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!