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TENNIS TIPS: The great escape

July 15, 2013
By JAK BEARDSWORTH ( , Lake Placid News

Getting lobbed over is not an unusual occurrence, particularly in club play.

You've rushed the net behind, as it turns out, an approach shot lacking depth, resulting in your opponent having their lobbing way with you. Not one to fold your tent, you wheel in full pursuit, afterburners on, and run the ball down.

Arriving in striking distance just as it nears a second bounce you have only one option: the "tweener," of course.

Article Photos

Photo by Shaun Ondak
Jak Beardsworth demonstrates how to execute a ‘tweener’ return.

Relax. It's all about positioning and the grip. A little tricky, but no problem.

You can see that I have caught up to the ball in a last ditch effort to stay in the point, and have positioned myself directly over it to take the shot. On the way, I changed my grip to an extreme topspin backhand grip to open up the racket face at impact.

The stroke, with a fully loaded wrist, initiates from a high position and sweeps downward through the legs to the ball. An aggressive wrist snap will be necessary - made possible by the grip change - and substitute for the lack of follow through for all the obvious reasons.

To create needed additional spacing, the outside leg - the left for right handers - will elevate right at the ball-striking moment.

Since it takes some drop-hit practice to gauge and feel the degree of wrist flexion necessary to get sufficient air from such a low, deep position with your back to the net, visualizing a very high over the net shot trajectory will be initially useful in getting your shot over the net and back in play one more time.

Do your best. Always aspire higher. Love the game.


Jak Beardsworth, USPTA, is based at the Crowne Plaza-Lake Placid Club, and is available for adult and junior lessons by appointment:, 941-626-0097,



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