View Full Version : How to play under hard condition - WINDY

06-24-2009, 07:18 AM
I have a match last week and the wind totally messed up my game. We played in the clay court (which I am not very fond of) and in a place kind of middle of nowhere. The whole facility is deep in the valley and therefore has lots of wind all the time but yesterday was worst. The wind was very strong and kinds of sideways. Sometimes it changes too.
I had a hard time to adjust my game and played very bad.
- Serve: I almost cannot serve since the wind kept holding back my racquet. The ball toss were really a mess even though I have tried to toss it toward the wind so it could be blown back to the position I wanted. I tossed it low (much lower than usual) but it seemed not improving my serve.
- Game play: most of my lob were out since the wind so strong and the guy kept play S&V. (He did have a very good volley and so tough to pass him). My drop shot was bad since I cannot make it over the net. My opponent has a big serve and most of my "loose" return were blown out.

What should I do next time under this condidtion? I really hate playing under the wind and now I still hate it.

06-24-2009, 11:24 AM
I have the same problems. I try not to lob at all if it is windy. As for serving, I adjust my toss so the wind will blow it to the right spot, and I try to be disciplined about not hitting it if it isn't right.

Mentally, I find that the wind helps me as often as it hurts me. I was serving out a match the other day. It was 8:00 pm, so the sun was burning my retinas and the wind was gusting into my face. I was having a hard time getting enough on my serves to get them over the net.

Well, on match point, I hit a desperation lob that should have gone many feet long. The wind caught it and deposited it squarely on the baseline. Game, set, match.

Wind can be your friend!! :)

06-24-2009, 11:47 AM
If you are playing in a heavy wind and you hit a lot of lobs or slice or push the ball, you might as well go home, because the conditions are exactly the worst that can happen for your game. If you watched the Andy Murray/Nadal match at Indian Wells, you saw what happens to a pro that plays a defensive game and pushes the ball (Murray). Nadal absolutely destroyed him because his topspin game kept the ball in the court and all of Murray's shots floated long or wide. If I know that I am going to be playing a pusher in a tournament, I pray for a howling wind. Nothing takes a pusher out of his game quicker than a heavy wind.

Jim A
06-24-2009, 08:37 PM
One of the courts we practice on has no windscreen and can be a mess, but its great because nothing in a match can compare.

My toss is lower and I just aim to get it in to the middle of the box

same with my groundstrokes, just aim for the middle t and let the wind go from there (when at my back) or just hit out (when in my face)

06-24-2009, 09:06 PM
The best thing you can do is serve and volley, like your opponent was trying to do. There's nothing harder than trying to lob someone in the wind or being forced to constantly attempt passing shots in the wind. Its a lot easier to hit a ball from 3 feet behind the net than from way behind the baseline when its windy

06-24-2009, 10:33 PM
I think to play in windy condition you really have to be mentally tough. Just remind yourself not to give away any free point and pay close attention to the conditions around you. You also have to willing to adopt your game.

06-25-2009, 03:31 AM
if you're playing into the wind, you need to aim a lot down the middle and add a lot of topspin to keep the ball in.

if you're against the wind, you can flatten the ball out and hit with more pace. agassi was great at this. i'd still aim down the middle for safety though.

coming to net generally has more success in the wind.

the key is to avoid a lot of lobs and don't aim near the lines.

06-25-2009, 06:36 AM
Thank you for your all suggestions. I still would prefer not playing under this kind of condition.
So I think if I have this situation again, I will ask for a longer break to figure out what to do next. S&V is a good suggestion but don't you think it's hard to make an overhead under this kind of situation too?

06-25-2009, 07:02 AM
Thank you for your all suggestions. I still would prefer not playing under this kind of condition.
So I think if I have this situation again, I will ask for a longer break to figure out what to do next. S&V is a good suggestion but don't you think it's hard to make an overhead under this kind of situation too?

TBH, if the wind was that bad, I wouldn't hit an overhead. I'd consider running back a little and playing a drive volley. Of course, if you can read where the ball is going to fall, you should still be able to put it away with an overhead.

06-25-2009, 07:08 AM
unless you're used to doing it, i wouldn't change your game to serve/volley. i would get the serve in and come to the net off the first short ball (if your opponent is against the wind then this will happen a lot) to force your opponent to pass you. always keep the direction of the wind in mind when deciding whether to hit a volley or let it go.

06-25-2009, 07:47 AM
I find the hardest part of the wind is changing ends and totally changing strategies to be upwind/downwind. With the wind in you face, everything goes in, so you need to whack the ball deep and high. With the wind at your back, everything in the air will go out, so you need to have a lot of control.

I think that key to wind is keeping the ball in play - pushing to not miss. Minimize your errors. If the opponent is hitting good shots, you should not worry about it. Make the opponent beat you, even if this means rolling in loopy shots/serves.

Perry the Platypus
06-25-2009, 08:04 AM
Wind?!? Yes the wind sucks - especially when it swirls. In really bad conditions treat it just like playing on grass - keep the points short.

What about heat? It's already been over 100 degrees here for a few days in a row. Supposed to be 103 Saturday and I have a USTA singles match at 5:00. Lot's of fun that......

06-25-2009, 06:38 PM

I have a couple of suggestions that should help you. I personally like the wind blowing because it can help you if you let it, most just don’t take advantage and panic. For example, this evening I played in the worst wind I have ever played in, EVER. It was comically windy, in the 40-60 range. It was windy enough my ball toss moved a couple of feet if I threw it high. A lob downwind is like trying to hit a drop shot at your opponent and then it may stay in. A slice upwind that ordinarily would land at least 5 feet long but would barely clear the net and then move 5 feet sideways and become the overhead from hell. I think you get the point. I was the one enjoying this because I used the wind to do the work for me. Let me explain.

First suggestion is move those feet. Don’t get flat footed, especially at the lower levels as most have poor footwork anyway. When the wind is really blowing this is even more important.

Second, as I said, let the wind help you as fighting with it will just frustrate you. Here is what I mean by this. You need to think of playing two different tennis games with different rules: one upwind and one down wind. The cross wind also is a factor (like today). Hitting up wind, flatten your strokes and allow the wind to help you keep it in. Aim higher over the net. The mistake that is unacceptable is to hit it in the net. The wind and opponents will provide a natural backboard. The crosswind component also should be accounted for. As today the wind was upwind and blowing right to left across. So just aim a little farther into the wind, ie to the right. I other words, any shot hit at the right sideline up wind will stay in in almost all cases. Remember to hit lobs lower and much harder than seems natural. They will stay in.

Hitting down wind, add topspin and do not float back shots (especially slices) as they will be long almost always. Shorten your strokes and allow the wind to help knockdown your opponent’s shot until you can put one away rather easily as they will be struggling to keep it deep. You can slice it but hit more like a of a bad drop shot attempt that is made good by the strong tail wind. Lobs are tougher but if you try them think hit the top of the tape and it will carry the net person. Keep it in and your opponent will either miss or give you an easy short ball. Since the crosswind is now left to right, aim farther left, how far left depending on how hard you hit your shot. Downwind, the cross wind doesn’t hurt you as much as it does up wind but needs to be adjusted for when aiming for the right sideline.

Try to think positive about the wind and use it as your partner, NOT fighting it. If you go with the flow, you will be surprised how much it can help you. Because lets face it, most hate the wind and as soon as they don’t move their feet once and frame a shot, they are now mad at the wind and will self destruct almost every time if you let them.

Good luck. It is easier to demonstrate this than explain it in print but I am sure you get the idea. Remember, the wind is your friend.