WTA superstar Serena Williams once said that luck has nothing to do with her tennis success, because she has spent countless hours on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.
The implication here is that preparation and practice are very important to success, and this is an idea that we tend to agree with here at ATA. If young tennis players apply themselves and physically and mentally prepare prior to the match, their destiny is placed in their own hands, with one stormy exception.
No matter how much we work on improving our tennis skills, we have no control over playing conditions on the court.
Like all outdoor sports, tennis often finds itself at the mercy of the weather, but savvy Hong Kong tennis players can get the best of mother nature by preparing for poor weather.
Weather Impacts Court Performance
Extreme weather, be it hot or cold, can have a significant impact on player performance. On top of the obvious effect on player comfort, different temperatures also impact the way the ball spins and bounces.
When temperatures rise, the air pressure inside the tennis ball increases, resulting in stronger bounces. Humidity makes the ball heavier and slower, while wind can obviously impact trajectory and shot placement.
Another overlooked weather concern is sunlight, as a player staring directly at the son is going to be in for a tough challenge. Fortunately, baseball caps, visors, and sunglasses can help rectify this.
Good News for Hong Kong Tennis Players
Our summers are hot and humid and we are certainly not immune to a torrential downpour but during the winter, Hong Kong weather is perfect for tennis. We have plenty of sunlight and little rainfall and, although the brisk weather can seem cold, it is usually quite refreshing when taking part in a physical activity like tennis.
The Australian Open
Professional tennis players aren’t quite so lucky.
Much has been made about the heat expected at the upcoming 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, but tennis players have been dealing with hot weather for years. The Australian Open occurs in Melbourne during the middle of Australia’s summer, and the weather regularly tops 40 degrees.
The tournament has rules in place to deal with extreme weather, and a number of the stadiums now feature retractable roofs, but even on a good day, the court can get oppressively hot.
These hot, dry conditions lead to fast play, which benefits attacking players like Roger Federer while putting defensive players such as Rafael Nadal at a disadvantage.
Further complicating matters is the fact that Melbourne weather can change quickly and with little warning. Nadal reportedly strings a number of different racquets prior to his match in order to prepare for these changes.
For young Hong Kong tennis players, the best way to deal with the weather is to follow Nadal’s lead and expect the unexpected.