Lessons from the French Open

  1. Be Cool – Playing the big points well can get you across the line, i.e. Garbine Muguruza during the second week of tennis, particularly against Samantha Stosur and Serena Williams.
  2. Work the Crowd – The French crowd loves showmanship and they support the player who is entertaining. Remember that tennis is a form of entertainment and people are paying money and/or giving up their time to watch you compete.
  3. Sliding is an art form – I noticed many athletes losing their footing at times throughout the tournament, so as a tip to juniors or anyone out there playing on clay courts, not every ball requires you to slide into it to make your strike. Balance is key.
  4. Tennis Player by Day, Tourist by Night – One thing I can assure you is that you don’t get the opportunity to travel a great deal in your life time, so when you have the chance, make the most of it! Go into the city or town, meet with the locals, enjoy their cuisine and way of life, even try to communicate in the local language too. You’ll have a blast.
  5. Be Patient – This is so crucial when playing on the clay, because this is the slowest surface in the game and naturally, your opponent will run more tennis balls down so you cannot expect the usual ‘one-two-three’ strike combo you love to play. It’s all about hitting multiple strokes per point, so be creative and expect another ball at all times.
  6. Black always works – How good does the black tennis apparel look against the red clay? I think it looks amazing! 😉

I believe that the clay court tennis season is the most physically demanding season of them all. If you practice on the clay courts frequently, you will not only learnt to be more patient, but you will become a fitter player. It’s important to vary your training from clay court to hard court and find a balance that suits you. Have fun out there!