© Ella Ling

Federer slide

How to play tennis in the wind

   

Approach your match in a positive frame of mind. “Nobody likes the wind,” Andre Agassi once said, “and the question is whether you like it more or less than your opponent.”

If the ball is moving sideways, footwork is key. Keep moving until the last moment to give yourself the best chance of being in a good striking position. Take small steps. 

Shorten your backswing. That will allow you to play with greater margin for error. The shorter your backswing, the less chance that the ball will move around too much before you play your shot.

Go for the high-percentage shots – don’t be afraid of aiming for the centre of the court every time. “On extremely windy days, hitting the ball in the dead centre of the court can be a great shot. If you try to pick up the pace and play to a small section of the court, you’re going to miss every other one,” Agassi has said.

When playing with the win behind you, use spin – top-spin or slice – to control your shots and stop them from flying long over the baseline. 

When playing into the wind, use the drop shot. “Occasionally, if you’re playing against the wind, make your opponent come forward and get them to try to control the ball with the breeze on their back, as that’s going to be tough,” Agassi has said. If you’re trying to keep the ball deep, hit your shots flatter to ensure they don’t just drop down into the service box. 

Making changes to your service motion is not easy, but, if you can, don’t throw the ball so high on your ball toss.