What is the definition of A lob in tennis?

The lob is a tennis shot that involves hitting the ball high and deep into the opponent’s court. It’s a versatile weapon that can be used offensively or defensively depending on the situation on the court. When executed effectively, a well-placed lob can force the opponent into a defensive position, giving the player an opportunity to regain control of the point or even score outright.

This tennis stroke is particularly useful when the opponent is standing near the net, waiting to volley. By hitting the ball over the opponent and into the open court behind them, the player can exploit their vulnerable position and potentially secure a point. To master this shot, a tennis player needs to understand the mechanics, strategies, and techniques that go into creating a perfect lob.

Key Takeaways

  • A lob is a versatile tennis shot that can be used both offensively and defensively
  • The lob is effective when the opponent is near the net, exploiting their vulnerable position
  • Mastery of the lob requires understanding its mechanics, strategies, and techniques

Understanding Tennis

The Basics

Tennis is a popular racket sport played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles). Each player uses a racket to hit a ball across a net, aiming to land it in the opponent’s court. The objective is to win points by making the opponent unable to return the ball within the boundaries of the court.

The game begins with a serve from one player and continues with players alternating shots until one player fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds. A key strategy in tennis is the use of different shot types, such as the forehand, backhand, volley, and lob.

Scoring System

The scoring system in tennis is unique, consisting of both game points and set points. A match is won by winning a certain number of sets. A standard match requires winning at least two out of three or three out of five sets. Here’s a brief breakdown of the point system:

  • Points start at 0 (also called love)
  • First point scored is 15
  • Second point scored is 30
  • Third point scored is 40
  • Fourth point wins the game, unless both players reach 40, known as deuce

In a deuce situation, one player must win two consecutive points to win the game, which is called an advantage. A set is won by winning at least six games, with a lead of two games over the opponent. If the score reaches 6-6 in games, a tiebreak is played to determine the winner of the set. The first player to score 7 points in the tiebreak, with a lead of at least two points, wins the set.

The Lob Shot


The lob shot in tennis is a highly effective and strategic stroke, used to push the ball high into the air and over the opponent’s head. There are two main types of lobs: the defensive lob and the offensive lob. The defensive lob aims to provide the player an opportunity to regain their position, whereas the offensive lob is aimed at winning the point outright.

To execute a lob, players must generate sufficient lift on the ball. For a defensive lob, players can use a lift or bump stroke, while the offensive lob often involves adding topspin to the shot. Players must maintain a relaxed grip and use proper footwork when hitting a lob. Flicking the wrist and extending the arm upward at the point of contact will help generate the required height and depth for the lob.

When to Use

Knowing when to use the lob shot is crucial for its effectiveness. Here are some instances when a lob can be useful:

  1. When the opponent rushes to the net: A well-executed lob can force the opponent to retreat, allowing the player to regain control of the point or even win it outright.
  2. When recovering from a difficult position: A defensive lob can buy the player time to regroup and reposition themselves, making it harder for the opponent to capitalize on their advantage.
  3. To surprise the opponent: A well-timed offensive lob can catch the opponent off guard, potentially resulting in an easy point.
  4. When facing a player with a strong net game: By using the lob, players can force the opponent to cover more ground, making their net game less effective.

While the lob shot can be a powerful weapon when used appropriately, it should not be overused. Players must vary their strokes and strategies to keep opponents guessing and maintain a dynamic game.

Strategies and Techniques

Tennis has various shot techniques that skilled players use to their advantage, and one such technique is the lob. A lob is a high-arcing shot that goes over the opponent’s head and drops near the baseline. This shot can be divided into defensive and offensive lobs, each with different purposes.

Defensive Lob

A defensive lob is used when a player is under pressure and needs to buy some time to get back into position on the court. It is usually hit with plenty of height and a bit of backspin to ensure that the ball drops inside the baseline. This type of lob forces the opponent to retreat toward the baseline, which may lead to an easier shot for the player.

Some tips for executing a successful defensive lob include:

  • Use an open racket face to create backspin
  • Follow through with a high finish to generate loft
  • Aim for a high and deep trajectory to make it difficult for the opponent

Offensive Lob

On the contrary, the offensive lob is intended to surprise the opponent and win the point outright, often when the opponent is at the net. The goal is to hit the ball over the opponent’s head so they either cannot reach it or are forced to hit a weak return.

Here are a few techniques to improve offensive lobs:

  • Mix up lobs with other shots, like passing shots, to keep the opponent guessing
  • Take the ball on the rise, to reduce the reaction time for the opponent
  • Aim to hit the ball with topspin, to help it dip down faster and land in the court

Both the defensive and offensive lobs can be crucial in turning the tide of a tennis match. Mastering these techniques will allow players to exploit their opponents’ weaknesses and gain a competitive edge on the court. Familiarizing oneself with the lob techniques and practicing regularly are essential for success in implementing the lob as part of one’s tennis strategy.