The tennis courts of Roland Garros, Wimbledon or the Australian Open are the most famous and important in the whole world, where we can admire the game of the best tennis players on the professional circuit. Although it would be difficult to choose which one is our favorite, no doubt the players participating in these competitions would have it quite clear: they would choose the tournament with the surface that best suits their style of play tennis.
And it is that phrases such as ” Rafa Nadal are king of clay ” or ” Roger Federer is unbeatable in the grass ” make us see how much conditioning the type of track on the style of play that should be adopted by tennis players. Therefore, every good tennis lover should know the different surfaces on which they play and how they modify the behavior of the ball and the style of the tennis player.
What kind of playing surfaces are there?
If we take a look at the long list of tennis courts we can find throughout the world, we are mainly going to run into four basic surfaces in which to play:
This type of surface is only found in the professional circuit and is becoming less widespread since it requires very expensive and constant maintenance. Playing on grass tennis courts is almost impossible outside of Great Britain, where there are still such famous competitions as Wimbledon or the Queen’s tournament.
Mud or red, green and blue clay
As with grass, this type of surface is almost impossible to find outside the most professional tennis centers, so it is very difficult for an amateur to get to tread a track as well. The cost of care of this type of material is high, although some amateur clubs are currently including them.
Roland Garros, in Paris, is the most famous tournament that is disputed on red clay – also known as earth beat. We also find open like those of Charleston and Ponte Vedra, both in the United States, that are the unique ones of the professional circuit that are played on green clay. In addition, in the Masters of Madrid of 2012 was implemented a new type of clay with a blue tonality, which despite its visibility received a lot of criticism.
The most common thing is that most fans compete for their matches on tennis courts of cement because they are the easiest to find outside the centers of reunification. They are built in this material because it is very clean, durable and with a fairly cheap maintenance.
This type of hard courts avoids irregularities in the ball’s trajectory and produce half-way pots between grass and clay, an intermediate game. Such major tournaments as the US Open or the Australian Open are played on hard surfaces.
Indoor, carpet or indoor synthetic
These types of surfaces vary in materials, textures, and thicknesses. Although the Masters in Paris was played for many years on this type of surface since 2009 the ATP banned them from playing in professional tournaments. Many amateur academies and tennis centers often use these tracks for training, if you are fond of tennis and you like to practice it, you have probably tried this surface with friends.
How does the type of surface condition the tennis player’s game?
As already mentioned, the type of surface conditions, and much, the style of play that must maintain the player throughout the game. Thus, according to the material with which they are built, we find slow, fast and ultra-fast tracks:
- The slow tennis courts make the balls of the ball are higher and slow, therefore the player has more time to prepare the blow. This makes the points played on these tracks are slower and the matches longer and with much greater physical wear and tear. This type of surfaces is favorites of the players, who wait for the ball at the bottom of the track. Within the slow tennis courts would be those of clay.
- In contrast, fast tennis courts provide faster and lower boats, in which the player must fight very short points in which the preparation of the blow should be instantaneous. In this type of tracks, it is essential to have a good game on your knees to move quickly along the track and to use the background very little, giving greater importance to the services and the network game. The tennis courts of grass would be in this group, thanks to its irregular boats with many changes of height and direction.
Lastly, it is necessary to mention that there are also ultra-fast tennis courts with a game of very high speed, in which the servers and the volleys are very important and the reaction time between blows is very reduced. Inside this type of tracks, we find the synthetic surfaces of the interior that are enough faster than the hard ones and even those of grass.
In each type of track and surface players use more hits than others, adapt their game to the conditions. In an article on our blog, we review the main tennis hits, a description of each type of action to improve the game.