by Nicolette Mok
Ever wondered how and why professional tennis players execute those satisfyingly high shots that somehow end up just within the playing area, with an ease that’s almost effortless?
A lob, as such shots are called, involves the player hitting his or her ball high across the net and over the opponent. One would typically execute a lob when the opponent is running towards the net, leaving the large area of playing space behind them undefended.
Team Singapore's Stefanie Tan demonstrates a tennis lob upswing. Photo: SportSG
Another scenario that might entail the use of a lob is when the player is out of position, coming from the outside. This player may then buy time by hitting the ball high and far so that he or she will be able to come back into the centre of the court to make the next shot.
Keen on trying it out during your next game? Here’s a quick guide on how to execute a basic forehand lob. Do note, however, that there are other types of lobs as well. This forehand lob, as Team Singapore tennis player Stefanie Tan says, is one that is simple for beginners to pick up.
To start, get into a regular closed stance, as you would when executing a forehand swing. Stand with your feet slightly apart, with the front of your body facing the right of the court. Drop your racquet low and swing.
Instead of hitting the ball with your racquet strings facing the net, though, open the face of your racquet so that your ball flies higher. Doing so, as well as hitting the ball harder with an upward swing, will introduce more topspin to your shot.
Stefanie Tan gives John Yeong a walk through on the execution of a tennis lob and when to use it during a tennis match. Photo: SportSG
Attempt to get your ball as close to the opposing baseline as possible. Finish your swing with a follow through, bringing your racquet across the front of your body.
As the lob is a shot that involves strength, speed, accuracy, and technique, many players feel pressure executing it. It is, hence, important that you get enough practice so that lobbing comes as effortlessly to you as it appears to the professionals that you watch on TV!
Starting off using the closed stance for beginners is recommended for beginners who are first learning to execute a tennis lob. Photo: SportSG
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