View Full Version : Tips on clay.
03-12-2004, 05:51 PM
I am suppose to play a high school tennis match next week at the country club that has clay courts. I thought it was werid that I will be playing on clay since high school matches are always on hard courts, from what I have seen, heard, and played from. From what I know is that it is going to be on green clay. I have never played on clay before. So what should I be expecting, and what should I do that I usualy dont do on a hard court.
thanx for help.
I don't know how green clay compares to red clay, but the biggest difference between red clay and hard court is that your the opponent has much better chances to get the ball back. The ball gets heavier with play and will bounce more vertically.
03-13-2004, 02:02 AM
Make sure you eat lots of carbs before your match :-). The bounce on clay is pretty high so it takes a while to get used to. You have to be patient on clay and work the points much more. If you start going for winners early you will find yourself racking up unforced errors.
Try and work different tactics to pull them wide out of the court and then hit in the open space. Try to practise slice and topspin angles.
Good luck, clays a nice surface.
03-13-2004, 02:12 AM
A few short tips:
a) learn to slide in to the ball. Not so easy to do in short time.
b) topspin will bounce high, but a slice will skid off the surface with a lower bounce. Pick your shots.
c) Hit behind your opponent. Clay is slippery and it's hard to change direction. Be ready for your opponent doing this to you.
d) drop shots are particularly effective on clay.
e) flat serves are not that effective unless you have a real killer. Better to slice or kick the serve.
I've never played on green clay but if it's anything like red clay the tips above will be useful.
03-13-2004, 08:37 AM
Played on green clay Har tru for many yrs. all the above is tried & true adv. har tru is a little quicker than red . You might want to drop the tension on yr. racket at least 3lbs.
03-13-2004, 05:23 PM
if you play a retriever, pack a lunch. get ready for long points. give your opponent the impression that you're willing to stay out there all day. don't be afraid to play boring, high percentage tennis; let your opponent self-destruct ... then start crushing the ball in order ot finish him. seriously. power is less effective. if you start losing, mix it up: create high topspin loopers to your opponents weak side and come to net. all things being equal, the patient, consistent player has a big advantage. if you have a big serve or high-powered ground strokes, prepare for a longer day and less one-stroke pay offs. you need to use angles, drop shots and multi-shot set-ups. keep your opponent deep with driving topspin and try to angle him off the court whenever possible. make him your *****. if you take the net, prepare to lose a step as the surface does not support quick powerful direction changes. again: if you play a consistent player with good wheels, god help you.
03-13-2004, 05:40 PM
thanx for your tips. I will use thses tips to help my friends out to. Is there any tips for doubles play, which I will be most likely be playing?
03-13-2004, 05:54 PM
keep the serves wide!
.......ive played only doubles on clay before. like everyone else suggests, keep the spin heavy, play the percentages, and move your opponent around. in terms of doubles, be sure to keep the serves out wide as much as possible to really open up the court for your partner to have a chance at a putaway off the return. up the line serves are not nearly as effective unless you can either pound the crap out of them with minimal effort, or give it a wild kick to emphasize the surface.
one more thing is to really use the heavy topspin lob to the best of your ability, considering even if they can get their racquet on a low/accident the clay will slow it down enough for another return or catch them off gaurd off from the last shot.
03-15-2004, 09:39 AM
I'm assuming you don't know how to slide, then hit, on clay. If true, then in singles play center the ball, especially if your opponent is a good mover and experienced clay court player. Avoid getting into sharply angled rallies, a clay court player will be happy for both of you to be running wide off the court, his footwork will beat you. You'll be running 2 or 3 feet wider than him almost every time, leaving more court open and exhausting yourself sooner from all the running. Good luck.
03-15-2004, 10:28 AM
Clay requires you to have good footwork and movement, or you'll be wrongfooted and drop shot-ed all day long. Just try and develop the points instead of blasting winners(if you're that type of player). Hopefully you are competent at net to finish points off.
Why does the ball bounce higher on clay? I was thinking the opposite since it's a softer surface.
I'm very excited about this, but still curious. I've never really played on clay, but will be playing on har-tru for summer USTA this year. I hit with plenty of topspin, so the high bounce is welcome news.
if you are playing next week, don't worry about all these tips. just get to the court a bit early to get used to the timing. Other than that just play your regular hardcourt game, with more readiness for the balls to comeback.
Vin, the ball bounces more vertically because the clay court has more friction. If you dropped the ball vertically down on clay and hard, the hard would bounce higher, but if the ball comes in at an angle, the it slides more on the hard and stays lower.
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