In Paris, romancing the drop shot

Split equally between Novak Djokovic and Karen Khachanov an 18 shot meeting marked the start of the seventh game of a closely competition first set. Both players exchanged powerful forehands and neat backhand pieces from the baseline.

The world No.1 made his play on the 18th shot for a short ball that sat up for a forehand crosscourt winner; Djokovic swung with intention and then weaken the ball instead. It lost all its momentum and quietly dropped to the other side of the net. Khachanov did not attempt to pursue it.

 “The tendency of the players on clay is to go a bit further back to give themselves a little bit more time and space, because the ball bounces higher on clay than any other surface. But obviously now the bounce of the ball is significantly lower because of these conditions.”

The drop shot is an essential trouble of the engine that drives modern tennis powerful, fast, and hard rallies its grace, softness, and sleight of hand to meet brute force.

In autumnal Paris, this is no normal French Open players have to contend with cold and moist conditions and one effect of that is the low bounce on offer on the red soil.

The amount of drop shots played in the first week of the 2020 French Open compared to the same period of the 2019 event has almost doubled according to data provided by Infosys the official digital novelty partner of Roland Garros.

The left-handed Gaston curved in out a salvo of drop shots against the third-ranked Austrian 58 in total after dramatic Stan Wawrinka.

“I was sprinting around 400 times to the net,” Thiem said after the match in which he needed all his experience and hostility spirit to eke out a nervy five-set conquest against the world No.239.

The approach can be more productive against players who paste themselves deep behind the baseline like Thiem and Rafael Nadal.

It invites an uneven amount of mockery from viewers when a drop shot fails if it has too much air or fall down into the net

To dash to the net many more times over the route of their five-hour lengthy the Argentine returned with 13 winners off the drop shot and got Thiem his legs already sore from his five setter in the earlier match.

Thiem not quite a touch player in turn made 12 voluntary errors in trying the shot none more obvious than in two successive points to end the match, he dropped the ball into the net standing behind the baseline

As 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko put the drop shot to good use in her second-round upset of second seed Karolina Pliskova there are others who are revive the skill.

“I kind of forgot that I have this good shot, because I think I do good drop shots, sometimes winners, and it’s tough for girls,” she said.

Including five off her double-handed backhand this year’s Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin, the American not very at home on earth, had seven drop shot winners in her fourth-round match against Fiona Ferro.

Kenin quoted as saying by the New York Times, “Drop shot heaven. It definitely is the right play here this year.”

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