High School players and other outdoor players: How did you overcome the sun?

HunterST

Hall of Fame
I've been playing about a year and a half and have played almost exclusively indoors. The matches I have played outdoors have been at night. Recently I played a match outdoors in the afternoon and my serve vanished.

I held easily on the non sun side every time. On the side with sun I doubled faulted probably 3 times a game and would get in a painfully slow slice every now and then. I saw some really good high school players that I know playing that same day and the sun didn't seem to bother them at all. Their serves and tosses were identical from both sides of the court.

For those of you that are like these players, how did you overcome the sun? Do you serve blind?

I'm considering working hard at getting my toss low enough that I don't have to wait on it at all ala Bryan Brothers. That's the only way I can see serving blind working.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
i play with sunglasses. when we have home meets, unless it is cloudy, the sun is right in my eyes.
Yeah, I considered sunglasses, but they didn't seem like they would help. They would for just general brightness, but I don't think they would provide much help looking right at the sun. That's what I feel like I'd have to do with my toss.
 

Larrysümmers

Hall of Fame
Wow, what kind and brand are they?
that the thing, i have no clue.:oops: my step dad is a roofer, and the owner orders a bunch of them, and gives them to his employees as needed. he gave me a few pair after i was complaining about my serves on the sunny side, i kept getting the ball lost in the sun, he gave me a pair, and they work great.

i know my friend plays with a pair he got for like $15 at a little stand/store thing at the mall.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I wear a visor and sunglasses.

But the main thing is you have to practice serving into the sun. There *is* a place you can toss the ball and an angle to the baseline where you can not be blinded. If you can hit a few different tosses, adjust your position along the baseline and adjust your angle to the baseline, you shouldn't have a problem.

The other thing I have seen done is you turn your hat brim toward the sun. Doesn't work at all for me, but I know people who swear by it.
 

Bashi

Rookie
i know this doesnt sound very helpful but just practice. i used to have the same problem but now i dont have any problem at all serving in the sun. i occasionally wear sunglasses but even without them i'm fine. just don't focus on the sun - i try to look a little bit to the left of it
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
My instructor told me to put my left hand on the sun right aft the toss. Works pretty well most of the time and helps to keep my arm up.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the link. I actually looked at that thread, but I was hoping to get some advice from people who seem to do nothing to alter their toss or serve and are still not bothered (like the people I described). I didn't do a very good job of asking for that.

I know about altering my toss and stance, but that seems like it could have some negative effects either in short term or long term. Constantly changing those things could cause them to be inconsistent, or it could just throw my serve off at that time.

Some people seem to change nothing and experience no problems. What are they doing? Do they just know their ball toss and the feel of the serve so well they don't have to see it?
 

Cross-court

Rookie
The sun is the one reason I haven't played more than once in a day so far. I usually play like from 4:30pm onwards.

I don't mind the "heat" or getting burned, because I don't get burned. I don't have fair skin (but I'm not black either) and that's what sunblock is for anyways.

But when it comes to serving I despise it. The sun is just right there where the frickin ball is. Forget it.

The first time I played with the sun right in my face like that, which was like a month ago, I almost got double bageled. I lost 1-1 because of that. The other guy wasn't affected by the sun, he was used to ir or I don't know what kind of technique he employs.


What I really want to know is if the pros serve in the sun like that, if it hits them right in the eyes. Do they?

I heard tennis courts have to be/are aligned in a certain position so the sun "doesn't affect when you serve" or something like that. What a crock of ****.
 
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SoBad

G.O.A.T.
I am sorry, but sun is just part of the game. You will have to learn to serve with an altered toss. There is no good way around that, sorry.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
The sun is the one reason I haven't played more than once in a day so far. I usually play like from 4:30pm onwards.

I don't mind the "heat" or getting burned, because I don't get burned. I don't have fair skin (but I'm not black either) and that's what sunblock is for anyways.

But when it comes to serving I despise it. The sun is just right there where the frickin ball is. Forget it.

The first time I played with the sun right in my face like that, which was like a month ago, I almost got double bageled. I lost 1-1 because of that. The other guy wasn't affected by the sun, he was used to ir or I don't know what kind of technique he employs.


What I really want to know is if the pros serve in the sun like that, if it hits them right in the eyes. Do they?

I heard tennis courts have to be/are aligned in a certain position so the sun "doesn't affect when you serve" or something like that. What a crock of ****.
Haha I'm glad someone else hates serving into the sun as much as I do!

I think the court set up thing is that they go North to South so that the sun (going east to west) isn't right in front of you and thus messing up your view of your opponent's side.

I think I saw a post you made calling for them to change the rule to where the server can choose their side. I'm behind it haha. It might be a different story if my opponent had struggled with serving into the sun and I had not, though.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
Thanks guys. There has been a lot of good advice and strategies for getting around serving into the sun.

However, I still want to know: What's up with the freaks that do nothing and still aren't bothered!!!???

I'd kind of like to find a way to bulldoze through the sun problem rather than sneaking around it and ending up with a less effective serve on the sun side.
 

Vyse

Semi-Pro
Sunglasses and hat. Get some Bolle sunglasses, they are amazing. If it is toasty out, you almost always wear a hat, at least for me, as I am of fair skin and blue eyes.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
Sunglasses and hat. Get some Bolle sunglasses, they are amazing. If it is toasty out, you almost always wear a hat, at least for me, as I am of fair skin and blue eyes.
yeah, the hat did nothing for me. I could see if the sun was more overhead how it might help. However, when I played the sun was positioned so when I threw the ball up at one o clock it was directly behind the ball and directly in my eye. The hat's bill just angled up and as worthless. :(
 

Cross-court

Rookie
Haha I'm glad someone else hates serving into the sun as much as I do!
Yeah, I don't want to go blind either haha.

I think the court set up thing is that they go North to South so that the sun (going east to west) isn't right in front of you and thus messing up your view of your opponent's side.
Doesn't work when you serve though. It also depends on the time. If you play in the morning all the way to 11 maybe, it doesn't bother you. But if you play from 2pm to maybe 4 then it's really in your face because it's going down. I don't think it would bother if it were directly over your head, like at 12pm. Maybe if you threw the ball very behind in a 2nd serve, I think it wouldn't bother for 1st serves. Last time I checked that it was something like that, but I don't know how it really is.

I think I saw a post you made calling for them to change the rule to where the server can choose their side. I'm behind it haha. It might be a different story if my opponent had struggled with serving into the sun and I had not, though.
Yeah, but I was only talking about the one I was playing with hehe. I didn't say on the ATP tour. I said that, if the sun is right there when you serve, that maybe you could ask your opponent if you could only serve in the side that it doesn't bother you but receive in the one that does. Usually it doesn't affect you when you receive, unless it's a lob but that's very different than a serve. You can wait for it and hit it fh or bh. He can serve there if it doesn't bother him if he likes, but not me.:cool:
 

Cross-court

Rookie
Sunglasses and hat. Get some Bolle sunglasses, they are amazing. If it is toasty out, you almost always wear a hat, at least for me, as I am of fair skin and blue eyes.
I can't play at all with a hat. The visor really messes me up. I can hit groundstrokes fairly ok, but forget about serving, that I can't do with a cap.

Which amazes me how can Roddick serve so good with a cap. I know there are hundereds of players who can obviously serve and play with a cap, but I think he puts his visor even a little bit lower than anyone else.
 

MayDay

Semi-Pro
Perhaps:

Try practice serving and squinting your eyes.
Consistent toss, consistent position of the ball and consistent timing of the ball strike. Lots of faith that your serve is repeatable - even if you close your eyes.

Some people consistently close/blink their eyes after arm initiate the serve swing and strikes the ball successfully without regard for the sun, so they don't have to change much, and the sun may affect them less. After they blink, they generally look toward where they expect the ball to land / across the net.

Get the ball in play, no matter what kind of serve.
 

tennytive

Professional
We had the sun right in our eyes yesterday, high noon.

The sun appeared to be at 1 o'clock, so I tossed the ball at 2 o'clock and that way the sun was only in my peripheral vision. That and my muscle memory to repeat the same motion allowed me to double fault only once the whole session. I wear a baseball cap and sunglasses.

My opponents had a much harder time and chose to serve on the non sun side.

The WIND however was the major problem for me. Wreaked havoc with my game. Total inconsistency frustrating the h out me. I would much rather deal with the sun than wind any day.
 

Geezer Guy

Hall of Fame
It takes a lot of practice. You've got to go out on sunny afternoons and practice serving into the sun.

I have a fairly high ball toss, but the technique that works for me is to look into the sky first and focus on a spot to the right or left of the sun. Then, toss the ball into that spot and hit it.
 

Blake0

Hall of Fame
i dont really know, i just go out and serve. When suns a factor, i just focus on the ball more. Rarely is the sun right on top of the ball in my toss, and if it is, i try to block it with my hand and alter my toss a bit.
 

Vyse

Semi-Pro
I always sport my rafa hat and when it is sunny, my bluish bolle sunglasses. I am sure I look so cool. :)
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
I heard tennis courts have to be/are aligned in a certain position so the sun "doesn't affect when you serve" or something like that. What a crock of ****.


If you play in more than a few courts you will notice most proper tennis courts are North-South more than East-west (using the length of the court, not width). That way the sun will swing from side to side and minimize being "in your face" as much as possible.

Stadiums are the best because when the morning sun / setting sun will be blocked by the high walls where the seats are. Most tennis matches don't start at high noon either.
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
I switch serves depending on the angle of the sun. I will hit slice if sun is overhead since the toss is more out in front. I will hit the kick serve is the sun is setting since then the toss is more directly over my head. I will back off on hitting so hard when conditions are difficult like wind or sun. Better to let the opponent have a chance to mess up, than give them free points.
 

Amone

Hall of Fame
I found, recently, that it works for me to just take a few (10-12) practice serves in the sun.

For the first few, getting the sun in my eyes makes me blind as can be, but eventually you just sort of get used to it.
 
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