Tennis game has a very long history and are played on different types of tennis courts. It originated from Northern France, and then it spread out to the rest of the world. Tennis as a sport is played around the world and is immensely popular in the USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Croatia, and Spain.
Tennis can be played on different types of courts. Each type of tennis court offers its own set of pros and cons. For example, the green grassy tennis courts are very rare and bouncy. Similarly different types of tennis courts required different types of tennis shoes for men and tennis shoes for women. Like for Hardcourt, you need hard court tennis shoes and for clay court, you need clay court tennis shoes.
The different types of tennis courts include Clay Tennis Courts, Grass Tennis Courts, Carpet Tennis Court, and Hard Court Tennis. These different types of tennis courts have a significant impact on the gameplay of the game. Let’s get into detail about how these different tennis courts differ from each other.
Table of Contents
Different Types of Tennis Courts
- Clay Tennis Courts
- Grass Tennis Courts
- Hard Court Tennis
- Carpet Tennis Court
1. Clay Tennis Courts
Clay tennis courts are made up of crushed bricks, shales, and stones. There are plenty of these types of tennis courts in Europe and Latin America. The majority of these courts are in Europe, and a few other countries also have clay tennis courts as well. There is a minor percentage of these courts in North America and Britain as well.
These courts are usually very cheap to install and require a very high maintenance cost than the other types of tennis courts. The gameplay is generally slow on these courts with a much higher bounce than the grass court.
Rafael Nadal is the champion of the clay court and has scored more points on the clay court than any other player on the planet.
There are different types of tennis courts, even in the clay-court category. These different variations are named upon the color of the court and the substance used.
Red Clay Courts
These types of tennis courts are made up of bricks rather than clay. There is a deep pressing on crushed bricks in the upper surface of these courts. The color of the court varies due to the difference in the color of the bricks used.
This type of clay court does not absorb water easily and thus requires 2-3 days for the drying process. A typical example of the red clay courts is the Frick Park Clay Courts in Pittsburgh.
Green Clay Court
A green clay court is made up of crushed metabasalt. The specific name for this type of tennis court is “Rubico,” and the brand name for this type of court is “Har-Tru.” This court is first filled with the green-clay, and it is topped to make the final version.
The famous Volvo Car Open tournament in South Carolina, United States, is played on the “Har-Tru.” These types of tennis courts are more common in the United States.
Blue Clay Court
This tennis court was designed to improve the on-screen visibility for the television audience. It is virtually made up of the same substance as red clay. Then it is dyed with a blue color to give it a proper look. These types of tennis courts are more slippery than the regular tennis court.
The clay court usually supports Baseline players who like to play with the top-spin.
Tennis Shoes Recommended For Clay Court
To play on clay court you need more stability tennis shoes because clay surface is a bit slippery. Further for more grip make sure that out sole tread pattern is full herringbone.
Upper should be ventilated and shoe tongue should be long that prevent clay particles from entering into your shoes.
2. Grass Tennis Courts
Grass court is also known as “Lawn Tennis.” Glass tennis courts are very rare nowadays due to the high maintenance cost. These courts were originally the most common type of courts. But due to the high maintenance cost and the scarcity of suitable conditions, these factors have declined the trend of grass courts.
Grass tennis courts are made up of different compositions of glass and deep care to provide excellent playing conditions. Due to all these requirements, these courts are now only used in professional tennis games.
Glass courts are usually very slippery and support fast gameplay with a low bounce of the ball. In these courts, the ball rarely rises higher than the knee level. The grass-court favors players that are fast and powerful. So, a player with a “volley style” is more successful in the grass court.
The grass tennis courts require a surface area that has very low grass and packed mud. The surface area should have low grass.
As mentioned above, the glass courts have a low bounce and high pace game. The bounce of the tennis ball depends upon the quality of the grass. How long before the game the grass has been mowed and the wear and tear on the grass.
Serve plays a very crucial role in the grass-court and player. Thus this type of tennis court heavily favors serve and volley style tennis players.
The historically popular tournaments in which grass ground was used are the US Open and Australian Open. These events used to have glass courts, but now they have shifted towards other court types. The most prestigious event in the history of tennis Wimbledon uses grass courts.
Roger Federer and Pete Sampras are considered the best players for the grass tennis courts.
Tennis Shoes Recommended For Grass Court
Grass court is a naturally soft surface therefore you can compromise on shoe cushioning.
To play on grass court again you need stability tennis shoes because surface is a more slippery. But for grip make sure that out sole tread pattern is nub pattern that not only provide you proper grip but also protect grass from damaging.
3. Hard Court Tennis
Hard courts are made up of different materials with a topping of acrylic material. These types of tennis courts offer the best value between speed and bounce and have a rising trend too.
The hard courts have speed greater than the clay courts but lesser than the grass courts. These types of tennis courts have a high bounce rate, but the bounce rate of these courts is very predictable.
The typical materials used in the manufacturing of hard courts are asphalt and concrete. The bounce of the ball depends upon the surface material used.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) considers the hard courts as the best option for playing tennis. The reason for being the best court is the perfect balance between speed and play. Although, the hard acrylic courts have an advantage of a perfect combo of speed and bounce.
The ITF termed the hardcourt as the “Democratic Court.” As it favors all types of tennis players alike.
There is a minor problem with the hard courts as the hardcourt is made up of strong materials. It has a very harsh impact on the human body, and there are chances of muscle fatigue. To counter this issue, there are two variations of the hard courts used in tennis.
Both these surfaces have been in use for a long time now. The acrylic surface uses asphalt as the base material and then a coating of another material. The manufacturers have manufactured synthetic hard courts that are formed as a result of different materials like latex, rubber, and plastic. These courts have shock-absorbing capabilities and thus can highly decrease the chances of injury.
The Acrylic Hardcourt is used for the US Open Tournament while the Australian Open Tournament uses the Synthetic HardCourt.
Synthetic tennis courts are on the rise due to their versatility. It’s the reason you will see the Synthetic Hardcourts everywhere. From the White House to the Sony Ericson Open tournament to the High School Tennis Leagues.
The hardcourts support various playing styles ranging from the Volley to the Baseline players.
Tennis Shoes Recommended For Hard Court
Hard court is a rigid surface therefore you need a durable tennis shoes as wear and tear is more on hard court.
To play on hard court you need more cushioning in midsole that protect your feet from the hardness of the surface. For strong grip make sure that out sole tread pattern is modified herringbone that provide you proper grip during each movement of your tennis game.
4. Carpet Tennis Court
Carpet in terms of tennis refers to anything that can be removed from the surface. The carpet courts have an outer surface made up of artificial turf or hard rubber, which means that the characteristics of the ground can vary heavily by the change of the surface.
The carpet courts are the fastest courts after the grass courts. These courts offer high-speed gameplay with a very low bounce of the ball. The carpet courts are almost non-existent in the modern game.
The carpet courts have been banned by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) since 2009. Therefore, these courts have very low to no significance in the modern era of tennis.
There are two types of carpet tennis courts.
- Artificial Turf Carpet
- Hard Rubber Carpet
Artificial Turf Carpet
The artificial turf carpet has a coating of turf on the surface of the sand. This type of tennis ground became very popular in the 1980s. These tennis courts were heavily used by the British and Asian Tennis Clubs due to their low maintenance cost than the grass courts.
Hard Rubber Carpet
The Hard Rubber carpet is another very important type of tennis court. This tennis court has a rubber coating on top of the concrete. This type of tennis court has similar characteristics as the grass court.
The Association of Tennis Professionals banned the use of carpet courts in tennis in 2009 from all men’s tournaments. The reason stated for the ban of the carpet tennis court was the safety of the players. The ATP had concerns about the injury of players in the carpet courts.
Many players from around the globe criticized this decision. These players had a stance that the spectators of the tennis should have the luxury of enjoying tennis speculation on the different types of tennis courts.
The only tournament that was played on the carpet tennis courts until recent years was the Tournoi de Québec, which ended back in 2018.
There are no international tournaments played on the carpet courts anymore.
If we summarise the whole topic then simply we can say that mainly there would be Grass court, Hard Court and Clay Courts. Each Tennis court has its own characteristics and behavior. So choose the one which suits your playing style and keeps you more comfortable while playing tennis.
Types of Tennis Courts – FAQ | Frequently Ask Questions
Q: What are the 4 types of tennis courts?
Ans: Below is the 4 popular tennis courts.
- Hard Court
- Clay Court
- Grass Court
- Carpet Court
Q: What is the difference between clay and grass tennis courts?
Ans: Clay court is made up of natural clay, dust, crushed bricks. Clay court is a slow tennis court. On clay court, ball speed is reduced but its bounce increases. Clay court is very helpful for defenders or baseline players.
On the other hand, grass court is made up of Grass and can be slippery at times. It is also known as a Lawn Tennis court. It produces high speed and low bounce effects. Therefore volley-style players are more successful on these courts.
Q: What’s the difference between clay courts and hard courts?
Ans: Clay courts are made with crushed bricks, stones, and natural clay. They are usually slower tennis courts and produce low speed and higher bounce. Baseline players are more successful on these courts.
Hard courts are the most commonly used tennis courts. They are made with cement or any other rigid material. They produce moderate speed and bounce. Therefore, a tennis game is easier to play on a hard court as compared to a Clay court.
Q: What is the best type of tennis court?
Ans: Each tennis court has its own properties. Like Grass court is best for serve and volley style and clay court is helpful for defenders or baseline players. Meanwhile, a hard tennis court has moderate speed and bounce. Therefore, it depends upon which playing style you have and choose the tennis court according to that.
Q: How high is a tennis court net?
Ans: Tennis net posts are placed outside of the tennis court by around 3 feet from both sides. The height of the tennis net varies from the center to and side of the court. From the Center, net height is 3 feet from the ground, and from the sides, net height is 3 feet and 6 inches.
Q: What is a carpet tennis court?
Ans: Carpet tennis courts are made with textile woven or non-woven nylon sheets or with rubber material sheets. These are the fastest tennis courts and are removable. The Association of Tennis Federation has banned tennis on carpet courts because of the safety of the players.
Q: Why is Nadal so good on clay?
Ans: Clay court produces high bounce and reduces ball speed. While Nadal is an expert in his forehand grip as compared to his backhand grip. So with high bounce and slow speed, he produces great topspin and gives his opponent a tuff time.