The topspin lob can be one of the most devastatingly fantastic and successful winning shots you can hit – or it can be a dismal failure. Assuming you can hit a topspin groundstroke, the key to the success of a topspin lob is when you attempt it.
Remember, there are two kinds of lobs – offensive and defensive. A defensive lob should be hit when your opponent is at net, and you are in no position, whatsoever, to try a groundstroke passing shot – you are on the dead run, hitting going backwards, off balance, way behind the baseline, stretched out wide. Your lob should be hit very high, aimed deep, down the middle, and should be hit flat or slight underspin.
A topspin lob is a tremendously offensive shot and should only be attempted when you are in great court position to hit a clean groundstroke passing shot – but you decide to hit the topspin lob, instead. You are on balance, near or inside the baseline and you can hit the ball about waist level. You must now throw in the element of disguise – you must make your opponent think that you are going to hit a topspin groundstroke – same preparation, same windup, same swing. You must make your opponent lean forward, ready to close in, thinking he will hit a volley – but at the last instant, you aim your beautiful topspin lob over his outstretched racket. Pull that off and the crowd will go wild!!