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A hardcourt (or hard court) is a surface or floor on which a sport is played, most usually in reference to tennis courts. They are typically made of rigid materials such as asphalt or concrete, and covered with acrylic material to seal the surface and mark the playing lines, while providing some cushioning. Historically, hardwood surfaces were also in use in indoor settings, similar to an indoor basketball court, but these are now rare.
Tennis hard courts are made of synthetic/acrylic layers on top of a concrete or asphalt foundation and can vary in color. These courts tend to play medium-fast to fast because there is little energy absorption by the court, like in grass courts. The ball tends to bounce high and players are able to apply many types of spin during play. Flat balls are favored on hard courts because of the extremely quick play style. Speed of rebound after tennis balls bounce on hard courts is determined by how much sand is in the synthetic/acrylic layer placed on top of the asphalt foundation. More sand will result in a slower bounce due to more friction.
There are numerous hardcourt maintenance methods which are commonly used to keep these facilities in top condition. Some of these include brushing, pressure washing with a cleaning solution and applying chemical treatments to prevent the growth of moss and algae. Anti-slip paint is also applied to hardcourts to give better playing qualities which enhance player safety and performance.
Some prominent brands of hardcourt surfaces used at professional tournaments include:
- Tennis Australia – Acrylic Surface (Hardcourt) information sheet
- LTA – Impervious Acrylic Court guidance
- LTA – Porous Macadam Court guidance
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