top of page

Play Tennis on a Clay Court | Tactics to Win On Clay Court 


clay court


Learning how to play tennis on clay courts can help you to sharpen your skill set and improve your tennis skills. Clay courts, unlike the faster surfaces like hard courts or grass courts, produce more rallies and reduce the pace of your tennis shots. As a result, your tennis ball will bounce even higher on these courts, and at the same time, the tennis players will slide more and get hands on even more balls. For this reason, clay-court tennis is considered to be more exhausting.

But if you know how to master the right techniques of footwork and mental agility required to play on a clay court, then you can ace this game. 

In this article, we will learn about the different strategies and techniques that can help you improve your tennis game on a clay court. So, let's get started!

Strategies and Techniques to Play Clay Court Tennis

1. Learn How to Play High Bounces

You have to be prepared to hit high bounces and shots on a clay court. These bounces can be off your shoulder height or even higher. As a result, you have to improve your footwork to handle all these awkward shots in the best possible manner.

2. Physical Conditioning

Getting points on the clay courts tends to be more tiresome and time-consuming. To make sure you are prepared beforehand, increase your strength and endurance, specifically in the legs, so that you are in good physical condition to play tennis on such a court.

3. Make use of Depth

When you are playing on clay tennis courts, then aim at going for deep shots. These shots will land closer to the baseline, and when the depth of these shots combined with topspin can push your opponent back. For the same reason, all you have to do is be consistent in hitting the rally balls to move your opponent and get an opportunity for a winning shot.

clay court surface

4. Play on Clay Courts by Using the Angles

Clay courts do not have any easy points on the surface, and hence they offer variety to the players. Generally, typical players on clay courts include baseline grinders who do not leave the baseline area and play extremely long points. These players can keep the ball in play for as long as needed and force you to make an error.

However, in this situation, you have to hit shots with an angle and on the clay in general. This strategy can work against those players. All you have to do is hit forehand or backhand shots that go inside the service box closer to the sideline.

With the force of this shot, your opponent will have to move diagonally, and there are chances that he or she will miss and fall behind the baseline. As a result, you will win the point right away. However, in another scenario, if your opponent's move is to run to get this ball, then you can get an easy shot in the open court to win.

5. Handle Irregular Bounces 

After a number of games have been played on the tennis clay courts, the baseline may get unlevelled or chewed up, thus resulting in irregular bounces. So, you have to recognize all these irregular surfaces and adjust your footwork, position, and stroke accordingly.

6. Focus on Center of the Court

Controlling the center of the court will give you an advantage in the tennis game. If you want to get control of the center right away, then make sure your first serve is wide 70% of the time. Then, the next shot can be a forehand shot in the open court and even behind the opponent once in a while.

When your opponent is on the run, you have to keep attacking their movement so that they are out of position and you can take advantage of the short ball.

7. Manage Change of Direction

Changing directions on a clay court is quite hard because the clay court is slippery and you may lose your balance and slip down. As a result, your time and energy both get wasted.

However, the best strategy here is to play behind your opponents so that you can catch them off guard. When you play a ball behind your opponent, they will have trouble changing direction quickly, and hence they have fewer chances of catching the ball.

why is tennis played on clay court


Thus, enhancing your tennis skills on clay courts will help you to be more consistent and improve your overall tennis game style. The physical, mental, and strategic demands that clay courts require can mould even beginners into professional players. So, you can practice and learn all these techniques and strategies to hone your tennis skills while playing on a clay court.

Good luck!

1 view0 comments


bottom of page