The drop shot has always been a key shot on clay but at this year’s event, moved to September and October from May-June because of Covid-19 restrictions, the heavier than usual conditions mean the shot is even more effective.
“It’s going to be a very important shot in these conditions, because it's just so heavy and so slow,” said world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who hit 25 drop shots in his first-round win over Mikael Ymer of Sweden.
“The tendency of the players obviously 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.”
Djokovic has long been an exponent of the drop shot, especially effective on the backhand side, where the natural feel of playing the slice with one hand gives the player more control.
The Serb used it again in his second-round win over Ricardas Berankis and is a firm believer in the shot.