Playing the Lob

Playing the Lob

The lob is mainly used as a defensive shot and very occasionally with topspin as a point winner. If you are playing a serve volleyer you may find the lob has strategic value and if you are proficient in its use it can break up your opponents’ volley rhythm.

In the modern professional game today there are not many serve volleyers. So, the opportunity to lift the ball over your opponent’s head will not occur very often. 

If your opponent is tall and perhaps very strong on the smash you need to be very selective on which ball to put in the air and risk an aggressive smash.

Forehand lob

Use a small amount of topspin on a basic lob and your forehand drive grip  –  if you play competitive doubles you will certainly have plenty of occasions to use the lob.

Watch Ram and Salisbury play doubles as ATP No1 pair.

Backhand lob

The racket is best held with an Eastern backhand grip and this will help you to come up the back of the ball imparting a small amount of topspin.

The lob is usually played under pressure with limited time available for racket preparation  –  turn your shoulders and use a short arm take-back to control the contact point.

Both forehand and backhand lobs can be used to disrupt baseline and volley attacks  –  but don’t resort to moon-balling!

Topspin lob

This shot is used aggressively to surprise a net rusher  –  he will not be expecting a short lob which must be just out of reach and, with its topspin, moves fast through the air.

Upon hitting the court the topspin will cause the ball to sharply shoot forward making a return almost impossible for your opponent. Your preparation for this shot has indicated to your opponent that he may expect a low ball to volley at his feet.

But your racket continues in an upward direction and ends with wrist snap to turn the shot into a short topspin lob with plenty of disguise.

The shot requires good ”hands” and a lot of ”touch”  –  Andy Murray is a skilful performer and usually manages to get the ball over his opponents backhand side.

Underspin lob

This shot is used principally for defense against a strong attack. It is the defenders last chance to stay in the point and hopefully regain the initiative.

The point is probably going to be played from behind the baseline and the ball will be struck with a shortened racket take-back.

Rather like the backhand slice the racket hits under the ball with an open face and keeping the wrist firm directs the ball high and to the back of your opponent’s court.

Your own racket movement needs to be minimal to deal with a fast-moving ball and still maintain control. The ball will deflect high and slow in the air with the amount of reverse spin.

This should give you a little extra time to regain your court position if you have been taken off court.   

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *