Tennis Court – Diagram With Sizes and Dimensions

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A Summary of a Tennis Court

Most people undoubtedly know the names of the top tennis players in the world. Each year, millions of people rally around to watch the matches taking place at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, Australian Open, and others. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, you are sure to find individuals who love and play this game. Now, the emerald green of a tennis court is absolutely iconic but few know the dimensions of the court or what it is even made of. Let’s take a closer look at just what a tennis court entails:

The Dimensions of a Tennis Court

The dimensions of a tennis court are decided upon by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), at least for official ones meant for competitions. One court can be used for both singles matches as well as doubles matches. The only difference is that different areas of the court are used during each of these games.

The length of a court is known as a sideline while the width is called a baseline. The length of both the singles and the doubles court remains the same at 23.78m. The width of a singles court is 8.23m wide. For the doubles court, it is 10.97m.

There are two sidelines on an official tennis court. The innermost one is the singles sidelines, marking the boundary for the singles court. The outer line is the doubles sidelines and is the perimeter of the doubles court. The distance between the singles and the doubles sidelines is 1.372m on either side.

The net is placed in the exact middle of the court, creating divisions of 11.89m on either side. The poles are 1.07m long while the net measures at 0.91m long. Running parallel to the net are the service lines. These extend from one singles sideline to the other. The service lines are located on either side of the net. They are each 6.4m away from the net. The center service line is perpendicular to the service boxes, dividing them into half. The width of each service box is 4.11m.

All of the lines on the tennis court are between 2.5 and 5cm thick. The baselines, however, may be up to 10cm thick. There is a short line protruding from the baseline. This line is present directly in the middle of the baseline. It is 10cm long and 5cm wide.

What is a Tennis Court Made Of?

The ITF has specific instructions for how a tennis court must be constructed. This can slightly vary from region to region, depending on the climate and the various surfaces. For the most part, however, these surfaces are quite similar to one another.

A tennis court is made up of several layers. The foundation of the court is made from compacted dirt and is made completely level. The foundation level is usually made from asphalt and is about 150mm below the surface. Typically, a geotextile fabric is placed over this layer. This is for a variety of reasons including to keep the foundation porous and to distribute the load.

The top layers of the court may be covered in either acrylic, clay, carpet, or artificial grass, and clay. Despite being referred to as carpet, what it really discusses is most synthetic fibers that are used in indoor courts. There are also some courts that are made from real grass as well. Depending on the topmost layer that is chosen, the construction process is quite different. Various materials may be used to reinforce the upper layer to ensure that it is level and that it drains properly. As mentioned, there can be variations in the courts. However, these courts must all be made from materials that have been approved by the ITF.

The painting of the court takes place weeks after the top layer has set. There is usually a polyurethane or acrylic binder added to improve the resilience of the painted surface.

The Evolution of the Tennis Court

The early variations of tennis have been around as far back as the eleventh century. Back then, of course, the game resembled handball then it did tennis. Over time, this sport began to transform until it was known as Real Tennis, a game quite similar to what is played today.

This game gained popularity among the upper classes of the French and the British. The earliest games of Real Tennis were played on hard courts that were made from either stone or wood. Even Henry VIII, an ardent fan of the sport, had a hard court built in his palace.

It was only much later, in the 18th century that people began to take the sport outdoors. Here, it was played on grass and referred to as Long Tennis or Field Tennis. There weren’t any regulation courts and one of them, a design patented by Major Wingfield, was actually an hourglass shape. In 1875, the Marylebone Cricket Club decided that the official shape of the tennis court would be rectangular.

Even as late as 1970, grass tennis courts were incredibly popular. Official tournaments such as Wimbledon Championships, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open were held on grass tournaments during this period. Now, it is only Wimbledon from the Grand Slam tournaments that holds onto this tradition. However, there are still numerous competitions in England that still take place on grass courts.

These weren’t the only surfaces that the sport was played on, however. In Europe and South America, clay courts were predominant and were widespread until the 1980s. Still, you will find that the French Open, at Roland Garros, is played on a clay court.

Asphalt, acrylic, concrete, and carpet were introduced only later, but are now considered common components of any official tennis court.

Courts Similar to a Tennis Court

When you think of sports that are similar to that of tennis, badminton would probably spring to mind. While they may have similar concepts, the courts themselves are actually quite dissimilar to one another. To start with, a badminton court is much smaller than a tennis court, both in length as well as in width. There is not enough room for a singles game, let alone a doubles game. Also, the net is a great deal higher than in badminton so it would require a change in playing styles as well.

Another court that is similar in design to a tennis court is a netball court. This court, too, despite being larger than a badminton court is still smaller than a tennis court. Also, there is a similar problem of the net simply being too high.

Then there is a pickleball court. Here, the widths are quite similar to that of a tennis court although the length, once again, comes up short. The net is at absolutely the perfect height for playing tennis, nonetheless.

The tennis court that you know today has undergone quite a few changes over the centuries. It has been played on different courts across the world but today, there is a greater singularity between these playing arenas. It has gone from being a favorite among nobles to a sport that is played by everyone. This sport has held millions of people spellbound for years and continues to do so today. This is really a sport that transcends time and still appeals to people today.

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