How Racquet specs are influenced by surface

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
On tuesday night i played with a beastly wawrinka style racquet on hardcourt: 375g, 360g sw, 6pt headlight
and it was great. absolutely smashed the ball.

Yesterday i played on grass with it, it was so sluggish (comparative to the fast skiddy grass conditions) i felt i never had an oppourtunity to capitalise on its power, and was late on many balls. felt terrible.


I note Federer is great on grass, and his 390g racquet with 330g sw and 11 points headlight is much different to Stans. more maneuverable
 

Kevo

Legend
It takes a little time to adjust to court speed. Even on fast hard court vs slow hard court. I once played a doubles tournament indoors at a country club and their indoor courts were super fast. My doubles partner and I had been playing slower outdoor courts all season and we were so bad in warm ups that some people who were watching on the overhead balcony area were snickering. About 2 games in to the first set we started to figure things out. We ended up winning easily in 2 sets. All we had to do was figure out how to make the court do the work for us. We slowed down a bit and hit everything about 3/4 pace and were hitting winners all over the place. Serving was ridiculously easy on that court too. I never played on grass, but I feel like that court might have been as close as I've ever gotten.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
It takes a little time to adjust to court speed. Even on fast hard court vs slow hard court. I once played a doubles tournament indoors at a country club and their indoor courts were super fast. My doubles partner and I had been playing slower outdoor courts all season and we were so bad in warm ups that some people who were watching on the overhead balcony area were snickering. About 2 games in to the first set we started to figure things out. We ended up winning easily in 2 sets. All we had to do was figure out how to make the court do the work for us. We slowed down a bit and hit everything about 3/4 pace and were hitting winners all over the place. Serving was ridiculously easy on that court too. I never played on grass, but I feel like that court might have been as close as I've ever gotten.
This makes me wonder - we know that pros change their string tensions to suit the court conditions - do they change how they customise their racquets too maybe?
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
This makes me wonder - we know that pros change their string tensions to suit the court conditions - do they change how they customise their racquets too maybe?
Not likely.
What really makes difference for pros is practicing hours and hours on exactly same surface before and during any tournament, as well as preparing for hard/clay/grass season deliberately. None just plays a clay match and drives to other part of the city to play another one on grass :laughing:
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Not likely.
What really makes difference for pros is practicing hours and hours on exactly same surface before and during any tournament, as well as preparing for hard/clay/grass season deliberately. None just plays a clay match and drives to other part of the city to play another one on grass :laughing:
Yeah they get like 10 hours at least before they ever even play their first match lol.
 

Kevo

Legend
Also, some tournaments use different kinds of balls too. That can also make a difference. I once played an away match in USTA leagues and the other team provided some kind of tennis ball we'd never used before. I think they were slightly lighter than the typical wilson us open or standard penn ball. I think I only lost 3-4 points on serve that match and hit about 8 aces. I think that was the highest ratio of serves to aces I ever had. They kept asking me how I learned to serve so well. I kept saying lots of practice. Then when the match was over I told them it was the balls and I had never served quite that good before.

In the summer one year when it was about 120-130F degrees on court I was playing in a league match and kept hitting things just long. I finally decided that the heat was making the balls more bouncy and changed my game plan. I moonballed my opponent into oblivion. He had trouble hitting well right of the bounce and if I hit the lobs just right with good spin they would bounce over the back fence. I think I managed about 3 or 4 unplayable winners that bounced over the fence because he didn't want to try and hit them early. It was crazy hot and you could really tell a difference in how things played.

Adjusting to all sorts of conditions is a really important skill if you want to go far in tennis. Sometimes you have to give up on your game and play the game you're given.
 
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