I’ve always felt that the kill is an easier shot than the straight out drop shot. ‘The Kill’ is played with a lot more pace and a closed racket face, meaning it has less cut and feel needed than the drop, which gives me confidence that I’ll play a more consistent and better shot (which has been proven to be true over a few decades now!).
The competitors who I regularly played against who used the ‘Kill’ as a major part of their arsenal were John White, Jonathon Power and David Palmer, the latter mostly on his forehand.
John White – he was known for his regular and severe ‘Kill’, from all areas of the court. I had to be careful hitting anything with height as hit racket face would come down on the ball so severely, he was dangerous in all but the most defensive of positions. Remarkably, John’s deep backhand corner caused me the most problems as he could generate some immense power from that area – 172mph of power to be exact!
Jonathon Power – wasn’t as severe, and didn’t continuously use the ‘Kill’ as often as John White. However due to his ability to delay his swing but still generate a decent amount of power, he was even more dangerous with his ‘Kill’ shot. Jonathon would mix ‘Kill’ shots with drop shots, crosscourt flicks and simple straight drives, albeit with a long movement debilitating hold!
David Palmer – nearly solely used the Kill shot on the forehand side, and I found him particularly difficult from the middle and back of the court. His power and severity, along with a fairly large swing, made it incredibly difficult to position myself and hit anything other than a defensive shot. Being on my backhand side (lefty!) didn’t help either.
One thing I would say to counter any player you encounter who is able to play ‘Kill’ shots well, is don’t just lift the ball to try and give yourself time and alleviate pressure. The pressure will just keep coming!
You have to attack back, put something on the return to make your opponent lift themselves, or at the least, stop them continuously hitting down on the ball.
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