Exploring Various Types of Tennis Court Surfaces

Posted on: 5 March 2018

Since 1859, tennis has been a popular sport played in many different areas around the world. In current times, tennis features some of the world's most lucrative tournaments, such as the U.S Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open. Fans of tennis enjoy emulating top athletes such as Rodger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, just to name a few.

While the dimensions of a tennis court are typically standard, the playing surfaces differ significantly. With each playing surface comes a different ball speed and playing style. It's important to know what the options are so you can select the best surface for your upcoming tennis court installation.

Concrete courts

Courts that are made of hard materials such as concrete, asphalt, canvas and tiles are the most commonly used in professional competitions (used in both the US and Australian Opens). They provide a more even pace for the ball upon impact, and they favour both hard hits from the baseline and softer hits from the middle of the court.

They are thus the most democratic in terms of playing style because they compromise on multiple aspects of the game. These courts are also easier to maintain once they are installed.

Clay surface courts

A cost-effective option when being initially constructed, clay courts are mostly found in European countries, Africa and Latin America. They consist of a cocktail of crushed stone and brick, with a little bit of salt added. When playing on clay courts, the pace will typically be lower due to the slow movement of the ball on the softer clay material.

In most cases, the ball will bounce higher on initial contact with the ground but the general movement will be slower. This playing style serves players who primarily position themselves on the baseline so they can have more time to react to incoming balls from their opponent. Wondering how it feels like to play on clay courts? Watch the next French Open to find out!

Grass-covered courts

Among the most attractive tennis court surfaces out there, grass courts are ideal for personal tennis courts in private property. They also suit players who emphasize their serving and volley capabilities when playing.

Indeed, the grass surface provides a unique spin to the ball when it is served. The type of grass used will also affect the bounce and speed of the ball. For grass courts to work, they need to be planted on hard soil and an even landscape.

Carpeted courts

Carpeted courts are typically made of rubber and other types of resins that provide a soft and comfortable playing surface. As a result, they are ideal for indoor use where the ball can bounce at a fast pace and facilitate a rapid style of play. The softer surface also absorbs shock better and leads to a lower likelihood of injury.