The ITF's Play and Stay campaign promotes playing on smaller courts with slower red, orange and green balls for younger children. This gives children more time and control so they can serve, rally, and score from the first lesson on courts that are sized to fit their bodies. The ITF has mandated that official competition for children under 10 years of age should be played on "Orange" courts 18 m (59 ft) long by 6.4 m (21 ft) wide. Competition for children under 8 years is played on "Red" courts that are 11 m (36 ft) long and 5.5 m (18 ft) wide. The net is always 0.8 m high in the center.
The French Open is played on clay courts.
Clay courts are made of crushed shale, stone or brick. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to use clay courts.
Clay courts slow down the ball and produce a high bounce in comparison to grass or hard courts. For this reason, the clay court takes away many of the advantages of big serves, which makes it hard for serve-based players to dominate on the surface. Clay courts are cheaper to construct than other types of tennis courts, but a clay surface costs more to maintain. Clay courts need to be rolled to preserve flatness. The clay's water content must be balanced; green clay courts generally require the courts to be sloped to allow water run-off.
Clay courts are more common in Europe and Latin America than in North America, and tend to heavily favour baseline players.
Historically for the Grand Slams clay courts have been used at the US Open from 1975 to 1977 and the French Open since 1891.
Grass court maintenance at Wimbledon
Grass courts are the fastest type of courts in common use. They consist of grass grown on very hard-packed soil, which adds additional variables: bounces depend on how healthy the grass is, how recently it has been mowed, and the wear and tear of recent play. Points are usually very quick where fast, low bounces keep rallies short, and the serve plays a more important role than on other surfaces. Grass courts tend to favour serve-and-volley tennis players.
Grass courts were once among the most common tennis surfaces, but are now rare due to high maintenance costs as they must be watered and mown often, and take a longer time to dry after rain than hard courts. The grass surface, however, is the most physically forgiving to the human body because of its softness.
Historically for the Grand Slams grass courts have been used at the Australian Open from 1905 to 1987, the US Open from 1881 to 1974, and Wimbledon since 1877.
Rooftop tennis hardcourts in Downtown Singapore
Hard courts are made of uniform rigid material, often covered with an acrylic surface layer to offer greater consistency of bounce than other outdoor surfaces. Hard courts can vary in speed, though they are faster than clay but not as fast as grass courts. The quantity of sand added to the paint can greatly affect the rate at which the ball slows down.
The US Open is played on DecoTurf while the Australian Open is played on Plexicushion, both acrylic-topped hard court surfaces.
Historically for the Grand Slams hard courts have been used at the Australian Open since 1988 and the US Open since 1978.
Artificial turf tennis courts in Nicosia, Cyprus
"Carpet" in tennis means any removable court covering. Indoor arenas store rolls of rubber-backed court surfacing and install it temporarily for tennis events, but they are not in use any more for professional events. A short piled form of artificial turf infilled with sand is used for some outdoor courts, particularly in Asia. Carpet is generally a fast surface, faster than hardcourt, with low bounce.
Notable tennis tournaments previously held on carpet courts were the WCT Finals, Paris Masters, U.S. Pro Indoor and Kremlin Cup. Since 2009, their use has been discontinued on the top tier of the ATP. ATP Challenger Tour tournaments such as the Trofeo Città di Brescia still use carpet courts. The WTA Tour has one remaining carpet court event, the International-level Tournoi de Québec.
Some tennis courts are indoor, which allows to play regardless of weather conditions and is more comfortable for spectators. Because of the lack of wind, gameplay is considerably different versus outdoor courts.
Any court surface may be used indoors. Hard courts are most common indoors, as they are made with the most versatile materials and surface finishes. Clay courts are installed indoors with underground watering systems, and used mostly for Davis Cup matches. The conclusion of the Wimbledon Championships, in 2012, was played on the lawn of Centre Court under the closed roof and artificial lights. The Halle Open has also seen a number of matches played on its grass court in the Gerry Weber Stadion with the roof closed. Carpet surfaces have been used both on the ATP World Tour and World Championship Tennis circuit, though no events currently use them. Historically, other surfaces have been used indoors such as hardwood at the defunct World Covered Court Championships and London Indoor Professional Championships. Currently, the ATP World Tour Finals event is the most important indoor tennis tournament.