The purpose of a tennis lob shot in is to hit the ball over your opponent who is in volley position. The tennis lob can be used both defensively and offensively.
Because of the dominance of the baseline game, tennis players are less likely to come to the net. As a result, many tennis players no longer view the tennis lob as an effective tool in their arsenal. However, we suggest you practice this stroke and use it as needed. Generally, a well-placed lob is a very effective shot for stopping an opponent’s net approach.
In all honesty, it is not a simple shot, which explains why you don’t hear much about it. Also, the lob shot in tennis isn’t easy to practice, and it is hit entirely by feel, so you must have played for some time to hit it comfortably in high-pressure moments. This article will provide all the information you need to hit an effective lob consistently. You can skip to the section that interests you if you prefer. The article below is structured in the following form:
- What Is A Tennis Lob?
- Advantages & Disadvantages
- Offensive Lob
- Defensive Lob
- Best Drills
- Common Mistakes
1. What Is a Tennis Lob?
The lob is an effective shot that aims to send the ball high and deep into the opponent’s court. When executed correctly, it can be used as a defensive and attacking shot. The lob is most effective when the opponent is at the net and the baseline wide open.
The purpose of a lob is to take advantage of your opponent’s space left at the back of the court when he or she comes to the net. When under pressure, you’ll play it either as a flat defensive shot or a counterattacking shot with topspin – which is tricky to play but very effective when hit perfectly.
2. Advantages & Disadvantages
Advantages: Lobs are effective for a variety of reasons. One important reason is to catch an opponent off guard as they get closer to the net. Another advantage of a lob shot is that it allows players who hit the ball to reposition themselves on the court. A higher shot gives the hitting player more time before the opposing player can return the ball, allowing the hitting player to move into a more advantageous position. Lob shots can also be beneficial if they are placed high enough in the sky to cause the sun to shine in the opposing player’s eyes. Players must frequently be aware of their surroundings to make the best use of their shots.
Disadvantages: Lob shots have the disadvantage of being easy for players to return if they are not hit well. If the shot isn’t high or far enough, the opponent can hit an overhead directly back over the net, forcing the player who hit the lob shot to be ready to return a ball right away. This can be a problem, especially if they attempted to hit a lob to gain more time to recover to a better and more advantageous court position. Lob shots aren’t the most effective offensive shots, so players try to avoid them as much as possible. Lob shots require perfect timing to avoid mistakes or unintended results.
A continental or an eastern grip is best for executing an effective lob. These grips make it much easier to get that fast topspin that causes the ball to dive at the end of the trajectory.
Turn to the side and bring your racket back, shoulders perpendicular to the net. The preparation and backswing of an offensive forehand lob are identical to a forehand. The same is true on the backhand side for an offensive backhand lob. The prep for a one-handed or two-handed backhand is the same as a backhand groundstroke.
Keep an eye on the ball as it approaches. You can hit the ball high and deep with good spin now that your legs and arms are properly positioned. Flick your wrist and launch the ball upwards.
Straighten your legs from a bent knee position (as if standing up), but don’t shift your weight forward as you strike the ball. The racket face should be nearly parallel to the net at the point of contact.
Add some spin to the ball and aim well above your opponent’s head. The opposing player may hit an overhead to reach it if you hit it too low. If you hit it too high, the opposing player might have enough time to recover and hit a defensive lob. The trajectory and spin of the ball should cause it to land deep into the other side of the court, making it extremely difficult to return.
Extend through the ball with an exaggerated follow-through of your racket head. After contact and swinging through the ball, your racket should be over your shoulders, high in the air. This will feel awkward the first few times you do it, but it will become second nature. Follow-through is often the difference between hitting a good and a great lob.
7. Offensive Lob
It’s an aggressive shot with a lot of speed. A well-executed lob will spin high over the opponent, hit the backcourt, and kick up quickly enough to hit the back fence before the opponent can reach it.
Because of the amount of topspin applied to the ball, you must be close to the ball to execute this stroke. Bend your knees a little and drop the racket when the racket is extended for the backswing to get under the ball. Swipe the ball with the racket face open while pushing upwards, just a little forward, to get decent acceleration on it. Follow through for more spin, and bring your racket above your shoulders. Maintain your balance by focusing on the ball and preparing for the next shot.
The offensive lob shot is similar to a low forehand groundstroke, making it an ideal disguise shot. Players can use this to catch their opponent off guard and hit a great winner!
8. Defensive Lob
When under attack from an opponent, the defensive lob is used. As a result, there won’t be much time for positioning. This shot aims to extend the point and force the opponent to strike another winner before the point is won.
Get as near the ball as possible and, with a short or no backswing, make enough contact with an open racket head face to send the ball well above your opponent and to the back of the court.
The defensive lob shot requires little or no weight transfer of the feet. Bring your racket past your shoulder for a decent follow-through to provide spin to your shot while keeping the ball in play.
9. Best Drills
Request that your practice partner stand at the net and feed you a few balls while holding their racket high. See if you can lob the ball one or two feet over their racket with plenty of topspin and keep it on the other side. If you’re on your own and your court has an umpire’s chair, you can have some fun by placing it at the net in the center of the court and hitting it over lob after lob.
10. Common Mistakes
People frequently fail to hit a topspin lob quickly enough. They’re unsure about it, so they end up pushing it. The ball then flops into the net or sits up at a good height for your opponent. Rather you must be completely committed to a topspin lob in terms of height and spin. So get that racquet head moving quickly and go for it.
The lob can be an excellent way to keep you in the game when you are in a defensive position. Remember, you’re much better off hitting a well-placed lob than attempting a 90-mph passing shot.
I’ve seen players hit the lob as an offensive shot, particularly medium-height topspin lobs. This is only effective at the club level against 4.0 level or lower players who stay at the baseline.
It typically bounces high and deep when the lob hits the ground, especially with topspin. This will make it difficult for the player attempting to hit it. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of tennis talent or skill to hit great lobs. Instead, it all boils down to repetition and using it frequently during match play.
Keep in mind that the wind will undoubtedly play a role when lobbing. It’s much easier to lob with the wind than against the wind. Therefore, I strongly advise against lobbing into a strong wind.
When it comes to lobs, the sun can be an ally if you play on a sunny day. On the other hand, the sun can sometimes blind the opposing player, but this is dependent on its location. I recommend lobbing high if you’re playing at night, especially if you’re up against an older opponent. When the ball leaves the confines of the lights, they tend to lose sight of it. Even young people can have difficulty tracking a high-placed lob at night.
I hope the information in this post assists you in improving your tennis lob. If you have any questions, please contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.