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View Full Version : Grimmest court you've regularly played on regularly


SVP
01-09-2012, 09:44 AM
What was the grimmest tennis court you regularly played on, or, in the alternative, what is the grimmest tennis court you currently play on?

Me, I play most Fridays during my noon lunch work hour at the Echo Park courts just outside Downtown L.A. right below the 101 Freeway. Six Public Courts in surprisingly good shape. The 101 freeway has spewed a lot of dust and dirt on to these courts over the decades; when my partner or I hit a kill shot, the amount of schmutz I see exploding off the ball makes me think of dirt clods I saw exploding in my childhood.

It's the quintessential urban experience: homeless people camping out on the grassy areas near the courts as they watch you and your partner hit a ball. Some of the are smoking a joint, which is fine.

r2473
01-09-2012, 10:09 AM
What if I regularly play on a court irregularly (my tennis mechanics aren't that good).

And I'm more of an Aesop fan myself.

Cormorant
01-09-2012, 10:25 AM
I used to play on an outdoor basketball court which doubled as a tennis venue in summer. Public park, so children would often be cycling directly behind you or your opponent, and when punks weren't trying to deliberately put you off whilst pocketing the occasional tennis ball they'd be chasing after rocks which bounced into your service box. But even worse was the surface itself, unforgiving concrete which bulged with cracks and dipped on both sides so you always felt your were playing uphill. If a ball bounced badly and pinged away from your opponent's racquet, you had to play a let if it was an important point. Nice weather that year, though.

chollyred
01-09-2012, 10:30 AM
Grimmest and grimiest are one and the same where I play most often. These courts haven't been resurfaced in years. Large cracks, piles of leaves in the corners, curling fences, and filthy surface. A brand new can of balls is nasty after 2-3 sets.

It's a public park (6 courts) across the street from several large, cheap apartment complexes. Lately, there have been a few robberies in the parking lot. Nobody gets out of the car until other players arrive.

At least they're free. The county built a new tennis complex across town where all of the league matches are played. They only charge $3/hr, but during the twice weekly round robins, we'll have 24-30 guys playing from 8a - 12p so we all play for free at the dumpier courts.

I sent a letter to the county commisioners last week about the condition of the courts. I tripped on one of the cracks about a month ago and severely strained a knee. I keep expecting someone to really get hurt. I guess then they'd just rip out the courts.

Viper
01-09-2012, 10:43 AM
I wish I had pictures, because I think its been demolished since then, but it was a concrete court behind an old, old impoverished middle school. The concrete wasn't concrete as much as a concrete mixture with smaller pebbles, so there was always the hazard of accidentally slipping on them. Grass grows through the cracks, so down the T and the sidelines had about foot high grass, meaning the point was essentially over if the ball hit the line. A lot of dirt all over as well, so it was practically a clay court on one side. And to top it off, a low, sagging chain link fence.


It was fun actually :)

tennismonkey
01-09-2012, 10:43 AM
i've been slightly irregular for the past week. xmas and new years screwed up my bowels. and believe me, it's been some of the grimmest stuff i've seen.

SVP
01-09-2012, 11:02 AM
What if I regularly play on a court irregularly (my tennis mechanics aren't that good).

And I'm more of an Aesop fan myself. Let's get into the spirit of the thread, [B]shall we?[B) I'm just asking for our TW partcipants' humble experiences' with their tennis court experiences.

SVP
01-09-2012, 11:03 AM
I used to play on an outdoor basketball court which doubled as a tennis venue in summer. Public park, so children would often be cycling directly behind you or your opponent, and when punks weren't trying to deliberately put you off whilst pocketing the occasional tennis ball they'd be chasing after rocks which bounced into your service box. But even worse was the surface itself, unforgiving concrete which bulged with cracks and dipped on both sides so you always felt your were playing uphill. If a ball bounced badly and pinged away from your opponent's racquet, you had to play a let if it was an important point. Nice weather that year, though. can you give us the location?

heftylefty
01-09-2012, 11:04 AM
What was the grimmest tennis court you regularly played on, or, in the alternative, what is the grimmest tennis court you currently play on?

Me, I play most Fridays during my noon lunch work hour at the Echo Park courts just outside Downtown L.A. right below the 101 Freeway. Six Public Courts in surprisingly good shape. The 101 freeway has spewed a lot of dust and dirt on to these courts over the decades; when my partner or I hit a kill shot, the amount of schmutz I see exploding off the ball makes me think of dirt clods I saw exploding in my childhood.

It's the quintessential urban experience: homeless people camping out on the grassy areas near the courts as they watch you and your partner hit a ball. Some of the are smoking a joint, which is fine.


I know exactly where those court are at. :)

Once I played at a party in Gardena,CA in the mid Eights where a chain-link fence replaced the net. I B.S. you not!

SVP
01-25-2012, 01:43 PM
Around 1980. Washington High School, San Francisco. Asphalt tennis courts, nets made of tightly-strung wire like chicken coop wire. If you hit the ball hard enough with enough topspin, you could bounce it off the net and make it go over. Good times!

The Bawss
01-25-2012, 02:09 PM
http://i43.tinypic.com/b6blht.jpg

This court had no net or net posts so we attached our net to opposing fence poles...which meant the net wasn't quite in the middle of the court (made serving tricky on one side!). The surface is some kind of astroturf covered in sand to make it slidey like clay but like ice when wet. On one side of the court, the fence was broken and balls would forever roll out lol. I played for more than a year on that court, ah the memories.

P.S: Those lights don't work either by the way.

jswinf
01-25-2012, 02:25 PM
Around 1980. Washington High School, San Francisco. Asphalt tennis courts, nets made of tightly-strung wire like chicken coop wire. If you hit the ball hard enough with enough topspin, you could bounce it off the net and make it go over. Good times!

I have to go back to the late 1960s for my highschool courts. It was pretty obvious they'd got stuck with some extra asphalt and decided that was a good way to use it, because they were parking-lot-type asphalt. Nets were chain-link fencing, with effects as above possible. Distance from the baseline to the fence was maybe 10 feet, bouncing off the fence after returning a deep ball was a useful skill, but beware if there happened to be a fence post where you needed to bounce. Hurts to remember. :(

SVP
01-25-2012, 06:55 PM
http://i43.tinypic.com/b6blht.jpg

This court had no net or net posts so we attached our net to opposing fence poles...which meant the net wasn't quite in the middle of the court (made serving tricky on one side!). The surface is some kind of astroturf covered in sand to make it slidey like clay but like ice when wet. On one side of the court, the fence was broken and balls would forever roll out lol. I played for more than a year on that court, ah the memories.

P.S: Those lights don't work either by the way. Thanks for the picture but I have to tell you the court looks pretty good to me, far from grim. And it looks like it's set in a forest.

GS
01-26-2012, 07:33 AM
Years ago, I played on a freshly painted high school court in Maryland---the maintenance crew thought they were smart and painted the court wtih high-gloss green paint. It was so slick, I almost wrecked my ankles in 2 minutes.
But I hear those cow dung courts in India and Pakistan are the worst in the world....

Dave M
01-28-2012, 03:56 PM
It wasn't a grim experiance but I have played on outdoor wood courts in the French Alps in Summer (very nice) and winter with ice which made the 2nd quickest courts i ever played on & require the ability to ice skate!Great fun though.

Dave M
01-28-2012, 03:57 PM
[IMG]]

This court had no net or net posts so we attached our net to opposing fence poles...which meant the net wasn't quite in the middle of the court (made serving tricky on one side!). The surface is some kind of astroturf covered in sand to make it slidey like clay but like ice when wet. On one side of the court, the fence was broken and balls would forever roll out lol. I played for more than a year on that court, ah the memories.

P.S: Those lights don't work either by the way.
Looks a nice setting, the sand isn't there to help you slide it stops the balls from bouncing up to crazy heights.Played on a court once when it was brand new and the line people were late when it was being installed so the council had the sand put down before the lines were painted, clever.:?

SVP
02-02-2012, 02:49 PM
Okay, I know this is a lame thread it seems. I tried. I know there have to be more stories of playing on lamentable tennis courts. We all want to say that we play on pristine, contry club type tennis courts.

snowpuppy
02-03-2012, 11:10 AM
This is a USTA league play location:

Inside a gymnasium where you can clearly see doubles as a basketball court. Rubber overlay to give the surface more bounce and provide some grip to the shoes. The interior houses like a giant indoor prison yard but was actually an armory. In fact we do call it the armory.

Servace
02-06-2012, 05:59 PM
The grimmest court I have played on is at a local high school in VA Beach. The Court is built on a hill , so that makes every single court cracked and slanted. There are a whole lot of dead spots , and because of the hill it adds more wind especially since there are no wind guards. I always happen to find condoms on the court.

LeeD
02-06-2012, 06:10 PM
Grimmest....
ClarendonCourts, SanFrancisco....
You park about 300' away, down below the courts, but you can't see your car from the courts, because of trees and shrubbery.
Normal summertime winds howl thru the courts at over 25 mph. Believe me, I'm a windsurfer and kiteboarder, so I know the wind.
The backboard is over 45' behind the baseline. Try picking up balls there.
Heck, even Dr.Ivo's serve would bounce twice before hitting the backfence.
3 courts total, each about 15' away from the next.
It's the top of a reservoir.

Cindysphinx
02-06-2012, 07:07 PM
I keep plastic bags in my tennis bag for picking up dog poop left on the courts. Is that what you meant?

slickerthansleek
02-06-2012, 07:42 PM
The tennis courts at my university are absolutely horrific. The synthetic grass courts are okay, but the hard courts are destroyed, always covered in leaves/sticks from surrounding trees, no fences between the four courts so balls roll all over the place, the courts have so many cracks in them (HUGE ones) that you can't rally for long before a ball bounces off one of these cracks and flies off in an unpredictable direction, the seats nearby are so rusted that you don't even feel safe sitting on them.

Only been to those courts once, never again.