Why the Drop Shot is the Best Shot in Tennis
Posted on July 05 2018
You’re getting pummelled, you’re clearly out of your depth, the guy has been whaling on your backhand all day, but suddenly, from nowhere, you pull out the perfect drop shot. You see he has mistakenly run after it, so you follow it in to take a closer look, safe in the knowledge he has no chance of getting to it. He stretches out a racket in vein, but he is defeated, you continue closing in on the net, staring him down as he tries to recover his balance, but he knows it, and you know it, he may be winning the battle, but you have won the war, you are the drop shot king.
While your opponent will likely go on to win the match comfortably, there is no question who was the overall victor. Ten years from now, your opponents W will be lost in a sea of other wins, a none event, but your perfect drop shot will live on forever.
Never will you forget the look of horror on your opponent’s face as he realised the slice was not a slice but a drop shot. You tell your grandkids of how he split stepped, still following his training, even at the most perilous of moments. But most importantly, you will remember that look in his eyes mid way through his sprint, when he realised he wasn’t getting there, defeat overcomes him. Just as the boxer sees the lights go out in his opponent as he lands the killer blow, the goalkeeper senses where the penalty taker is going to shoot, and the gladiator feels the buzz of his adoring crowd, you have taken your place at the table of champions.
To many, this feeling will be alien, there are tons of people who can hit forehands like Nadal, but true drop shot kings are hard to come by. To those without the skill, the drop shot is just a shot, but to those whose hands were blessed by the mighty tennis gods, the drop shot is an art. Da Vinci has the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo the Sistine Chapel, Achilles his sword, and the drop shot king his portfolio of drop shots.
Just as his artistic counterparts often lived without recognition or prestige, so too must the dropshot king work selflessly for the betterment of his art. They may not claim victories or prize money, critics will talk down the relevance of his art, but the dropshot king recognises the beauty of his work.
Keep hitting those drop shots.