The Grass Court Season
For many casual sports fans, Wimbledon, and the grass court season, is the only time that they will, on mass, tune in to watch several weeks of world class tennis. Wimbledon is a tournament like no other, that transcends the sport itself. Its reputation and tradition help it to reach the title of the best tournament in the world. However, the fact that it is a grass court tournament helps it to keep this coveted position. There is something special about grass that captures the imagination of fans like nowhere else. Here are the main reasons for this.
The original surface
When tennis was first created, it was played on grass. This gives a sense of tradition and significance to this part of the season; this was how the sport is supposed to be played. If a player can have success on this surface, their legacy in the sport in secured, as they, like previous champions, can perform at the birthplace of the sport.
The style of play.
In a time of long, fast rallies form the back of the court, many tennis fans, especially those that remember the days of serve and volley tennis, long for a return to a more attacking style of play. Grass gives these kind of players the chance to show their front-court skills. There is a reason why Federer, an all court player, has had so much success at this stage of the season. Riding on his coattails are other players with an ‘old fashioned’ style of play, including Feliciano Lopez, Milos Raonic even Dustin Brown, which, for the most part, seem to have more success during these few months than at any other. Thee players are often either exciting or have a game which is easy on the eye. After the long clay court season, this has a refreshing effect on spectators, and adds an added layer of intrigue to proceedings, as these specialists take on the established stars.
the unique features of the grass court season.
From the brutal tennis of the clay court season, defined by long rallies, sliding, and players covered in the red clay, grass offers a complete alternative, especially at Wimbledon. The pure white of the players, on the pristine, for the first few days at least, green courts under a blue sky is the thing that pops into people’s heads when thinking of tennis.
Grass court tennis is something very different from the other surfaces. As a living court, a player must respect the conditions more than anywhere else. This means different footwork is required, with more, shorter steps needing to be taken for each shot, so as not to lose footing. Players must also use their legs more, bending down to get the topspin required on the low bouncing surface. Because it is so different, it brings the most talented players to the top of the pile. Who can adapt their game to fit the unique challenges of the surface? Only the most gifted. No wonder Federer, Dimitrov and kyrgios, each of the most talented players of the three generations of players we have currently on the tour, all have skill on grass courts. for the most gifted, it is less difficult to adapt their game.
As sports fans, in their millions, watch the grass court season, they will be watching the most traditional and unique form of the sport that we have.
Roll on the next few weeks.