Playing on grass courts

Playing on grass courts
    Wimbledon is the most famous grass court tennis competition in the world and outside the UK this type of playing surface is relatively rare.

Grass courts present a number of unique challenges players must overcome that they do not face on clay courts or hard courts.

The surface tends to become slippery, particularly when it is wet, and balls often skid and bounce low while retaining most of their speed. Bad bounces are commonplace.

Players therefore need to adapt and refine their games to ensure they are able to compete in these conditions. 

They need to be able to reach the ball faster and rallies tend to be comparatively brief, meaning speed and power are important qualities. A serve and volley technique is therefore often effective on grass surfaces.

Some players have been particularly talented when it comes to playing on grass courts; these include Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer, Venus Williams and Serena Williams. 

Currently, the most successful grass court player is Roger Federer, who is a seven-time Wimbledon singles champion. He had a 65-match winning streak on grass, and 40 consecutive wins at Wimbledon alone, before he was beaten in 2008 by Rafael Nadal.

British hopeful Andy Murray is also particularly successful on the surface, ranking behind Federer in terms of current players.

"A lot of people try to say that the surfaces are all very similar now, but from a player's perspective there is a huge difference between playing clay-court and grass-court tennis," Murray said, speaking ahead of the current Wimbledon tournament.

"I need to spend some time on this surface to get used to it. All of my best results on the grass came when I had a decent amount of preparation time."

Let's hope he can make 2014 a memorable one. With England out of the World Cup and hardly looking great in the cricket, it'd be nice to see a British success story at Wimbledon.

Be Sociable, Share!