A Look at the Different Types of Tennis Courts

Tennis is a very popular international court game played individually between two opposing players or two teams of two players. It’s a highly recreational sport in different countries. There are two types of tennis- lawn tennis and table tennis. Lawn tennis is an outdoor sport played on different types of tennis courts. On the other hand, table tennis is an indoor sport played on a table. But the common thing is, a tennis ball and a tennis racket are needed to play the both tennis.

Tennis courts are too important in lawn tennis. The serve and movements of the ball differ from court to court surface. Tennis can be played on clay, grass, carpet and hard courts. Tennis rules are the same for all courts. Players should hit the tennis ball by a tennis racket as if it can pass the net and land in the correct court without touching anything. According to the court’s surface, there are some varieties of tennis courts. In this article, some of the types are going to be described shortly.

What is Tennis Court?

Tennis court is a platform for playing a tennis match. It’s a firm square surface with a low net tightened across the center of the court area. Court surfaces can be grass, clay, carpet, etc. Every surface has a different texture and the playing style depends on the texture mostly. The same court is appropriate for both singles and doubles matches.

The Dimension Of A Tennis Court

International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body to define and regulate the dimension of a tennis court. There are usually two types of courts based on the dimension. They are the-

Normal Courts: Normal courts are usually for adults. According to the ‘Rules of Tennis’ document, the rectangular court is 78 feet long with 27 feet wide for single matches and 36 feet wide for doubles matches. The service line is 21 feet far from the net. The net is 3 feet 6 inches high at both of the posts and 3 feet high in the middle.

Smaller Courts: This type is absolutely for the children. The ITF started a style of playing on smaller courts with slower red, green and orange balls for younger children. This helps them to learn, practice and scoring in tennis. Official competition for children of 10 years or under should be played on “Orange” courts. The orange court is 18 m long and 6.4 m wide. The “Red” courts are for children under 8 years. It is 11 m long and 5.5 m wide. The net must be 0.8 m high in the center for all smaller courts.

Different Surfaces

There are different surfaces with different characteristics that affect the playing style of the game. Four main types of courts depending on the materials used for the court surface are given below-

Clay Courts

Crushed shale, stone or brick is the material of a clay court. They are very common in Europe and Latin America. Clay courts slow down the ball and enhance the bouncing than grass or hard courts. For this reason, players miss many of the advantages of big serves. So, the server may find it hard to dominate on the surface. Clay courts are cheaper than the others as the materials used for the tennis court construction are cheap. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to use clay court since 1891.

Grass Courts

Grass courts are the fastest courts among the types. The court consists of grass grown on very solid soil. The bouncing of the ball depends on the grass. Serve plays a vital role and points are too fast on grass courts. Grass courts were very common then but now it’s rare because of high maintenance cost. They need to be watered often, takes a long time to dry after rain. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament to use grass court since 1877.

Hard Courts

Most often the construction of hard courts done by uniform rigid materials covered with an acrylic surface layer. Hard courts are faster than clay courts but slower than grass courts. The quality of sand affects the bouncing of the ball. Deco Turf and Plexicushion, both are acrylic-topped hard court surfaces for the US Open and the Australian Open tournaments. They have been used for the Grand Slam since 1988 at the Australian Open and 1978 at the US Open.

Carpet Courts

In carpet court, “Carpet” means any removable court covering. The indoor arenas install the carpet court temporarily for tennis events. Carpet Court is faster than hard court with low bounce. Particularly in Asia, a short piled form of artificial turf infilled with sand is in use for some outdoor courts. In spite of being faster, they are not in use of any professional events. In the past, carpet courts were in WCT Finals, Paris Masters, US pro-Indoor, Kremlin Cup etcetera tournaments.

Indoor Tennis Courts

The indoor tennis court allows playing tennis in any condition of weather. Because of the lack of wind, players can play more smoothly than outdoor courts. Any court surface can be used as an indoor court surface. Hard courts are the most common indoors of all because of its most versatile materials and surface finishes. Some of the matches of Davis Cup, the Halle Open, the ATP World Tour, the World Championship Tennis circuit, World Covered Court Championships, etc. were held on indoor tennis courts. Recently, the most important indoor tennis tournament is the ATP World Tour Finals event.

Which Surface is The Best?

According to most of the tennis players, the grass-court is more preferable than clay or hard courts. Grass courts are the fastest of all courts. The serve plays a powerful role in grass-court matches. They lead to the favor of serve-and-volley tennis players. Though the maintenance cost is a little bit high the grass-court provides huge playing advantage.

To Sum Up

Tennis courts are an important factor for a tennis player. They have to change their game plan and style according to the types of tennis courts. Some tennis courts are fast, some are slow, and some provide high bouncing. A player should bear in mind these things always and set his game plan correctly.

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