point, a set point or a point that will lose you a game is probably not the best time to attempt a drop shot, unless it's your only clear option.
  • Big points often make people tight and anxious, and it can be extremely difficult to hit a drop shot with the proper spin and form when you're too tight.

2. Disguise your shot

  • Unless your opponent is so far out of reach of where you're going to hit the ball that he will never be able to get there, don't make it obvious to everyone that you're planning to hit a drop shot.
  • Instead, disguise your shot by preparing to hit the ball just as you would a regular baseline shot.
  • Bring your racket back like you're planning to hit a regular forehand or backhand, then switch your grip at the last minute and chip in a drop shot. This can help throw your opponent's footwork off and keep them from predicting where the ball is going to go.

3. Hit it over the lowest part of the net

  • The lowest part of the net is the centre of it. So, you should always try to hit your drop shot over the net's centre, to keep it as low and hard-to-reach as possible.
  • If you have to hit a drop shot from one side of the court, try to hit your drop shot cross-court to the opposite side of the court from you.
  • Hitting the shot cross-court will cause it to cross the centre of the net, ensuring that it is as low as possible.
  • If you hit your drop shot down the line over the net in front of you, you will have to hit it higher to ensure it gets over the net, and in turn, may give your opponent more time to reach it.

4. Use it on grass or clay

  • Drop shots can be effective no matter where you use them, but to hit the best drop shots, take advantage of them on natural surface courts, like clay or grass.
  • Natural surface courts give the least amount of bounce when balls land, so they often make reaching drop shots hard to impossible.
  • Drop shots also work particularly well on fake grass courts or indoor carpeted courts.
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