Tennis nets are an essential component of the tennis court itself, and varying types of nets can greatly affect the overall gameplay of the sport. Read on to learn about this crucial piece of tennis equipment, and learn everything you'll need to know before purchasing a net of your own.
What are tennis nets used for?
Tennis nets are the divider between each side of the tennis court and play an important role as a boundary for each shot. When the ball is hit over the net onto the other side of the court, it becomes the other player's responsibility to return the ball back onto the original side, and so on and so forth. If a player hits the ball into the net, the rally is over, and the point is conceded by that player. An official tennis net is "tapered", meaning it stands 3.5 feet high on its posts before gradually decreasing on each side to the middle, where the net stands at 3 feet. This makes hitting shots over the middle portions of the nets, particularly serves, slightly easier than shots down the lines. Nets can vary in type depending on the material, thickness, and portability, which can have various effects on the durability and overall quality of the tennis net.
Things To Consider
When looking for tennis nets, you'll want to consider the following:
- Are you planning on playing tennis indoors or outdoors?
- Do you need a tennis net that is easy to take down and transport?
- What type of tennis court are you playing on?
- How much are you looking to spend on a tennis net?
What are you looking for in a tennis net?
- Easily removable
There are a few different types of nets that vary in the features offered, including durability, cost, and portability. The main types of tennis nets are twisted nets, single braided nets, double braided nets, and portable tennis nets.
Twisted Tennis Nets
Twisted tennis nets are the standard net found on most outdoor recreational courts. They are the least expensive and least durable type of tennis nets. As a result, these nets will need to be replaced more frequently. Twisted nets absorb less energy than braided nets, which means the ball will bounce further away after striking the net. Twisted nets are typically not used in competition.
- Least expensive
- Low durability
- Ball bounces further away after hitting the net
- Not suitable for professional matches
Single Braided Tennis Nets
Single braided tennis nets offer a better alternative to standard twisted nets because the structural composition is stronger and absorbs more energy. This allows balls hit against the net to stay close to the net rather than bouncing further back onto the court. These types of nets usually feature braids made of polyethylene or polyester with vinyl headbands.
- Braids offer greater durability than twisted nets
- Absorbs energy to limit bounce back
- More expensive than twisted nets
- Does not offer as much protection and durability as double-braided models
Double Braided Tennis Nets
Double braided nets offer many of the same features as single braided nets, as the similar braided design provides greater durability and absorbs impact better than twisted nets. Double braided nets differ from single braided nets in that they provide an extra layer of netting on the top few rows for added protection, as this is the portion of the net that gets hit the most.
- Offers the most protection of any net
- Most durable
- Extra absorption than single braided
- More material needed to construct
- More expensive
Portable Tennis Nets
Portable tennis nets are tennis nets that can be transported from place to place. The portability of these kinds of nets allows its users to play tennis flexibly in many places outside of just the tennis court itself. These nets allow players to play virtually anywhere with a hard floor, making them the perfect net for school gyms and driveways.
- Easily transported
- Allows tennis to be played on non-traditional playing surfaces
- Not as high in quality compared to traditional tennis nets
- Not as durable as traditional tennis nets
Finding the right type of tennis net with the appropriate features is also very much dependent upon the brand of the net. Two top tennis net brands are Edwards and Tourna.
Edwards is one of the most well-known tennis net brands offering the full range of net types in their inventory with various models that will fit almost any budget. Edwards also offers many net accessories, including net posts, windscreens, anchors and anchor clips, and net lacing twine.
While mostly known for their racket grips, Tourna also offers a wide selection of tennis nets. Specifically, Tourna offers many portable nets, as well as high-quality single and double braided nets. They also have an intuitive rebound net that allows players to hit balls into the net to be rebounded back to them, which can aid in practice.
What material is used in professional tennis nets?
Professional tennis nets typically use braided polyester for the main portion of the net in a double braided fashion, which includes a second layer of polyester braids along the top rows for added protection and durability. Most tennis nets also feature a vinyl-covered headband at the top of the net as vinyl is easier to clean and dirt-resistant.
What are the dimensions of a professional tennis net?
On a full-sized doubles court, the net stretches 42 feet across the entirety of the court, surpassing the doubles sideline by three feet on each side. In some tournaments for singles play, the net is shortened, and the posts lie halfway between the singles and doubles sideline. The net stands at 3.5 feet tall at its posts before gradually decreasing in height on each side towards the middle, where the net stands 3 feet tall.
How should you take care of your tennis net?
The best way to take care of your tennis net is to not ignore it when it is not in use. When nets are not being used, it is highly recommended that they be lowered to relieve the tension on the net posts. If not being used for an extended period of time, it is recommended to take the net down completely and store it safely inside in a cool, dry place, especially in the wintertime. Each of these protective measures can increase the lifespan of your tennis net.