What Is The Height of a Tennis Net? 

One of the core features of a tennis court is the net. To hit the ball into the opponent’s half, a player must overcome this obstacle at the court’s center on every single shot. Failing to clear the net is one of the main reasons behind unforced errors for recreational and elite players. 

So, what is the height of a tennis net? A tennis net does not have a uniform height; in the center, it measures 0.91 m (3 ft) tall, whereas both net posts are 1.07 m (3 ft 6 in) tall. The net is made slightly wider for doubles matches than singles contests. 

The game of tennis can be decided by mere millimeters, so players need to have a feel for the exact dimensions of the court and net. They must learn how to clear the net with tiny margins. Hence, the net height is constant across all tournaments. 

How Are Tennis Nets Set Up? 

A tennis net fundamentally consists of a rectangular piece of mesh secured at its ends by two posts. It divides the tennis court into two equal halves. Some nets have freestanding posts, but at professional tournaments, the net posts are embedded within the playing surface. 

A metal cable or cord is connected to both posts and runs through a band at the top of the net. The band is always white and is attached to the mesh to hold it up. It is possible to tighten the cord by winding the handles on both posts. 

In the middle of the net, a vertical white strap connects the net to the court surface with an anchor. This ensures that the net does not move back and forth during play. 

How Tall Is a Tennis Net? 

  • Center: 0.91 m (3 ft) 
  • Posts: 1.07 m (3 ft 6 in) 

The height of a tennis net is stipulated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is enforced in the Grand Slam tournaments. The net height, plus other standard tennis dimensions, are used by the ATP and WTA organizations at their events. 

The net is lower at the center than the post. If you look at a tennis net, you will see that it forms a slight V-shape. The net is held up by tension in the cable that runs through the top and can be adjusted at the posts. Despite the tension, the net sags under its own weight and is also pulled down by the strap in the middle. 

Even with a small difference of 16 cm (6 in), it is significantly harder for players to hit the ball over the sides of the net than the center. These down-the-line shots are high-risk; with less clearance, players are more likely to clip the top of the net and make an error. 

On the other hand, a player can sometimes be very fortunate with “net cords” ― if the ball clips the top of the net and drops onto the other side (close to the net), it may be difficult or

impossible for their opponent to retrieve it in time. In these lucky situations, a net cord almost guarantees that a player will win the point. 

It is considered good sportsmanship to apologize to your opponent after winning a point in this fortunate manner. 

How Wide Is a Tennis Net? 

  • For singles matches: 10.06 m (33 ft) 
  • For doubles matches: 12.80 m (42 ft) 

Just like the height, the width of a tennis net is not constant. The position of the net posts depends on whether a singles match or doubles match is being played. Hence, the width of the net can change. 

For singles contests, the net posts stand inside the tramlines, 0.91 m (3 ft) outside the singles sidelines. The singles court is 8.23 m (27 ft) wide, so the net in singles is 1.83 m (6 ft) wider. 

For doubles matches, the net posts are placed 0.91 m (3 ft) outside the tramlines on both sides of the court. The doubles court is 10.97 m (36 ft) wide, so the doubles net is 1.83 m (6 ft) wider accordingly. With two players on the court, a wider net is necessary to make it harder for players to hit past it. 

The posts themselves are 15 cm (6 in) or less in width, while the cable/cord must be at most 0.8 cm (⅓ of an inch) thick. 

What Are the Rules Regarding the Net? 

To hit a valid shot, whether a serve, volley, or groundstroke, a player must move the ball past the net. Most of the time, that just means hitting the ball up and over the net onto the other side of the court.

Players are also allowed to hit balls around the net e.g. between the net post and the umpire’s chair. These are rare and spectacular shots that can happen when a player is pulled out wide. 

It is forbidden for players to touch any part of the net (the mesh, the band, or the posts) while play is in progress. This means that if any part of their body, clothing, or racket comes into contact with the net, their opponent will be awarded the point ― if the umpire notices. 

The net divides not only the court surface but the space above it too. Therefore, players are only allowed to strike the ball while it is in their space. It is illegal to move their racket across the net (into the opponent’s space) to hit a ball. 

Final Words 

A tennis net presents a major challenge to new and experienced competitors. A player’s success in the game depends on their ability to consistently avoid the net with their shots.

Hitting the net often means losing a point, though occasionally you can get lucky. The net has a permanent presence on a tennis court, so you must develop your game around it early to avoid needless mistakes in the future.

Fred Simonsson

I'm Fred, the guy behind TennisPredict. Apart from writing here, I play tennis on a semi-professional level and coach upcoming talents.

Recent Posts