View Full Version : The Worst/Interestingly different courts you've played on

04-23-2004, 04:18 AM
My vote goes to a court I played on ,on a stag do in Cyprus.I Was looking forward to playing on a flood lit red clay court for a couple of hours each night before getting on it.Only problem was the court was made of what can only be described as green tinsel,the type used to make fake x-mas trees.It was like playing on a giant grass skirt.The surface was so slick that returning serve was almost impossible and running on it, you got tangled up.The hotel is a five star!!!I also once rented a villa in Majorca that had a beautiful hard court with a small tree growing out of it.

david aames
04-23-2004, 10:10 AM
Nice topic. Deuce Mag is supposed to have a feature next month on 'backyard courts'.

For me, it will always be the local clay court in the south of France where I learned how to play. Surrounded by pines. I would pick cherries from the trees on my way there.

04-23-2004, 10:51 AM
In high school, we had to play one team on some asphalt courts. They were in pretty bad shape and there were cracks and weeds growing all over the surface.

04-23-2004, 10:56 AM
I played on a court a couple months ago that had a thick coat of pollen on the surface, it slowed the ball down considerably, it almost felt like we were playing on clay. There would be a yellow cloud when the ball landed and when you hit it.

04-23-2004, 05:37 PM
The court was one foot short at each end.

widebody 13
04-23-2004, 06:51 PM
There was a tournament that I played in Baltimore where there were both hard courts and red clay. According to the schedule, you might play the first round on the hard stuff and the second on the dirt . . .

Joe Average
04-23-2004, 09:47 PM
On a wooden gymnasium floor in Amherst, MA. There were so many differently colored, criss-crossing lines on the floor -- for basketball, volleyball, and tennis -- I couldn't find the baseline or the alleys.

Steve Huff
04-23-2004, 10:17 PM
I don't know which of these 3 was worst.

1. I HS, our home courts were concrete. The service box on the deuce side may be smooth as glass while the service box on the ad side was heavily textured. Also, had a built-in crack (expansion joint) running up the middle of the court from net to baseline. (this was Nathan Hale HS in Tulsa, OK in 1975)

2. Wood floor that doubled as a volleyball court at Okla. St.

3. Old Dominion University, where a lot of our USTA sectionals are played. There is so much coal dust on the courts from all the mining at or near the university. Open a new can of balls, roll it across the court and it will have a black line on it. How do you think they look after a few games? Worse than that, I wonder what is going into my lungs there.

04-24-2004, 12:49 AM
Yeah - those wooden gym floors are something else. The excessive number of lines was the least of my problems. The ball simply never bounces more than a foot off the ground. When the ball hits the varnished wood, it slides for about 4 feet, and then barely comes up. Sort of like playing on ice, I guess.

04-24-2004, 03:26 AM
I played HS matches on Tartan, the rubberized surface you see in indoor fieldhouses for basketball. Not quite as fast as wood, but really poor lighting and still very, very fast. It suited my S&V game.

Our outdoor courts were asphalt with wire fences for nets. The nets were too low and straight across (no drape and not higher in the alleys). The ball would also shoot through the net and if you were the netman in doubles, it was quite common to catch a return in the nads (from a ball that went through the net and deflected at an unexpected angle).

04-24-2004, 04:44 AM
Here are prob the worst courts Ive played on...

1) Where we used to play our matches on grass they marked the service box at one end about 3ft too much. Luckily it was at the beginning of the season so they had time to change it!

2) At a junior coaching session we used to train indoors at a local school on varnished gym floor. The Balls stayed low and fast. Def improved yor reactions tho.

04-24-2004, 10:22 AM
I used to play on tennis courts that were located inside a dormant volcano in Pozzuoli, Italy. The courts were fine; the location interesting.

04-24-2004, 12:51 PM
woah, that's sooo cool!

04-24-2004, 01:58 PM
When I was in Japan, I played on a court with carpet or carpet-like material. To my surprise, it had little to no differences than hard courts.

04-24-2004, 02:40 PM
Morpheus' experience has to be one of the worst on here, that sounds like an absolute nightmare! A fence for a net?!?!?!

04-24-2004, 03:38 PM
Yea, I guess the city thought the nets would be stolen or vandalized; never mind that I lived in the crime filled area of northern Minnesota!

04-24-2004, 05:05 PM
1) Dusty cushioned basketball court. No bounce. No traction.

2) "Grass" court made up of different heights/consistency of astro turf/welcome mats. Physically dangerous and forget about letting it bounce.

3) Ancient har-tru where all the grit had been blown/scraped away. Cracks and trenches scraped out along the baseline.

04-24-2004, 07:54 PM
Worst courts ; El Centro , CA. & Cancun Mexico circa. 1980 & the Casa Maya . The best St. Louis Country Clup indoor built 1916 by Dwight Davis & where I lived for yrs. Lakeridge in Reno , NV.

04-28-2004, 10:58 AM
Asphalt where it was cracking and pieces were sticking to the balls. The nets were metal too I think. In HS, the concrete surface was full of cracks with foot long weeds growing through. We would spend 5 minutes before starting, pulling weeds, until finally it got down to a manageable level.

David Pavlich
04-28-2004, 07:32 PM
When I lived in Brandon, FL, the place that I actually started to play tennis had ok courts, but at night in the spring there was an insect about the size of the A10 Thunderbolt II that would dive bomb the courts at night...literally. You'd be playing and WHAM! One of these big things would hit you in the back or on the head...we ALWAYS had a hat on. Lotsa' let calls.


04-28-2004, 11:13 PM
I live in a city where tennis takes a back seat to about everything else. All the public courts are dirty and in not so great condition. The courts in the public parks have metal fencing for nets. There are only two lighted courts in the city (pop. 100,000 and growing). The courts that I do play on (at a park and at a high school) are slanted with cracks and dirt everywhere. The junior college in the next city is having four of their courts taken out (leaving 4 left over) so that their collegiate baseball team can play in the summer, and my city is paying for part of that!!! My city also has a stupid little water park that I don't use but pay for with my tax dollars anyway and a stupid skate park as well. And to top it all off, my city is also building brand new bocce ball courts downtown, and I can't get a decent tennis court to play on. The only courts that are in good condition in my area are at a high school in a nearby town, but the fencing is too close to the courts. Can somebody please build a decent court in the area?

04-29-2004, 06:12 AM
I almost forgot, has anyone played on courts near a body of water at night and the mosquitos were so bad you almost couldn't play at all? I did about a month ago, bugs were constantly bombarding us, it reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

04-29-2004, 03:08 PM
I went to NYU. Its courts were constructed with a soft rubberized surface. There's no bounce at all. Not to mention it absorbed water sort of like a sponge. It was really interesting hitting wet skidding balls on a squishy usrface. I switched to squash real fast. Oh well, go Violets...

05-01-2004, 09:08 AM
My friend went to the Phillipeans last summer. The courts there are made of crushed shells. He said they played like the slowest, most random bounced, clay court. And instead of a net, a rope was attached from side fence to side fence.

05-02-2004, 12:21 PM
I played a HS team few months ago... I probably got hooked I dont know... First of all the court was slick, paint coming off.. and oil on it. second there were cracks and weeds growing out of them, I found TIRE MARKS... all over the place.. looked like someone ran a car though... The thing that I hate most were the lines they were so light I couldnt see them so when I serve ... I usually look where the box is so I can direct my serve... I dont know about faults because I just served and had to take his word for them... also when I lobbed it over his head 100% of them were out... there was about 10-20 of them... also especially the lines were slick... my whole team were falling ;) haha worst courts ever!

05-02-2004, 01:39 PM
Another one for me was on a trip to India 10 years ago I played on a perfectly good hotel court where the coach told us about other courts made of compact dung!!!!

05-02-2004, 08:04 PM
My friend from Phillipines went around Christmas and played 10 hrs a day with some rich and powerful tennis complex owners. My friend said every time he played there were ballkids and it only cost $1.

05-02-2004, 09:16 PM
All of this discussion made me wonder how to make my own court at home. I have a large cement basketball court next to my house. I ordered some artificial turf like the kind they use for practice putting greens. I had it professionally put on the cement...I don't play basketball very much anymore. Going to see how it plays tomorrow, still have to paint lines though...can't wait.

05-03-2004, 06:13 AM
The side fence was only about 20 inches from the outside of the doubles line! It was particularly bad to the point of laughable when a player would slice the serve into the fence.

The problem was that when the municipal court was resurfaced, the old fences were removed, a delay of months before anything else was done and much of the work was done by city employees to save money.

Nothing was measured prior to reinstalling the fences -- the workers were not aware that the courts originally had an unpaved area between the old courts and side fenses. They resurfaced the exact area and placed the fenses about a foot onto the new one, only then did someone measure the lines and add the nets.

I asked a friend how he developed into a serve and volley player and he smiled that he grew up in a little town where the court's back fense was about six feet from the baseline.

05-04-2004, 12:32 PM
Here in Sweden public courts suck and are scarce. We have about ten courts here in Malmö, a 300 000 people city :o .
The closest one has of course cracked asphalt with a cut fence for a net. It wouldn't be that bad if it wasn't built on a hill or something as one side slants down from the net(makes for some huge bounces) on top of that the surrounding fence doesn't keep the balls on the court as it's about four-five inches off the ground, I guess the court sunk or something. Still it did prepare me well for high bouncing topspin shots on clay.

05-19-2004, 08:55 AM
1. Suburbs of Rome I played on these courts that seemed like clay covered in a layer of cement. So course shoes get toasted in no time. Topspin makes the ball jump soo high. Hit a low slice and half your bumper guard is gone!

2. Suburbs of Anchorage AL- courts in the middle of the forest. Couple feet outside the lines it was all green moss. Mosquitos the size of blue jays. It was light 22 hours a day so we played from 11 pm to 2 am with no lights and drank about 10 beers each!

3. 'Clay' courts in Elk Grove Ca. It was made of like infield dirt. 5 feet beyond the baseline and you sink like sand at the beach. Patty Fendick was there practicing for the French.

06-18-2004, 03:18 AM
hey i.radical....maybe you were playing on 'carpet'?

06-18-2004, 06:58 AM
When I first started playing, we used borrowed wood raqcuets, walked about 3 miles each way in the heat, and played on an old public court made of concrete. We would arrive and scour the trees for lost balls and play with whatever we found. The court had big cracks all over, lines you could hardly see and a net that had only the cord left which we would often had to repair somehow. We played for hours this way and then went swimming in the ocean near by and then played some more.

Where was this abomination of a court? Some remote developing nation? Nope. This was in BERMUDA - a public park called Admiralty House which is not frequented much by tourists. Bermuda is a spectacular place to play tennis, but good old Admiralty House was in poor shape. If you are ever in Bermuda, ask you driver to take you there and enjoy a day of dock and cliff diving with the local kids. You will get away from the tourists and have a unique Bermudian experience. Hey, take the sticks with you - maybe you will find a ball in the trees to play with!!!!!