Whats the worst surface you have played on?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by msweigert08, May 31, 2012.

  1. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Last week, I was told our match was on carpet. I was excited to play on it since I am only used to hardcourt. Turna out this carpet is like playing on ice. The ball would skid like grass on steroids. We lost the match in straight sets. Im convinced we will have no problems beating them again on hard court.

    Everything I have learned about tennis I threw out. My form was terrible, and my topspin sat up waiting to be smacked. Dead spots everywhere and these guys knew just how to serve so the ball would keep slicing away after it hit that carpet.

    What is the worst court you have played on?
     
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  2. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    The gym at my college had a multipurpose floor where you could set up tennis nets. The surface was this kind of polished looking rubber stuff that was slick like you describe. On top of that, there were lines for like 5 different courts (tennis, basketball, volletball, etc), each a different color. We had to use these courts for challenge matches in the winter. It was horrible. I think they've replaced that surface since I left (it was 20 years ago...).
     
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  3. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    Blue clay.
     
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  4. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Luckily we dont have to play on "legos" this season. A club out here has rubber multi colored mats.
     
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  5. prgault

    prgault Rookie

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    Hardwood basketball court in the gym of a local state park. My opponent said it was a lot like grass. One of my biggest problems was with the service toss right because it looked like it would hit the basket.

    P_
     
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  6. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Gravel, it was like playing on marbles.
     
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  7. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Concrete.

    My subregional tennis tournament was partially played on concrete courts at a public park (and also on normal courts at the local high school). A summer USTA tournament was also played on those same courts.

    I'm talking about bright white/light gray concrete with visible pores, like someone's driveway. The lines were red. And, an engineered crack (like a typical sidewalk crack) ran the length of the baseline, immediately behind the painted red line. Whenever I played there, the tournament director would tell players before the match that the "back crack is in", so any weird jumps off that back line were in.

    As far as a playing surface, maybe I shouldn't say this was the "worst" just the most unexpected and weird. As far as speed and bounce, it was just fine. It was fairly rough and would eat your shoes quickly. It was very hard and I would now probably think it was rough on the body, but at the time, I thought nothing of it. The extremely light color of the court surface could cause intense glare on sunny days.

    So, maybe not worst. Most inappropriate. Most random.
     
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  8. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I played on South American red clay in Buenos Aires last year.
    The surface was pockmarked and there were so many bad bounces. Plus I slid at all the wrong times.
    It was beautiful to look at, but I'm glad I don't have to play on it regularly.
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The clay courts in Our Nation's Capitol.

    A few years ago, I had a doubles match on the clay courts at Hains Point. Not only are there sprinkle heads popping up between the courts (helpfully ringed by a circle of PCV pipe), the clay itself looked like a family of gophers had taken up residence underneath.

    Then last week, I had to play on those clay courts again. This time, it was a whole new horror. The PCV pipe sprinkler head protectors were still sticking up above the ground, creating a grave tripping hazard. The court surface itself was not to be believed. Our court was like playing on cake flour. I had to take my shoes home and hit them with the garden hose inside and out to clean them. Do not get me started on the ridiculous bounces.

    I will probably get a horrific lung disease and die a slow agonizing death due to inhaling all that loose clay dust.
     
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  10. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    This gives me hope that one day i can put an indoor tennis court in my house! I would love to try clay but not those horror stories! Has anyone tried carpet? What i played on was like a carpet worn down from the 70's and caked with 40 years of sweat
     
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  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    My HS had 2 great cement courts, 4 OK concrete courts and 2 terrible asphalt courts (crazy abrasive surface with giant cracks throughout). Many years after I graduated, they surfaced the cement and concrete courts and paved over the asphalt with concrete.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    By far, unprepared carpet.
    I played 2 Qualifiers. After the 3rd round, we moved to the event site, the first day they laid down the carpet, over dirt. The carpet showed low skids, super high stopping bounces, and soft and hard spots. The footing was incredibly sticky, except for the loose parts, where your foot could slip because the carpet slid a tiny amount.
    Then for the first round, they removed the carpet, tacked in an underlayer, and glued the carpet down!
    They don't care about qualifiers at all!
     
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  13. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    Hi MSWeigert,

    Are you talking about the carpet at the Hall of Fame courts in Canton, OH? Then I agree with you. First time I played on those courts I was completely thrown off. The dead spots were the worse. We managed to win our USTA doubles match but only because the home guys choked in the 3rd set tie breaker.

    Second worse surface I have played on is what I affectionately call the Legos courts. Hard plastic squares make up the surface. Make sure you never fall on that surface as it eats up your skin!

    Glenn
     
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  14. Herdsman76

    Herdsman76 Rookie

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    For me it was on black asphalt courts in my dad's hometown (pop. 1100). Seriously... Black asphalt with yellow lines. Forget playing on them in the Summer. What was bad is that after a little while of playing, the tennis balls were covered in a greasy/oily black film. Even your strings were "blackened" from the surface. Fortunately, this was years ago and the courts are now very nice with a new "true" tennis surface....
     
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  15. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    We grew up with an asphalt court..no net they just ran a 36" tall chain link fence across the middle...Lines were normally some kind of tape (we put down) or chalk/Spray paint.

    one end didn't have a fence to catch the ball and the other side had a retention pond. we would play with dead balls just so they wouldn't bounce to high.
     
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  16. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Glenn! Yes I am! I am lucky and.wont play at Green this year. What club and league do you play in?
     
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  17. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    I've never played on paper. I often hear people say that "on paper, he/she should win this match". I've never seen a paper court except for a picture printed on paper.
    I have read that the U.S. Indoor Championships used to (1920s - 1930s) be played on wood. That would be a neat surface to try.
    In Tahoe California there is a asphalt court that blackens the balls. In Campbell Ca, I had a court at my apartment that was set with the sun in your face in the morning and evening. It had faded surface and tattered net.

    Best courts:
    I have done some good grass. It's a real privilege to even see a grass court. I've done grass at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware, ATP Tour Headquarters Ponte Vedra Fl, Saddlebrook Wesley Chapel Fl, and Palm Desert Marriott. These were all pretty much perfect courts, but my worst surface. So in a way, they are the worst courts.
     
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  18. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    at the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta....during a member/member golf tournament....











    :twisted:
     
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  19. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    My high school had black asphalt courts, only the lines were white. As soon as new courts were built at one of the parks, these courts were abandoned.

    I drove past the old high school a couple of weeks ago and the courts are finally being replaced. It has only taken them 36 years!
     
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  20. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    That's my club. All six outdoor courts are sand-covered carpet, complete with weird spots. For example, I've hit kick serves that barely bounced above the knees, and I've hit flat serves that have kicked up over shoulder height.

    Unfortunately, quite a number of the other clubs around here also have this horrendous carpet. Only a couple of places have nice hard courts, and no one in the county has clay.

    It's one of the few things that tempts me to move back to the US.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, great. Gotta play the clay courts again this weekend. Maybe I will get the cake flour court again.

    Happy day.
     
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  22. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Get some egg and milk, make me some dessert
     
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  23. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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  24. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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  25. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Ugh it looks like Sport Court, that stuff is pretty terrible.
     
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  26. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Crazy they come out with all these alternatives. Nothing beats an old school hard court!
     
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  27. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    That sounds funny at first… but it really isn't.

    Neglected public pard hard courts with weeds/grass growing in the cracks, and during the collage conference tournament, a cyclone fence "net" that ran straight across with no dip in the middle.

    I was totally psyched out and lost in straights.
     
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  28. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Do you think you would have won on a normal upkept court?
     
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  29. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Nerfs!

    Once we were promoting a local challenger tournament and set up a tennis demo inside Sawgrass Mills mall. It was just a baby net set up in the middle of the widest part of the mall (plus a few tennis games). Naturally this was a magnet for the kiddies. I was feeding them the soft nerf-ball kind of tennis balls, but lots of the little brats were smacking them as hard as they could, aiming toward the stores, passersby and their friends who were standing around laughing at them. Numerous shoppers got beaned, and I had kids running down balls bouncing into The Gap, Zales, etc. It was kind of funny but luckily nobody tripped over a ball or threatened a lawsuit!

    Note: In terms of "surface" I do not recommend a polished marble floor, even playing with nerf-balls.
     
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  30. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    msweigert08

    That's a good question. The first set was close, but after that I just fell apart. All I can remember is being frustrated when the ball hit the pipe and bounced 10 feet up in the air one way or another. (Or right back at you as fast as it went) There was no give at all. God forbid you accidentally ran into the net or hit your racket with it.

    It was my own fault for being the lowest ranked and least experienced team member. It was my first singles match of the season as I had challenged to play up just before the tournament started. Everyone else played on normal courts, as did the winners in my bracket once there were less players and more regular courts available.

    Or maybe it was the wind… or the sun in my eyes. Or my shoes weren't tied right. It certainly couldn't have been me. :)
     
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  31. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    I play with North Canton Racquet Club. However, I hurt my lower back three weeks ago and have had to sit out the first three weeks. I am hoping to play this week (at Hall of Fame!). I play 3.5 men's on Wednesdays.

    What club are you with and what level do you play?

    By the way, I do drills at Green (the legos court for everyone else reading this). Weird floor, that is for sure.

    Glenn
     
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  32. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Small world, I also play the 3.5 league on Wednesday out of what is now Shelmar Racket Vlub out of Wooster. I am ready for a rematch in a few weeks!
     
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  33. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    Hopefully, I'll see you when we play on June 13. Even if my back is still messed up, I'll come out for our home ties and watch the match for a bit. What's your first name?

    I didn't think Rittman was near Wooster? You must have a good drive to get to that club.

    Last question. I signed up for the 3.5 Men's singels flex league in Akron. It was suppoosed to be in the spirng but was moved to summer due to not enough participants. Would you be interested in that?

    Too bad this site doesn't have a private message ability.

    Glenn
     
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  34. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    I was going to answer the exact same thing. I loved serving on it, but it was all but unplayable.

    I've played on the astroturf, and honestly it didn't bother me.

    The most painful experience was a concrete court w/ no asphalt layer. I've never had knee problems, but they were both barking after that weekend (3 tournament matches). You wouldn't think that asphalt is that much of a cushion until you play on concrete. Never again.
     
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  35. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    We played you guys in 7.0 mixed a few weeks back, I play for Mayfield Village. Your courts were nice but what is up with those low hanging lights, I felt like I was going to hit them with my serve toss :)
     
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  36. goober

    goober Legend

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    One of the local clubs decided to put in some type of cushioned hard court to lessen the strain on the old folks knees. The result was more cushioning, but huge dead spots scattered randomly in the courts. This would result in a ball you expect to bounce 5 feet in the air only going 2 feet. Playing was not fun due to the wild variations in bounces.

    Of course there are tons of bad high school courts around. Paint over concrete, super slick surfaces, lots of cracks which are never fixed, no dividers and the courts really close to each other, ect.
     
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  37. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    Glenn, email me at msweigert08@yahoo.com and i will be glad to talk with you about thay! Rittman is about a 40 minute drive. I do have a venture but I did go to Norwayne and work in wooster so I have played there for a while
     
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  38. GlennK

    GlennK Rookie

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    I know a few of the poeple on the 7.0 mixed. I'm actually surprised at other NE Ohio people on this board. Glad to see it though.

    They like the reflection lighting instead of direct lighting. You should have played there 3 years ago when the bulbs were getting old. It was a little dark.

    One of the guys I regularly play with used to be bothered by the lights also. He finally realized that he would have to really mess up his toss to actually hit the light. I don't think he even sees them anymore.
     
    #38
  39. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    I was there . . . you should have seen the other team pick up the balls.

    Seriously, worst court was OmniCourt--sythetic grass covered with super slick sand--gave new meaning to "split step"!
     
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  40. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    In high school I once played on a cement court with a chain-link net and a drain (with an appropriate slope) in the middle of the court under the net. It was in the ghetto, so I also had to watch out for drive-bys, which I'd have to call a hindrance on.
     
    #40
  41. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    lol....at that point, i'm thinking i'll just default! :)
     
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  42. forthegame

    forthegame Hall of Fame

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    Blaes .
     
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  43. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I played on this at a hotel once... really weird. You can feel the pieces moving/shifting slightly under your feet. Funny how they spin that into a positive - expansion joints!
     
    #43
  44. msweigert08

    msweigert08 Rookie

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    I wouldnt think this stuff is cheaper and easier to maintain than a normal everyday hardcourt
     
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  45. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I did a couple of years in a state pen in Maryland (don't ask) the court was concrete, and the fence was about three feet from the baseline, if you ran back to chase a lob you had to time it just right to hit the ball then crash into the fence. Other than that, the artificial grass courts in Ocean City, basically astro turf with sand added to it, hated those.
     
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  46. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    the blue clay
     
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  47. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Sounds interesting, what were you in for, upholding the Constitution?
     
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  48. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    There is a mixed charity tourney here where rich people let the the tourney use their backyard tennis courts. You play round 3 teams in round robin pro sets in the morning then switch and play at another rich persons home in the afternoon.

    One backyard court was probably once a nice court behind a beautiful home, but it looked like the homeowners stored fallen leaves on the courts. When we showed up on a bright sunny morning the homes caretaker was shoveling off wet leaves. The court was so slippery and slime covered that you could not run and the ball would get a film after a few minutes.

    We played the first year without complaint because we had never played the tourney and did not know better. The second year we refused to play when we were scheduled to the same courts. The tourney directors were embarrassed by our not wanting to play, apologized to the home owners and gave us all loses for those morning matches.

    The tourney is now defunct for other reasons.
     
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  49. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Badly cracked asphalt courts in 100 degree weather in Tucson.
     
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  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, that was a good one. :)
     
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