If your opponent is at net and a topspin lob clears his reach, it's a winner. Even the quickest players on the pro tours just turn around to see where it will land. In contrast, most flat or slice lobs are worth chasing. So, why would anyone ever choose to hit a flat or slice lob? Probably because to hit a good topspin lob, you must get the racquet tilt and swing path right much more precisely than you need to for any other lob. The payoff is a ball that, once it clears your opponent, drops faster than a flat or slice lob, then kicks toward the back fence. The risk is a ball that either hands your opponent an easy overhead or sails long.
A few points to observe in this photo:
- Eastern grip (more Western grips would be fine, too)
- Stepping onto right (back) foot
- Backswing same so far as for a drive - no clues for opponent yet