With the opening of Stade Roland Garros in Paris in the mid-1920s, the clay tennis courts gained prominence among tennis enthusiasts for the first time. While many people prefer them due to their cheap construction, clay tennis courts often require high maintenance and proper water management. These courts demand lines installation more frequently than any other court.
With so many preparations and dimensions involved in the line setup process, people often end up installing the lines with false measurements that affect their game in long term. In case you’re searching for ideas to install the lines accurately, we’ve provided an easy-to-follow guide that will help you set up new tennis court lines on your court.
But first, let’s have in-depth knowledge about these courts. So let’s get started.
What are Clay Courts?
- Clay courts are tennis courts that are more commonly seen in South America and Europe. The playing surfaces of these courts are made of shales, bricks, crushed stones, or aggregates of other unbound minerals.
- Clay tennis courts are generally of two types: 1) green clay courts that have harder surface and are also known as “rubico” and 2) red clay courts which are a more common variety. The deep red coloured clay courts are identical to the French Open Championships.
- These clay courts have surfaces that effectively slow down the speed of the ball. This in turn reduces the skid of the ball on the court surface. In addition to these effects, the courts also provide some extra bounce.
How are these Courts different?
There is a subtle difference between clay courts and any other type of courts, especially grass courts and hard courts.
- While playing on the clay courts, unlike grass courts, the ball will reach you in the maximum time and the bounce of the ball will not be as predictable as hard courts. If you love to generate heavy spins on your shots, clay courts would be ideal for you.
- The uniqueness of clay courts makes it harder for many players to set-up new lines on the court. For a first-timer, installing the lines would be a daunting task.
With the help of the guide we’ve provided in the following section, you’ll master the line installation process in no time.
Guide to set-up new lines on your clay tennis court
Step-1: Make sure to measure and mark the court properly for the line tapes. Take all the time necessary for measuring the court as any mistake in dimensions will complicate the process.
Step-2: Once you’re done with the task of measuring out the line, use a nail to mark the spot.
- There is a good possibility that you won't find nails made specifically for tennis clay courts in the market. Therefore, we recommend you Tennis Court Supply's 2-1/2" Aluminum Nails 25 lb Box. These aluminum nails are designed for use with sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru clay courts. The nails have large and textured flat heads having diameter of 7/16". The box provides enough nails to install 3 sets of line tapes for a doubles court.
Step-3: Now comes the role of chalk lines. Sometimes, while placing line tapes between the spots, we can’t put them in a straight path. This happens due to our wrong prediction. To avoid this problem, use chalk lines on the surface to ensure that your line tapes are laid out in a straight line from one end to another.
Step-4: After you make sure that the lines are straight, use quality line tapes that can roll over the line efficiently. When rolling out your line tape, you need to secure the corners of the tape with nails as you lay the tape.
- Tennis Court Supplies Har-Tru Herringbone Tape is the best line tape that you’ll find on the internet. It is a budget line tape which comes with easy installation and added texture. This tape is made of long-lasting vinyl which makes it stay white for a long time and cleans easily. It is designed to ensure consistent ball spin and speed at any angle the ball strikes the tape.
Step-5: There will be some additional pre-punched holes present on the line, so be sure to add a nail to each of them as long as they don't overlap. Also, avoid hammering them in. You need to keep 1/4” above the surface. This will help in keeping everything even when you’re rolling the lines on the court.
Step-6: Now that the lines are drawn, use a roller to roll the lines down. Also, the nails that were above the surface will all be set into the ground evenly with the same amount of pressure.
Step-7: Trim the ends of the line tapes that were in excess and pointing outwards. This is done to ensure that every line is even and every corner is crisp.
Now that you know about the steps required for a successful installation of lines on the court, you may be wondering why to train on the clay courts and how can it improve your game. For that reason, we’ve provided some of the reasons that will help you understand the benefits of these courts.
5 Reasons to Train on Clay Tennis Courts
- Thanks to the surface of the court, the speed of the ball is relatively slow. Therefore, you’ll witness a sharp improvement in your decision making abilities as longer rallies are played.
- Being constantly engaged in longer rallies, there will be a rapid improvement in your endurance and mental toughness.
- You will understand the importance of patience. Hence, they make you a lot more patient.
- You’ll learn a variety of shots required to win points. You’ll become better at spins and angles.
- Due to the presence of clay on the surface, the ground feels softer. The softer surface puts less stress and pressure on the body. Hence, there will be fewer chances of any internal injury.
These courts certainly have some disadvantages regarding maintenance. If you want to enjoy your tennis session thoroughly then make sure to constantly roll the surface to preserve flatness. If you’re interested in buying more tennis court line related accessories, you’ll find them and many other products at Tennis Court Supply at a much reasonable price.
For more information, kindly visit our website or contact our supportive staff. We’ll be happy to assist you.