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How do you execute a tennis lob?

tennis lob juan monaco
File Photo Credit: John Yeong/SportSG

By Laura Chan

MASTER YOUR TENNIS TECHNIQUE (3): LOB SHOT

The lob is a useful shot that aims to push the ball high and deep into the opponent’s court. It can be used as a defensive shot or when executed correctly, a great offensive shot as well. The lob is most effective when the opponent is at the net, leaving the baseline open.

Defensive Lob

Step 1: Block the opponent’s shot 

The defensive lob is used when under attack from the opponent. As such, there will hardly be enough time for positioning. The aim of this shot is to prolong the point and force the opponent to strike another winner before getting the point. 

Get as close to the ball as possible and with a short backswing, or none at all, contact the ball with an open racket face enough for it to travel high above your opponent and to the back of the court. 

Step 2: Follow through

Unlike a groundstroke, there is little or no transfer of weight on the foot for the lob. Bring your racket past your shoulder for a gentle follow through to give your shot a bit of spin for the ball to stay in the court.

backhand lob
Backhand lob technique as above (photo credit: seniorstennis.bg)

Offensive Lob

Step 1: Preparation

This is an aggressive shot with plenty of speed. A perfectly executed lob will spin high above the opponent, hit the back of the court and kick up with enough speed to hit the back fence before the opponent can reach it.
The large amount of topspin to be put on the ball means you need to be close to the ball to execute this stroke. With racket extended for the backswing, bend your knees and drop the racket to get under the ball. With the racket face open, brush the ball while pushing upwards, just a little forward, to get a good acceleration on it.

Step 2: Follow through

Push up completely, and bring your racket above your shoulder for more spin. Keep your eye on the ball to maintain balance and start getting ready for the next shot.
The offensive lob tends to look like a low forehand groundstroke which makes it ideal for a disguise shot. Players can use this to their advantage to catch the opponent by surprise for a great point scored!

effect of tennis lob
Effect of a tennis lob (photo credit: cdn.tennis.com)


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