Tennis court construction requires attention to detail and a very solid foundation. First of all, the area must be excavated to a good depth. Any organic material under the tennis court will eventually rot away leaving a void under the tennis court. This could lead to an eventual low point and spoil the playing surface. After clearing the organic matter, the sub-grade below the tennis court is flattened. Ideally the court should be designed with a North – south orientation, but this is not always possible in residential home tennis courts.
The geotextile layer for your tennis court
A geotextile layer is laid over the sub-grade to block any root growth from nearby trees and ensure the subgrade does not affect drainage of the road base by oozing up and filling the voids.
Tennis Court Solid Road Base Foundation
The road base material spread evenly over the area followed by even more flattening. It is essential that a robust foundation is created to maintain the stability of the playing surface. The thick layer of road base should be at lease 150mm after it has been flattened and compressed to ensure a stable foundation for the tennis court.
Tennis Court Asphalting
Ideally, two different layers of Asphalt should be used in the tennis court base with two different specifications. The lower layer of asphalt is a thicker, courser asphalt with the upper layer much finer. The fine upper layer needs to be as flat as possible. The court is constructed to shed water in two planes and it is essential that puddles do not form on the surface.
Tennis Court Cushioning layer
The optional cushioning layer is an ideal choice for residential and club tennis courts. The cushioning layer reduces impact on a tennis player’s feet, ankles and knees. By providing a small amount of flexibility, it also makes the upper playing surface more durable. The playing surface is much less likely to crack and peel if it is bonded to a surface with a little bit of “give”. The Australian open surface uses Plexicushion.
The Playing Surface
Modern material technology has given the customer a wide range of choices for the playing surface itself. Many people will remember the when the Australian Open was played at Kooyong on grass surfaces. Grass courts are still common to tennis tournaments in Great Britain and most notably Wimbledon. In the countries in continental Europe, clay courts are often use a clay system known as “en tout cas” meaning “in any case”. Although this is a French phrase, the company, En tout cas,is British. They came up with a clever solution to the problems caused by water on clay tennis surfaces. The solution is to use crushed brick which greatly improves drainage. Most clay courts today use crushed brick as the main constituent of the surface.
Balwyn Community Centre Tennis Court
Tennis courts in public spaces like the Balwyn Community Centre need to be low maintenance and durable. The landscape architects, ACLA, wisely chose Euroclay for the playing surface. This is a surface that provides all of the features of a clay tennis surface with very low maintenance. It even looks and plays like en tout cas, but notes not require rolling or watering. Even better, tennis can still be played in wet conditions. Ideal for the diehard tennis enthusiast home owner.
Tennis Court Repair
The landscaping project at Balwyn Community Centre also involved making repairs to an adjoining court. A large tree near the tennis court had caused damage dur to the tree root growing into the court. It was necessary to dig a trench between the tree and the court to install a root barrier to prevent further damage. All of the roots under the court had to be removed as organic material rotting away under a court can lead to further damage in the future.
What is Euroclay?
Euroclay is a UV stabilised polyethylene carpet with a sand infill. Polyethylene is a very tough material that is also very stain resistant. It is also relatively inexpensive, so using this type of construction will save money in both construction and maintenance.
Other types of construction
There are of course, other types of court construction techniques. The lower layers can be concrete or can be permeable materials with drainage systems. The goal in all of these is to provide a playing surface that is durable, even, well drained, and provides a fair game to all players.
Landscape Design of Tennis Courts
The courts need to be designed and constructed with a slight fall to shed water. It is essential that the water can drain to the outside of the court and into the surrounding area. It is important that any gardens near the courts are designed and constructed so that material from the gardens cannot wash onto the court playing surface.
Consideration should also be given player safety with any garden edging or branches near the court. Tennis players often need to go into the nearby gardens to retrieve tennis balls, so this should also be considered? For some privacy around a residential tennis court some fast growing climbing plants would be a good option.
Contact Red’s Landscaping for an integrated Tennis Court and Landscaping package.
Related Landscaping ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil