Tennis Court Surfaces and Their Features
Nowadays, tennis is one of the most popular sports alongside soccer, cricket and
volleyball. It has over one billion fans worldwide and is suitable for every age, gender and
race. Tournaments, either for amateurs or professionals, are organized throughout the whole
year on different locations. And because players with various styles of game participate and
the surface of the courts also varies, it is always interesting to watch.
There are four main types of courts: grass, clay, hard and carpet, which fall into two other
categories indoor and outdoor. Specialists, by taking into account the speed of the ball after
it hits the ground, also classify them as “fast”, “medium” or “slow”. Every type greatly
affects the way a ball moves and the performance of the individual player. Because of this
reason, some tennis athletes experience sudden drops or improvements in their game and
Grass courts are the “fastest” type of courts and are not so common because they require
mowing and watering. They consist of grass grown on a hard-packed soil. The bounce of the
ball depends on the height of the grass and the damage the surface has taken after the last time
it was played on it. Usually, these courts are very slippery, causing the ball to slide and
favoring those players (Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Tim Henman) who have fast serve and
flat shots. The most famous grass court tournaments are Wimbledon, Queen’s Club (in
London) and Halle. Recently, Wimbledon slowed down its courts by using a different kind of
grass, giving the opportunity of professionals, famous for their accomplishments on slow
surfaces, to win the title.
Clay courts are the “slowest” type of courts and are mostly used in Europe and South
America. Clay consists of crushed bricks, stones or shale and has a red color. There is also
green clay, predominantly...