We asked Five Seasons Northbrook Director of Racquet Sports, Chris Sheldon, to answer your tennis questions. Check out her answers below! Have a question you'd like an expert answer to? Ask it in the comments, and we'll answer it in another post!
Q: For a tennis player, how do the indoor hard courts and the outdoor clay courts play differently?
A: The indoor hard court is considered to be a very fast surface. When this is the case, the ball bounces and speeds up along with keeping a lower bounce. This type of surface is great for tennis players who have a lot of power, like short points or prefer a lower strike zone. The outdoor clay courts are known to be a slower surface. In this case the ball “sits up” for a tennis player which gives the player much more time. This slower surface is preferred by players that like long rallies have great endurance and patience.
Q: In doubles, when should I hit my shot from the baseline down the line towards the opposing net player?
A: This strategy tends to be common among doubles players that prefer to hit ground strokes rather than playing at the net. The low risk play is to hit the ground stroke cross-court over the lower part of the net and quite often to the deeper opponent in the court.
When taking the shot down the line, take a look at a few factors:
- Is my positioning inside the court so I can cover the opponent’s volley up the middle of the court?
- Is the ball I’m hitting high enough in my strike zone so I can keep my shot low to the net-player?
- Am I inside the court to hit a solid shot to challenge the opposing net-player, or am I deep and more in a defensive position behind the baseline?
- Is the opposing net player moving over to poach, leaving me some space to hit down the line?
Christine Sheldon is the Director of Racquet Sports at Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Northbrook, IL. Christine has an extensive teaching and competing background in tennis and platform tennis and is USPTA and PPTA certified. She achieved All Big Ten Athletic and Academic honors along with the Big Ten Medal of Honor award while attending the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Christine was ranked in the top 25 nationally in every junior tennis age division along with being ranked #1 in the country and world in the ITF Veterans 35's division.