Grass Court Tennis: 6 Strategies to Win on Grass
Playing on grass courts can be a real summer treat! Since grass courts are difficult to maintain, it is always a special occasion when you get the chance to play on them. So, you’ll want to make the most of the opportunity to play on grass courts when you get it!
With this in mind, let’s dive deeper into how you can start winning more tennis matches on grass courts!
Why is it Important to Learn How to Play On Grass Courts
Grass is a very unique surface to play tennis on. It is the only surface that is actually living and breathing beneath our feet! Therefore, most tennis clubs do not use grass courts, as they are costly to maintain and are often not used to their full potential.
However, grass courts are often used for county or regional level competitions in the summer months, so it is actually quite important to learn how to play on grass if you want to take your tennis a bit more seriously.
Grass has always rewarded variety and aggressive tennis since it has historically been the quickest surface out there. Movement on grass is also particularly difficult, as the surface can change a lot depending on how much wear it has had.
With this in mind, learning how to move around a grass court, adjust your swings and tactics to the surface, and going into it with the right mindset will all help you get the best out of this amazing tennis court surface.
So, let’s dive into it!
6 Strategies to Win Tennis Matches on Grass
Here are 6 key strategies that you can take to the court today to improve your game on grass.
This unique surface requires a very particular set of skills that are not that easy to develop. But, with the right guidance and purposeful practice, we’re sure you’ll be floating around the grass courts in no time.
Strategy 1: Use Your Slice!
The first key strategy to use when playing on grass courts is to use your slice as a weapon, rather than just for defending and keeping you in the point.
The reason for this is that the ball tends to bounce pretty low on grass courts compared to clay or hard courts. Therefore, hitting a slice as an aggressive shot rather than a defensive one is a great tactic to keep your opponent guessing.
When hitting a more aggressive backhand slice, the key is to hit through the ball with plenty of racket head speed, so you maintain the speed of the shot. The last thing you want to do is hit too much spin on this slice shot, as the ball will massively slow down and be sitting there for your opponent to hit aggressively.
Also, try to hit your slice slightly shorter than your normal baseline groundstrokes. Aiming to land your slice shots in the middle court zone, just beyond the service line, is actually a really effective tactic on grass.
Since the ball stays so low on grass, hitting your slice just beyond the service line will mean the second bounce will be just inside the baseline. This forces your opponent to move inside the court, and hit up on the ball, meaning they will likely be hitting a defensive shot with less power.
You can then step inside the court and take the ball on more aggressively, dominate the point, and get into the net.
Strategy 2: Play with Variety
The next step towards mastering the art of grass court tennis is to understand that variety is your friend.
Mixing things up and keeping your opponent on their toes is a great way to make the most of the fast, relatively unpredictable surface. Compared to hard courts, for example, grass courts tend to have slightly more bad bounces and of course, the slice is more effective too. Therefore, adding the odd drop shot, carved slice serve, or short angled shot into your game will help you get the best out of your grass court game.
Since many recreational players don’t play on grass courts all that often.
Confusing your opponents further by bringing a mixed bag of shots to the party will also help you win more matches!
Roger Federer does this incredibly well, always changing up the spin, speed, and direction of his shots so that his opponents don’t get into any form of rhythm. This is one of the keys to his success on grass, as he was able to keep the points short by always giving his opponents different looks.
Strategy 3: Prepare Your Racket and Body Early
Another strategy that will help you take your grass court game to the next level is to ensure you prepare your racket and body earlier than on any other surface.
This is especially important on grass courts as the ball tends to come through much quicker and lower than on clay for example, so you’ll have less time to react.
Therefore, it is also really important to bend your knees and get low, prior to making contact with the ball, so you are in a stronger body position to drive up and forward through your shots, despite the low bounces!
Early preparation always starts with reading the play, rather than just getting your racket back early and hoping for the best.
This means recognizing what shot your opponent is likely to hit, moving into position, and getting your racket back early so you have the best chance possible to execute your shots in good time.
If your opponent is off balance and has opened their racket face, it is likely they are about to hit a slower, higher slice. Recognizing this and looking to use your strength (usually the forehand) to take control of the point, or even more in and hit a volley, will get you into a more advantageous position in the rally.
Be sure to shorten up your backswings a little bit if your opponent is hitting with good pace and depth too, as this will make it easier to time your shots and take the ball early, without sacrificing your consistency! This is more true on grass than on any other surface, as the ball stays so low and comes through the court so fast.
Strategy 4: Serve and Volley
Another key tactic that works well on grass is, of course, the serve and volley. The reason this strategy works so well is that the ball is coming through a lot quicker and lower on grass. Players have less time to react and therefore hitting a volley after a big serve gives your opponent very little time to recover.
Also, if you use the slice serve to good effect on grass, the ball will bounce so low that your opponent will be forced to reach down and hit the ball up in the air with less power, giving you an easier volley to hit.
Carving out the slice serve and then closing down the net to pick off the volley is a very effective strategy on grass courts overall.
Many serve and volley players over the years have used the low bounce of the grass courts at Wimbledon to their advantage, shortening the points and dominating the net with great athleticism.
Strategy 5: Take the Ball Early, But Don’t Try to Hit Hard
The next strategy you can use to improve your performance on grass courts is to take the ball early. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hit half-volleys all the time, but it does mean making an effort to hit the ball at the top of the bounce more often.
Hitting the ball at the top of the bounce basically means not allowing it to drop before it has bounced and reached its peak. The benefit of doing this is that your rhythm and timing will be improved, and you will be able to take time away from your opponents without compromising your own consistency.
If you try to over-press and hit the ball too hard whilst taking it earlier, you will likely hit more unforced errors, which will lead to worse performance in matches overall.
What’s more, there is less of a need to hit the ball hard when you play on grass courts, as the ball will naturally travel through the court quickly anyway!
With this in mind, be sure to use your footwork to get into position nice and early, so you are able to take the ball at the top of the bounce and hit through it smoothly, on balance and take time away from your opponents.
Strategy 6: Look at The Tennis Bros Singles Tactics Online Course
Another strategy that will definitely advance your ability to outsmart your opponents on the tennis court is to check out our Singles Tactics online course! You’ll learn how to implement patterns of play effectively which makes it easier to have a clear game plan under pressure. And the best part is, you don’t even need to step onto the tennis court to learn more.
It may seem that serving and volleying and hitting aggressive shots all the time is the way to do well on grass, but using well-thought-out tactics is a much smarter approach!
We have worked with Ex ATP Professional turned master tennis coach Dave Ireland, to bring a new dimension to your game. Dave has countless hours of experience in both playing and coaching high-level tennis, so is the perfect training partner to take your grass-court game to the next level.
We will take you through the mental and tactical side of tennis, which goes beyond technique and will help you use the right shot at the right time.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out our singles tactics course today!
Outsmart your opponents & stop giving up easy points
Once You’ve Learned How to Play on Grass Courts, It’s Time to Work On Your Volleys!
The strategies listed above will be a great place to start when you’re learning how to play effective tennis on grass courts. However, adding a bit more finesse to your net game will help you become even more clinical and efficient on the surface since you will be able to convert good court positions into winning points.
With this in mind, you should check out our Art of Volleying online course, as we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you win more points at the net. We’ll show you how to nail the volley technique, understand positioning in the service box, and when are the right times to approach the net and be successful.
So, check out the Art of Volleying course today.
Transform Yourself into a Ninja at the Net!
Simple Guide to Winning on Grass Courts
Playing better tennis on grass courts requires quick decision-making, intense footwork, and a willingness to play aggressive tennis consistently. Variety and good physicality are also a big part of succeeding on this unique surface since the ball bounces so low!
We hope the strategies listed above will give you a great head start to winning more tennis matches on grass. If you are serious about taking your grass court game to the next level, check out our singles tactics guide today!
Want more free resources to help you improve your game?
We’ve got you covered:
- Types of Tennis Court Surfaces
- The Serve Plus One Tactic
- How to Hit the Half Volley in Tennis (Simple Guide)
- The Tennis Volley – How To Dominate The Net
- Best Grass Court Tennis Shoes
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