Tennis Court Dimensions: How Big Is a Tennis Court?

Go to any park, country club, or even professional tournament, and all tennis courts look basically the same. It is one of those sports that has a very uniform type of court, and that is seen as a huge benefit for players as they develop. 

How big is a tennis court? A tennis court is 78 feet in length, and 36 feet in width. The singles court width is 27 feet and both doubles alleys are 4.5 feet wide. On each side of the net, there are two service boxes near the net that are 21 feet x 13.5 feet each. Finally, between the service line and the baseline is an open “no man’s land” area of 18 feet x 27 feet.

How Much Additional Area Is Needed For a Tennis Court?

A lot of sports don’t need much space at all outside of the lines. Players are forced to stay within the boundaries. Tennis is different, as the serve takes place outside of the court itself. Not only that, but many players return serves well outside the court, and might be pulled in every direction multiple times a point.

There is no uniform amount of space outside of the courts, even at the professional level. For example, the main court at a tournament might have more space than one of the side courts used in the earlier rounds. Players feel forced to adjust if they do not have the proper amount of space to chase everything down.

Recreational players will find that they usually do not have nearly the same amount of space. As the game gets faster, it is becoming more and more of an issue for players trying to track everything down.

If building a court from scratch, the recommended size for the total playing area is roughly 120 feet in court length, and 60 feet in court width. Players have a comfortable amount of space for moving in singles or doubles.

How Wide Are Lines On a Typical Tennis Court?

The lines are very important in tennis, as a ball that just barely clips part of the line counts as an in a ball. That is why all lines are pretty uniform in size, even at the recreational levels.

The center service line and the center mark both must be 2 inches wide on a standard tennis court. The other extremely thick line is the baseline, which can be anywhere from 2 inches to 4 inches. All other lines on the courts are possibly a little smaller, as the range is just 1 inch to 2 inches.

You can read more about the tennis lines in this post.

What Is The Size Of a Net?

A standard net is exactly 3 feet tall in the middle of the court. To keep the height correct throughout the play, a center strap locks everything down. By connecting the center strap to the center strap anchor, a standard strap can last for a long time.

At the net post, the height of the net is 3 feet 6 inches. This takes a little bit of getting used to for some players. Many assume that it is one height across the board. Depending on where the net posts are located, the angle can be a little sharper than others.

Some courts will not have a strap in the middle for one reason or another. At many local parks, these are vulnerable to breaking or being stolen. There is really no substitute out there when this happens, other than to carry around a spare strap. There would still need to be an anchor to use in this scenario. Without a strap, the net pops up and is a bit more uniform in height from net post to net post.

Net Posts Location

One of the biggest variances with a tennis court is the location of the net posts. While the net stays roughly the same size for any type of court out there, the majority of recreational courts will have posts that are just outside of the doubles lines. This is to make sure that the court is playable for both singles and doubles.

At higher levels, the net posts for singles should actually be in the middle of the double’s alleys. This not only makes a slightly sharper angle for the net, but it allows for players to hit around the net post a little more easily. This is sometimes a strategy used by players when they are pulled towards one extreme or the other.

Are All Tennis Courts The Same Size?

Various sizes for tennis courts pop up for the younger players out there. Children eight years of age or under should play on a court that is 36 feet x 18 feet, with a 2 feet, 9-inch net. When they are nine or ten years old, they can graduate to a fairly larger court of 60 feet x 21 feet for singles, with a standard tennis net as well.

The ten and under tennis lines are often found at public parks so that it is easy for younger players to play if they wish. Not everyone enjoys having the lines on the court at all times, but it is something that most people can work through to make the game more inviting for the next generation.

Court Measurements At The Pro Stage

When the game of tennis switches to a different type of court surface, the sizing remains the same. The only difference at the professional level is the amount of space surrounding the court. 

Clay courts tend to have, in general, slightly more room for players to work with during play. This is because clay is considered the slowest surface, so players will sometimes stand a little further back behind the baseline to get a good look at the ball. 

Will Tennis Court Dimensions Ever Change?

Tennis players are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever, and technology is always improving as well. That has caused quite a bit of evolution over the years, but the dimensions for tennis have largely stayed the same

For that reason, it seems unlikely that any changes are on the horizon. The most significant change might be offering up more areas surrounding the courts. This cuts down on potential injury and allows players to chase anything down. For pro tournaments, this is not a problem, but at the local club, it becomes more expensive to extend courts.

If tennis started as a sport today, perhaps the court would be a little bigger overall. The good news is that if the game ever truly outgrows the court, there is the ability to tune down racquets, balls, and more to slow the game down.

All in all, tennis is a pretty traditional sport, and they seem locked in with the current dimensions. Having a standard court to play on helps grow the game and keep players interested at all levels.

You can read more about the court dimensions in this post.

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