Why Serena Williams Is Preparing for Wimbledon Championships 2021 on Hard Court?

Published 06/21/2021, 9:39 AM EDT
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – AUGUST 14: Serena Williams serves during her match against Shelby Rogers during Top Seed Open – Day 5 at the Top Seed Tennis Club on August 14, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)


Wimbledon Championships is a prestigious tournament that Serena Williams has won seven times. She has reached the finals in the last two editions in 2018 and 2019. But for 2021, Serena has been practicing at the Mouratoglou Academy and on the hard courts instead of the grass court.

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Where is Serena Williams practicing?

Wimbledon is the only grass-court Grand Slam on the calendar and usually, there are only a few grass-court events on the calendar prior to Wimbledon. Serena has opted to not play any tournaments prior to Wimbledon 2021 and instead has stayed in France and practiced alongside her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou in his academy.

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Serena Williams of the U.S. during her third-round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Given that Serena recently played French Open 2021, she quickly needed to adapt to the faster grass court. However, the Mouratoglou academy doesn’t have a grass court hence the fastest court the academy has is hard courts. But to Patrick and Serena’s respite, these are indoor hard courts that offer similar conditions to grass courts, and hence Serena is practicing on them.

“Yeah, so we are preparing for Wimbledon, we don’t have grass courts at Mouratoglou Academy so we play indoors hard, which in a way is the closest surface to grass,” Mouratoglou said.

Serena Williams with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. (Photo by Shirley Kwok/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Similarities between indoor hard courts and grass court

Grass courts are known for their high speed and lower bounce, and the indoor hard courts are similar to grass courts in that regard. Hence, Serena is practicing on indoor hard courts ahead of Wimbledon Championships.

However, one quality of the grass-court doesn’t have a substitute, i.e the movement. The movement needed on grass is completely different as the surface is slippery and punishes players for small mistakes in movement. Therefore, Patrick specified that Serena and her team will fly to Wimbledon much before the tournament to sort out the movement.

“We’re going to go to Wimbledon one week before the tournament to practice on the real grass courts of Wimbledon and get ready, especially for the movement, the movement on grass is completely different from the movement on hard.”

Why will Serena Williams eventually have to practice at Wimbledon?

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Patrick described movement on grass as running on ‘eggs’. So the players have to be precise with their movement as they can’t slide around like in clay or change direction quickly like in hard.

“Because you can’t be too hard on the grass. If you go too hard on the grass and you are a little bit off-balance you immediately fall so you have to almost run on eggs,” Mouratoglou said.

The only concern with Serena’s Wimbledon 2021 is that she might be under-prepared. Like at French Open 2021, Serena might again not have the necessary match practice on a new surface.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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