Tennis Court Dimensions and Anatomy (Diagrams)


Building a tennis court and want to know the dimensions? Want to know the different parts of a tennis court? Read and look at this series of diagrams which sets out the anatomy of a tennis court as well as the dimensions for the different types of tennis court. We wrap it up with an overview of the different types of tennis balls (just for fun).

Beautiful red and green tennis court in tropical location

I grew up playing tennis and now get to teach it to and play with my kids.

What a terrific Spring and Summer game.  Actually it’s great year-around if you have access to an indoor court or live in a warm climate.

As much as our family loved tennis, we did not put in a court in our yard.  Nor do we have a court in our yard now (and have no plans to get one).  Tennis courts in backyards are a luxury (as are any backyard courts for various sports).

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to put in a tennis court or are merely curious as to the tennis court dimensions, you’re the right place.  Below is our series of tennis court dimensions diagrams as well as diagrams explaining the different types of tennis courts, the different parts of a tennis court as well as the different types of tennis balls.

Parts of a Tennis Court (Diagram)

The parts of a tennis court are straight-forward.  I prefer courts with a tall fence that wraps around the entire court instead of one with guards at the end.  Chasing balls all over the place is never fun.

The clearance area distance is important.  You need sufficient space behind the baseline to play.  Other than that, a tennis court is comprised of a surface (grass, clay or hard-top), a net and various zones demarcated via painted lines.

Diagram setting out the different parts of a tennis court

Tennis Court Dimensions

The tennis court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles and 36 feet wide for doubles.  The net is 42 inches in height on the sides and 36″ in height at the center.

While there is much written about the history of tennis, what I couldn’t find is who ultimately decided on the court dimensions.  Somebody, once upon a time, must have said “okay, the court is 78 feet long, 27 feet wide for ingls and 36 feet wide for doubles.”  That’s not to mention all the dimensions and sizes of the service box zones, clearance zones, etc.  Who it was or what entity decided that is unknown to me.

Just in case you’re interested, all tennis court dimensions are set out in the diagram below.

Tennis Court Dimensions Diagram

Tennis Court Net Dimensions

Nothing is more annoying than going to a public tennis court and discovering that the net is not the right height.  When I played as a kid, public courts offered a crank to adjust the net and while the intention of that was great, they were often broken which meant the court was useless.

These days, at least the public courts in my area, there are no cranks and the Parks board does a really good job ensuring the courts are in good working order.  There is no crank for someone to break.

If you ever wanted to know everything about the tennis court net dimensions, distances etc. check out our detailed diagram below.

Tennis Court Net Dimensions Diagram

Types of Tennis Courts

I’ve never had the pleasure of playing grass or clay courts.  Most tennis courts in North America are hard-top.  I suspect I’d prefer hardtop over grass or clay, but it’s also true that I’m most familiar with the hard court.  Here’s a quick breakdown:

  1. Grass:  Expensive to maintain and useless in the rain.  However, tennis in the rain on any court doesn’t really work.  Also, the ball bounces less.  Very traditional. Mostly used in Britain but can be found in the USA.  Source: Strigroup.com
  2. Clay: Less costly to build but more costly to maintain. They slow the ball (more bounce and reduce ball speed upon impact).  Moving involves sliding on the surface more which takes practice.  Source: Wikipedia.
  3. Hardcourt:  Asphalt or concrete topped with a thick-rubber-like paint (acrylic material) that provides more grip and softens the surface.  This is the most common type of tennis court in North America.
  4. Carpet courts: Carpet courts refers to any court with a removable covering [source: Wikipedia].

Diagram setting out types of tennis courts

Types of Tennis Balls

Types of tennis balls chart