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View Full Version : Clay Court question: why don't players get tripped up by the lines.


sloe_torture
06-07-2007, 08:40 AM
With all the running and sliding happening on the courts at the French Open I always wonder why the players don't trip or stumble while sliding on and across the court lines. I remember white 'tape' embedded on har-tru courts with nails. Can somebody explain why players don't trip up on these type of courts and why tennis balls don't make funny bounces when hitting the lines? Thanks.

Nuke
06-07-2007, 08:58 AM
Tennis balls DO make funny bounces all the time when they hit the line. It may not be so obvious on TV. As for why they don't trip on the lines, well, these guys & gals are pretty good on their feet. And sometimes they do stumble on a line, but not very often.

Craig Sheppard
06-07-2007, 09:28 AM
With all the running and sliding happening on the courts at the French Open I always wonder why the players don't trip or stumble while sliding on and across the court lines. I remember white 'tape' embedded on har-tru courts with nails. Can somebody explain why players don't trip up on these type of courts and why tennis balls don't make funny bounces when hitting the lines? Thanks.

They actually do fall! Gasquet in his first round match slid up on a short ball and slid over the sideline and his foot caught on the line... he fell down rather ungracefully.

diegaa
06-07-2007, 10:12 AM
it´s more common than you think on non pro players.

Andres
06-07-2007, 10:29 AM
it´s more common than you think on non pro players.
I never tripped by stepping on a line!
But I have had tripped because of sliding into small BUMPS of clay :D

backcourt
06-07-2007, 10:42 AM
Balls definitely take funny bounces when they hit the line, frequently they wont come up much. I've never tripped over the tape, but have lost my footing on the baseline a couple of times and ended up on the clay.

Geezer Guy
06-07-2007, 10:43 AM
The RG courts may be a little better maintained than a lot of the courts we play on. The lines are probably not as raised up on the RG courts as they are on others. It may be possible to slide across a line without ending up on your arse, and a serve hitting the line isn't an automatic ace.

diegaa
06-07-2007, 02:03 PM
I never tripped by stepping on a line!
But I have had tripped because of sliding into small BUMPS of clay :D

thats because you are either a pro or you dont run any shot. ;) muerto de frio!

Andres
06-07-2007, 02:06 PM
thats because you are either a pro or you dont run any shot. ;) muerto de frio!
Yo me pregunto... como hace una persona que solo corre por la base, como vos, para tropezarse con las lineas... QUÉ LINEAS??

Yo corro permanentemente para adelante y para atras, para adelante y para atrás, y atravieso todas las líneas de la cancha... y no me tropiezo!!

Vos tal vez seas el inútil que no sabes como moverte en una cancha de ladrillo :mrgreen:

SalvadorVeiga
06-07-2007, 05:04 PM
The RG courts may be a little better maintained than a lot of the courts we play on. The lines are probably not as raised up on the RG courts as they are on others. It may be possible to slide across a line without ending up on your arse, and a serve hitting the line isn't an automatic ace.


RG courts do not have tape lines like other courts... Usually clay courts have those taped raised lines stuck with nails... RG they are painted, specially to avoid injuries etc... They are painted with white paint and a mix of resine (I don't know the name...it's the liquid from pine trees) =)

Geezer Guy
06-08-2007, 12:20 PM
RG courts do not have tape lines like other courts... Usually clay courts have those taped raised lines stuck with nails... RG they are painted, specially to avoid injuries etc... They are painted with white paint and a mix of resine (I don't know the name...it's the liquid from pine trees) =)

The clay is painted? No, I don't think so.

Maybe you're thinking of Wimbledon. The grass courts are painted with chalk.

Lakoste
06-08-2007, 12:30 PM
The clay is painted? No, I don't think so.

Maybe you're thinking of Wimbledon. The grass courts are painted with chalk.

I was watching the match today, and they mentioned how the lines there are painted.

diegaa
06-08-2007, 12:34 PM
The clay is painted? No, I don't think so.

Maybe you're thinking of Wimbledon. The grass courts are painted with chalk.

no, he is rtight. in RG they dont have plastic as the lines.

bad_call
06-08-2007, 01:20 PM
I was watching the match today, and they mentioned how the lines there are painted.

i heard that too. then how do they stay put ? maybe a harder than clay surface where the lines are painted?

peter
06-08-2007, 03:06 PM
i heard that too. then how do they stay put ? maybe a harder than clay surface where the lines are painted?

Here's a couple of closeup images:

http://www.pbase.com/marcdemoulin/image/61237664
http://www.fedephoto.com/fotoweb/FWbin/preview.dll/NIC0034009.jpg?D=34622D1182FEC6644F9562429C826F8B3 BC6099EB87F95CA1C1A108055DB399748B7FE2AAAB0F9250AE 100B4CD3D556244689B61D6A26903EDC06555AFA0D404263FB 9B4740C3F74B2845E075916038A1FE51BF51D3958B79036764 32D9422849568B8F959913987328FA96645E72BFE50E2E8E95 C227099811CC79EF2B9B8FD663D215B57E287F4
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/photos/events//sp/052707frenchopen//index/*http://news.yahoo.com/photos/ss/events//sp/052707frenchopen//im:/070608/photos_us_rank_afp/b1f5adb6e243034a4d723a6c5beec4a8

I'm not sure I'd call it paint like in "paint put on top of the clay" but more like a thick layer of paint put on top on some subsurface stuff below the normal clay. It definitely doesn't extend much above the clay surface.

AAAA
06-08-2007, 05:40 PM
i heard that too. then how do they stay put ? maybe a harder than clay surface where the lines are painted?

A red clay court is basically a hard undersurface with a top layer of brick dust that makes the court a clay court. The lines obviously are painted onto the hard undersurface then the top layer is spread on.

SalvadorVeiga
06-08-2007, 06:20 PM
i was pretty detailed when I explained... it's not cal paint like the one it's used on grass as for soccer fields etc... it's white paint mixed with pine tree resine... and it's painted to the hard surface underneath the clay as someone mentioned...

peter
06-09-2007, 06:20 AM
A red clay court is basically a hard undersurface with a top layer of brick dust that makes the court a clay court. The lines obviously are painted onto the hard undersurface then the top layer is spread on.

_Some_ clay courts are like that. How you build and design a clay court varies a lot depending on the climate where they are located. For example around here a normal clay court does not have a hard undersurface but rather an undersurface made out of gravel and then a layer of "clay" base material and then a top material (fine-crushed "clay"). Around here the lines are most often fastened using long nails into the clay. More modern courts use another method with a "U"-formed plastic rail that's put into the court and then you have the line attached as a lock to the "rail".

Geezer Guy
06-11-2007, 06:58 AM
You guys were right, I was wrong - Lines are painted at Roland Garros.

origmarm
06-11-2007, 07:10 AM
A red clay court is basically a hard undersurface with a top layer of brick dust that makes the court a clay court. The lines obviously are painted onto the hard undersurface then the top layer is spread on.

This is correct, in many of them you have these little brushes on rollers also to "clean" the brick dust/other clay/subsitute off the lines so you can see them.
http://www.collinscompany.com/mall/123.jpg

You will also see players (saw Nadal doing it yesterday), sweep the line with their foot prior to serving as you can sometimes get back footfault calls if you don't so many are told to do it by coaches

AAAA
06-11-2007, 10:27 AM
_Some_ clay courts are like that. How you build and design a clay court varies a lot depending on the climate where they are located. For example around here a normal clay court does not have a hard undersurface but rather an undersurface made out of gravel and then a layer of "clay" base material and then a top material (fine-crushed "clay"). Around here the lines are most often fastened using long nails into the clay. More modern courts use another method with a "U"-formed plastic rail that's put into the court and then you have the line attached as a lock to the "rail".

Peter, those are cheap courts ;-) unworthy of Roland Garros!

Andres
06-11-2007, 10:32 AM
Peter, those are cheap courts ;-) unworthy of Roland Garros!
No, that's how REAL claycourts are build, and exactly how Roland Garros is build ;)

A hard surface, and crushed brick on top? LOL, gimme a break :D
The only difference with the courts I see in the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club (ATP Buenos Aires), are the lines (plastic ones nailed on the surface, instead of "painted") ;)