Why not clay courts – for college tennis?

Growing up playing clay court tennis it has always bothered me that collegiate tennis is only played on asphalt/hard surface tennis courts.  Football and baseball fields can be grass or synthetic and that is acceptable.  Beyond the fact that I think colleges/schools should have an home court advantage, I also believe that clay tennis helps to develop a full tennis game.  Longer points, dimensional strategies and different styles of play just makes sense.   It is only a simple biographical search of the top 10 players in both the men’s and women’s professional game to figure out that developing tennis games on clay has produced some of the best tennis players in the world.

So, why aren’t clay courts part of college tennis?

 

2 Responses to Why not clay courts – for college tennis?
  1. Scott Bruce
    November 5, 2014 | 9:28 pm

    Agreed. As GM of one of best Har-Tru court facilities in Chicago, we were always looking to convert two of our twelve Har-Tru courts to hard courts because we couldn’t retain our younger players after age 12. Why? Because “everyone plays on hard courts.” Four years ago we hired a top-ranked pro from NY to join our management team. He grew up in Romania, played in Europe and his first comment on the matter was, “the reason the Americans are not competing at the level of others is that they do not learn the game on clay (Har-Tru).”

    Don’t be afraid of the maintenance aspect, those kids are young and should learn to care for the courts they play on. The intrinsic value of caring for the court they just played on goes a long way.

    • Gary Whalen
      December 29, 2014 | 4:32 pm

      I agree Scott. Clay courts force juniors to hit a lot of balls, get used to running/moving on a tennis court and helps them develop a more mental game. Clay courts may not help in the development of the return game but in all other aspects, clay courts demand better fitness both mental and physical. They have turf fields and grass fields in football. Why not keep some variety in college tennis?

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Why not clay courts – for college tennis?

Growing up playing clay court tennis it has always bothered me that collegiate tennis is only played on asphalt/hard surface tennis courts.  Football and baseball fields can be grass or synthetic and that is acceptable.  Beyond the fact that I think colleges/schools should have an home court advantage, I also believe that clay tennis helps to develop a full tennis game.  Longer points, dimensional strategies and different styles of play just makes sense.   It is only a simple biographical search of the top 10 players in both the men’s and women’s professional game to figure out that developing tennis games on clay has produced some of the best tennis players in the world.

So, why aren’t clay courts part of college tennis?

 

2 Responses to Why not clay courts – for college tennis?
  1. Scott Bruce
    November 5, 2014 | 9:28 pm

    Agreed. As GM of one of best Har-Tru court facilities in Chicago, we were always looking to convert two of our twelve Har-Tru courts to hard courts because we couldn’t retain our younger players after age 12. Why? Because “everyone plays on hard courts.” Four years ago we hired a top-ranked pro from NY to join our management team. He grew up in Romania, played in Europe and his first comment on the matter was, “the reason the Americans are not competing at the level of others is that they do not learn the game on clay (Har-Tru).”

    Don’t be afraid of the maintenance aspect, those kids are young and should learn to care for the courts they play on. The intrinsic value of caring for the court they just played on goes a long way.

    • Gary Whalen
      December 29, 2014 | 4:32 pm

      I agree Scott. Clay courts force juniors to hit a lot of balls, get used to running/moving on a tennis court and helps them develop a more mental game. Clay courts may not help in the development of the return game but in all other aspects, clay courts demand better fitness both mental and physical. They have turf fields and grass fields in football. Why not keep some variety in college tennis?

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