Indoor hard court tennis features. Tennis betting.
For as many as nine months of the year tennis athletes enjoy performing in various kinds of events held on different types of surface. But there is one thing that is common for the whole calendar season – most of the matches are played outdoors in the open air. And only a little bit more than a month is played on indoor hard courts. This is used to be at the yearend (except for a couple of spring-summer events), which makes indoor matches very important and highly responsible.
Tennis played indoors is very different from that played outdoors. Of course, weather conditions outdoors make a difference. Keeping the serve in due to the wind can become a real struggle. At times, it’s necessary to wait until the wind dies off. Rain wets the court and the ball bounce gets unpredictable. Indoor facilities have none of this and playing conditions are next to ideal there. Temperature parameters are kept constant and there are logically no drafts, which is always a great plus. Indoor courts are artificially illuminated and are equipped with underground watering system that makes the ball bounce lower but increases the bouncing length due to the coverage characteristics. Indoor courts are usually covered with synthetic materials (processed rubber or polyurethane). The choice of these materials is conditioned by the reduction of the load suffered by players’ joints.
Service game on indoor hard courts
Service is the main attacking tool of anyone practicing indoor tennis. So the big servers like Ivo Karlovic, John Isner and Milos Raonic will have a great benefit. This is what the former American tennis pro Justin Gimelstob, now serving as a regular tennis commentator, says about the qualities needed to succeed under the roof: “Indoor tennis rewards those who have a big serve. Regulated microclimate, no sudden gushes of wind, no sun in the eye. Lack of natural obstacles provides big, aggressive players with considerable advantage. Big service game is very dangerous indoors and helps to score a lot of points without opponent’s assistance.
In fact, the service game on indoor hard courts is vital but it shouldn’t be superfast. 110-120 mph is more than enough to get the ball into the game. Consistency is what matters more. Maintaining the first serve percentage of 60 and over will be one of the keys to the positive outcome. On the other hand, shall the player fail to serve at the 110-120 mph it will be a great minus to his winning chances. In this case the player will be pushed to score points from the baseline. By the way, this is one of the reasons why many Spaniards like Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Pablo Carreno Busta have hard times playing indoors.
Return game on indoor hard courts
If you have got so far in our article, you’re likely to be asking what the majority of the players can do to beat any big server constantly approaching the net. Right? The answer lies in the decent return skills. Decent return is one of the key tennis aspects not only on indoors hard courts but on any fast surface as well. Interestingly, a simple blocking type of return will do. The aim is to neutralize the big serve and hit the ball back to the opponent’s side of the net. The best ATP returners of our times are Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori.
When picking a return technique, take into account whether the server has rushed to the net or stays next to the baseline. If he approaches the net, the most effective return shots will be the following:
- low ball hit to his feet;
- passing shots down the line or across the court;
- sending a lob.
If the server has stayed at the baseline, the return ball should be sent deep into the court. Even high bouncing balls sent to the baseline are quite acceptable. At any rate, decent return will give you a significant benefit in any rally.
Net game on indoor hard courts
Net game if the third weapon players use to prevail indoors. Net game helps to shorten the rallies and save forces for further matches. There are few players who can withstand “mental pressure” applied by the attacking players constantly rushing to the net. Net game becomes even more efficient on fast courts due to the low bounce of the ball that gives the player less time to take a wise tactical decision.
Footwork and reaction on indoor hard courts
There are two more aspects to take into consideration: footwork and speed of response. Let’s take Rafa Nadal as an example. He is behind in service/return records but dominates over slower opponents by his speed around the court. The same is true about David Ferrer, Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray. As for reaction, Novak Djokovic is an undisputable winner in this nomination. Novak easily adapts to his opponent’s playing style and due to his speedy reaction always gets to the needed point on court. This ability makes the Serb almost unbeatable on any playing surfaces.
We also want to single out Roger Federer and Andy Murray in their indoor hard courts skills. The two have grown in climatically cold countries with tough weather conditions and were forced to do most of the training indoors. Andy seems to be cut out for indoor events primarily due to his decent return, fast footwork and fascinating playing technique. Sometimes the Brit faces troubles hitting the first serve. If not, he gets unstoppable. Andy managed to find balance between offensive and defensive sides and when in shape he shows very creative and diverse tennis. Ivan Lendl, one of the greatest tennis players of all time who claimed half of his total titles (41 of 94) in indoor facilities has noted that both Federer and Murray play rather faultless and may afford themselves employing more aggressive tactics. In Lendl’s times it was believed the faster the athlete is the more aggressive his tennis should be.
Let’s sum it all up
Key components to indoor har court tennis success:
- Aggressive play, as it’s quite complicated to defend on fast surfaces.
- High quality of service return.
- Decent first serve percentage (at least 60).
- Solid shot-making technique (unlike clay courts where one needs power to break through).
- High level of concentration is more vital than physical stamina.
Betting on indoor hard court events
Service breaking is the basis of betting at indoor tennis events. There are very few break points converted indoors, which means that huge negative bets (-3.5 and lower) are extremely dangerous. A favorite will have to make no errors to cover such a handicap. Moreover, it’s not a rare occasion to see a player giving it up struggling in a set when he realizes there’re no chances for success and save his forces for the next one. It makes negative handicaps even less attractive for the bettors.
Positive handicap (+5.5, for instance) at the odds of at least 1.8 should be taken seriously. A rare player will bite his tooth and nail to secure a victory with a huge handicap, while +5.5 handicap means one service break in every set.
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