How To Hit a Drop Shot In Tennis

Do you trust your forehand slice when you are playing on the tennis court?

If you do, then learning how to hit a drop shot in tennis will not be much of a battle to learn.

Most tennis players have difficulties perfecting a forehand drop shot, but we will help you get used to it with these easy steps guaranteed to make you a winner.

5 Steps to Hit the Drop Shot Better

5 Easy Tips

1. Use the Continental Grip

Be confident with your continental grip. Use it as you make a short drop or like you would with a slice or drop volley.

The method of handling the racquet tends to open the racket face for the forehand slightly. It is one of the most common grips for the volley and serves. High-performance players do not use the grip for the groundstroke; however, they use it for one- and two-handed backhands.

Do not be too obvious with your backhand drop shot or forehand drop shots, though. Keep your arms on your backhand side or forehand side until you are ready to drop the ball to the opponent’s court.

2. Use A Shorter Backswing

Take note of your swing path. Your drop shot should be similar to a forehand slice but a concise slice. 

It would be best if you made a short swing and hit the incoming ball with timing and “feel,” which will help you hit a short ball softly with the racket head.

It would be best if you were not hitting the ball hard to avoid having it floating up in the air for your opponent to give it back to you quickly.

A short, small swing will give the best players the stroke to bring the ball just over the net with a backspin that will make it stop where you intend it to be.

A shorter backswing

3. Open The Face Of The Racquet

The purpose of having an open-face racquet is to have an effective slice to it. 

Compared to a closed racquet where the strings are upward to the ceiling, the result will be a lob or those you see sailing up into the air. 

You can bend your elbow just a little bit to achieve the open racket face so the ball has enough air to go over the net but not bouncing high on the other side. 

The swinging pattern creates a backspin that essentially takes velocity off the shot, which will produce a good drop shot.

4. Make Sure To Swing Under The Ball

Before you swing for the ball to make that short drop shot, ensure that your force on your hit is just right, under the ball to create that drop shot. 

It depends on how angled your racquet is because that is where your spin will be coming from.

Your cut from under will create that spin but use soft hands to make that short slice with the racquet face tilted upwards.

5. Fake Your Topspin Groundstroke

Successful drop shots depend on how you can hide your drop shots. If your opponent sees it coming, then that will be outright failure. 

When you see your opponent moving backward, continue pushing them to the baseline. 

A great tactic most players do is fake the normal topspin groundstroke and switch quickly from the topspin grip to a continental grip.

Of course, you have to take note of two things: first, be consistent with your grip, and second, make sure your timing is right.

The other player will not be able to get the shot before the second bounce.


When To Use A Drop Shot

It will help if you hit a drop shot whenever a suitable opportunity arises. When is that? You should look at the situation if it is the right timing. 

This is where the “feel” gets in. 

You can use it during a long rally where your opponent runs out of energy and gets out of their comfort zone and out of position. Play the game aggressively to win a point as you make the drop shot. This technique is best to apply when their focus is on the rallies and moving backward on the baseline, out of position.

When Not To Use It

When Not To Use It

You should not do this if you are out of position, or else you might not be able to defend yourself from a counter drop shot. You can take it slow and move forward towards the net while pushing your opponent to the service line.

Completing the drop shot technique requires focus, control, and balance to make a good play, starting from the service box. Another time that you should be avoiding is doing it too often. 

The element of surprise is crucial if you want to play a drop shot successfully.

Your opponent expects you to move forward and hit a drop shot if your moves inside the court are constant.

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Additional Drills You Can Practice

Prepare yourself with drills that can enhance your skills before you hit drop shots. Get used to opening the court with angles to move your opponent and make mistakes.

Pressuring your opponent by charging the net is a beneficial strategy by serving and volleying or approaching short balls during the point before you hit the drop shot.

To practice hitting with more net clearance, with a partner, and work on follow through as well apart from just your drop shot.

Practice with deep balls by hitting where the ball cannot bounce in the service boxes.

Work on deceleration(1) as this is essential in taking the drop shot stroke, improving your back foot.


Many names appear when talking about the best drop shots made, such as Nadal, Agassi, and Hingis, who does it great even at the service box when they play. 

But on records, using forehand and backhand drops, Bobby Riggs will be coming out as the choice of many from his career in the 1940’s1940’s.

Both are groundstrokes, lightly hitting the ball so that it barely goes over the net, but a slice is with a backspin while a topspin shot is a groundstroke or occasionally a volley hit with topspin.

Hitting A Drop Shot In Tennis

Like any technique, this requires perfect timing, or else your opponent will catch your next move and use the shot against you. 

You need patience before you use the drop shot so you can push your opponent to the baseline of the court and be far from the net as you complete the approach shot.

Run forward to the net and take the shot with a short ball.

Use the drop shot with your backhand or whichever is more comfortable with you.

Great drop shots do not happen overnight. Work on it.



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