Type of tennis courts and their influence on ball bounce & speed

Type of tennis courts and their influence on ball bounce & speed

The U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the French Open are some of the most important tennis tournaments in the world, and each one features different types of tennis courts. At the U.S. Open, players compete in hard courts. At Wimbledon, they play on grass, and at the French Open, they play on clay. These types of tennis courts affect the speed and style of play, and some court surfaces are better suited to certain styles than others.  Rafa Nadal is considered “the king of clay,” for example, while Roger Federer is “unbeatable in grass.” The type of tennis court can change the ball’s speed, spin, and player’s ability to move around the court. That’s why it’s important for tennis players to get to know the different types of tennis courts.

It’s also a good idea for young advanced tennis players to try out different courts to learn which court best suits their style of play. Different court surfaces are popular in different areas around the world. Participating in international summer tennis camps is a great way for young players to try out these different types of tennis courts while, at the same time, improving their skills in an exciting, international environment.

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Types of tennis courts

Grass courts

Grass courts aren’t very common and are more often found in the professional circuit mostly because they are so difficult to maintain. The surface is slippery which makes the ball bounce faster and lower to the ground. The Grand Slam tournament known as Wimbledon takes place in the UK and features grass tennis courts. The UK is the most popular destination for grass court tennis, so if you’d like to try out your game on a grass court, consider playing tennis in the UK.

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Clay courts

Clay courts are a bit more common than grass courts especially in Europe and South America. The name is slightly deceiving because the surface is not exactly made of clay. Rather, red clay courts are made of crushed brick, and green clay courts are made of metabasalt. On clay, balls bounce slower and higher  (the complete opposite of grass courts), favoring strong baseline players who play with a lot of topspin. Another core characteristic of clay courts is the ability to slide and hit the ball with still in motion. The most famous clay tournament is the Grand Slam French Open which takes place in France. That being said, the real champion of clay is the Spaniard Rafael Nadal who has more victories on clay than any other player to date. To try out your game on clay, check out these tennis academies in France and tennis academies in Spain.

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Hard courts

Hard courts, made of concrete or asphalt, are fairly common throughout the world. On these courts, the ball bounces relatively fast (slightly slower than grass courts), but also relatively high. The game is easier to control on hard courts because the bounce of the ball is quite predictable. That being said, on hard courts, players can practice applying all different kinds of strokes and spin for a more dynamic game. Two Grand Slam tournaments, the US Open and the Australian Open feature hard courts. Play some tennis is the USA to try out your game on a hard cout.

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Synthetic, carpet, or indoor courts

Carpet, in tennis, refers to any removable court covering. These types of surfaces vary in terms of materials, textures and thicknesses. On these courts, the ball bounces fast and low, much like real grass courts.Carpet courts have been banned from professional tournaments by the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) since 2009.

Types of tennis courts and your personal style

Fast sufaces like grass and hard courts favor one style of play while clay courts favor a different style of play. Read the sections below to discover what types of tennis courts would be best for you.

Slow courts

Slow courts make the ball bounce higher and slowRafael Nadal on clay - types of tennis courrtser. Therefore, players have more time to prepare their strokes. On clay courts, points are usually slower, and matches are longer. In addition, players often find themselves sliding along the courts. In general, clay courts are hard on the body, leaving players more tired after matches than they would be on grass or hard surface courts. Clay courts favor base-line players who prefer to wait for the ball at the back of the court rather than approach the net.

Fast courts

Fast courts make the ball bounce faster and lower, especially grass courts. Roger Federer on grass - types of tenis courtsPlayers must move fast and play with short strokes because the speed of the ball leaves little time for preparation. This means, on fast courts, players should be aggressive, cutting off angles, and approaching the net as much as possible. A strong service game is also important for fast court players. A fast and effective serve can help players to begin the point aggressively and maintain control. 

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