I will be the first to admit, I hate playing tennis when it is windy. However, just because I hate playing in the wind does not mean that I cannot take advantage of the situation.
Anytime you play outdoors you have to face the fact that the wind can be an issue. Some days are better than others, and some courts have better windscreens, trees or adjacent buildings that can block out a lot of the wind.
Take a look at some of the things you as a player need to do to play effectively and successfully in the wind.
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1. Focus on Footwork
Proper footwork is often the biggest challenge in the wind. Lots of little steps are needed to make sudden adjustments. If you take large steps to prepare to hit the ball and the ball suddenly moves before you swing, you can be way off balance trying to hit the ball. This can easily cause you to miss-hit the ball.
Keep your steps small for careful adjustments of your position to strike the ball cleanly.
2. Tweak Your Groundstrokes
Playing in the wind will force you to make adjustments in your ground strokes. Give yourself a larger margin of error when you aim for those corners and passing shots.
The harder you hit the ball, the less the wind will affect the ball as it travels to its destination. The slower you hit the ball, the more that wind will play havoc with the ball. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.
If the wind is giving your opponent troubles you may want the wind to push your shots around to keep your opponent off balance. The swing of your stroke may slightly need adjusted to.
If you are someone with a huge backswing, you may consider shortening the back-swing to hit your shots. The bigger your back-swing the more time the ball has to move around from the start of your stroke to the point of contact.
When you are playing against the wind (hitting into the wind) try aiming a little higher than usual. If you use your normal ground strokes the wind will make your shots land shorter in the court, allowing your opponent to attack your shots more often. You also need to hit the ball harder to keep your shots deep.
Drop shots are always very effective when hitting into the wind. The wind will keep the ball from getting too deep in the court and will force your opponent to run further to get to the ball.
Approach shots should be hit short and low. This will force your opponent to hit up to try to pass you at the net, which is tough to do, especially in the wind.