M'kay, so we hear about the pros and how they are on different surfaces, but how about all of you here that play and have played on more than one surface?
I was started out on a hardcourt at the age of about three playing tennis with my dad at a local park. It wasn't too long thereafter that we were out there for up to six hours a day, him coaching me the entire time, helping me develop a passion for the game.
By the age of five, he and my mom already knew that this was a serious deal for me, and we moved from Missouri to Florida to seek tennis opportunities. I was introduced to indoor clay courts there (age 5) and I couldn't believe the difference. I had been so used to this fast-pace game, and then here was this slower pace surface, and I remember hating to play on it. I even complained about how it stained my "pretty shoes and clothes." I never have really liked playing on clay, and I've only played 7 clay tournaments in now 13 years of competitive play.
Grass was a different story. I first played on a grass surface when I was six and I loved it, after I understood the surface a little better. I haven't played a grass-court tournament since I was nine (which was also in Florida), but wow did I love the pace of the grass.
Carpet was no big deal to me, and I've played on it more than I would care for.
When we moved to Missouri three years ago when I was 15, it was back to full-time hardcourts unless I was playing an international tournament, such as in Germany and France, where the tournaments I played in were almost always on clay.
So anyway, what surfaces have you all played on, and what do you favor and why? :)
03-24-2005, 03:05 AM
I have played on all five too. I grew up on hard couts (still growing up on them :p ) I have played a new National Claycourt championships too. I practiced on grass for a month at a club in new york for fun and i played carpet in Florida i believe. Still, i love hardcourts the most while clay is most fitting to me gamestyle.
03-24-2005, 03:12 AM
I've personally only played on hard courts and clay (red and green). I prefer clay the most, and green since it is most accessible for me. Living in the United States though, you still obviously end up playing on hard courts a ton.
I like clay because I just like the tempo of the game, and usually I can use it to my advantage tactically. Some people don't know how to slide properly on clay, and they think it slows their game down so much that they enter a match in a slightly negative frame of mind from the get go. Not everyone is like this, but some people I play are. Also, it slows the game down for sure, but you can still hit winners fine as long as you are setting points up properly.
03-24-2005, 03:18 AM
only ever played on hardcourts, but I just recently moved house and there are some grasscourts down the road from me, so I'll definitely give those a shot
dont know if there are even any claycourts here :)
03-24-2005, 03:58 AM
I grew up in clay courts. I love them. And I train in fast hard courts every now and then. I've played on Rebound Ace too, and synthetic grass.
Ive never played in natural grass though.
03-24-2005, 04:57 AM
I've played in clay, grass and hard courts. Still looking for a try on carpet, hope it will come soon.
Any serve-volley player gotta LOVE grass courts. All the slices there seem perfect, and it favours my kind of game in every aspect.
Still, it's hard to find permanent grass courts here, so I play mainly in hard courts.
03-24-2005, 05:22 AM
However, something weird happens. When I play national tournaments and I play against hard-court players, I beat them at hard courts and I just get my ass kicked in clay....
03-24-2005, 05:32 AM
Grew up on hardcourts. Now I generally play on either synthetic grass or hardcourt. I play on real grass from time to time. I don't like it much. It's too slippery for my liking. There is a clay court at my local club but only special get to play on it. And I'm not special enough.
03-24-2005, 06:22 AM
I mostly play at the public park with the cracks in the ground. with a $20 racquet from wall-mart.
03-24-2005, 08:42 AM
i play on all of them- grass- clay- hardcourt. I like all of them equally- becasue they all need a different part of my game to do well. I serve and volley on grass- but stay at the back sometimes. I stay at the back a lot on clay- but i sometimes i serve and volley.
The harccourt is probably a little better for becasue i get to really mix and match- becasue i can stay at the back, and serve and volley, and still maintain the same affect. Hardcourt is probably a little better for me, but i still love the other courts very much.
03-24-2005, 08:52 AM
Started on an ashphalt court (basketball converted to a tennis court) and i hated it because loose stones would get in the way and the ball wouldn't bounce the way you wanted it too. Then i played on hardcourt, which i loved at the time, that was until i played on clay courts which suited my game more, baseline rallies. Grass court was a nightmare though. I have never played on carpet before.
03-24-2005, 09:03 AM
Played on asphalt (community courts) , grass ( a friend is a member of a rich mans club), hardcourts, indoor arenas ( where I lived no sun for 7 months of the year) , black and that green clay stuff. I enjoy playing on clay the most, at the moment there is this pseudo clay surface that's alright, but not close at all to the real thing.
03-24-2005, 12:52 PM
Hardcourt, carpet (indoors) and green clay.
Like the hardcourt best...probably because it's where I've spent the majority of my time. True bounces (for the most part), sure footing, availability and (lack of) cost all contribute to my preference.
Indoors on carpet is merely OK. It's nice not having to battle the elements but I sometimes struggle with the lighting and HVAC systems (it's either too hot or too cold). As for the surface itself...it seems like a mix of hard and clay. Ball doesn't bounce up as much but there are fewer anomalies than what you typically get on clay.
Green clay courts...are relatively rare...in the public format, although one local park has 6 such courts. They're reasonably well maintained and provide an opportunity to play on something different. I don't slide well...again, probably for lack of experience...and it's harder to find the right time to come to net. What would be a put-away on hardcourt...still comes back, invariably as a lob...that I struggle to make a quick retreat on. It's kinder on the joints, though, and as I age that may become more and more of a consideration.
As for success...I've found it on all three surfaces. It just sometimes takes a different mindset...and a slightly different game plan.