The red clay that is used as the surface on a tennis court originated right back to the origins of the game. If you play tennis yourself, you have been privileged to have a game on this famous surface. The history of the red clay court is particularly prevalent in Spain and the home of the only major played on clay; France.
This is a unique surface and makes the style of play completely different from other surfaces. To actually play on clay is an exhilarating experience.
We are all fascinated by both its appearance and the way that red clay changes the game of tennis. Here are a few snippets of information that you may not already know.
A player who constantly serves and volleys on other surfaces will find themselves really struggling on the class. As will those whose success depends on the accuracy of their booming serves.
To see a player approach the net is a great rarity on clay. The baseline player is the one who will win through on the red clay court.
So why is the strategy for this game so different? Well, it is very simple, the clay is a thick and heavy surface which sticks to the ball and therefore slows it Down considerably.
Where as on other surfaces such as hard courts the ball skids along the surface at speed, on clay courts it is slowed right down by the thickness of the surface.
As the ball has been slowed down; it will bounce a lot higher than on other surfaces, so the players have more time to get to the ball and return it. It is due to this that clay can claim to have some of tennis’ longest matches played on it.
The games are generally a lot closer on clay as the points go on a lot longer with the slower ball being easier to reach.
Although the ball is easier to reach, the faster player will always have the advantage over their slower opponents.