As an exciting and competitive sport, tennis packs a lot of action into a relatively small court. This means that the performance of the court itself on the dynamics of the ball and on the players is paramount. There are many types of tennis court surfaces in use today around the world, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Which one is the best? Well, it depends! What is the purpose of your tennis court and who do you anticipate will be playing there? What is the desired ball performance? What about installation costs and maintenance costs? Consider the below tennis court surfaces:
Clay tennis courts come in either red or green clay varieties and are known for their unique characteristics on ball performance. This court surface type has a tendency to reduce ball velocity whilst also enabling higher bounces, which is a drawback for players with superior serves as it diminishes the effectiveness of a strong serve.
In terms of cost, clay tends to be cheaper to install but relatively expensive to maintain, since the moisture levels must remain sufficient and the clay must be rolled and pressed.
Real grass tennis courts are amongst the oldest and most traditional surfaces used in early modern Britain and are still widely used in the UK to this day, notably at Wimbledon. While real grass, when superbly maintained and prepared for large events such as Wimbledon, tends to look and feel fantastic, it comes at great cost.
The characteristics of real grass tend to be erratic on ball performance. The ball retains much of its speed, but often reduces bounce or even leads to ‘bad’ bounces and slippery surface performance that can affect players. Moreover, the cost of installing and maintaining real grass tennis courts can be prohibitively high.
Colloquially, clay and other hard surfaces often fall under the ‘hard court’ category, but here we’re specifically speaking about tennis courts made of asphalt, concrete, or acrylic resin coatings.
Hard courts tend to provide much more uniformity in ball performance when compared to clay and grass surfaces. Ball speed and bounce tend to fall between real grass and clay, although aggregate admixtures can be inserted into the surface to reduce velocity.
Synthetic tennis court turf products are on the rise in Australia and elsewhere, and for many good reasons. Not only is synthetic turf far more sustainable and easy to maintain than real grass, its closest competitor in terms of performance and texture, but it’s endlessly versatile. Lines do not need to be chalked or painted but instead can be part of the overall design, whilst surface colours can vary from green to just about any other desired colour.
Grand Slam Tennis Court Surfaces
High-level professional tennis is quite strict when it comes to court surface type, so there isn’t any room to play with (no pun intended). Famously, Wimbledon continues to use real grass as do a handful of other Grand Slam events. The French Open uses clay surfaces whereas the US Open uses hard court surfaces. Here in Australia, the Australian Open has changed its surface type a few times. As of 2022, the AO uses GreenSet, an acrylic resin surface sitting atop a base of concrete.
ITF-Certified Court Surfaces
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) governs all aspects of professional tennis play, including the technical aspects such as the court itself, the net, rackets, balls, and more.
When choosing a tennis court for your school, institution or anywhere else you need to have one or more tennis courts installed, consider a court surface that is ITF-certified such as synthetic turf courts from Champion Grass. Our ITF certified artificial turf manufactured in Netherlands by our exclusive partner Edel Grass.
Choose Champion Grass for professional synthetic tennis court surfaces.