I started running five years ago after a period of feeling out of shape and constantly lethargic. Running was something I could do on my lunch break that didn't require any expensive equipment or a gym membership. I suffered a few injuries in the early days due to poor running technique, so I started learning everything I could about proper running form and how to warm up and cool down safely. I now have three marathons under my belt and volunteer at my local running club to help get new runners off to a good start. I started this blog to share what I've learned with new runners, and I hope you find my tips useful.
Your first tennis match on a synthetic grass court can be overwhelming, especially if you have only participated in competitive matches on other types of courts. Add the charged atmosphere brewed by a cheering crowd, and you have yourself a tricky situation.
However, playing a tennis match on a synthetic grass court should come as good news to you. Unlike other types of surfaces, synthetic grass court is server friendly; therefore, the chances of making a mistake while serving are slightly reduced. That being said, you still need to apply certain tactics to boost your chances of winning the match.
Study Your Opponent — The first and most important strategy when preparing to play on synthetic grass is to study your opponent. Although this type of tennis surface has a sand film for friction purposes, the ball hits the ground faster than on any other surface. Therefore, knowing your opponent's weakest side will work to your advantage. For instance, if their weak point is the left side, try as much as possible to hit the ball to their left. They will find it awkward receiving a service from that side, exposing them to mistakes. A deep ball into your competitor's weak side will guarantee you points as fatigue begins to set.
Focus on Returns — As mentioned earlier, a synthetic grass surface is server-friendly; hence, most of your efforts should be centered on the returns. If you are a decent player and it is your turn to serve, the likelihood that you will place a poor ball on your opponent's half is low. The speed with which you hit the ball is the same speed with which it will attack the surface. As such, serving an excellent ball will almost guarantee you points. It is for this reason that you should concentrate on the returns. A good strategy would be to simply use a directed block or chip on most of your return balls, and you will catch your opponent off guard.
Slice Shots Near Net — During general play, your opponent will try to place the ball near the net so that you approach the net and leave your area vulnerable. You can, however, defeat such a strategy by approaching the net with sliced shots. Since the ball bounce on synthetic grass is relatively low, a sliced shot near the net will make the ball bounce even lower. If your opponent manages to get to the ball, they will be forced to play it up and into your hitting area. You can interchange between sliced serves and backhand slices just to be a little bit unpredictable.