THE CROSS-COURT VOLLEY DROP

 

This is one of the most spectacular shots in the game. It has its advantages and disadvantages. One problem with this shot could arise when played at the wrong moment after the opponent has made his way back to the T. If the shot is then played and does not land in the nick area, the player finds himself exposed and unable to cover the other side of the court. On the other hand, when this shot is practised well, and executed in the right situation when the opponent has been stretched to the back and is late to recover, the results are very rewarding. This is even more true when the shot is not over-used, but rather saved for the occasion.

 

The volley drop in the nick is easier when played off the “wrong” foot. In doing so, the shot could be executed immediately, (ideally off an opponent’s medium paced drive) giving the opponent little time to return to the T. Using the right foot allows greater reach and more rotation on the follow-through, to take the ball to the other side.  play video   play video

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the slice and wrist work involved, it is clear how the position adopted in this photo series makes life a little easier, when compared to the photo series below.

 

However, when the ball is coming in slowly towards the player, he should have enough time to place the “correct” foot in position before going for the shot. The opponent may find this position quite deceptive because it doesn’t seem very easy for the striker to get the right angle onto the ball.   play video     play video     Note that the ideal situation for adopting this position is when the opponent has been stretched hard in the back corner and makes a relatively slow return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the backhand, the shot played off the correct foot, will be addressed first. This video clip showing a front and rear view of the shot, is an example of a ball that is well above shoulder height, close to the sidewall. The player has to stay on his toes and stretch high in order to get the racket head over the ball. The shot is not easy to send into the nick from this position, nor is quick recovery back to the T. Overuse of this shot would be disastrous. In reality, it should be used on rare occasions as a surprise shot after extensive use of the straight volley drop.    

 

 

 

                    When the ball is high, it is best to use the right foot for this shot.

 

 

 

     The player literally slices through between the ball and sidewall to take the ball across.

 

 

When the ball is lower and/or closer to the T, things are very different. Here, the player can even place the left foot towards the ball for a long follow-through and a smooth return to the middle of the court. To see the shot from a front view, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Played off an opponent’s cross-court

 

An incredible, wrong-footing shot, but extremely difficult to play well. Very quick, controlled reflexes are needed, but the outcome could be truly spectacular.  play video   In this second clip, despite not hitting the nick, the shot is still very difficult to retrieve due to the awkward change of direction.   play video