Wednesday, 6 August 2008

There's something about grass

I played at Queens tonight. I know it's hard court season but you should never say no to grass.

There's something special about Queens, not just the grass courts but also the fact that it's home to an ATP event.

To play on the same courts as some of my childhood heroes McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, Agassi; and more recently Lleyton, Rafa, Roddick, Murray and Henman, is pretty amazing.

Believe it of not it was the third time in 5 days that I'd played on grass and each time I step onto it I'm struck by how different it really is to any other surface.

When ever someone writes about the unique characteristics of grass - the low, fast, sometimes skidding bounce, and the sheer unpredictability - it always seems so cliched, and at times exagerated.

But it really is that different. The best example being drop shots or short, angled volleys, which bounce once and then just fade away. On hard, clay, carpet you'd get many of these back. Not on grass.

And as I had post match beer I marvelled at how Federer and Nadal can switch so effortlessly after 5 weeks of clay and produce one of the great finals of the modern game, on a surface they only play on 10 or 11 times a year.

As for me, I love the experience even if I am off the pace half the time. Note to self: work on that backhand slice!


van said...

Hey Steve, sounds like a great experience, particularly playing at Queens. That's awesome!

I've never played on grass, but at the tennis center in the town I grew up in, there were artificial turf courts that had sand on them to try to simulate playing on the real deal. You really didn't get bad bounces, but man were they fast! I liked playing on them because they helped my serves get a little more speed on them, plus I've always returned decently on faster surfaces.

Fun times, but I bet it wouldn't hold up to the real deal!

Steve said...

Hey Van

If you are ever in London let me know and we'll have a hit on grass! Every tennis player has to sample it at least once.


freakyfrites said...

OOOH! JEALOUS! And that photo is luscious.