What's the fastest court you've ever seen?

SamprasisGOAT

Hall of Fame
Please can you post the fastest surface you've ever seen on YouTube? I know Wimbledon in the 80s and 90s is meant to be the fastest ever. But what's the fastest hardcourt ever?
 

timnz

Legend
Indoor Wood

I haven't seen it, but apparently indoor wood like played at the French Pro at Stade Coubertin from 1963 to 1967 was lightening fast.
 
Last edited:

Le Master

Professional
I haven't seen it, but apparently indoor wood like played at the French Pro at Stade Coubertin from 1963 to 1967 was lightening fast.
Yeah, wood was the fastest surface ever played on professionally. Here are Bill Tilden's comments on wood surfaces:


My college team got rained out for over a week once so we finally set up a court indoors on hardwood floor. The surface was more or less unplayable. It was too fast to even comprehend.
 
I played on a grass court this summer. Holy God. That was the fastest surface I've ever seen let alone played on. Even faster than the carpet courts I grew up with.

I also realized that once your serve goes on that surface (pulled a muscle which made every serve literally impossible, both first and second), you have NO chance of getting yourself back. Bounces weren't where you expected them to be, and if you had a good slice, you'd be in heaven. You could hit topspin shots (well, you can on any surface), but there was no bite.

On the plus side, the abbreviated service motion I had to use for the doubles match cured my ball toss issues and therefore also my first serve % (it just started working again and was less painful), and I'm wondering why I waited 8 years after my hiatus from tennis to use it again...

On the tour, the fastest I've seen for a while was the blue clay. Bring it back. Or carpet.
 
I do feel like I have to add that the grass courts was faster than the ones at Wimby, and that includes the ones from the 90's. At least felt like it would be faster than the 90's ones. Couple that with the few drops of rain that fell just as the match started.
 
Last edited:

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't know about ever, but for the last 10 or so years on a HC, I would say the 2005 TMC court from what I can remember.
 

fundrazer

G.O.A.T.
I remember watching this match and thinking that the court seemed pretty fast. Not sure how it compares to other courts though. Also, both Safin and Davydenko were taking their shots pretty early and absolutely blasting them. Might falsely influence my perception of how fast the court is actually playing. I don't know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI4Grym86Tk
 
L

Laurie

Guest
The fastest courts I played on is definitely grass back in the early to mid 2000s. I played on some nice courts in Eailing, really well maintained. Nothing is worse than playing on a poorly maintained grass court, there is no fun to be had in that. I usually play on outdoor clay or outdoor hardcourts these days, the outdoor hardcourts can be as slow as the claycourts I play on because there is so much grip on the court and it takes so much spin and bounce, but the balls get beaten up so much quicker than on clay and I suppose the body as well.

Last Monday I played indoors and really enjoyed it, I have a good serve and if you have a good serve especially the slider on the deuce court, you are going to love playing indoors!

For the pros, I went to Paris Bercy in 2001 and 2003 when it was still indoor carpet and that was quick. I've also been to Queens many times and I think its quicker than Wimbledon.

From what I saw on tv, indoor supreme in America was very fast, especially in New York where they used to play the Masters.

And not sure how many here remember Filderstadt in Germany but that was quick!! And the players loved it! The WTA jettisoned the tournament around 2009 which was a pity. We need more fast courts like that on the tour.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
The fastest courts I played on is definitely grass back in the early to mid 2000s. I played on some nice courts in Eailing, really well maintained. Nothing is worse than playing on a poorly maintained grass court, there is no fun to be had in that. I usually play on outdoor clay or outdoor hardcourts these days, the outdoor hardcourts can be as slow as the claycourts I play on because there is so much grip on the court and it takes so much spin and bounce, but the balls get beaten up so much quicker than on clay and I suppose the body as well.

Last Monday I played indoors and really enjoyed it, I have a good serve and if you have a good serve especially the slider on the deuce court, you are going to love playing indoors!

For the pros, I went to Paris Bercy in 2001 and 2003 when it was still indoor carpet and that was quick. I've also been to Queens many times and I think its quicker than Wimbledon.

From what I saw on tv, indoor supreme in America was very fast, especially in New York where they used to play the Masters.

And not sure how many here remember Filderstadt in Germany but that was quick!! And the players loved it! The WTA jettisoned the tournament around 2009 which was a pity. We need more fast courts like that on the tour.
How is the modern grass for spin? I've never played on a grass court.

Seems like the grass at Wimbledon would take spin way better at the end of the tournament, when there is so much dirt. Could be why Nadal has so much trouble there in early rounds, when his topspin is less effective.

I was also wondering about the HC in Shanghai. To me it looked like the balls did not shoot through too much, which would have made it slower, but the balls bounced very low and there was incredible bite for the slice returns.

I don't know how HCs produce different results (different kinds of HCs). I just know that they do.
 

gaucho_10

New User
When I was a kid, we trained one winter in the local school gym hall. The surface was parquet. It was old, rough and hasn't been varnished for years but it was still too fast. The ball barely bounced, it was insane.
 
I love playing on indoor carpet. I is not real Tennis but I have a big serve (good slice too) and like to swing big from the baseline. I would say I'm at least 0.5 Levels better on carpet (Players that beat me 6-1 on clay only beat me 6-4 or 7-6 on carpet.

I can understand why it is not used anymore though. if both Players are big hitters there are hardly any rallies usually it is over after 1-3 shots.
 
L

Laurie

Guest
How is the modern grass for spin? I've never played on a grass court.

Seems like the grass at Wimbledon would take spin way better at the end of the tournament, when there is so much dirt. Could be why Nadal has so much trouble there in early rounds, when his topspin is less effective.

I was also wondering about the HC in Shanghai. To me it looked like the balls did not shoot through too much, which would have made it slower, but the balls bounced very low and there was incredible bite for the slice returns.

I don't know how HCs produce different results (different kinds of HCs). I just know that they do.
I haven't played on grass for a number of years but on memory grass takes slice extremely well, and does take topspin but the ball doesn't jump off the court like it does on clay or hardcourts. Grass helps a player's serve if they like to use slice. I remember playing mixed doubles once on grass and hit a wide serve to a lady who tried to return it and locked her wrist!

I would like to play on grass again in future but I have to admit I really love playing on clay, perhaps because I only started playing on clay in 2012. I also played on green clay and that was awsome! A real nice surface, I wouldn't mind if the US Open went back to green clay (not going to happen I know).

What you say about Nadal is interesting. In the years he won the tournament or got to the final, he had close matches in the early rounds, I remember one year he was two sets to one down against Philip Petschner and came back to win.
 
L

Laurie

Guest
I love playing on indoor carpet. I is not real Tennis but I have a big serve (good slice too) and like to swing big from the baseline. I would say I'm at least 0.5 Levels better on carpet (Players that beat me 6-1 on clay only beat me 6-4 or 7-6 on carpet.

I can understand why it is not used anymore though. if both Players are big hitters there are hardly any rallies usually it is over after 1-3 shots.
Why do you say it is not real tennis?

Do you think comments like that play into the hands of those with agendas? For example, there are so many different types of jazz music but certain factions are always jockeying for position to say their type of jazz is the only jazz that should be played. Should there be only one style of tennis to be played? Should one feel guilty for acquiring a good serve (it is not god given, people have to practice it) and then have the ability to take advantage of that on a quicker surface? Should only players who want to perfect a baseline game on higher bouncing surfaces be rewarded?

Interested in your thoughts.
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
I've played on grass courts very similar quality to the ones in Wimbledon. Look up The Northern tennis club in Manchester,UK. They used to have challanger events (now its future i think) as a warmup to wimbledon. Sampras used to play there.

Theres a big difference if the courts are new or older. If a bit worn down, they play quite slowly with high bounces and easier to move on. The new grass is fast fast fast.
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
Why do you say it is not real tennis?

Do you think comments like that play into the hands of those with agendas? For example, there are so many different types of jazz music but certain factions are always jockeying for position to say their type of jazz is the only jazz that should be played. Should there be only one style of tennis to be played? Should one feel guilty for acquiring a good serve (it is not god given, people have to practice it) and then have the ability to take advantage of that on a quicker surface? Should only players who want to perfect a baseline game on higher bouncing surfaces be rewarded?

Interested in your thoughts.
People always have an agenda. I love playing on all surfaces regardless. I actually dislike clay the most for match play even though I would practice on it every day. Indoors can be slow as well.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
Indoor wood without a doubt. I've played them all and clearly remember my experience on wood...talk about slices staying low (if you actually have the opportunity to hit a groundstroke)! S&V is the only way on this surface.
 
I haven't seen it, but apparently outdoor grass like played at the wimbledon 2nd qualify round at wimbledon from 1901 to 1907 was lightening fast.
 

jaggy

Talk Tennis Guru
The Czechs with Lendl had to play on indoor wood years ago, I think in Paraguay, and Lendl complained about his timing being off for months after it
 

coloskier

Legend
Yeah, wood was the fastest surface ever played on professionally. Here are Bill Tilden's comments on wood surfaces:


My college team got rained out for over a week once so we finally set up a court indoors on hardwood floor. The surface was more or less unplayable. It was too fast to even comprehend.
I used to play on wood indoors all the time during the winter in my junior days. You learned how to get ready for a shot very quickly, or lost miserably. You also had to learn how to half volley from the baseline, something very few pros can do now. Agassi and Connors and maybe Fed would be the ultimate indoor wood players.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I don't know about ever, but for the last 10 or so years on a HC, I would say the 2005 TMC court from what I can remember.
Me as well, I think.
How is the modern grass for spin? I've never played on a grass court.

Seems like the grass at Wimbledon would take spin way better at the end of the tournament, when there is so much dirt. Could be why Nadal has so much trouble there in early rounds, when his topspin is less effective.

I don't know how HCs produce different results (different kinds of HCs). I just know that they do.
What you say about Nadal is interesting. In the years he won the tournament or got to the final, he had close matches in the early rounds, I remember one year he was two sets to one down against Philip Petschner and came back to win.
I think it's pretty much agreed that part of Nadal's "career" struggles on grass in the first week of Wimbledon is due to the court playing faster and bouncing lower, taking less spin. By mid 2nd week, the grass is gone at and near the baseline and the court takes spin much better and plays slower.

Gary, on HC from wiki:
The quantity of sand added to the paint can greatly affect the rate at which the ball slows down.[9] Hard courts are generally more equalizing than clay or grass in terms of playing style, although they favor harder-hitting baseliners and all-court styles with the current equipment. The US Open is played on an acrylic hard court, while the Australian Open is played on a synthetic hard court. The main difference between a synthetic hard court and a true hard court surface is the level of hardness. When the ball bounces on this surface it is faster than all other surfaces if there is not much sand in the top paint. The amount of sand used in the top paint and the size of the sand also determines the speed – more sand means less speed and larger sand particles will slow the speed of play. The amount of friction can also be altered and more friction will produce a clay court effect, where topspin is magnified. The extra grip and friction will resist the sliding effect of the ball and the resistance will force the ball to change its rotation.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Gary, on HC from wiki:
The quantity of sand added to the paint can greatly affect the rate at which the ball slows down.[9] Hard courts are generally more equalizing than clay or grass in terms of playing style, although they favor harder-hitting baseliners and all-court styles with the current equipment. [...]
I'm just thinking of results here. We see HCs where the ball bounces really high, and that's where Nadal's top spin forehands start getting up close to shoulder height. That's a really hard thing for a 1HBH to handle, so I believe such courts really favor Nadal.

At Shanghai that was absolutely not happening. But it appeared to me that the court was reacting to spin. To my eyes the court looked "softer", which seems ridiculous, but the ball bounced really low.

On that kind of court top spin stays low, but it still takes off and hurries players who do not handle pace well. It seemed perfect for Fed's game, which is why I thought he at least had a good chance against Novak on that court.

Grass is unique for the pros. None of the rest of us could ever experience playing on a court that goes from green in the first week to so badly beaten up in the second week. It's like playing on two different surfaces/
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I'm just thinking of results here. We see HCs where the ball bounces really high, and that's where Nadal's top spin forehands start getting up close to shoulder height. That's a really hard thing for a 1HBH to handle, so I believe such courts really favor Nadal.

At Shanghai that was absolutely not happening. But it appeared to me that the court was reacting to spin. To my eyes the court looked "softer", which seems ridiculous, but the ball bounced really low.

On that kind of court top spin stays low, but it still takes off and hurries players who do not handle pace well. It seemed perfect for Fed's game, which is why I thought he at least had a good chance against Novak on that court.

Grass is unique for the pros. None of the rest of us could ever experience playing on a court that goes from green in the first week to so badly beaten up in the second week. It's like playing on two different surfaces/
HC can vary tremendously in speed and bounce. I'm no expert here, but yeah - Shanghai seemed to have a relatively low bounce, which is extremely helpful for the net-player (and the one with the one-hander). So kinda perfect conditions for Fed.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
When I was a kid, we trained one winter in the local school gym hall. The surface was parquet. It was old, rough and hasn't been varnished for years but it was still too fast. The ball barely bounced, it was insane.
Yes, in high school, before the snow melted in the spring, we'd start practice on makeshift indoor courts in the gym, which had a typical lacquered wood surface. It was hilariously fast.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
HC can vary tremendously in speed and bounce. I'm no expert here, but yeah - Shanghai seemed to have a relatively low bounce, which is extremely helpful for the net-player (and the one with the one-hander). So kinda perfect conditions for Fed.
I'm thinking that wood would be an example of something that has no "bite", and that is what makes it so fast. Both wood and concrete are used for roller skating. Imagine trying to skate on a hard court. Not so good. Concrete would probably give the highest bounce, so the "hardness" would have to do with bounce, maybe. Obviously no one wants to play tennis on concrete.

But what makes a HC softer? It seems like anything that softens it, lower bounce, would also mean more nicks. I would assume that the amount of sand and size of particles is what is going to make it grab the spin. I've really never thought about it. I just watch to see what happens. ;)
 

TJfederer16

Hall of Fame
What was the year they sped up the paris indoors surface, it was either 2010 or 2011 i think, that was pretty damn quick
 

President

Legend
Like some other people, I've played tennis on a basketball hardwood floor. Horrible experience, no way to get the ball back at all, really. Ludicrously fast.
 

ohplease

Professional
I've played on indoor wood and carpet. Both are super fast.

The worst though, was dusty, indoor rubberized gym flooring. Not only did the ball not come up and shoot through the court, you couldn't plant your feet. Basically a race to end the point as quickly as possible.
 

Knife

Semi-Pro
Indoor wood without a doubt. I've played them all and clearly remember my experience on wood...talk about slices staying low (if you actually have the opportunity to hit a groundstroke)! S&V is the only way on this surface.
Completly agree. In my youth I played many times on newly varnished wood. It is almost unplayable, anything near the sidelines is a sure winner.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I'm thinking that wood would be an example of something that has no "bite", and that is what makes it so fast. Both wood and concrete are used for roller skating. Imagine trying to skate on a hard court. Not so good. Concrete would probably give the highest bounce, so the "hardness" would have to do with bounce, maybe. Obviously no one wants to play tennis on concrete.

But what makes a HC softer? It seems like anything that softens it, lower bounce, would also mean more nicks. I would assume that the amount of sand and size of particles is what is going to make it grab the spin. I've really never thought about it. I just watch to see what happens. ;)
Some experts need to chip in here, I also mainly watch and judge.
 
Ah yes! A friend of mine was playing qualies for a futures tournament indoors in Ukraine, and he told me that the court was so fast it wasn't even funny. As soon the ball got near a sideline, it was game over. I recall him saying that people were just blasting groundstrokes in the middle and that there was a section of the court where if you were sliding from one side (it was that slick) and you hit that area, you'd come to an immediate stop.

That's about what I can remember...
 

LHM

Rookie
I've played on grass courts very similar quality to the ones in Wimbledon. Look up The Northern tennis club in Manchester,UK. They used to have challanger events (now its future i think) as a warmup to wimbledon. Sampras used to play there.

Theres a big difference if the courts are new or older. If a bit worn down, they play quite slowly with high bounces and easier to move on. The new grass is fast fast fast.
I played at the Northern this summer VS their first team (doubles league), didn't get to play on the grass, but it did look very good indeed.

Played a grass tournament this year at Bowdon (Cheshire) and that was very very nice to play on.
 

Andres

G.O.A.T.
I've played sobre fast court tennis on a basketball court. Polished parquet is INSANELY FAST.

Now, on tour: Taraflex was the fastest carpet on tour. Lyon and Paris Bercy used to have it.

If we go a little outside the box, I remember Belarus' carpet against Argentina in Davis Cup some years ago. Plain unplayable.
 
Top