Last Updated on July 19, 2023
Playing outdoor tennis can be challenging due to the ever-changing weather conditions, including frequent wind and rain. Regardless, I wouldn’t consider myself a fair-weather player. I’ve learned to adjust to these elements, or I would be stuck playing indoors, which isn’t as fun for me. Nothing beats a good game of singles or doubles in the fresh air.
In this article, we’ll discuss the drying time of tennis courts after rain, the feasibility of playing on a wet court, and how to adjust your game for rainy conditions.
The drying speed of a tennis court can vary depending on several factors, including temperature, sun exposure, wind speed, the court’s drainage system, and the type of surface.
To give you a brief idea, hard courts typically dry within 1-2 hours. Clay courts can dry faster, taking as little as 30 minutes after light rain, but may take over an hour after heavy rain. On the other hand, grass courts might require a few hours or more to completely dry after significant rainfall.
Can You Play Tennis On A Wet Court?
Playing tennis on a wet court is generally not recommended. The surface can become slippery, increasing the risk of slipping and sustaining injuries. The type of court surface can also affect the safety of playing tennis in wet conditions:
- Grass courts: These should always be dry before you play. A wet grass court is extremely slippery and can also get damaged quite easily.
- Hard courts: These can be slightly damp and still safe for a casual game. But for competitive play, it’s best to wait until they’re completely dry to prevent any slips, especially when making quick directional changes.
- Clay courts: These can handle a bit of dampness, as a small amount of moisture can actually help the surface. However, if the court gets too wet and turns muddy, it’s best to wait until it dries.
Remember, safety should always be the top priority when deciding whether to play tennis in wet conditions.
How Long Does It Take A Tennis Court To Dry?
The drying time of a tennis court depends on a number of factors such as the court type, drainage, air temperature, wind, and humidity. Here’s a simple explanation for each court type:
- Clay courts: Clay courts can dry rather quickly. After light rain, they can be dry in just 20 minutes. But if there’s been heavy rain and the court looks muddy, it might take between 1 to 3 hours.
- Hard courts: These courts usually take longer to dry than clay. Depending on the drainage and the extent of the rain, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over 2 hours for a hard court to dry.
- Grass courts: Grass courts take the longest time to dry. Even a slightly damp grass court can take several hours to dry completely.
Remember, these times can vary based on the specific circumstances of weather and court conditions.
How To Dry A Tennis Court Quickly?
Big tennis events have lots of tools to dry out courts. They cover the court when it rains, like you see at Wimbledon. They also use large fans to dry the court quickly.
If you’re just playing for fun, there aren’t many options. On hard courts, you can use a tool like a squeegee or roller to get rid of standing water and help it dry faster.
For small puddles, a towel can work. But often, it’s best to let the sun and wind dry the court. In summer, courts dry pretty fast once the sun comes out.
For clay courts, you can’t really speed up the drying. You just have to wait until it’s dry enough to play.
How Can You Play Tennis In The Rain?
If you decide to play tennis when it’s a bit wet or lightly raining, you need to change how you play. Here are some tips to help you win:
Don’t use kick serve
A kick serve can make the ball bounce high and be hard for the receiver. But on a wet court, the ball won’t bounce as much. This can make it easier for the receiver. It’s better to use flat and slice serves.
Hit more volleys
On a wet court, the ball won’t bounce as high. This can force players to hit the ball upwards. So, it’s a good idea to approach the net more and hit more volleys. Points will be quicker and the ball will be in a better spot to hit. Also, running side-to-side for long rallies on a wet court isn’t fun.
Bend your knees more
Since the ball will bounce lower, bend your knees more to get lower. This will put you in a better spot to hit the ball.
Use slice more
Hitting a low bouncing ball is hard. So, make it harder for your opponent by using slice. The ball will slide more on the wet surface and stay low.
Also, be prepared for rain. If you’re wearing old tennis shoes and it starts raining, you’ll slip and slide. So, always check the weather before you go to play. If there’s a chance of rain, bring tennis shoes with good grip.
Bring a towel to keep your racket dry. The handle can get slippery when wet. And bring extra tennis balls. They will get wet faster on a damp court.
If possible, try not to play serious games when it’s raining.
You can slip and hurt yourself. Plus, hitting wet, heavy tennis balls can hurt your arm because you might swing harder.
But if you really want to play tennis, you can have a gentle game with a friend on a slightly wet court.
Try to play on clay if possible, as it can hold some water before it becomes unsafe. Hard courts are okay if they’re just a bit wet, but stay away from grass courts.
Will rain ruin tennis balls?
No, even though tennis balls will get wet from the court, they’ll be fine after they dry. But you should bring extra balls if you think it’ll be wet and change them more often. Wet tennis balls aren’t fun to play with because they don’t bounce well and they don’t move quickly through the air.
Can tennis rackets get wet?
Yes, if your racket gets wet during a game, it’s not a big deal. Just wipe the handle and grip with a towel now and then. But you should use an older racket when you play in the rain. The balls will be heavier from the water they pick up from the court, and that can wear out your strings faster. Plus, hitting a heavier ball can hurt your shoulder and arm, so be careful.
The grip on the racket can wear out faster if it gets too wet, so bring extra overgrips when you play in the rain. Save your best racket for when the weather is better!