Dear Abby

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How do I defend against someone
bringing me into the net, and then lobbing me? 

Signed, Anita Plan

Dear Anita,

When executed properly, the drop shot/lob combo is tough to defend. We see this tricky combo utilized in singles and doubles.

One of the best strategies to combat the drop shot/lob combo is to embrace it! Recognize when your opponent is using it, and use it to your advantage. The key elements to executing a good defense against a drop shot/lobber is 1)recognition 2)preparation 3)execution Often times, when we move forward to retrieve a drop shot, we play the ball back to our opponent at the baseline. That is when they kill us with the lob. Why not run down your drop shot expecting them to lob? Play the ball back to your opponent, and then immediately back up to hit your overhead. An overhead is an offensive play, and if you are in position and well prepared to hit it, you have now turned the tables on your opponent!

However, if movement and/or overheads is not a weapon of yours, you can also practice playing the drop shot back short and low in the court, as to make your opponent move forward. In this situation most people will not lob the ball, and you would likely see a volley exchange rather than a lob.

Hope this helps!

-Abby