Players tend to focus on hitting drop shots just over the net and overheads fast and deep, especially when trying to win the point with these shots.
It is very helpful to use some angle on both the drop shot and overhead since this will make the shot effective even if you don't have the perfect execution. A drop shot with an angle will make the opponent move forward and sideways to get to the ball, and the angled overhead will have the same effect. The best players try to anticipate these shots but the angle makes it much tougher to run the ball down.
I teach players to hit these shots to the opposite side of the court from where they are standing. If they are in the middle of the court, crosscourt is my recommended direction, but either direction will work as long as there is an angle created.
Remember that hard and soft shots hit straight ahead will be much easier for your opponent to run down and will also require a much more precise strike of the ball to win the point.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-300-7323