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May 16, 2012

Days of the Drop Shot

clay tennis court

In these decades of the power game in pro tennis, this time of year is always a subtle reminder that talented touch wins points too.  World Number One, Novak Djokovic, always had a very good drop shot, but he often “forced” it or hit too many in the past, as does 

Andy Murray still at times, when he presses.  However, as Djokovic has learned to “trust” his talent the past year or so, he has also used the drop shot more effectively.  On the women's side, none of the top women really use the drop shot these days, but Chris Evert was one former Number One who employed it successfully in her heyday.

Last week in Madrid, many players complained about the slippery blue clay courts, but this week in Rome, the players are still sliding around the clay courts.  Therefore, it is still the season of the drop shots through the French Open and even on the grass lawns at WimbledonRoger Federer has been convinced to use the drop shot a bit more the past couple years.  However, it is the power players, who can capitalize best on the surprise of well-timed and well-executed drop shots because they often have their opponents on their heels.  Today, talented Argentine, David Nalbandian, was a few points from upsetting Andy Murray and part of how he reached that position was through well-played drop shots as a change from his heavy, deep groundstrokes.  In the end, the key to the drop shot is as it is with many things, less is more…

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