The first thing to know about grass courts is that they’re fast – much faster than clay and hard courts.
When the ball hits the surface, blades of grass are flattened and the ball skids off the court fast and low.
By late summer, when the grass has been worn down, you’ll also find the bounce is very unpredictable.
Are Grass Court Games all Serve and Volley?
Big servers have always been successful with the ball flying off the surface. And those who have mixed it up with a solid volley have won many matches.
Serve-and-volley play works for a number of reasons:
- It keeps the ball off the ground so you avoid unpredictable bounces
- Fast serves are made faster because the ball skids off the court
You should also develop a good sliced backhand since the ball stays lower to the ground. But it’s not true that only serve-and-volley players prosper – in fact, on the tour there are few serve-and-volleyers left.
Baseline players need to think about ending points quickly as well – if your footwork isn’t as fast, it’s important to work on hitting powerful winners and aiming down the line.
TIPS FOR PLAYING ON THE GRASS
Whether you’re a baseline player or a classic serve-and-volleyer, there are a few things you should be working on.
- Work on your arm strength so you can handle the speed of the ball and the off-center hits caused by the bounce
- Shorten your backswing so you can react quickly to unpredictable bounces
- Aim your drop shots at softer ground so that they don’t bounce as high
- Improve at playing low shots by stretching before the game
You’ll also need to think about the kind of shoes you wear. If you’re a speed-and-volley specialist, you’ll need speed tennis shoes that borrow technology from running shoes.
But grass courts are softer underfoot so you can cut down on cushioning.
And if you’re playing in the heat, you’ll need cooling tennis clothing that keeps you comfortable.
SYNTHETIC GRASS COURTS
We’d all love to play at world famous tennis events with the beautiful Centre Court lawns. But most of us have to settle for synthetic grass. Synthetic grass courts are lightning quick, especially if it’s rained recently. Because of this, the ball can skid off the ground more than real grass. If you’re training to play on a synthetic grass court, consider playing up the above tips to their fullest extent.
Grass courts offer a truly unique tennis experience. If you’re not a grass court regular, consider switching up the location of your next practice or match to create a new challenge for your game.
Also to help with your game on the grass, make sure you have the right clothing and footwear on.
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