Many of the men and women on the PRC USTA teams have something in common with the tennis pros who are currently competing in the French Open – playing in wet and rainy conditions. Several men’s teams had to deal with the elements over the weekend. Kudos to the members of the 3.5 USTA PRC Court Jesters, Pride and Volley Girls teams who displayed great mental toughness this morning during matches on damp courts with slight drizzle conditions. Congratulations to the PRC Court Jesters and PRC Pride.
One of the benefits of clay courts not mentioned often is the ability to play during drizzle or on courts which are damp. While hard courts may be wet and covered with puddles, clay courts may be playable. What should you remember while playing under these conditions? The court surface will be slower. The ball will bounce lower because the court is wet. The ball will also be heavier because it will retain moisture from the damp court or from falling drizzle. Remember to move to the ball, try to take a lot of balls as volleys rather than groundstrokes. Drop shots will be more effective. Aim higher on lobs and defensive shots. Enjoy the challenges and use your knowledge as a weapon. Be mentally tough and don’t waste energy thinking about how the wet courts or heavy, damp balls will not be conducive to your game. If your opponent(s) are whining about the conditions, embrace their lack of mental toughness and earn as many games as possible until they pull it together or rain stops the match.
So far, rain has played havoc with the schedule at the French Open. So the next time you watch the pros playing through rainy conditions at Roland-Garros, watch how they handle it – and keep your umbrella in the closet.