Maybe tennis just isn't a winter game...

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by crosscourt, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    At the moment it goes dark in London at about 4:30pm, and for the last two weeks or so the mercury has stuck at about 5 degrees centigrade. My regular partner has been in the West Indies for a couple of weeks, and between that, the weather, the darkness and my two small children there hasn't been much time to play. So when I set off for my club this morning I hadn't played for about four weeks.

    When I got to the club the courts (Rebound Ace) were sitting under a reasonable layer of water. It had rained quite hard in the night. Though there was quite a strong wind -- the streets we had driven down had been dry -- my club is tucked away behind a series of mansion blocks and the wind doesn't get down to court level to dry them out. We rolled the courts for about 20 minutes and got most of the standing water up. By this time it had warmed up to about 7C, but the breeze made it feel colder. The courts were slick and slippery.

    We hit in the service lines for about 20 minutes trying to get some feel. But the slipperiness of the court made us careful in our movements. Because we hadn't played much our timing was off. Slowly we moved further back. We changed balls pretty often and for 5 minutes or so each time they still had some lightness and bounce in them. But then each time we changed them they gradually got wetter and heavier. We put some under the hood of the car to try to dry them out.

    After an hour and a half we only had sodden balls left. Even the South Africans on the next court -- 3 oldish guys who play with a coach for big money -- seemd subdued. You can usually hear their bets -- 100 pounds on the next game, a thousand pounds on the next set. Today they were just cursing the weather. My partner fell over twice trying to get to balls that were bouncing no more than a foot off the ground. Each time he slipped on one of the lines. The wind got up. We gave up. I hope it's better next week.
     
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  2. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Winter's not gonna stop me from playing tennis. I actually like playing indoors in the sense that I can time the ball better and there's less environmental distraction. Of course I do not get to play as much as I do but I'd take any chance. I'm in Old Trafford in Manchester now and I can understand what you are saying. i don't think I could ever live in this weather. Going back to Connecticut tomorrow where there will be possibly snow in the ground but after I unpack, I would try to hit the courts.
     
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  3. theazneyes

    theazneyes Rookie

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    Yes, I wish there was indoor courts around here.
     
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  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    It was a bone chilling 55 degrees this morning when I played :) A tad windy too... I had to break out the warm-up suit.


    Move south I tell ya!
     
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  5. Louise_a

    Louise_a New User

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    Its just been so unbelievably cold in the UK the last couple of weeks... Fortunately my club has some indoor courts, there may be some indoor courts closer to you, but Letchworth, in herts, has some really nice, very new indoor courts. Only 30mins on train from london.
     
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  6. ProStaffTour90

    ProStaffTour90 Rookie

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    Well i haven't played in eight weeks because there's no courts near me at Uni, i'll get to play over Christmas holidays though indoors.

    I love playing indoors, it suits my game (it's like a quickish acrylic) but i think it spoils you abit because of the perfect conditions, because when you move outdoors when the weathers ok, the slighest bit of wind plays havoc.
     
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  7. legolas

    legolas Banned

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    during winter, its better to stick indoors on tennis
     
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  8. POGO

    POGO Hall of Fame

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    You are in socal, and it never snows or temp never falls below 0, and public tennis courts all over the place there, so you still ask for an indoor tennis court?:confused:
     
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  9. Nuke

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    Quit your whining. I grew up in New York City, and played tennis all year round, outdoors. Brought a snow shovel to the courts some days. Learned placement by trying to steer the ball away from the snow drifts on the sidelines.
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    hey it rains in socal :D
     
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  11. doriancito

    doriancito Hall of Fame

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    tennis can be played anywhere, any time, with any stick...if you are a good player!
     
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  12. mucat

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    You guys don't know you are so lucky, tennis ball in general does not like to bounce on snow.
     
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  13. mucat

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    hmmmm.....:roll:

    Never been to Canada, hey?
     
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  14. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    I actually played in the rain in NoCal. That's because indoor courts are as good as non-existant there.
    Kind of funny to see the water pinwheel off the ball as it's spinning.
     
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  15. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    My tune might change a bit when the snow comes, but like others I am happy to scrape the snow off the court to play. Even when the courts are very cold the ball still bounces on them, even if it's a lower bounce.

    Courts that are wet -- that is have been inundated with water -- mean that the balls don't bounce and that you can't move on them. At least not properly. Tennis is above all a game of movement. The better player you are, the more this is the case. So when you can't move properly the game starts to break down pretty quickly.

    I know that people won't believe me, but it can be very unpleasant here when the temperature is a few degrees above freezing and it's wet. When I was at college quite a few of the other students on one of my electives were visiting from the US. They came from New York, Mass and Pennsylvania mostly, and went to college in places like New Hampshire and Vermont. In the early autumn they kidded me about being ready for winter -- was I ready for it? how cold does it get? what it may snow? that's harsh. They told me that where they went to college it was minus 35F for months on end and the snow never melted from November to April and so on and so on. Well, I remeber meeting them one day on our way to a lecture at the Sedgwick when the wind was coming over the fens from the North Sea, and before that Russia, and it hadn't been dry for about three weeks. The temperature was about freezing. They all said the same thing -- they had never felt so cold and miserable. You might not die if you get stuck out in it, but it's very unpleasant.
     
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  16. gurj_v

    gurj_v Rookie

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    UK weather sucks for tennis! I live in lincolnshire where it's way colder than London so I dont know what all the whining is about. Plus, I live near the sea so there is a cold wind! But I have to say that I cannot play in gusty winds or snow becuase the balls go everywhere and the bounces are soooo unpredictable.
     
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  17. SMASHER

    SMASHER Rookie

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    I live in South Florida and the weather not that much of a problem. I played this past weekend and the temp. was around 75, that was 11:00am
     
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  18. vkartikv

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    My university (texas tech)spends all its money on football (red raiders) and our tennis facilities are terrible. We really need an indoor court because it is windy all year round, not to mention the chill during winter..
     
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  19. doriancito

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    yes i have been to canada. toronto, waterloo, and kitchener..
     
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  20. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    crosscourt, you are hardcore :cool: if you shovel snow to play tennis.

    doriancito, I was just reacting to your "tennis can be played anywhere, any time, with any stick...if you are a good player!" comment. :)

    Here, during winter, snow can get to knee deep and more and temperature can drop to -30C (-22F) and more. Staying outdoor more than 15 minute is not recomended.
     
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  21. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

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    Excuse me Scotland is colder than England. As a matter of fact im in London at the weekend and will tell you's all
     
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  22. meltphace 6

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    Got rid of the snow on one of the courts this afternoon (w/some help of another guy; see pic). Texted five players if they're eager to play ("campo numero uno ready fer play!") and each of them had some lazy excuse to not being able to play tonight. WTF. Still a good workout and a better love story than twilight, no? But where's the unconditional love for tennis?

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. meltphace 6

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    "All weather courts" do exist => tennis cannot not be a winter game.
     
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  24. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    Actual photos from Toronto, Canada.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. meltphace 6

    meltphace 6 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, Don, that's the spirit! Tons of ideas for minitennis bullsh in pic #1 - balance! Guess I need to move to Canada (heard good things about this country in the "Canadian humour" thread).
     
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  26. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous G.O.A.T.

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    At least you have clay courts. :(

    Although I must say, the thought of playing in ridiculously cold weather doesn't appeal to me much at all. Your hands get numb from the cold after a short period and it makes grip changes really annoying.
     
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  27. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    I'd not turn you down had you called me for tennis in winter no matter how the weather is. :D:p
     
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  28. meltphace 6

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    Judging from the first pic you poasted I guess you don't turn down anybody. Serve practice outdoors in winter is definitely hardcore crazy.
     
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  29. meltphace 6

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    It's not really clay. All weather court that tries to emulate clay. Absolute bullcrap in summer because of unpredictable and ridiculous ball bounce. But there has to be a tradeoff I guess.
     
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  30. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.

    They say Canadians are tough when it comes to weather but as soon as it becomes October, you start having problems finding people to play with. I was not even raised in Canada but will go out in any weather.
     
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  31. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous G.O.A.T.

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    Sometimes that can be fun, the challenge of trying to play absurdly horrible bounces. I remember I went to New Orleans about 4 and a half years ago and played on clay, and some of the bounces were interesting. It's kind of like that at my usual practice courts too, where I drill against a wall or work on my serve. The lines and the courts in general are just so cracked and uneven that it's not uncommon for the balls to take a bounce off of one of the cracks or problem spots and it's just hell trying to play it after that. Sometimes it's not even possible, and it ruins a great rally, lol.
     
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  32. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous G.O.A.T.

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    I don't mind brutally hot conditions like 90+ Fahrenheit and humidity percentage, but when the weather drops below like 50 maybe 45 Fahrenheit, I don't like to go out and play in that.
     
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  33. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    I can play without a net but unpredictable bounce really drives me crazy.
     
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  34. Devil_dog

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    This past December and now in January, the coldest I've played is around 41-Fahrenheit. No indoor courts (amazingly sucks) around here. Makes me want to move to Houston (sigh) just so I can play on a regular basis regardless of weather.
     
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  35. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    I played outside when it was -5 C (23 F) two years ago without gloves and it was very pleasant.
    It all depends where the wind is coming from and whether there is some sunshine.
    I played at 5 C (41 F) many times last year in winter. I never play with gloves.
     
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  36. meltphace 6

    meltphace 6 Hall of Fame

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    I can hear you loud and clearly and agree with "sometimes it can be fun". The problem is that over a couple of months you start to lose your timing because the tennis feels like skiing in thick fog. Anticipation? To a certain degree but every stroke involves a big deal of reaction (one handed backhand, anyone?). Sometimes balls don't even bounce at all! Yes, they hit the ground and roll. Batsh!it crazy. It's basically mental training - just accept the weird conditions. Our courts are good in winter or in wet conditions. But yeah, we're only in it for the fun. At least I have something to ***** about! :D
     
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  37. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah I remember me and a buddy hit in like 27 degree weather one year, and it was funny because I got there a few minutes before he did, and I ran to turn on the lights at the court/park. I started serving some balls and a cop shows up and just starts watching me warm up. He must have thought I was crazy to be out playing in that weather, lol.
     
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  38. meltphace 6

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    Wrong clothing == anything but shorts and a t-shirt. But I can understand people that can't play tennis with decent intensity - it gets cold when you have to pick up balls all the time.
     
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  39. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    People are afraid of getting injured like they are professionals when it's raining a bit and the court becomes slippery. You don't run after the balls and problem is solved. You still can rally and have fun. Experiencing different things in life makes you feel alive and more connected to nature. I was brought up to run away from rain or any kind of 'bad weather'. I learned myself that different weather conditions are rather to enjoy. Well, unless it's -20 C for more than 3 days in a row lol.
     
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  40. meltphace 6

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    Absolutely! Where did you grow up if I may ask?
     
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  41. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    I was at our club last week and the heat was out. People were playing in jackets and long pants. It was probably about -4 C there. -15 C this morning - I'm going to call them today to see if the heat has been fixed.
     
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  42. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    One of the outdoor courts that we use is next to a parking lot with trees on one side and the police take their lunch break there in the summer. Or maybe they're watching for drug dealers (it's a problem at this park).
     
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  43. donquijote

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    Türkiye.
     
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  44. meltphace 6

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    Ha! Had two great friends from Türkiye back in Austria (Önay and Ünal yeah!). I've only been to your country once - Istanbul. Will never forget when I refused a shoeshine boy's service and we ended up drinking Raki together (he insisted to pay the bill). :)
     
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  45. donquijote

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    Lol, you must be a likeable person. Times are changing but hospitality is still one of the merits in the culture.
     
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  46. meltphace 6

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    Music is cool, too. All the best to Türkiye!

    [​IMG]
     
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  47. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    Just go done, it was 68 when we started. Like 75-80 on court. One of nicest days in a long time because no wind
     
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  48. meltphace 6

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  49. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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    Yes, started there. Quickly developed a love for the game. It was like an addiction. Couldn't spend a few days without playing.
     
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  50. donquijote

    donquijote Legend

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