Types Of Tennis Courts
Tennis Courts Types
Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world and has produced some of the most iconic and enduring sports stars in the last couple of decades. The likes of Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have all become household names due to the sport. The 2019 edition of the Wimbledon tournament saw about 9.6 million viewers watch with delight and despair as Novak Djokovic won in five sets against the aforementioned Roger Federer.
The sports just continues to get more popular with new viewers falling in love with the sport every day. If you are among those who have taken a recent interest in the game, then you might need to know a few things. The points system, rules, tactics, and playing surfaces are just a few of the things a newbie would need to learn about. In this article, we would be focusing on the playing patches. We’ll look at the different ones available and their suitability to the game.
Let’s get started.
1. Grass Courts
These used to be the mainstay in Tennis, with most games being played on the grassy surface. This has been on the decline in recent times, though. The reason for this is simple: maintenance is difficult and expensive. Because of how particular Tennis is, the grass has to be watered and mowed just right for the playing surface to be suitable for a game. Games played on grass courts exert a lot of energy and require the players to move very quickly. It is the official court of the Wimbledon tournament, and the low bounce capacity always makes games that take place on it exciting to watch.
Players generally employ strong serves when playing on this surface in a bid to outmaneuver opponents. It is also not uncommon to see intense volleys used when playing on this surface. With the lessening popularity of the grass courts, it is also the hardest court to buy tennis shoes for, and a lot of the time, players go for shoes that can accommodate all the courts rather than those that work for grass ones alone. This is, of course, not to say that there aren’t some ‘grass’ specific shoes out there, they just aren’t as common anymore.
2. Clay Courts
These have become more popular and are littered all over Europe and South America. Clay courts are generally made with a combination of stone, shale or brick. Their popularity is due to the ease with which they can be installed. However, it has also been discovered that care in the long term can be a bit of a chore and is incredibly expensive. This is due to the sensitivity of the water balance inside the clay and the need for regular check-ups. The court also needs to be regularly rolled as this is the only way to maintain its composition.
As mentioned earlier, this is a surface that is very common in Europe and is even the official court used for the French Open. Regarding the playing style, clay courts are almost the exact opposite of the grass courts. While the game is played at a faster pace on the grass with the ball mostly staying low, the clay surfaces are entirely different. The games are slower, and the ball bounces much higher, which is an advantage for baseline players. The clay courts also allow players to slide and hit the ball while it’s still in motion. Rafael Nadal is considered by many as the best clay-court player in the world, and the stats bear his witness on this one.
3. Hard Courts
As you can probably imagine, hard courts are just that– hard. They are made using concrete or asphalt and are a pretty common sight around the world. This is in part because of how easy they are to construct. Some courts are made with an acrylic surface layer, and they are generally uniform in their construction. The gameplay on a hard court is sometimes accused of being too predictable. This is because, due to the toughness of the surface, it is easy to determine where a ball will land. The ball bounces quickly (not quite as fast as the grass courts), and it also bounces high.
Players make up for the predictability of the court by applying different types of stroke and spin techniques to change the dynamics of the game. Hard courts can be pretty hard on the body with the constant movement and the feeling of the surface against the soles of your tennis shoes. This hasn’t stopped it from becoming a popular playing surface for many professionals, and the US Open, Australian Open, and two other grand slam tournaments take place on hard surfaces.
4. Carpet Courts
These are the cheapest courts to make, and this makes them quite attractive to many tennis tournament organizers. They usually refer to courts that have removable coverings. They are sometimes referred to as synthetic courts or indoor courts. They are made with various materials, including rubber. According to the Tennis federation, carpet courts are defined as “textile surface of woven or non-woven nylon, or a polymeric or rubber material, typically supplied in rolls or sheets.” Like the grass courts discussed earlier, the ball bounces fast and low on carpet courts, which makes for a riveting game of Tennis.
They have replaced a lot of grass courts due to the reduced financial burden it places on organizers. Games played on the carpet are a lot of fun to witness. There have been some notable tournaments played on this surface, including the Australian Open (until 2007), Paris Masters, and the Kremlin cup. Carpet courts have lost favor in some quarters though with the Tennis federation announcing that from 2009, the surface would no longer be used for ATP and WTA tours.
It should be noted that depending on the type of surface you choose to play on, your Tennis shoes matter a lot. There are shoes made for specific surfaces, and looking up a guide to these shoes could help you a lot in your quest to become a better Tennis player.