Tennis Shifts To Grass




Wimbledon 2011

Wimbledon 2011

The past couple of months saw some exciting tennis on clay, Nadal being beaten on his own turf, on consecutive finals by Djokovic. Then there was the amazing semifinal clash between Djokovic and Fedrer, at Roland Garros where Fedrer emerged victorious, ending the 43 match winning streak of Djokovic. Fedrer seemed to be in a great run this year, maybe his best run yet, but Nadal managed to live up to the title “king of clay” to defend his French Open title. In the finals Nadal beat Fedrer to equal a world record of 6 French open wins by the great, Bjorn Borg.

Tennis now moves on to the grass court. The way players play and their strategies change, with the change of surface. As obviously as it sounds, the grass court behave very differently as compared to clay courts.  The clay court is very loose and the ball tends to skid off the surface and travels faster. The players also move more swiftly over the loose clay. In the grass courts, the grass makes the ball come slowly, this is suitable to play cut-shorts and score points of well executed drop shorts. The grass layers don’t help players to move easily over the court. There is always a uncertainty with the amount of grass on the court as well, the ball tends to bounce more where there is less grass, and so many a times you will find players missing the ball because it climbed on them, more than they thought. Bounce will be uneven at times. Grounds men have to take real care and precaution while leveling out the grass on the courts.

Wimbledon is the most prestigious and oldest tennis Gland Slam tournament in world, held on the grass court. Every player has a dream of winning this tournament atleast once. The other grass tournaments held before it are considered as training or warm up rounds to get ready for the grass court event atWimbledon.

Just as Nadal is one who prefers to play on clay, similarly, there are certain players who prefer to play on grass, Andy Murry, Britian’s top tennis player is a great player on grass courts and he has already proved that by winning the 2011 AGEON championships at the Queens’s club. Every year there is a lot of pressure and expectation that he will play well at the Wimbledon.

Then there is Roger Fedrer, who is regarded as one of the finest players on grass, ever. Nadal on the other hand has not been as successful but has learned very quickly to adapt his playing style on grass. Over the last few years, he has stunned people with his great tennis talent to clinch the highly prestigious championship title once in 2008 and again last year, 2010. Fedrer still remains the best bet though, with six Wimbledon wins under his belt. There is always a great fan following at Wimbledon especially for him.

This year certainly brings a lot to the table, with the top four ATP ranked players looking equally matched. It only seems to boil down to that particular day, how the player reacts to the pressure. We have to wait and watch out as this year’s mega tournament of Wimbledon promises to be better.

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Anjan K Merkap

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