How the Court Surface Affects the Playing Style of the Game

Guest post by Sie Aarma-Kivi, Co-Founder and Marketing Executive of TennisKit24.


Tennis is played on very different surfaces, which affect the playing style remarkably. Each surface has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, the playing strategy on one surface might not work on the other. Therefore, it’s definitely important to know the small details to get the best out of your tennis experience!


Carpet Court

A carpet surface is not very commonly used, and the material, texture, and thickness of the carpet can vary. On the carpet surface, the ball bounces fast and slow. There exist two types of carpet surfaces:

  • Indoor carpet surface 
  • Outdoor carpet surface 


The most important thing to keep in mind when playing on a carpet court is a fast movement. Since the speed of the ball does not leave much time for preparation, an aggressive game is a key. Additionally, cutting off angles and approaching the net could be the best solution in that case. In comparison to, for example, hard court, the carpet surface is quite foot-friendly and soft.

The 7 different running surfaces and how they affect the body


Hard Court

Hard court is the most common tennis court surface for both indoor and outdoor use. A hard court is asphalt or concrete coated with different materials. Therefore, the ball bounces relatively fast and high. Even though it’s a fast surface, it’s more predictable than grass or clay courts. A hard court is a great solution for players with different styles, but because of its predictability, it is advised to practice different kinds of strokes and spin in order to achieve a more dynamic game.

Trail Running V’s Road Running

However, the hard court also has its disadvantages. Namely, a hard court is not very good for the body since the base of the court is made of asphalt or concrete. The possibility of getting an injury while playing mostly on a hard court is much higher than compared to other, softer surfaces. Therefore, it is crucial to get yourself the best tennis shoes in order to anticipate the injuries.


Clay Court

Clay court does not exactly consist of clay; instead, it’s made of crushed brick. Clay is considered as the slowest surface, which is very forgiving and friendly to the body. Clay court is definitely the best option for baseline players since it is important to construct points well while playing on that surface. The ball bounces slow and high, and it’s not easy to hit a winner at all! Therefore, it crucial to play with a lot of topspin. In order to get your opponent in trouble, you have to build up a combination of great shots. Furthermore, it is truly an unpredictable surface – there are many bad bounces, which make the game even more exciting. 

Choosing the right running shoe for different surfaces

One of the most important things while playing on a clay court is sliding. It allows you to hit the ball while still being in motion – this is also one reason why clay court is the best option for your body. Sliding helps to prevent injuries, such as straining your ankle or knee. However, it is essential to have special tennis shoes made for clay court. With clay shoes, it is easier to run, stop, and then run again, since the pattern of the shoes is deeper than the one under regular tennis shoes.


Grass Court

The grass is the original surface where tennis was played on. Nowadays, the grass is not a very common surface and is mostly used in professional tennis. Grass courts are slippery, and the ball bounces fast and low. Like clay court, grass is also unpredictable – the bounce of the ball depends much on the condition of the grass. One reason for the rare use of grass courts is maintenance as it is time-consuming and difficult. However, the grass is a foot-friendly and soft surface as well. Because of the low bounce, it is necessary to bend your knees even more than usual and stay low all the time.

The fastest ball sports

The strategy that works on grass is again a more aggressive game – to play fast, approach the net as soon as possible, and to serve well. Grass court definitely favours serve-and-volley-players because of its fast and low bounce. So take advantage of the court, and play aggressively!


Artificial Grass Court

The artificial grass is becoming more and more popular. It’s one of the best options when it comes to building a private tennis court as the artificial grass tennis court construction is relatively easy. Artificial grass tennis courts also often have a tennis practice wall, which allows you to train every time you want. 


Artificial grass is a slower surface in comparison to natural grass; therefore it is possible for players with different styles to master all areas of their game. However, it is still a fast surface, and playing aggressively might be the best option. As with other fast surfaces, a great serve is also important to gain control over the point from the very beginning. Players must move fast to maintain control and be able to respond with quality shots.


Artificial grass is similar to clay and grass court for its foot-friendliness. It is a soft surface that is gentle to your body. Additionally, it is not as slippery as a natural grass court, which again is essential to prevent injuries. 


So, it’s all up to you on which surface you choose to play! 

Every surface has its small pros and cons, and each one of them makes tennis enjoyable in their own way. However, every surface has something to teach you about the game – so go on, enjoy and take your lessons!

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