How to Beat a Lobber in Doubles Tennis

Too Many Rackets
3 min readOct 17, 2023

If you have been playing doubles tennis for any length of time, you will eventually come up against a lobber (basically someone who will lob the ball over your head when you are at the net in doubles).

Lobbers can be very frustrating to play against in doubles, especially if hitting overheads is not one of your strengths.

I have pulled together the below tips that will help you learn how to beat a Doubles Tennis Lobber.

Photo by Chino Rocha on Unsplash

Top Tips on How to Beat a Lobber in Tennis

1. Don’t Stand Too Close to the Net

This first tip might sound obvious but you would be surprised how often recreational tennis players don’t do this.

They are just in a rush to get to the net so they can put away an easy volley.

However, if you are playing against someone who likes to lob, then they will love it when you rush into the net as you are making it easier for them to lob you.

So to avoid playing into the lobber’s hand, you should take note of your positioning when at the net and when you are approaching the net.

When your doubles partner is serving and you know that the returner will lob every return, it makes sense to be further back in the service box so you have a better chance of hitting an overhead.

In these situations, being too close to the net will mean that the returner will have no issues lobbing the ball over you.

When you are approaching the net, you should try and do your split step just as your opponent is about to strike the ball as this will give you a better chance of moving back in time to return the lob.

2. Learn to Anticipate the Lob

One of the keys to being more successful against lobbers is to learn how to anticipate when they are about to go for a lob.

Things to look out for are what grip they are holding and the angle of the tennis racket face when they are about to strike the tennis ball.

3. Don’t Overhit your Overhead

A common mistake that recreational players make is going for too much on their overheads when their opponent hits a lob.

So instead of trying to hit the ball too hard or going for a line, choose to hit the ball to a big target and go for placement rather than power.

If the lobbers partner is at the net then it also makes sense to hit your overhead toward their side of the court as they will have less time to react.

If both opponents are at the baseline then hitting down the middle of the court is often a good option as there may be some confusion between them as to who will return your shot.

A more advanced option to use when your opponents are both at the baseline is to hit a drop volley instead of hitting an overhead.

Drop volleys can be super successful but you need good hands to execute them consistently.

4. Mix up the Type of Balls you hit to the Lobber

Lobbers quite often like hard shots hit deep in the court by their opponents as they can get into a rhythm on these shots.

To avoid this, you should mix up the type of balls you hit to the lobber so they don’t get into a rhythm on your shots.

Things you can do to mix things up include hitting high topspin shots, hitting the ball short, and hitting angled shots.

By doing this, the lobber will be less consistent with their lobs and may hit their lobs shorter in the court so you have a better opportunity to hit a winner of the lob.

5. Hit the Ball to the Lobber’s Weaker Side

Another tactic you can use against the lobber is to hit your balls to their weaker side as they may find it harder to hit an effective lob on their weaker side.

This is usually the lobber’s backhand but each opponent is different so you will have to find out which side is weaker.