Types of tennis courts and their differences

Types of tennis courts and their differences

July 24, 2023

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Tennis is one of the most spectacular and attractive disciplines. The games here are dynamic, which only further fuels the interest in watching matches. And it would seem that the rules here are quite simple, and only two athletes converge on the court, who play against each other until one of them wins.

In fact, everything is not as simple as it seems. To increase the chances of correctly predicting the outcome of a match, you need to be well versed in tennis, the rules of the game, and the potential of your opponents. There are also many other nuances, one of the main among which is the type of tennis court surface.

Every tennis player has a favorite type of surface. On some courts, some athletes play better, and on other types of courts, even top players often do not show the best game.

In this material, we will briefly talk about what types of coverage are used in tennis. We will also indicate what are the features of each of them.

Types of tennis courts

Tennis courts according to the type of coverage are divided into the following types:

  • Priming;
  • Hard;
  • Grass.

This classification will suit most fans of this sport. Mostly tournaments and various competitions are held on the above surfaces. But for professional players and scrupulous tennis fans, this separation is not enough. Various subspecies of these coatings are periodically used, as well as the following options:

  • Taraflex;
  • Carpet;
  • piece grass;
  • natural soil;
  • Modular polymer coating;
  • Synthetic soil.

But all types of coatings have different subspecies. For example, Hard is classified by the number of layers. But not all types of courts are allowed for top competitions. So carpet is unacceptable for WTA and ATP tournaments, but it is allowed to hold ITF competitions on it.

And Taraflex is generally used more in training rooms. This type of coverage is:

  • low trauma;
  • high depreciation properties;
  • easy service.

At the same time, this one is very expensive and suitable only for heated rooms. Taraflex cannot be used outdoors, as the material does not tolerate low temperatures, precipitation and direct sunlight.

Consider the features of the most common types of courts on which most competitions are held.

Ground (Clay)

Most often, red primer is used for this type of coating. Most of it is ceramic chips and dust, red clay, limestone, and some other components. There is also a green ground cover (American), but this option is rarely used.

The most famous clay tournament is the Roland Garros (French Open), which is part of the Grand Slam series. Such courts are considered the slowest. The thicker the coating layer, the slower the ball bounces. Also, the speed decreases with a fine fraction and soil moisture.

Clay courts require stamina from the players. Due to the fact that the rebound here is slower, the receiving side gets more time to receive the opponent’s serve. Therefore, long draws are not uncommon on clay. Tennis players with a strong first serve on clay lose their lead significantly.

Among the shortcomings of unpaved areas, we note the inability to play for several hours after a downpour.


The most popular tournament on grass is the Wimbledon tournament. These are the fastest types of tennis courts among those used for significant competitions.

The speed at which the ball bounces depends on many factors, one of which is the height of the grass. At Wimbledon, grass is cut at a height of 0.8 cm.

But also a lot depends on the quality of the coating. Despite great efforts to maintain the grounds, with intensive use, the grass cover wears out. This can lead to poor ball speed as well as unpredictable bounces.

For example, Pete Sampras, who won Wimbledon 7 times, spoke well about this. According to the American tennis player, Wimbledon is two different tournaments, and only the first of them is played on grass. The fact is that by the end of the competition, the grass cover is lost by half.


Hard is the general name for different types of artificial turf. Different countries use different components and modifications. Therefore, site characteristics may vary.

In recent years, such courts have become most widespread. A large number of popular tournaments are held on such coverage, including the Australian Open and US Open.

The main advantages of hard:

  • Stable and predictable ball rebound;
  • Resistant to abrasion, and players at different stages of tournaments are in the same conditions;
  • Differs in absorption of shock loadings.

But it is also the most traumatic type of coating. Also, when exposed to direct sunlight in open areas, the surface can heat up significantly.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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