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Tennis Tips - Specialty Shots

Returning a Drop Shot on Clay
The drop shot can be very valuable, especially on clay. You have to learn how to slide well in order to retrieve the drop shot in time for good shot selection. It is important to try to time your slide in order to reach the ball before it drops lower than the net. That’s why you need to be aware of your court positioning. If your opponent has pulled you very wide or pushed you way back, you are vulnerable to being dropped. If the ball has dropped very low by the time you get to it, your choices are limited. You cannot make a forcing shot and may need to hit a drop shot or somehow shovel the ball deep down the line in front of you. If you try to hit an angle and your opponent can easily reach the ball you will be passed. Clay court players understand that a drop must always be followed up with a passing shot or lob, and should not be used when you aren’t in control. Watch the good clay-court players’ movement. They seem to glide on the clay. Practice with short slides at fi rst, then from the baseline and from off the court. Anticipation is key to responding well to a drop shot.

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