30 January

Windy weather: friend or foe?

The weather can be a problem at this time of year, especially if the wind gets up. So what are the rules when the ball bounces back over the net?

There is good news and bad news about windy weather. If it's bad for you, it is just the same for your opponent and when it's behind you, it may assist your serve, lift a lob or carry a backhand to the line. It also presents the same problem for both players.

But it can be a problem. What happens, for example, if the balls lands on your side of the net and the wind blows it back on to your opponent's side? It is very tempting to think you have won the point. You haven't! As the USTA says:

" The wind is not your invisible doubles partner who can help return a ball on your behalf".

If you are going to win the point, you still have to get your racket on to the ball. 

The ITF rules say it's a good return if "after the ball in play has hit the ground within the correct court and has spun or been blown back over the net, the player reaches over the net and plays the ball into the correct court."

But you have to be careful. Neither you, your racket or anything you are wearing can touch the net,the net post or the net strap or band!  You are going to have to hope the balls lands close enough to the net to perform the necessary limb-stretching and object-avoiding.

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