Wimbledon is now underway, so let’s see what will be going on due to the surface. Back on 4/26 I wrote about the different characteristics between clay, hard and grass courts. It is true that over the past years the Wimbledon officials have tried to make the grass a bit more player friendly by slowing the courts down some, but there still remains the basic factors needed to be successful playing on grass.
What I want you to watch for while enjoying the matches are: first-keep an eye out for points won off of first serves in, because the grass is slick players may take some pace off of their first serve to raise their percentage and increase their chances of winning the point. The monster servers are going to bang away for fast easy points. Secondly, watch for how much more often the slice backhand is used for need and strategy. The slice backhand is going to stay extremely low on the grass court making it very uncomfortable for the players who use an extreme western forehand grip to get underneath the ball to hit their topspin. This shot naturally brings players into net more often than you see in matches on other surfaces; the balls are staying lower forcing the opponent to have to hit up on their passing shots leading to easier volleys. Lastly, every so often you should watch just one player during the course of a number of points. You will notice the great footwork in between their shots, which is the same on any surface, but you will see how low they are forced to stay down while making contact on their shot due to the quickness of grass.
If you read my tips regularly you know I’m not big into commentary, but I have to with this point. When are the other Major tournaments going to join the US Open and let the players play a tie break when the score is 6-6 in the 5th set? Making the winner have to win by two games in the 5th set is out dated. To me, I find a fifth set tie break very exciting. The only things that happen using this antiquated method is tournament matches get held up, the two players, who have already put on a wonderful display are punished by having to continue play and get unfairly exhausted and the player who wins very seldom has a chance in the next round due to the length of time spent on the court. So, write your congressman- no that’s wrong- I don’t know, write somebody and complain.
Enjoy the tournament.
Good Luck-Have Fun!!