Back to the basics: Tennis slang

When it comes to playing tennis most people forget the basics.  This is a very simple explanation of the court to get started.  This will also help you learn the language of tennis. In total the playing area of a doubles tennis court is 78’x36’, while the singles playing area is 78’x27’. The total fenced in area ideally is 60’x120’. Each court is composed of quite a few elements. Below is a diagram and glossary of the different sections within these courts.


  1. Baseline- The base line is 39’ from the net and 36’ wide, for doubles it is 27’ wide and for singles it is 39’ wide. Start each point just behind the baseline, whether you’re serving or awaiting your opponent’s serve.  The baseline is where a lot of the modern game occurs.
  1. Singles, sideline- The entire singles court is 27’ wide by 78’ long.The 27’ is the outer edge of the singles court, where you will place down -the-line balls to take your opponent out wide.
  1. Doubles, sideline- The court becomes 36’ wide by 78’ long for doubles.
  1. Net- The net is 3’ high in the Center and 3’6” at the posts. You need to take the added height into consideration when you hit shots down the line.  you should also approach the net to play volleys.
  1. Centre service line- The Centre line divides the court up in to four service boxes.
  1. Service box- The tennis court service boxes are each 21’ from the net and 13’6” wide.When serving, you must place the ball in the opponents service box on the opposite side from where you stand.  The first serve of each game should finish in the service box to your left. On your second server, move to the left-hand side of the court and play into the right-hand service box.  Alternate until you have served out the game.
  1. Service line Is 21’ from the net and 27’ wide. Balls must land inside ,or on, the service line and the Centre service line in the correct service box to be called in.
  1. Doubles, tramline- This is the additional play space that doubles players have at their disposal. There is an additional 4’6” on each side, or  in the doubles court it is 9’ wide than a singles court.
  1. Baseline Centre mark- Is a small rectangle approximately 6”x2” in the center of each base line. As you serve, stand just to the side of the small Centre marking.  Placing yourself here will give you maximum court coverage for returns.

Net Diagram

tennis net elevation 1

Tennis Court Diagramtennis-court-dimensions-and-layout

USTA Tennis Court Diagram

US Open Tennis Dimensions

All weather sport court

All weather asphalt sport surfaces that are colorcoated require very little maintenance. There are just a few basic tips that will help extend the life of your colorcoated surfaces.

Watch for the appearance of mold or mildew on your court. It is usually found in the shaded areas. This will make the playing surface slippery and will soften the colorcoating. The softening of the color will lead to premature wearing of the colorcoating products. Acrylic coatings do not support fungus or mold growth. This growth is usually caused from decaying matter, food or drink spills, or other materials on the surface which are feeding these organisms. Constant dampness encourages this growth. Do not have your sprinklers constantly wetting the surface of the court.

To remove mold and fungus below are a few solutions. You can scrub the area using a soft bristled broom with a solution  of 2 parts household bleach and 1 part water. After a few minutes thoroughly rinse the area. If staining is present you may try scrubbing with a mild detergent always using a soft bristled brush. If mildew is present combine 4 parts water with 2 parts tri-sodium phosphate and 1 part household bleach, and then scrub with a soft brush and wash off.

When courts are usually built the trees are either removed or cut back. So there are very few branches close by. Over time new trees appear or old ones grow over the courts. The result is areas on the court become very shaded. The court surface may take days to dry after a rain storm due to the shade. This amplifies fungus and mold growth. Keep the trees around the courts pruned and cut  back as much as possible.

Standing water will stain your courts as well. Dirt will accumulate in these areas which will stain the court or when the puddle is dry leave a pile of debris. When playing on this court the debris will act like sand paper wearing the coating down. The best solution is to remove the puddles from the court as often as possible and of course keep the court free of debris as much as possible.

It is very important to just clean your court. Leaves, pine needles, general debris all lead to problems with asphalt courts. Even during the winter months when not covered with snow keep your court clean.

When cleaning your court only use a soft nylon or hair type bristled broom. If using a pressure washer with water make sure you keep the pressure below 70 PSI.

Other hints to make your court last longer:

  1. The walks leading to the court should be kept clean. This will prevent abrasive materials like sand from tracking on the court. Do not blow dirt on the courts.
  2. Do not water landscaping too heavily along the edges of the court. This moisture may eventually go under the court which can lead to sun blisters.
  3. Weed killers, fertilizers and pesticides may cause damage to the surface, keep them off of the court.
  4. Keep the court from being overgrown with grass and weeds. Along with keeping tree branches trimmed.
  5. Most courts have a drainage system around them. Make sure it is always working and not clogged.
  6. Watch for long heaves appearing on the edge of the court surface. It maybe roots from a nearby tree pushing up through the asphalt. You want to stop this from continuing as soon as possible. You must have the roots cut from the outside the court or remove the tree.
  7. Watch for cracks appearing in the court. You want to address any cracking at the first appearance of them. Water penetrating into your court by way of the cracks will lead to more serious problems relatively quickly. This type of repair needs to be done by a tennis court professional.
  8. In the winter take your net down. If you are using the court loosen the tension on the net when not in use. The constant tension could help the frost in the ground to heave your net post foundation.

A typical colorcoating on a court being used lasts between 5 to 8 years. Depending on how much play the court gets and how it is maintained. I would recommend you have a tennis court professional take a look at your court every 2 to 3 years. The contractor may see something on your court that needs addressing to, that you were not aware of.

If you are in our service area of New England and want to know if we can help you with your asphalt court, please call us today for a FREE estimate! 1-866-556-3726

Basketball Logo

Logos, can bring a dull plain court to another level of appeal.

Har-Tru vs asphalt Tennis Courts

You have decided to build a tennis court, you just have yet to decide what kind. Here are some tips that may help you decide which is best for you. The question is asphalt court or Har-Tru clay tennis court.  Well let’s look at the maintenance of both courts.

On your new asphalt court there is no daily maintenance.  You need to sweep it to remove leaves and debris as needed.  You should power wash every 2-3 years.  Long term, you should recoat the court once every 5-7 years. The cost of an asphalt court can be more than a Har-Tru Clay court, but you are able to spend more time playing on it and a lot less time maintaining it.

The hard-try clay is actually a naturally green stone found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  Every time you play on it you need to brush the court right to the edges.  Even if you don’t  play on it you should brush it once a week.  You will also have to brush the clay off the lines.  You must also water the court to keep the surface stable.  Remember to take your shoes off before you go indoors so you don’t track the clay all over your house.

To take a look what you are going to need on a weekly basis to keep up the clay court. To get started you will need: clay court roller, water removers, court rakes, drag brooms, drag mats, growth control products for weeds, leaf removers, line brushes, line tape and nails,  scarifiers, shovels, extra clay court material, and don’t forget the sprinkler and hose to water the clay. Clay courts are a lot of work and the initial install cost less than an asphalt court. But in the long run you may not want something you have to maintain weekly. Also, every spring in New England the court needs to be redone. New Har-Tru installed and the lines put back down.

It can be a hard decision to make. If you want to make that leap and pay for your court initially or long term is the real question you should ask yourself. If you are an avid player and really enjoy the game and use it a lot and work a full time job, maybe a Har-Tru Clay Court is more than you can handle to maintain weekly. Just make sure whatever your decision, you get your use out of the court.

drag clay tchar tru clay court

Some equipment for Har Tru Clay Courts

PW TCColor Tennis (33)

                             Asphalt court maintenance- pressure

                                         washing and colorcoating

har tru clay dia

Har-Tru Clay Court Diagram

layers on asphalt tc

Asphalt Court Diagram


New England Sealcoating Specializes in asphalt tennis courts only, if you would like more information about asphalt courts please feel free to contact us or visit our website page for Tennis Courts today!

Tennis Owners beware of paintballers!

Last summer I came across a first on a tennis court. A customer of ours son had been shooting his paint ball guns off in the back yard near his tennis court. A stray paint ball was landing on the court on occasion. No one thought much about it since paint balls splatters usually just come right off in the rain.

The next time they went to play tennis they found where the paint ball had landed, the ball was actually tearing up the colorcoating and in some spots a little bit of the asphalt! They were actually making small holes in the court as they dried out in the sun.

The customer called us right away. We immediately scraped off the remaining splatter from the paint balls. To make sure all the paint was off the court we gave it a good power washing. We then patched each hole with Court Patch Binder and then colorcoated over the repair trying to match the green the best we could.

Make sure you wash off any paint ball paint on any coated or asphalt surface as soon as possible, this is what it looks like when it is not washed off.

Paintball photos (1) Paintball photos (2) Paintball photos (3) Paintball photos (4) Paintball photos (5) Paintball photos (6)

Why are the white lines on my tennis or basketball court cracking?

The answer is quite basic. The different colors on your court cause the asphalt to expand and contract a different rate.

The White color of the lines tends to reflect the suns rays. So the asphalt under the white paint tends to stay much cooler and does not help expand and contract too much during weather temperature changes. The colors next to the white line are usually a darker color. A darker color will draw the heat from the sun. This helps soften and expand the asphalt. The back and forth movement caused by cool and hot temperatures will eventually lead to cracking in the area where the white lines meet the darker court colors.

Once this cracking begins, water will begin to enter the sub-base of the court through those cracks. Water in the sub-base will lead to more major problems and more cracks in the future.

To minimize these cracking problems is to choose tennis court colors that are lighter. Once cracking begins, make sure to seal them closed to prevent water getting into the sub-base by way of the cracks.

paint lines on tennis


Pickleball is the new craze!

Pickleball is a sport that is growing in popularity. The sport & fitness industry association reports 2.46 million people played in 2015. It is not only becoming popular in the United Sates, but in Canada, Europe and Asia as well.

The sport was invented in 1965 by three Fathers; Joe Prichard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Their kids were bored with their summer activities. They tried to setup a badminton game but was missing the shuttlecock. The three fathers improvised by lowering the net, using a wiffle ball and making paddles out of plywood.

The sport combines the elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong into one. Two, three or four players can play on one court. The rules are easy to learn making it great for beginners. Pickleball can quickly develop into a fast paced competitive game for experienced players.

Pickleball has become a popular sport for people of all ages. Kids are playing the sport now during their physical education classes in school. Seniors are finding it a great social activity while at the same time getting exercise.

The court dimensions inside the playing lines is 20’x 44’ for both singles or double. The total playing areas is typically 34’ x 60’. Pickleball courts can be individually constructed or can be configured into tennis, badminton or basketball courts. The net height is 36” high on the ends and 34” high in the middle.

Each player will need a racquet. The racquet is made of wood or composite & is smaller than a tennis racquet and larger than a ping pong paddle. The ball varies from inside to outside use but it has holes like a wiffle ball and is usually white or yellow. Players at this point typically wear anything that is comfortable.

New England Sealcoating is putting in more and more of these courts each year. It has usually been stripped on an existing tennis court. The popularity is most definitely growing.


Moisture on your Asphalt Courts

A well designed court will not have trees locates too close to it. They present a number of maintenance problems. The most visible are the dropping of leaves, sap, twigs, bark and now and then branches. Sometimes elimination of the problem requires significant branch cutting. If this is not done regularly, removal of the debris will be required.

One of the most irritating problems is sap. It falls and sticks to the surface. It is not water soluble and therefore just stays on the surface and builds up.

Leaves will affect the court surface as well as they become wet and then bleach out with a hot sunny day. Some of the leaf stains will bleach and leave a dulled mark on the surface itself. The constant wet surface under the leaves can lead to bubbles and blisters.

Another moisture problem, which comes from under the asphalt itself. Blisters or bubbles are common problems. This usually is a result of improper court construction or malfunction of the drainage system. When the sub-surface water becomes excessive and it’s not properly drained away from the court it can breathe through the asphalt  in vapor form and create hydrostatic pressure under the coatings. This pressure build more in a weaker surface area and creates a blister or bubble of the coating.

blisters on tc bubbles on tc bubbles

          Blisters                             Small Bubbles                    Large Bubbles

Benefits of Colorocating

Wow, you just spent $30,000.00 for your new tennis court. Now, should you spend another $4,500.00 to $5,000.00 to colorcoat the new asphalt or should you just paint the playing lines on it?

You bet you should have it colorcoated! Here are three reasons why you should colorcoat your tennis court.

  1. Colorcoating protects the new asphalt from the damaging UV rays of the sun(the sun is trying to turn your asphalt back into gravel).
  2. It provides a rich and aesthetically pleasing contrast for ball visibility.
  3. Colorcoating provides an evenly textures surface for a consistent ball bounce and speed for sure footed traction for you and your opponents.

Ok, you decided to colorcoat the new court. Next you want to make sure the coating contractor applies the coating with a squeegee NOT a roller. A sport squeegee with 50-60 durometer softness of rubber is ideal for the application of colorcoating. This is important because a court that is squeegee applied will have a thicker coating (3 coats in total should be applied) which will last a lot longer. The thinner surface will simply not wear well if the colorcoating is rolled on. Remember, new evenly rolled and properly compacted asphalt is still very porous.

As the squeegee passes over the asphalt it leaves the coating in the pores and wipes away most of the excess coating from the high spots eliminating the roughness and porosity. The roller can only coat everything evenly; resulting in a texture almost the same as the original asphalt surface. The colorcoating material does not want to go deep into the pores when applied by a roller. Every coat rolled on after the first would have the same dynamic. The finished court surface would look almost as rough and pitted as the original asphalt.

NESCORedTennis_beforeNESCORedTennis_afterColor Tennis (33)

Before Colorcoating    After Colorcoating      Squeegee Applying                                                                                                                     Colorcoating