When tennis first went 'open' to professionals back in the late 1960's three of the four grand slams were still played on grass, the exception being Roland Garros with its clay courts.

However, currently the Australian and US Open are played on hard court, the French on clay and Wimbeldon on grass.

We are listing here different courts and their properties:

1. Clay courts: The deep red coloured Clay Courts are synonymous with the French Open Championships. These courts are considered the slowest surface in tennis as the Clay surface: slows down the speed of the ball; reduces the skid of the ball on the surface of the court; and causes a high bounce of the ball. Great player Pete Sampras, who favours the serve and volley game, has never won the French Open Championship despite his dominance of the Grass and Hard Courts in the 1990s. Rafael Nadal is often dubbed as the King of Clay.

2. Grass Courts: The Grass Court is normally associated with the prestigious Wimbledon Championships. This tournament has been graced by the greatest names in tennis such as Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe. This surface is the fastest of all the tennis court surfaces due to its slippery nature. The ball has a lower bounce as the soil is softer than the materials used on the other types of tennis courts. The Grass Courts may also produce an unpredictable bounce to the ball due to the softer and slightly uneven surface of grass.

3. Hard Courts: Hard Courts are courts generally made from asphalt or concrete and are the most commonly available courts as they are easy to maintain. The Hard Court provides a surface where: the ball travels at a speed slower than on Grass Courts but faster than Clay Courts;the bounce of the ball is high due to the hard surface; and the bounce of the ball is very predictable as the surface is very flat and easy to maintain.

The Hard Court is generally considered by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as a good surface for all types of players as it provides a good compromise between the Grass Courts and Clay Courts and is thus termed as a “Democratic Court”, which provides players favouring various styles of play, from the Serve and Volley player to a Baseliner, thus providing an even playing field.

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