6 Tips for Playing Tennis in the Rain

6 Tips for Playing Tennis in the Rain

Sick of the rain ruining your game?

Well, you don’t have to stop playing because of some overcast anymore.

We’ve developed some tips to help you alter your game and adjust to the rain without having to call it quits for the day and throw in the towel.

Apart from these tips, there are also some answers to your burning questions about playing in the rain.

If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of playing tennis in the rain, we got you covered:

Tennis In The Rain

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1. Volley Like There’s No Tomorrow

Volley Like a Pro

You and your opponent are both at a disadvantage, so why not make something good out of it?

You can switch to volleying the ball more than actually hitting it, and you’ll not only confuse your opponent, but you’re also going to spike it down on the court and avoid the lack of traction and bounce on the court.

Well, not that there will be much since it’s raining.

When you go to volley, there are a ton of ways that it can be an illegal move.

If you’re just playing for fun, this might not be such a big issue, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re up against someone who’s competitive and knows the ruleset.

The weather doesn’t have an impact on the rules, so make a legal volley and you’re sure to reduce variables that are beyond your control.

2. No More Kick Serve

No Kick Serves in the rain

Kick serves are excellent, but they just don’t have their place in rainy weather.

Many players will use a kick serve on their second or third serve to keep their game fresh for their opponent, and kick serves offer a great amount of confusion for the other player as well since it bounces up so high.

With rainy weather, you’re just going to lose momentum and make it super predictable when it comes back down.

Your opponent will know exactly what to do.

Skip it all together.

Take it out of your set.

It’s a bit upsetting, especially because a lot of players rely on the ability to do this and score some easy points, but it’s just not practical when the weather is against you.

Instead, you can switch it up with another move to keep your set fresh, but reduce the risk of the damp conditions ruining your game.

3. Bend Your Knees More

Bend your knees in the rain

The bounce coming in from your opponent’s ball is dampened, so to speak.

It’s going to hit lower, so you won’t be leaping up to crack all these shots back over the net.

They come in slower and lower, so you need to position yourself in such away.

Once you bend your knees, you’ll lower your total center of gravity, and that can take a little getting used to.

On another note, this is also a safety move since it will reduce your chance of slipping and getting hurt.

Asphalt and clay courts will get slick in the rain, especially if there’s been a recent repaving.

A lot of those chemicals in the asphalt come up when the rain comes down.

Keep yourself safe and your game strong by remembering this.

4. Groundstroke Game

Playing Tennis in the rain

The ball is coming in lower, which means you’re getting less time to react.

You’d think it would be more since the damp conditions will slow ball speeds, but it’s not reaching the same heights anyway, so you actually have less time to react and make a difference in your overall game.

You need to hang lower and slice your groundstrokes; reduce the overall height, because otherwise, you’re just going to be left on the losing end of an otherwise simple game.

5. Shorten Your Backswing

Tennis players playing a match on the courts

Your backswing is already good, but now you have to trim it up a bit when you’re playing in the rain.

There’s less travel time from your opponent to you, so your actions need to be quick.

You don’t have to throw your backswing out the window, you just need to focus on tighter, more dynamic movements so you can collide with the ball a lot faster.

6. Traction Changes

Shoes Traction Rain

If it’s heavy rain, you’re probably not going to be playing outside.

If it’s moderate or enough that you feel like you can handle it, that’s good, but keep in mind the traction on your tennis shoes is going to suffer a bit.

The traction on your shoes changes a lot. Consider purchasing a couple of rags to use specifically for your shoes and pat them down.

Yes, they’re going to get wet in a few minutes anyway, but it helps your contact with the court.

Can You Play Tennis in the Rain?

Yes, you can.

Since a pro match isn’t going to stop for the weather, neither should you.

There are increased risks associated with playing on a wet court or in the rain, but if you’re skilled enough and have good footing, the worst thing you’re going to have to worry about is catching a cold.

Can You Play Tennis on a Wet Court?

Wet Tennis Courts

You can, but you’re upping the chance of sustaining an injury or having a bad game.

You’re used to playing on a dry court, one that doesn’t have any slippage, dust or variables that get in your way.

Nobody can predict how the rain is going to affect your game, but rest assured that it will affect it in some way.

You have to be a better tennis player to win a game of tennis on a wet court, and we believe that you’re right where you need to be.

Playing tennis on a wet court means you run into the possibility of slipping depending on the material.

There’s grass, clay, asphalt—you take your pick.

They all have different levels of resistance and absorption to rain.

We will say this: playing on a wet grass field is a fairly miserable experience, so if you can avoid it, we recommend doing so.

Can Tennis Balls Get Wet?

Wet Tennis Balls

Yes, they most certainly can.

Because the outside is made of felt on any tennis ball you buy, it’s going to get wet, so you will have to dry them off.

These are super absorptive, so you may find yourself switching your ball out far earlier than expected when you play in the rain.

Once it gets soaked through, it’s still usable, it’s just going to sustain major drops in performance.

You’ll go through more tennis balls in a wet match, but they’re not ruined.

At home, put them in a delicates bag and put the whole thing in the dryer with a blanket or a sheet.

People actually use tennis balls all the time in their dryer when drying natural duck down jackets that they want to stay fluffy (it sort of beats the material while it spins around).

You’re going to hear it, but it shouldn’t damage any dryers regardless of HE status or not.

Grass Court vs. Clay Court

Grass vs Clays

The grass is low maintenance, but clay is malleable and prone to divots.

On a grass court, you’re not going to pelt it off the ground like you can in a clay court; it’s all game time in the air.

You’re going to see a major difference in bounce and overall movement.

If it rains, you can technically still play on a clay court, but a grass court is going to be miserable to play on.

Your shoes are going to get grass-stained and mobility is going to be an issue.

On the flip side, clay surfaces can become slippery, so this one is really up to your preferences.

Why Are Clay Courts Washed Before Matches?

Clay isn’t the most durable thing out there.

Washing it directly before a match ensures it’s going to be straight and smooth, like when a zamboni goes over a patch of ice just before a hockey match.

You need to make sure you’re playing on equal ground, just like your opponents are.

Cleaning the court ensures there’s no patches of sand, dust, dirt or anything else that you could slip on and get hurt over.

It’s like ensuring that nothing bad is going to happen to the best of your abilities, and removing variables so your opponent doesn’t go, “I slipped on some sand, that doesn’t count” or another bogus call.

Use That Knowledge to Run the Game

Wet Clay Courts

The scientific approach of tennis changes in adverse weather conditions, and you need to be able to adapt to them.

Now that you know what to do, it won’t matter when the drizzle starts hitting the court; you’re going to overcome it.

With all the info you learned here, you can apply your knowledge and stay confident even when the weather starts to take a turn for the worst.

The thing is, your opponent might not have the same information as you, so you’ll have an advantage over them.

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