Tennis is already a difficult sport. Unless you have a completely natural ability, you will probably take lessons and even attend workshops to better your skill. If you play indoors, you won’t need to worry about this problem. However, playing outside, there could be an entire book written on how to play tennis in the wind. Here we will offer an overview of how to compensate for the wind and keep your game on track.
Small steps mean easier correction in changing winds. This means you should focus on what your feet are doing more than usual. If you’re consistently taking huge steps on the court, the second the wind changes, you are going to have to take more steps to make up the difference.
Adjusting how you serve will also be advantageous, especially if you have a high toss. When playing in the wind, you will need to toss the ball lower as the further up it goes, the more it’ll catch wind. If you notice the ball is moving around a lot on your toss, you can catch it and start over. Do this as many times as you need, but it may aggravate your opponent.
Anticipating how the ball will move after your partner serves it is one thing, but you also should anticipate how the wind will affect movement when you return it. Obviously, this is tennis, and not chess, but slightly planning ahead will give you the leg up. Consider the wind a driving or stopping force depending on which way it’s blowing. If it’s behind the ball, it will go further; similarly, blowing against the ball may cause it to stop short.
Your partner is going to be having the same exact problem you are on the opposite side of the court. Even if they are accustomed to playing in wind, the game and the weather are unpredictable so there isn’t a huge advantage in being used to those conditions. This goes hand-in-hand with not overthinking things. Anticipating how the wind is affecting the next serve is good. Trying to figure out the entire game and what the wind is doing, is a good way to lose.
The harder you hit the ball, the less chance the wind has for changing its course. You may also want to stay away from lobbing the ball. Just like the toss for the serve, the longer the ball is in the air, the more room for error there is. No matter how you get the ball across the net, quickly evaluate the benefits of going for the middle of the court. This is mainly because the wind can change directions at any time and knock the ball further in any direction than you intended.
Overall, the to be successful on the court, you need a good attitude. It’s windy, so what? Both you and your opponent have to deal with the same conditions. It will give you the advantage if you don’t overthink the situation while anticipating immediate reactions. Go in with the attitude of it being a fair match and play to the best of your ability. At that point, you may win your match and give lessons entitled “How to: Playing Tennis in the Wind.”