I was fortunate enough to play on the beautiful grass courts of the Mercedes Cup last week. Here are some tips for grass court tennis.
You will find a video about my experiencing playing grass court tennis below along with some tips for grass court tennis. For a while, it looked like grass-court tennis was on the verge of becoming extinct, except for Wimbledon and some classic tournaments like Halle and Queens, but the company Emotion has created a few grass tournaments on both the WTA and ATP tour in the last couple of years. One of them being the Mercedes Cup, held at the beautiful grass courts of TC Weissenhof in Stuttgart.
I thought the grass courts would be in poor condition as it was late in the season, but they were pretty much brand new. The experience of playing on grass was absolutely amazing and if you ever get the chance to play on a proper grass court, take it! There is something magical about it.
Tips for grass-court tennis
As you can see in the image, you need to adapt your game a bit to play on grass. Shortening your swings due to the lack of time you have on the ball is a good idea. Playing aggressively and taking initiative is also important because defensive tennis rarely works well on grass (unless you move like Novak Djokovic). The serve is vital as you can get plenty of points for free with a good serve. The same goes for the return of serve, it's important to start the point in a good way as grass-court rallies tend to be shorter than rallies on any other surface.
Since the ball doesn't bounce a lot on grass courts, you can create problems for your opponent by using angles and varying the depth of for example the slice. This type of touch/feel tennis can be very frustrating to play against on grass courts.
Have you ever played on grass? What are your thoughts?
There is nothing in tennis as fun as playing on grass. I grew up in NYC playing on the grass at Forest Hills in the late ’60s and early ’70s when the US Open was still played there. On weekends in the summer my father and I would face off on the grass in the stadium when it was available. He was a clay court specialist on the “A” ladder and I would struggle against him on the red mud, but I never lost to him on grass. Coming in behind a big serve to pick up a half volley off the shoe tops and watch it flutter over the net and drop to the green turf like a dead bird while the returner stands helpless at the baseline is as good as it gets! Well done, Jonas 🙂