Grass court

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Roger Federer playing on the grass at Centre Court in the 2006 Wimbledon Championships

A grass court is one of the types of tennis court on which the sport of tennis, originally known as "lawn tennis", is played. Grass courts are made of grasses in different compositions depending on the tournament.

Although grass courts are more traditional than other types of tennis courts, maintenance costs of grass courts are higher than those of hard courts and clay courts. Grass courts (in the absence of suitable covers) must be left for the day if rain appears, as the grass becomes very slippery when wet and will not dry for many hours. This is a disadvantage on outdoor courts compared to using hard and clay surfaces, where play can resume in 30 to 120 minutes after the end of rain (clay courts even remain playable in light rain).[1]

Grass courts are most common in the United Kingdom and Australia, although the Northeastern United States also has some private grass courts.

Play style[edit]

Because grass courts tend to be slippery, the ball often skids and bounces low while retaining most of its speed, rarely rising above knee height. In addition, there are often bad bounces. As a result, players must reach the ball faster relative to other surfaces, and rallies are likely to be comparatively brief; therefore, speed and power are rewarded on grass. On grass, the serve and return play a major part in determining the outcome of the point, increasing the importance of serving effectively, and maintaining focus in exchanges which can be heavily influenced by lapses in concentration.[2] A grass court favours a serve and volley style of play.


Serena Williams serving at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships.

The most successful singles players on grass in the Open Era have been Martina Navratilova, Roger Federer, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Björn Borg, Chris Evert, and Venus Williams. All have won at least five major singles titles on grass: Navratilova won twelve, Federer and Court eight each, King, Sampras, Graf, Serena Williams, and Djokovic seven each. Other players who have been relatively successful on grass during the Open Era are Arthur Ashe, Ken Rosewall, Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Virginia Wade, Rafael Nadal, Petra Kvitová and Andy Murray.

Among men, Sampras is lauded by many tennis analysts as one of the greatest grass-court players of all time.[3][4][5][6] He won seven Wimbledon singles titles in eight years from 1993 through 2000, with his only loss in that span coming in the 1996 quarterfinals. Roger Federer is statistically the most successful male grass court player of the Open Era: he has won an Open Era-record 19 grass court titles, including ten Halle Open titles, an all-time record eight Wimbledon singles titles, and a Stuttgart Open title. Federer has contested an all-time record twelve Wimbledon singles finals, and has the longest grass court winning streak in the Open Era, when he won 65 consecutive matches between 2003 and 2008, until he was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon final. Additionally, Novak Djokovic has had significant success at Wimbledon in the 2010s and beyond - winning the tournament 7 times, and notably defeating Federer 3 times in the final of Wimbledon in 2014, 2015 and 2019.

The most successful active female grass-court player is Venus Williams, with five Wimbledon singles titles. Venus has won five out of her nine Wimbledon finals appearances (losing three to her sister, Serena), and the pair have won six titles in the ladies' doubles together.

Professional tournaments played on grass[edit]

Compared to clay and hard courts, the professional grass court season is much shorter. Until 2014 it consisted only of Wimbledon, two weeks of tournaments in Britain and continental Europe leading up to it, and the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships at Newport, Rhode Island, United States the week after. In 2015 it was extended, with an extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon. On the ATP Tour, the Stuttgart Open became a grass court tournament that year.[7] In 2017 a new ATP 250 tournament in Antalya, Turkey, was played a week before Wimbledon.[8] On the WTA Tour Mallorca, Spain, began hosting a grass court tournament beginning in 2016.[9]

Summer grass season[edit]

Grand Slam tournaments
ATP Tour 500 WTA 500
ATP Tour 250 WTA 250
Week ATP[10] WTA[11]
Week 1 Stuttgart Open (StuttgartGermany) Nottingham Open (NottinghamUnited Kingdom)
Rosmalen Grass Court Championships ('s-HertogenboschNetherlands)
Week 2 Halle Open (Halle, Germany)
Queen's Club Championships (London, United Kingdom)
Grass Court Championships Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
Birmingham Classic (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Week 3 Eastbourne International (Eastbourne, United Kingdom) Eastbourne International (Eastbourne, United Kingdom)
Mallorca Championships (Santa PonsaSpain) Bad Homburg Open (Bad Homburg, Germany)
Week 4 Wimbledon (London, United Kingdom)
Week 5
Week 6 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (NewportUnited States) none

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How Long Does It Take a Tennis Court to Dry?". 14 September 2020. Archived from the original on 7 July 2022. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  2. ^ "The grass is the star at Wimbledon and this year's Olympic tennis matches". The Washington Post. 4 July 2012. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Pete Sampras on Grass Tennis Courts". USTA. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Sampras still the best - Murray". Irish Times. 23 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Sampras "walks on water" for Wimbledon win". McCook Daily Gazette. 2 July 1999. p. 7. Archived from the original on 4 June 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  6. ^ Calvin Tomkins (28 June 2010). "Anxiety on the grass". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Stuttgart To Make Switch To Grass Courts In 2015". ATP. 29 March 2013. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  8. ^ "ATP calendar 2016-2017-2018" (PDF). ATP. 29 March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  9. ^ "WTA To Head To Mallorca In 2016". WTA. 9 June 2014. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  10. ^ "ATP Tour 2020 Season" (PDF). ATP. 13 March 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  11. ^ "WTA calendar" (PDF). WTA. 16 October 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.

External links[edit]