Playing on Grass Courts

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by prostaff_fan, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    I recently had the opportunity of playing on a grass court in Palm Springs, California and was surprised how low the ball bounces on these courts. I could not even bounce the ball on my service motion. See video below of me playing and not being able to do my regular service motion. I am wondering if anyone of you had the same experience playing on grass courts or it was just the courts in Palm Springs. Even though I lost this point, I won the set easily just by volleying on every second shot I played. Playing with a prostaff 85 made the experience even more sweeter!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfRJ8W0q8Ig

    P.S. Sorry about the grainy video. Not sure why the quality decreased after uploading to youtube.
     
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  2. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    I've played on grass courts in England. Slices are almost ungettably low. However, if the grass is at all damp and slick (as it almost always is in rainy old England), movement is really scary. You can't push off in a normal way without feeling like you are going to pull or rip some muscle.
     
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  3. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    Good to know. I heard that the courts at Wimbledon used to be really low bouncing, but then they changed the soil or something to make them bouncier (relatively). It definitely feels like they have more bounce when looking at Wimbledon matches on TV compared to what I was playing on in Palm Springs.
     
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  4. CaptainCool309

    CaptainCool309 Rookie

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    Man I wish I could regularly play on that kind of grass surface, maybe then my one-grip continental game combined with my aggressive nature to rush the net at every opportunity would be an advantage. :p
     
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  5. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I've played on grass only two or three times at Longwood. I had a manager that had a membership there and he invited me to play there a few times in the 1980s.

    As mentioned before, bouncing before the serve too many times wasn't recommended as you could wind up chasing the ball. Sometimes you'd bounce the ball and a bunch of flies would come out of the ground and you basically hit the ball and rushed to the net to avoid the bad bounces.

    I used a continental grip back then which was fine for handling the low bounces.
     
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  6. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Playing on good, well manicured grass courts is a lot of fun--I like it, a lot. Playing on bad grass courts is a challenge. I played on those same grass courts in your video for a tournament a few years back and they played well as they had been prepared for tournament play. In your video the grass looks pretty long (great for your lawn, not so good to play tennis on). I remember visiting some students of mine in Vancouver, Canada. They had arranged for us to play on a private grass court and when we arrived the owner was exhausted because he had spent the entire morning mowing, rolling, and lining the court getting it ready for us to play. But he did it well. Grass courts take a lot of maintenance, which is why they so rare these days. Again, grass court tennis on a well prepared court is really fun and a good test of your racquet skills. I've had some of my best, and worst, experiences on the various grass courts I've played on--but more good than bad by far. I would tell anyone to never pass up the chance to play on grass, for no other reason than to get you out of your comfort zone--but you never know how long they'll be around. And BTW, you can bounce the ball on a well prepared grass court.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
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  7. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    Love grass. Easy on the legs and feet...unless you slip and fall.
     
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  8. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Tennis is made for grass. I love it. Where I am, most courts are grass.

    I know people find it faster, but for some reason I feel I have more time available to me with my strokes. The ball seems to sit right in my hitting zone. The whole game is so much easier. Playing shots at waist height as opposed to the higher bounce on hardcourts, its heaven.

    Easier on the legs too. I could play all day...

    Plus in the heat of summer its so much cooler.

    And it compliments my net rushing style of play.

    Grass for the win.
     
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  9. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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  10. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    I echo all of these words, grass courts reward brave and aggressive play and most times one volley / overhead wins the point.
     
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  11. Tonyr1967

    Tonyr1967 Rookie

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    Grass takes practice!!

    I always played on hard and grass - each surface needs a change in mindset.

    Wimbledon grass is different now. In the 'olden' days it would have played similar to your video but with a few less odd bounces (the courts are really looked after).

    When you have experienced 'true' grass you can start to really appreciate the skill of the 'masters generation' of players. Try to imagine how Borg went from playing on Clay to winning Wimbledon in the space of a month.

    I'd love to see old school grass or a similar playing surface introduced back onto the tour - it would make for different styles of play and (for me anyway) more interesting match ups.
     
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  12. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I'm envious of you guys. I wish I can play on grass.
     
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  13. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    The last time I played on grass the ball kept low but really slowed on the bounce - perhaps because it was kept fairly long. Really screwed up my timing.

    I've never really been at home on the stuff. Partly because of my style of play. But also because everybody who keeps grass courts thinks their courts are brilliant, but they're usually terrible.

    Playing tennis on bad grass courts ceases to be sport.
     
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  14. Tonyr1967

    Tonyr1967 Rookie

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    Very true Moz. The standard of grass courts has really dropped - as have the number. I know of a really, really nice one - but it is off limits to the likes of you and me. Situated in Portsmouth but reserved for the Royal Navy!!! Am going to try my hardest to get on it this summer though :twisted:
     
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  15. bigred1910

    bigred1910 Rookie

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    i grew up playing on grass soo much better than hardcourt during the aus summer.
     
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  16. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    Good observations! Looks like the grass was too thick on the courts I played in palm springs. Wish it was maintained as per tournament standards. Even then I enjoyed playing on it. Like others mentioned, it suits your game if you can play flat strokes, can play/slice with a continental backhand and make decent volleys. All these things are so much easier if you can play with a prostaff 85 or similar racquet. No wonder Pete Sampras won so many wimbledon titles.
     
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  17. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    Totally agree with you, especially regarding your last point. We have not seen serve and volley or just volleys for that matter from any of the top players even at Wimbledon in recent years. It would be nice if they can reverse the surface at Wimbledon to old school grass to bring some parity to different playing styles.
     
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  18. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    Just curious where you are. I thought grass courts would be nearly extinct everywhere.
    Agree with all your points though. I have a feeling I could defeat some players above my rating on a grass court, because it suits my style.
     
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  19. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Im with you. I reckon I rate 0.5 higher on grass than on hard courts. Dont know about clay, cos theres not much here.

    I think its much easier to pick up the game on grass. The whole game just feels easier. Just my opinion. Ive been playing for a year and things just seem to be more natural on grass.

    Im in Perth, Western Australia.

    An average club will normally have a ratio of about 3 grass courts to every 2 hard/artificial Id say. Might be more 50:50 these days actually. My own club for example had 18 grass courts and took out 6 and replaced them with hardcourts and lights.

    I dont get why grass courts are never installed with lights...
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
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  20. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Erm, have they heard of a lawn-mower at that club? Also, looks like they've got the wrong type of grass. Looks more like a football pitch.
     
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  21. chippy17

    chippy17 Semi-Pro

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    yes these courts look way too green and lush, grass is too long etc,

    find some good grass courts and it is arguably the best surface, being based in the UK there is nothing like a game on grass on a warm summers eve
     
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  22. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    I am surprised that western australia has so many grass courts. Lucky you! I agree with you that grass tennis just feels very natural and it is the way tennis was originally intended to be.
     
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  23. prostaff_fan

    prostaff_fan Rookie

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    Guess I have to keep looking to fulfill my quest to play on a true grass court!
     
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  24. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I got to grow up playing on grass courts and I've been retooling my ground strokes ever since! My game has evolved from S&V to all-court now, but the continental grip and volleys remain my close personal friends. I had no idea how much I adored that surface until I started playing on other stuff.

    The courts I played on were (actually still are) in the northeastern U.S., not so far from Newport, RI. The grass courts at the Hall of Fame in Newport are actually used to host a small ATP tourney after Wimbledon in our summers. My suspicion concerning the lack of lights for most grass courts is that they tend to get damp and slick as the sun goes down. It may stay more dry until later in the evening for you Hugh, but I know that lights on the grass courts here would be useless.

    The courts I learned on while growing up were at a country club where the grounds crew spent most of their time maintaining an 18 hole golf course. In those days the grass courts were treated much like golf greens and the heavy riding mowers were thought of as providing enough "rolling" back then to give the courts proper firmness. Knee-high bounces were about the most we had to work with in those days.

    Some years ago when those folks got a bit of a clue, they reconstructed those club courts to get toward more of the firmness that they had in Newport. These courts had built up "thatch", which made them super-soft. Rolling them couldn't fix that. They became much more lively after that reconstruction, but they're still grass. Green, alive, unique, and oh-so-soft on the legs... as long as we keep the direction changes less than "heroic".
     
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  25. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Nice read Fuzz.

    Sounds like youre in a nice spot there.

    Can understand why they don't have lights. Playing on grass day and night isnt great for the longetivity of the courts which are already high maintenance too.

    We have State Grasscourt Championships at my tennis club just after Christmas. I will take some video and report back. Im guessing because its very dry here over summer there isnt much moisture under the surface here. The ball sits up beautifully in the hitting zone.
     
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  26. Mrlucky986

    Mrlucky986 New User

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    I play at a lawn tennis club in sumner and you have hit nail on the head courts are only good at certain temps die very fast and most clubs on limited funding wont light up a temporary facility i love grass can dive for shots and very easy to but winners away using lack of bounce to your advantage
     
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  27. raging

    raging Professional

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    HJ -they WERE! Somebody may have some photos but lots of older clubs in Perth.

    ...before my time and yours obviously.

    I heard that older clubs, Higgins , Midland, Alexander Park

    I only mentioned Alexander Park because they are some of the finest in WA.

    ps looking forward to the video!
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
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