Once the dominant surface in the world of amateur tennis, grass has become the surface bounded tight to Wimbledon and the events in June and July, with eight ATP tournaments on the original tennis surface left in the calendar.
In the Open era, only the biggest tennis names have mastered the green surface, including Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Ken Rosewall, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and a few others.
It is even more challenging for juniors to develop proper skills on grass, with only a few tournaments in the calendar that lead towards Wimbledon, urging the All England Club and the Lawn Tennis Association to make proper steps and improve that in the years to come.
In addition to the famous Roehampton event that stood as the only pre-Wimbledon event for years (2013 was the last year of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle), juniors will now have the opportunity to test their talents on grass in Nottingham as well.
Besides that, the new U14 event will take place at the All England Club from 2022 in the second week of Wimbledon, offering a chance for the upcoming youngsters to feel the fastest surface and try their weapons on it. “It’s a really exciting development for junior tennis,” Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith said.
“It’s a big step forward in giving more players the opportunity to learn the nuances of grasscourt tennis. Make no mistake, when juniors play on grass they have an absolute ball. It’s unique and I can tell you if there were more grasscourt opportunities juniors would love to play on it.
They love to try different shots and grass has the nuances you don’t get on the other surfaces, the ability to throw in some serve and volley, the ability to use a bit more variety, keep the ball low, play on the front foot.
We have seen the dominance of the baseline game, but people enjoy watching players with the ability to win in other ways. It’s about getting used to it, growing up to understanding what grasscourt tennis is”