What are the different tennis playing surfaces that are available?‏

Tennis is played all over the world in all sorts of varying climates. For this reason, tennis courts are used on an array of surfaces to give the best playability for its users. Each type of surface has different characteristics which will affect the style of play.

Tennis is played all over the world in all sorts of varying climates. For this reason, tennis courts are used on an array of surfaces to give the best playability for its users. Each type of surface has different characteristics which will affect the style of play.

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Here are the most popular surfaces used in tennis:

Hard courts

Hard surfaces are the most common surfaces found in today’s tennis courts as they are relatively cheap as they require little maintenance and are easy to install. When playing on hard courts, the bounce of the ball tends to be predictable and faster than clay. However, the ball doesn’t move as fast as it does on grass courts.

Clay courts

Clay courts are known to allow for a slow bounce of the ball. They are considered to be the slowest type of courts to play on as they are relatively soft. Hard packed sand and clay is used to create the court. When playing on clay courts, the bounce of the ball is less predictable and favours baseline play, which means that games tend to go on for longer as it is harder to perform the ‘winning shot’. Clay courts tend to vary in color. They are usually red, green or grey.

Grass courts

Grass courts tend to be slippery and unpredictable, making for faster play. This makes them very popular and the first choice court at the famous Wimbledon Championships every summer. However, grass courts do require a lot of maintenance. They need frequent irrigation and mowing, and also may need reseeding after heavy games of tennis. This makes grass courts less popular for standard everyday use such as practicing and training and are rarely used for recreational uses.

Artificial turf courts

Artificial turf courts are widely used throughout the sport. They are made to look like natural grass and the ease of installation and relatively low maintenance make them very popular. It can withstand heavy use and requires no mowing or reseeding and it is mainly used indoors in tennis. Artificial turf comes in different materials with different length and textures of the fibres. This makes the style of play different depending on the type of artificial grass that’s being played on. The ball tends to have a predictable bounce but can be slowed down by the friction of the synthetic fibres.

These four courts are very popular due to their ease of maintenance of the style of play they offer. When it comes to choosing the best, it depends on personal preference as each surface has different characteristics which affect the bounce and direction of the ball.

What do you think of this blog? What type of surface do you prefer to play tennis? Please leave your comments below.

This blog was written by Alex Cordwell on behalf of TigerTurf, the artificial turf specialists.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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