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RUNDOWN LOBS
HOME > TIPS > BEGINNER TIPS > RUNDOWN LOBS
Martin Sturgess
05-21-2003

DON’T PANIC!!!!!! GET TO THE SIDE OF THE BALL!!!!!

Retrieving Lobs
When your opponent lobs a ball over your head, the most important thing to remember is to not panic. Most lobs that are hit too high and deep for you to cover as an overhead will be very easy to play off the back screen.
Try to run to the side of where the ball will strike the back screen so that you can use your forehand (usually a better choice) or backhand to return the ball. Don’t run straight at the ball, as it will be very awkward once you arrive at the ball and need to hit it! The safest choice is to lob this ball back, especially if it is dropping steeply towards the deck without much pace.

Retrieving Drives
If you’re still young and spry enough to run back for drives that pass you at the net, then you have a choice to make before you arrive at the back screen and the moment of hitting the ball. The high percentage choice would be to run back, lob the ball, regroup and get on with the point. Definitely the best choice? Maybe not!!! When your opponent drives the ball past you at the net they usually will celebrate and then approach the net with a satisfied smirk, expecting to either win the point or at the very least take control of the net. If you run back and lob you will stay in the point and “start all over”. This is fine especially if you’ve been winning from the baseline anyway.
HOWEVER , if you can go back and drive the ball off the screen your drive may catch your opponents in the vulnerable position midway between the baseline and the net. It is very dispiriting for your opponents to hit a passing shot and then lose the point! Some players are especially adept at running back, taking drives off of the screen and hitting blistering drives to win the point against their approaching opponents. Indeed, they may be letting the ball pass them deliberately to set up this play! This is a good shot to practice, and to use, when the time is right!


 

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