Five rules for your home tennis court

Tennis Court Closeup

When you have your own home tennis court, it’s important to keep it in good condition. The best way to do this is to have a number of rules written down and visible. This allows anyone who uses the court to know what is expected of them.

1 – No skateboarding or rollerblading

Whether you have children, grandchildren or often host friends with children it can be important to put in place a rule regarding skateboarding or rollerblading. A large flat surface like a tennis court can look extremely tempting to young skateboarders. The problem is that these can significantly damage the court. It’s a good idea to make it clear that skateboarding is not allowed on the court.

2 – No pets

It’s also true that pets should not be allowed on the court. While they are unlikely to damage the surface with their paws, they may wish to relieve themselves, which can be even worse. Aside from the obvious annoyance of having to clean up the mess, it’s also worth pointing out that any kind of acidic substance can be very damaging to the materials of the court and this should be avoided if at all possible.

3 – No hot food or drink

There’s no problem with bringing a bottle of water onto court to sip between points, but no-one should be bringing hot food or drink onto the court. Dropping any hot food or drink on the court is another way that you can damage and wear down the surface with acidic substances.

4 – Sweep the court before you play

To keep your court in the best possible condition it is important that you sweep it on a regular basis. One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to sweep before each session. This not only helps to keep the court from deteriorating but can also make the surface safer to play on as you’ll be removing any debris and detritus that might have accumulated and could be a slipping hazard.

5 – Remove any standing water as soon as possible

Finally, you need to have a rule that any time it rains heavily and standing water is visible, that water should be removed as soon as possible. Dirt can build up in standing water and this can cause problems with the court surface so it’s better to remove the water and allow it to dry out quickly.

The myths and facts of tennis elbow

Tennis Elbow

Many people love the idea of having their own private tennis court constructed. But some people worry that if they have a court built it will lead to them overplaying the game and developing the painful condition of tennis elbow. However, there are a numbers of myths surrounding this injury, so let’s take a look at them.

Myth: You only get tennis elbow from playing tennis

Given the name of the condition, you might assume that tennis elbow is something that you can only get from playing tennis. This isn’t the case at all. Tennis elbow can be caused by a variety of activities including any racquet sport, gardening, painting or manual working like bricklaying. Naturally, tennis can cause the condition, but it is by no means the only issue.

Fact: Changing your technique can help to prevent tennis elbow

If you are concerned about getting tennis elbow from playing tennis, or you have suffered from it in the past, it could be worth having some professional tuition. Tennis lessons can help you to adjust your technique which can ensure that you avoid the repetitive strain that is causing the problem.

Myth: There’s nothing you can do about the pain

Another worry is that tennis elbow is a painful condition that you can’t do anything about. In fact, tennis elbow can usually be treated with shop-bought painkillers and you can even look into options such as physiotherapy to relieve the pain.

Fact: The solution is usually simple

Tennis elbow is self-limiting – it gets better without treatment. The important thing to note is that if you start getting tennis elbow you need to take action such as resting your arm and avoiding the actions that are causing the symptoms for a few days.

Myth: All tennis players get tennis elbow

It’s also a complete myth that all tennis players will get tennis elbow. In fact, it is only a very small percentage of regular players who suffer from the condition.

Three reasons to choose an artificial clay court

Artificial and Synthetic Clay Tennis Courts

In his career to date, Andy Murray has appeared in 11 Grand Slam finals, but only one of them was on the clay court of the French Open. Additionally he has appeared in 21 Master Series finals and only three of these were on clay courts. But Murray is not alone in British players who have struggled on clay. British professionals tend to have more success on grass and hard court than clay, and this is mostly down to the fact that there simply aren’t very many clay courts in the UK for players to practice on.

But recent innovations have made it possible for artificial clay courts to be used. These courts have very similar playing properties to real clay, and even look like the real thing. Let’s take a look at three reasons you might want to choose an artificial clay court.

An all-weather court

One of the main reasons that you don’t see many natural clay courts in the UK is because our weather isn’t ideal for it. Clay courts become unusable in wet weather and can take a long time to try out after the rain has stopped. This means that the time you will be able to use a real clay court would be significantly limited.

Synthetic clay is an all-weather surface as it porous. It is a layer of coloured carpet with a layer of sand. This means that water drains from the surface very quickly and doesn’t pool.

A practical option

Real clay courts require quite a significant amount of daily maintenance to stay at their best. They need to be watered to ensure they stay firm and stable – but not too much of they become unplayable. They also need regular brushing and rolling to ensure good playing conditions.

On the other hand, artificial clay is a low maintenance surface and they generally only require fairly regular sweeping to keep them in good condition. They also don’t have one of the major annoyances of clay courts, which is the constant kicking up of dust.

A unique court surface

Artificial clay is still a fairly rare surface in the UK, so if you’re considering having a tennis court constructed this can provide you with something unique. Artificial clay plays very differently to the hard courts commonly found in the UK.