It's all about variety for me, but I'm no tennis god . Down the line, crosscourt, dipper, lob. It helps to open up passing shot angles. I do like to introduce the lob early on(hopefully a good one) so your opponent knows that you have it and will respect it, which again will open up passing angles.
We used to say the passing shot is a two shot shot. Your initial shot is not an attempt to pass, but designed to get your opponent off balance while not really giving him (or her) too much opportunity to hit a winner. Down the line was normally the first shot, crosscourt the next, or back down the line if your opponent is too hasty in covering the cross court.
That's a good point. I think many people fail to realize that the initial passing shot doesn't need to be an outright winner. You can use it as a setup shot to get a favorable reply. A well struck shot that produces a weak volley is the better play in my book. Most importantly, it alleviates the pressure from feeling you need to hit an outright passing shot winner in order for the shot to be effective.
Hmm... this is a real gem here, one I hadn't thought of before. I had a similar epiphany almost a few years ago where I saw Connors playing and then saying something to the effect of your first volley is your setup volley, you don't aim to win points off it, so its ok that you are not right on the net for your first volley and your first volley sets up a tough return for your opponent which you then finish off with a proper volley. a two step process. I was like "wow that's amazing" after that and am in a similar position now.
That said, the passing shot usually is given in a tough situation. So you don't have the full freedom most of the times to put the ball where you want so I feel you are almost just going for the winner because if you are in a tough position, you either 1) go for the winner/passing shot and make it, 2) go for the winner/passing shot and miss 3) go for a tough return and miss 4) go for a tough return and make it and draw an error or 5) go for the tough return and make it and have the ball put away by your opponent.
While i do admit making your opponent play the extra tough volley is important, I jsut go for the winner.
and I can't hit cross court passing shots too well. I try and sometimes make it but I am not confident. So I go down the line. Or lobs, I like lobs too.