Did you know that the court surface used on the tennis court can significantly affect the way you play? There is a reason why Pete Sampras—who has won 14 major Grand Slams—has never won a grand slam on a clay court. In this blog, we discuss the remarkable differences between grass, clay, and synthetic tennis courts.
- Grass court – Wimbledon has popularized grass courts, and the surface is considered the fastest because it is slippery. Grass makes the ball bounce lower because of the soft soil. Likewise, a grass court may cause the ball to bounce unpredictably because of the slightly uneven and softer grass surface. Because of the characteristics of this type of court, the ball tends to move faster with lower bounce, making it ideal for net players and those who have a good serve.
- Clay court – The deep red hue is typically associated with French Open Championships. Clay courts are considered the slowest surface as it reduces the ball’s speed, minimizes the ball’s skid on the surface, and makes the ball bounce high. Hence, a clay courts reduces the speed of the ball that is hit by a hard-hitter as it slows the speed, so the opponent can return the shot easily. A clay court is typically ideal for baseline players and those who create a heavy spin.
- Synthetic court – Hard courts are made of concrete or asphalt, and they are easier to maintain. They allow the ball to travel at a speed that is slower than it would on a grass court, yet faster than it would on a clay court. Moreover, hard courts allow the ball to bounce high and more predictably. The International Tennis Federation considers the hard court a good surface for all kinds of tennis players, the U.S Open is played on hard courts.