On clay, where the court surface can aid you in letting the ball stop short, drop shots can be deadly. This is true at both an amateur and professional level. Because most players stand so far behind the baseline, a short slice or drop shot can end up being a winner since they will not be able to cover the distance in time. Even if they make it in time, they will probably only be able to offer up a weak shot. It’s a very useful weapon to keep in your arsenal!
Learn from Roger Federer
To play the drop shot at a professional level, where everyone is fast and can chase down most shots, you need to have good touch. Roger Federer is perhaps the best player of the drop shot on the Tour.
Practice makes perfect
Technically, the drop shot is performed by placing heavy backspin on the ball. In addition, a soft touch needs to be used in order to keep the ball short in the opponent’s court. The most important thing is to stop the ball from bouncing high, as this will prevent the opponent from chasing down your shot. The more you practice your shot, the better it will get. The development of good touch especially requires a lot of practice.
When must you play it?
When your opponent is out of position, ideally far out to the side or the back of the court, you should play a drop shot. You yourself should be inside the baseline as close as possible to the net. This minimizes the distance the shot has to travel.
Where should you place a drop shot?
Both directions have advantages and disadvantages. Hitting the ball cross-court makes it travel further, but also gives you a nice angle to work with. Hitting the ball straight over the net makes the distance shorter, but generally forces you to hit the ball up, giving your opponent more time to chase it down. A good rule of thumb is to hit it as far away from your opponent as possible, so let that consideration be your guiding principle.