How to combat the wind when playing tennis
When hitting into the wind:
- make use of the drop shot, as the ball is likely going to drop shorter than usual (the wind will blow it back towards the net)
- use different spins
Wind behind your back (with the wind) = strategize around pushing your opponent back = spin it!
- topspin goes deep and bounces high keeping your opponent towards the back of the court; this is best used when you are hitting with the wind, the topspin will drop a bit later and deep in the court as it is carried by the wind; slices would also benefit as they would cut through the court even quicker,
- side spin moves towards the doubles lines creating angles and opening space, this is best used when the wind is moving horizontally
Wind in your face (against the wind) = strategise around playing with high margins over net = flatten your shots
- if attacking, adjust shot selection to utilise the wind (I.e. wind blows left, hit more to the right and vice versa)
- if defending, think about what shot the opponent will hit (if wind blows right, opponent will hit more to the left, so position yourself slight more to the left)
Keep the feet moving as much possible and be ready to make little adjustment steps just before contact, otherwise you will be set up too early and off balance
- if wind is against you (hit slightly harder), if wind is with you, hit with more control
- If wind is horizontal, hit more towards the centre so the ball doesn’t blow past the sidelines
- adjust the ball toss to be lower than usual so the wind does not affect the ball as much when its in the air
- by having a lower ball toss, this means your service motion will need to be quicker (contact needs to happen earlier than usual)
Wind behind back (into the wind) = heavy kick/topspin serve, then approach net (opponent will struggle to his passing shots and lobs as they are against the wind)
Wind in your face (against wind) = soft approach shot (as ball will land close to the net), and then close in and finish with a volley at the net
Countering Net Rushers
Focus on hitting towards their feet on the first return shot, they will then be forced to hit a weak defensive volley, which will then allow you to hit an easier second passing shot.
You and your opponent are both dealing with the wind, so whomever is able to better implement the above tactics and strategies into their regular game will likely have a higher chance of winning in such tough conditions.