Playing tennis on synthetic grass courts requires a slightly different approach to that adopted on real grass, hard courts or clay. Here are some tips on how to develop a winning game plan when playing on synthetic grass.
Playing characteristics of synthetic grass tennis courts
Synthetic courts are usually pretty fast to play on, especially on warm, dry days. The ball bounce is generally consistently low, although if the court does not have much sand infill, the ball will 'pop' up as it does when playing on a hard court.
A well-maintained synthetic grass court will have a good sandy film on the top of it, enabling you to slide into shots as you would do when playing on a clay surface. It's worth noting here that synthetic grass courts can be extra slippery when wet, so it's a good idea to wear tennis shoes with anti-slip, pimpled soles that are designed for play on new grass courts where the fresh grass can be treacherous.
The characteristics of synthetic grass tennis courts mean that a heavily-hit ball with no slice or spin will come off the court and onto your racquet much more quickly than it would do off a slower surface. This means that the ball might feel as though it is gathering more speed from the bounce.
Useful tactics when playing on synthetic grass courts
Synthetic grass surfaces are pretty server-friendly so you will need to focus on your returns in order to play effectively. A useful tactic is to open-face, chip or block most of the returns of serve early in the match. Another useful move is to attack second serves with a less abbreviated swing to generate even more speed.
A good strategy in general play is to approach the net with sliced shots. As the bounce is usually low, a sliced shot will be even lower, forcing the other player to play the ball up and therefore right into your hitting zone. Sliced serves and backhand slices in general play are also extremely effective weapons on synthetic grass tennis courts.
If you are inclined to play a very defensive game, you'll need to adjust your strategy and play more aggressively in order to be effective on synthetic grass courts. Study your opponent's playing history too, to see if synthetic grass is a foreign surface for them. If so, you can capitalise on their lack of familiarity with the surface by employing the tactics mentioned above.
You can play a winning game on synthetic grass tennis courts by adopting the tactics outlined above. It's also a good idea to hire a synthetic court so that you can get some practice in and familiarise yourself with the surface before your first match.