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Mrs Chambers gives us her take-thanks to "The Computer" for originally posting this.


MRS LAMBERT CHAMBERS ANECDOTE - THE DROP SHOT

“A short drop shot from the back of the court is a very paying stroke to have at your command.

I remember playing one match were I used this stroke a great deal. Owing to its success – my opponent never even attempted to reach it - I won ace after ace.

At the end of the match my opponent indignantly upbraided me, ‘I cannot admire your length.’ she protested. Neither did she think it was ‘fair to play sneaks’, adding, ‘Anybody could win if they cared to play like that.’

In her opinion it wasn’t tennis! I’m afraid I did not take this censure very seriously. As the object of the game is to put the ball as far out of reach of your opponent as possible, I could not see what difference there was between making her run from side to side of the base-line or to the net and back again. Both methods as regards placing are just as good tennis, and should be used judiciously in turn.

But this sort of argument did not appeal to my opponent; she still thought any one could win who cared to play that ‘unsporting game’. Should she try the stroke in her next match I am quite sure she will find it not so easy to play accurately as she had imagined.”

Lawn Tennis for Ladies by Dorothea Lambert Chambers
 

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I would sound like Mrs Chambers's opponent. I hate it when opponents dropshot against me. I'm always like why are you bringing me forward? And I do have that mentality that it isn't tennis. But that's mostly because I rarely ever hit them. I only hit them when I'm really in trouble. But I do think that Mrs Chambers makes a good point and that it's a shot that should be utilized more.
 

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Steffi's use of them was often hilarious!
Her slice set her up so well for drops off that side. Depth, angle, angle, depth-then every so often the soft kiss of death.

At 40 seconds in on the replay her court positioning and technique are perfection.


This is a memorable drop shot ending point from their 1990 French final
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y24rUwYdU5M
 

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Mrs Chambers gives us her take-thanks to "The Computer" for originally posting this.


MRS LAMBERT CHAMBERS ANECDOTE - THE DROP SHOT

“A short drop shot from the back of the court is a very paying stroke to have at your command.

I remember playing one match were I used this stroke a great deal. Owing to its success – my opponent never even attempted to reach it - I won ace after ace.

At the end of the match my opponent indignantly upbraided me, ‘I cannot admire your length.’ she protested. Neither did she think it was ‘fair to play sneaks’, adding, ‘Anybody could win if they cared to play like that.’

In her opinion it wasn’t tennis! I’m afraid I did not take this censure very seriously. As the object of the game is to put the ball as far out of reach of your opponent as possible, I could not see what difference there was between making her run from side to side of the base-line or to the net and back again. Both methods as regards placing are just as good tennis, and should be used judiciously in turn.

But this sort of argument did not appeal to my opponent; she still thought any one could win who cared to play that ‘unsporting game’. Should she try the stroke in her next match I am quite sure she will find it not so easy to play accurately as she had imagined.”

Lawn Tennis for Ladies by Dorothea Lambert Chambers
Wasn't the reaction to the first lob also something like this? Something like "You just killed the game" or "That's not fair" or "That's not tennis"? It's amazing how early and often tennis people wanted the game to be more or less a nail pounding contest...
 

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Her slice set her up so well for drops off that side. Depth, angle, angle, depth-then every so often the soft kiss of death.

At 40 seconds in on the replay her court positioning and technique are perfection.


This is a memorable drop shot ending point from their 1990 French final
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y24rUwYdU5M
The forehand drop shot Steffi hit in the first game of the last set (IIRC) of the 1988 USO final was pretty nuts. Gaby smacked a hard, flat return of serve cross court, Steffi just seemed to anticipate it perfectly, was quickly in position, and then undercut the ball at the last moment and died it down the line (IIRC). Change of direction drop shot off a "bullet" in a final set with the Grand Slam on the line. Lots of great drop shots through out that match.
 

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One of the famous drop shots that I can remember was the one hit by Arantxa Sanchez vs Raffi Reggi match point down at Wimbledon 1989. Basically Reggi fell apart after that one and lost the match.

Arantxa and Chris Evert were probably the best exponents of this shot that I can remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
One of the famous drop shots that I can remember was the one hit by Arantxa Sanchez vs Raffi Reggi match point down at Wimbledon 1989. Basically Reggi fell apart after that one and lost the match.

Arantxa and Chris Evert were probably the best exponents of this shot that I can remember.
Evert's forehand drop shot was utterly devastating. If I had to pick one dropper-it would be hers.

I don't recall her using a backhand drop nearly as much.

Here is good example-see 50 seconds in to the clip below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUm-fr4jC78

and later, at about 2:50 we see a long point where Austin tries a dropper, but it ends with an Evert drop shot, hit from in her backhand corner-a run around your basckhand drop shot!-LOL
 

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Evert's forehand drop shot was utterly devastating. If I had to pick one dropper-it would be hers.

I don't recall her using a backhand drop nearly as much.
Because the backhand drop is easier, Rollo! The forehand drop shot out of nowhere is the hardest shot in the book and none could hit it quite like La Evert.* Matchpoint down against Monica Seles at 02:00:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcGfXThqzD8

The best drop shot I ever saw was in the 1979 US Open final between arch-rivals Evert and Austin. Evert hit a drop shot that actually landed on the tape and then plopped over onto the other side of the court! :tape: :help: :worship:

* Honourable mention to the Navratilova backhand drop shot, which gave Evert fits on grass.
 

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Because the backhand drop is easier, Rollo! The forehand drop shot out of nowhere is the hardest shot in the book and none could hit it quite like La Evert.* Matchpoint down against Monica Seles at 02:00:
Wow!

Honourable mention to the Navratilova backhand drop shot, which gave Evert fits on grass.
Agreed. Martina was very tough, as was Billie Jean King.

Other famous drop shots: Elizabeth Ryan (one nickname for her was "chop and drop") Anita Lizana, and Doris Hart
 

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Evonne Cawley hit one of the most jaw-dropping backhand shots ever seen (02:40) at the end of a long and very testing rally in the 1980 Wimbledon final:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0hbgbDmVkc

The shot is even more impressive because I have a film of it taken by the cameras at the other end of the court. Evonne actually had to reach behind her to hit the ball, which was already behind her (hard enough in itself). Her shot comes out of nowhere, crosses the net at a crazy angle and just seems to drop dead.
 

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I should add Martina Hingis was up there with her backhand drop shot as well. Even on the run she could execute a perfect drop shot.
 

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Evonne Cawley hit one of the most jaw-dropping backhand shots ever seen (02:40) at the end of a long and very testing rally in the 1980 Wimbledon final:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0hbgbDmVkc

The shot is even more impressive because I have a film of it taken by the cameras at the other end of the court. Evonne actually had to reach behind her to hit the ball, which was already behind her (hard enough in itself). Her shot comes out of nowhere, crosses the net at a crazy angle and just seems to drop dead.
That is a great shot. Not sure if it is actually a drop shot per se :help:
 

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I'm a big admirer of those that can execute a truly good forehand drop. Backhands are thrilling too but a lot more common. I guess that's why I always get more satisfaction out of hitting an outright winner with a forehand drop shot.

It was my favorite shot of Chris' except when she was making one of my favorites look silly with it, which she did frequently. I have watched her forehand drop for years trying to figure out how she gets so much work on such simple preparation. Well disguised to be sure.

I loved Manuela's forehand dropper. She had some great touch on that side and was very good at carving under the ball from the baseline corner and dropping it with deadening spin in the opposite forecourt angled away.

I remember Martina hitting some audacious forehand drops for winners against Chris in the 1984 French final. And I don't think "drop shot" when I think about Steffi. But I remember her hitting a ridiculously good forehand drop shot against Zvereva (another good forehand dropper) early in the 1989 Family Circle Cup final.

I wonder what Daze's forehand drop shot is like with his wood racquet? I bet it's a good'n. :worship:
 

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And I don't think "drop shot" when I think about Steffi. But I remember her hitting a ridiculously good forehand drop shot against Zvereva (another good forehand dropper) early in the 1989 Family Circle Cup final.
Most people, especially her opponents, didn't think "drop shot" when they thought/think about Steffi, but she did use it surprisingly often or at least at surprising/important moments.

A great example from the 1996 Lipton final vs. Chanda Rubin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee0Pk6gFg8k at 14:41 with a nice replay at 15:08. The replay clearly shows that kind of t'ai chi wave of the wrist that dissipates all of the pace of Chanda's return, which was in turn very much a credible reproduction of Steffi's familiar forehand return from the doubles alley. You can tell Rubin never expected a drop shot reply. It's a Steffi the Smartass classic: "Great return, Chanda; too bad you didn't follow it to the net or at least immediately recover to the center of the court. Even I don't always stand there in the doubles alley and wait to see where the next shot is going. The good news is that you are being paid $105,000 for this tennis lesson. The bad news is I am being paid $210,000 to give it to you."
 

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Ms. A, I am not sure that's a dropper. Surely it's another one of Steffi's many amazing touch shots off her gorgeous slice backhand. She infuriated me with all those amazing angled bunts and blocks against Martina at wimbledon, but I loved every one of them as they always brought a smile and a shake of the head. God I miss seeing that kind of variety, which I think would still be just as effective to this day.

When I think of a drop shot Chris is the only person who comes to mind. Without a doubt, greatest dropper in history of game. Beautiful, dainty and almost comical in its effectiveness. I was watching my favorite match ever in my favorite tournament ever, the 1980 wimbledon final with evonne finally concentrating and beating evert (and my all time mens fave BB over The Brat the next day, good times!) and Chris hit dropper after beautiful dropper on her service return. Obviously it was all on second serves, but it's amazing to watch. So light, so airy and so effective, it's almost as if Chris were channeling evonne when hitting it.
GORGEous
 

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Mrs Chambers gives us her take-thanks to "The Computer" for originally posting this.


MRS LAMBERT CHAMBERS ANECDOTE - THE DROP SHOT

“A short drop shot from the back of the court is a very paying stroke to have at your command.

I remember playing one match were I used this stroke a great deal. Owing to its success – my opponent never even attempted to reach it - I won ace after ace.

At the end of the match my opponent indignantly upbraided me, ‘I cannot admire your length.’ she protested. Neither did she think it was ‘fair to play sneaks’, adding, ‘Anybody could win if they cared to play like that.’

In her opinion it wasn’t tennis! I’m afraid I did not take this censure very seriously. As the object of the game is to put the ball as far out of reach of your opponent as possible, I could not see what difference there was between making her run from side to side of the base-line or to the net and back again. Both methods as regards placing are just as good tennis, and should be used judiciously in turn.

But this sort of argument did not appeal to my opponent; she still thought any one could win who cared to play that ‘unsporting game’. Should she try the stroke in her next match I am quite sure she will find it not so easy to play accurately as she had imagined.”

Lawn Tennis for Ladies by Dorothea Lambert Chambers
How times and attitudes change! From the 1994 Lipton semifinal post match press conferences:

Q. When you went through all of Steffi's various strong points and strokes you can hit, you failed to mention the one that surprised everybody, maybe you too, the drop shot at this baseline, did that come as a total shock?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: She only hit one.

Q. She had one and --

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: The other one, she hit it at a very gutsy time, 5-4, Deuce, that's why she wins; she makes them and she doesn't, you know. I was completely -- I wasn't really expecting it, especially at that time, that why she's where she's at. She can come up with those shots at the right time.

And poor Steffi probably felt like she was surrounded by idiots:

Q. Were you surprised about that drop shot? She certainly was. Were you?

STEFFI GRAF: That I did it?
 

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Coral (Corrie) Buttsworth, Australian Championships winner in 1931 and 1932 was addicted to the drop shot and used this shot more than anyone to win these two titles. Incidently Corrie never won any other Australian state titles apart from the two national championships.

From Joseph Johnsons' book, Grand Slam Australia, he wrote that Buttsworth took advantage of the small gap of time between Daphne Akhurst and Joan Hartigan won the two titles by moving her opponents back and forth with drop shot and lob combinations, instead of side by side. And that she would be remembered as the only player whose greatest strength was the drop shot.

 
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