Tennis players adapt to spring weather conditions

Ajay Qi, 10,  lunges for a surve. Balls such as these could be challenging to hit in windy conditions, where the ball’s movement is difficult to predict. Therefore, in unfavorable conditions, tennis players are forced to make smarter decisions in regards to strokes and ball placement. Photo courtesy of Joseph Ahn.
Ajay Qi, 10, lunges for a serve. Balls such as these could be challenging to hit in windy conditions, where the ball’s movement is difficult to predict. Therefore, in unfavorable conditions, tennis players are forced to make smarter decisions in regards to strokes and ball placement. Photo courtesy of Joseph Ahn.

Tennis, contrary to popular belief, is a year-round sport. Athletes participate in a number of clinics, tournaments, and programs throughout the off-season. However, most of these activities, leading up to the tennis season, are held in indoor facilities.

Therefore, some athletes may have a difficult time adapting to the outdoor conditions of early spring, such as cold weather and violent wind.

“There was one day during tryouts this year where it was extremely windy. Most points lasted only two or three shots,” said Aravind Murali, 10.

Unfortunately, these conditions usually continue beyond tryouts and throughout the tennis season.

“It’s just something you have to expect when playing tennis outside. Obviously, it’s frustrating when something like the wind makes you lose a point, but the same conditions are effecting your opponent too,” said Deepak Indrakanti, 11.

On windy days, tennis players must adapt their strokes and ball placement accordingly.

For example, when hitting with the wind, the player would apply more topspin, ensuring that the ball lands in the court. Likewise, hitting against the wind would allow a player to flatten out their strokes and perhaps sneak in a couple of well-placed dropshots.

Furthermore, in windy weather, players are advised to keep their feet moving instead of setting up for the ball; a random gust of wind could send the ball spinning away from where a player’s feet were set.

“There are some things you can do to adapt to the weather, but obviously, sometimes, you can’t predict what’ll happen and it’ll cost you points. But in that case, you can’t let it get to your head because it’s really just out of your control,” said Alex Taylor, 10.

For more information, go to shsleaf.com.