the Pro Tour moves from the American hard courts onto European clay Belgie Voetbal Shirt
, the players will need to make small adjustments to their game because of the different surface.
For some, these changes will be fairly natural, for others the change will be fairly un natural, but changes will have to be made.
The same applies to you!!
Here are a few simple changes you may need to think about and follow when you make the transition to clay courts.
FROM THE BASELINE
This first change concerns your ground strokes and is this hit them higher over the net with a bit more topspin.
It sounds like a no brainer but you would be surprised how many people dont do it and for many people adding more topspin at will is something they need to work on.
If you can do this however Thibaut Courtois Belgie Shirt
, you will find that this will not only help with your consistency, but will also help to push the balls deeper into your opponents court as well as getting the balls up at heights that they may find difficult to handle.
The second change is to hit behind your opponent more often.
Hitting behind your opponent means hitting the ball back to the same part of the court that your opponent has just hit from.
It means not always going into the open court (unless you can obviously hit a winner of course) and has 3 big advantages.
1. With your opponent probably recovering towards the centre of the court the behind ball means they have to quickly change direction to go back again.
Doing this on clay is very difficult because of the slippery nature of the surface and so will end up with them struggling to maintain balance and footing and therefore struggling to control the ball.
2. You will also find that you make less errors as this often means a cross court shot (more space to aim into and lower part of the net) and you are not over hitting in an attempt to put the ball away into the open space.
3. You will pick up a lot of free points if you can do this well as your opponent is sometimes forced into trying to end the point quicker than they would normally want to or they will be forced into a very defensive shot just to stay in the point while they slide around.
Just like Rafa, focus on getting a high percentage of first serves into play.
Because the clay surface negates the power of even the fastest of serves, your second serve may well be vulnerable to attack.
So Laurent Ciman Belgie Shirt
, getting more first serves into play will mean your opponent gets less looks at your second serves and therefore less chances to attack it.
If you don t do so already, you need to develop a good spin serve that you can be aggressive on as your first serve.
A slice is good but a good kick serve will be better as it will bounce up higher and be harder for opponents to attack.
AT THE NET
Remember I said earlier about the use of the hitting behind your opponent when playing from the baseline??
Well, I also said when you get the chance you should attack and that can mean getting to the net to finish off the point.
Just be aware that volleying on clay is different to volleying on a hard court or grass court.
Because the ball doesn t go through like it does on other surfaces, you need to make a couple of small adjustments.
1. Use more angles and shortdrop volleys
The lack of depth on your volleys will work in your favor as getting up speed and possibly changing direction will be hard for your opponent as they attempt to get to your shots.
2. Bodyweight into ball
If you do decide to play a penetrating volley Michy Batshuayi Belgie Shirt
, then getting your bodyweight behind the ball and moving it forwards into the ball will help it gain momentum off the court surface and away from your opponent.
I have found that the number one thing about playing well on a clay court has nothing directly to do with shots.
It is in fact about your movement, more specifically SLIDING.
Sliding into the ball on a clay court is vital and is the one thing that the players who dont grow up on the surface find the hardest to add into their game.
In fact most people think that you have to learn to hit the ball and then slide.
You have to learn how to slide into your shots and then begin your recovery for the next ball and that requires timing.
So how do you learn to do this?
Well, one of the best ways I have seen is to just get out there and slide around.
Getting a partner to throw a tennis ball onto the court in different directions while you run to and slide around to get the balls before getting the ball back to them is one of the best ways to work out how to move and recover on a clay court.
Just progresstransfer this game to when you have a racket and are hitting balls and you are well on the way to feeling comfortable and moving better on the dust.
So there you have it, a few simple things you can do to make your game more effective on clay.
Try to implement them slowly and you will be more successful over the season.
Heres to the best clay court tennis youve ever played!!!
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