Until the early 1970s, the majority of tennis tournaments were played on grass, including three out of the four Grand Slams – the Wimbledon Championships, Australian Open and US Open. Wimbledon is today the only Grand Slam event played on grass. The court influences how the players move around and how the ball bounces. Of all the equipment, it is primarily the court surface to which the players must adapt their games to.
As polymer and material technology have developed, most notably over the last decade, the pace of the court can be made much faster. For example, adding sand or rubber granular material can help to increase speed and give players an advantage with the ability to change direction quicker. As a result, players are increasing their level of play.
The International Tennis Federation, the World Governing Body of Tennis, launched the court surface classification scheme in the year 2000 as part of an assessment procedure for each surface product to determine if it is a slow, medium or fast surface. The scheme has been devised as part of an international initiative to standardize the equipment used in tennis.
Available market data (1) shows that the amount of artificial turf used for tennis in 2006 was 4% of the total market.