Occasionally your opponent will send over a delicate, low-bouncing drop shot. When performed well, this drop shot will indeed drop short in your court, very close to the net.
Paying attention to your opponent’s style and routine mannerisms will alert you to their drop shot — it looks different, even if he attempts to disguise it. If you read the drop (anticipate it), you can get a jump on it and hopefully blast forward to retrieve it successfully.
Incidentally, as you rocket forward through your court, carry your racket in front of you, like someone extending their hand for a handshake. This technique will allow you to reach forward with the best chance for success.
There’s no need to swing at the low, frozen-still drop shot — you’ll most likely over-hit it.
So keep your racket out in front as you run.
Gary Sherby is tennis director at Racquets and Togs Tennis Center, 115 Bradford St., just off the downtown square. His tennis tips appear Sundays.