Different Types of Tennis Pitches and Their Advantages and Disadvantages
There aren’t many sports around that can be played on multiple surfaces. However, tennis can be played professionally played on three different floors: grass, clay and hard surfaces. Each of these surfaces come with their own set of advantages, and of course, disadvantages.
Here is a list of some of the pros and cons of the three different type of tennis courts and why certain players would benefit from them, while others would stay miles away.
A lot of professional players dislike the clay courts as it slows down the speed of the ball and therefore creates a higher bounce. In fact, it is the slowest court in the tennis world. Baseline players and tennis players that use drop shots a lot, putting more spin on the ball, would benefit from the clay court, such as Rafael Nadal. However, players such as Pete Sampras have proven that they may not get along with clay courts as much as grass and hard surfaces – he never added a French Open (the only clay Grand Slam) to his long list of achievements.
In comparison to the world’s slowest surface in the wonderful world of tennis, the grass court is at the other end of the spectrum and is the fastest out of all three. The slipperiness of the surface allows the ball to pick up greater speed – great for players that rely on speed to beat their opponents! The softness of the grass also means a lower bounce, keeping the ball closer to the ground unlike clay. A big problem for grass surfaces is that it can be very unpredictable where the ball will bounce. Roger Federer excels on grass much more than clay, as well as any other players that prefer to play close to the net and/or enjoy taking big serves. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event that is played on the grass!
The most common courts that are played on around the world are the hard surfaces which are found at the US Open and Australian Open. The hard courts are usually made with concrete or macadam and then covered with acrylic material to sear the surface and make the line marking neater, while also providing cushioning for both the ball and players. It sits in the middle of clay and grass courts in terms of speed, although the bounce is a lot greater than grass thanks to the harder surface.
This court is best for those that want a friendly game of long rallies due to the predictable bounce. Again, baseline players will really benefit from these sorts of courts.
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