Exclusive: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s guide to hitting a diving volley.
Don’t think about it too much (especially how it could really hurt) – just dive. “On the court, you never say you will dive. You just dive, that’s it. You never think about it. The volley is too far so you have to go. If you think too much you will never dive. The surface is hard and it’s going to hurt you a lot but when the ball is far away you don’t have to think, you just have to dive and that’s it. It’s something natural. The first time I dived was the first time I tried to hit the ball. Because in the beginning you are always far from the ball and you never know what to do.”
Enjoy yourself. “I didn’t used to watch Becker’s dives but it’s something I’ve always liked. On grass it’s better because it doesn’t hurt a lot. The crowd like it. I like it, when I dive and I win the point, I’m just happy, it’s like I won the match.”
Remember to do a roll as you land (and, as you roll, keep an eye on the ball). “The most important thing of course is when you fall down, you have to roll. This is the most difficult thing. The dive, you don’t think about, but then you have to take the good position to stay healthy. And keep looking where the ball went.”