From clay to grass: knowing your tennis surfaces
ANZ Tennis Hot Shots uses smaller-sized courts to make it easier for kids to learn the game. As your child uses modified equipment to improve their skills, they will progress through the program to play on full-sized versions.
The ANZ Tennis Hot Shots modified courts used may be a different size to the ones we see stars such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal compete on, but there are still some similarities. Both have a baseline and of course there is a net, even if it is a bit smaller too! And just like the pros, ANZ Tennis Hot Shots can be played on a number of different surfaces.
Hard courts, which includes asphalt and concrete surfaces, are the most commonly used.
The speed of hard courts can vary slightly, but an advantage is that bounces are more consistent and predictable than other surfaces.
> ANZ Tennis Hot Shots participants have the chance to play at Rod Laver Arena during Australian Open 2018. Find out more about becoming the ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year.
The red dirt surface is most common in European countries, but more and more clay courts are being installed in Australia.
Clay is used at the French Open and is a slower surface.
Tennis balls bounce higher and it suits players like Nadal and Australian Sam Stosur who use a lot of spin on their shots.
This is the fastest surface used in tennis and is what Wimbledon is played on.
The balls skid off the court more and bounce lower. This is Federer’s favourite surface as it suits his attacking game (he prefers to play shorter points and finish them with volleys at the net).
A disadvantage of grass courts is they cannot be used year-round. They are typically only played on in summer months.
Indoor v outdoor
Tennis is mostly played outdoors, but can be an indoor sport too!
Indoor courts are typically faster and remove the impact of the weather – which means you can play when it is raining and (thankfully!) don’t have to worry about wind.
Time to play
While not all surfaces play the same, the best news is you can learn to play on any of them. At the end of the day ANZ Tennis Hot Shots is all about having fun no matter what surface it is on!