“The Droppah”

By John Meyers (March 1, 2011) | Return to Blog

During a somewhat mundane, workmanship match played out from the baseline, when commentator Patrick McEnroe exclaims “the droppah!” you can tell he is genuinely excited.  A shot more commonly used in the infancy of open tennis, the drop shot has recently become more prevalent in the modern game of power tennis.

Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and many clay court specialists have worked this shot into their repertoire. Although some opponents – especially those who can’t hit one – consider this a cheap shot, not worthy of one with solid groundstrokes, it’s still a winner, just like the 90 mph forehand down the line. A true touch shot, the dropper – when used with discretion – can throw a baseliner off their game, resulting in constant muttering and creative exclamations.

Even doubles players can make great use of this shot, especially if your opponents like to stay back on the baseline. After your return of serve, wait for a short ball, act like you’re hitting a normal groundie, and at the point of contact soften your wrist and let your racquet head slide under the ball.

The keys for a successful drop shot are disguise and discretion. You can turn a backhand slice into a drop shot and your opponent won’t read it until it’s too late. But hitting this shot from behind the baseline is a recipe for disaster.  Be patient, wait for that short ball, and give your opponent something else to think about with “the droppah!”