View Full Version : Does a slow Astro-turf court play like clay?

Roger Sampras
05-18-2007, 12:31 PM
I have not played on clay before but i do play alot on hardcourt and astro grass, and the astro courts that I play on are very slow.
I was interested to know if a slow astro court actually plays like red clay?

05-19-2007, 01:51 AM
No, clay is slower and has a much higher bounce.

05-19-2007, 01:57 AM
No, clay is slower and has a much higher bounce.

Absolutely agreed. Slow astro-turf (synthetic grass) is, in my experience, no way similar to clay (well, at least en-tout-cas, which is the only 'clay' I've played on). As NB says above, astro has a very low bounce, and is 'most-always fast.

Thud and blunder
05-19-2007, 02:09 AM
Some astro courts play pretty slow, especially if they're old / not well maintained / have too much sand. But the bounce should always be pretty low, so not like clay at all.

05-20-2007, 05:48 PM
I played on astro turf in Mexico a couple of months ago.

I usually play clay twice a week.

I find clay to be much slower, and have a much higher bounce.

Of course, the more sand on the astro turf, the lower the bounce.

05-20-2007, 09:37 PM
i actually regularly play on astro-sand and it doesnt bounce as high. but it is pretty slow. i find that the astro-sand courts are a bit slipperier than green clay... maybe there is too much sand or something.

all i know is when ever i play on it we always have much longer rallies.

also the sliding simulates that of sliding on clay. [kinda]

Roger Sampras
05-21-2007, 01:48 AM
Thanks everyone for your feedback.
The astro I play on seems atleast slower than hardcourt. And yeah the bouce is low. I have played just once on real grass and that i would describe as fast and low and i couldnt describe astro as being fast and low. slwow and low yes.
Here in New Zealand we hardly have clay courts. Actually few clubs even have hardcourts..its all astro astro astro..and if astro is so good then how come no atp tournements are played on it?

05-21-2007, 02:10 AM
The ones I have played on are fast and low, but I reckon its down to the amount of sand on the court. They had more sand on them when I went back recently and I reckon they were considerably slower

05-21-2007, 02:12 AM
and if astro is so good then how come no atp tournements are played on it?

RS you're making a bad assumption there - that because it's used a lot that it's somehow good!

It's a hideous surface:

It doesn't take spin well, other than slice
It usually plays quite fast, meaning juniors don't learn how to craft points compared to clay
The bounce is terribly low.
It slides unevenly.
It requires regular maintenance.
It is expensive (compared to a hardcourt)
It tends to be uneven / lumpy if put-down badly.
It wears unevenly.
The 'burns' from falling on it are worse than grazes from hardcourt
The sand it's covered in is just annoying
etc etc etcIt has two, and only two good properties for the local clubs:
It is slightly softer than hardcourt and thus probably easier on the joints
Big one: It is one of the best all-weather surfaces, and if put-down correctly, can even be played on during very light rain, and almost immediately after all-but heavy rain.(My club has it by the way, so I'm not bagging it without empathy. It was universally slammed with most of the above points on my coaching course. I will add that Tennis Australia pretty much hates tournaments on it because of it's lack of relevance on the world scale, and TA do have a 'clay-court' initiative going in some form, trying to get kids to learn on a real surface).