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.