Master Every Stroke: Drop Shot
The drop shot has made a comeback on the pro tour, where the players hit the cover off the ball from five feet behind the baseline. At the club level, it’s even more useful, either as a surprise shot or against slow-footed opponents, or opponents who are not comfortable at the net. The name “drop shot” can confuse people who want to learn how to hit one. “The one thing nobody ever understands is that the ball needs to go up off the racquet,” Rolley says. “People hit the ball forward, not up. It’s called a drop shot because it goes up and drops over.” Rolley tells students to peel under the ball, as shown above.
• To get the proper feel for a drop shot, forget about the net. Just stand off court with a basket of balls and start gently carving under them. Learn how to apply underspin and propel the ball up off your racquet’s strings, rather than forward.
• When you start practicing with a net, it’s better to miss short at first rather than long, Rolley says. “First you need to get the hang of hitting the ball up with underspin, and then you can add to it,” she says.
• Once you get the hang of the drop shot from close to the net, step back and try it from deeper in the court. Now start to work on disguising your stroke. Your drop shot should look much like your regular backhand until the last second.
Master Other Strokes:
Originally published in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of TENNIS.