Monday, May 28, 2012


No way we could have public, cheap, ubiquitous clay tennis courts in the western US. They just cost too much to maintain. Of course, they may be everywhere, hidden beneath the feat of baseball and softball players in nearly every park.

I saw this photo while watching the French Open on Tennis Channel. I kept looking back and forth from the TV to this picture. I couldn't tell the difference between the two surfaces.


"But the ball doesn't bounce perfectly every time."

"The footing isn't perfect."

Right. Sounds like clay court tennis, popular the world over. Just not here. Because it's not perfect.

The wavy, cracked hard courts I play on aren't perfect, either. They are hard, though. Which sucks.

UPDATE: A colleague and I recently went out to a baseball diamond very similar to the one pictured above. We stretched a bungee cord between to ball-hoppers supporting singles sicks to make a net. We scratched out lines for a tennis court in the dirt with our feet.  Then we began playing. It was awesome. Since the clay/dirt was groomed but dry, the surface was a bit more slippery than a typical clay tennis court, but it was F.U.N. Our shoes, socks, and tennis balls got that telltale orange color of clay. We rallied, played some points, and a tie-breaker. No doubt this surface is good for tennis.

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