What is the Best Tennis Racquet for Clay Courts? How to Choose and Buy one On a Budget?

When playing tennis in a clay court, you will notice that the ball will slow down as it hit the ground, the skid of the ball will also decline, and the bounce would bounce more.

With the increased spin and unexpected rebounds , you need to adjust your tennis racquet and game strategy to properly plat the match.

In playing tennis in a clay court, a light tennis racquet is recommended as it will give you better control and power over the game. A lightweight racquet with lower string tension can give you the desired control and power that you need for the increases ball spin in clay courts.

Modifying the tennis racquet for clay is important because you need to manage the increased ball spin and randomness in clay court which is more in comparison to hard tennis courts. If you are new to tennis and looking for a tennis racquet to buy on a budget, check out the article we wrote about that How much does a tennis racquets cost ? How to pick one a budget !

What is different in a tennis clay court?

The four main types of tennis courts are:

  1. Hard surface court.
  2. Clay court.
  3. Grass court.
  4. Artificial grass court.

 A clay court comprises crushed bricks, stones, shale, and several other unbound mineral aggregates. There are two main types of clay courts; red clay and green clay.

Between the two kinds of clay courts, red clay is more commonly seen. In contrast, the green clay is noted for its hard surface court.  An important thing to note with any clay court is that it is relatively less inexpensive but has higher maintenance costs (Source)

The clay tennis court can, indeed, affect the quality of play that you can have. The surface results in slow and high ball bounces. Moreover, the rallies in your games would be longer. Hence, a clay court is more suitable for players who takes advantage of tactical spins and angles (Source)

In addition, the texture of clay courts is considered the slowest surface when a ball bounce on it. So, baseline players can benefit from the court’s ability to give high-bounce serves. The court can counter the high bounce with its capacity to reduce ball speed. (Source)

For a player, the clay court may offer some benefits. The court can absorb more shock when compared to other courts. Therefore, your body will receive less force, and you can conserve more energy. (Source)

Clay tennis court

How Can Your Play Style Change on a Clay Court?

The clay court can give you a different feeling when playing. It may take some time for you to get used to it. Do not worry; here are some helpful notes to keep in mind if you will be playing in a clay court for the first time.

Endurance and patience would be very important. The plays on a clay court can give you a lower impact as they can absorb shocks, but rallies will be longer. You need to be in your best shape and endure the long rally. Moreover, it would help if you were patient. Good rally scores will not be easy to get.

One great strategy when playing on clay’s slippery surface would be aiming shots behind your opponents. The surface may give them difficulty in changing their direction and less agility.

Also, you can do cross-court shots and make sure that your opponent is always moving. With this, you can eventually get yourself a win.

What Racquet Should You Use on a Clay Court and Why?

Choosing a racquet suitable to clay court is important

Your play style might be slightly different if you will be trying it out on a clay court. Other than being in your best shape, you also need to be equipped with the correct tennis racquet type.

In a clay court, you need to overcome the difficulties such as the reduction of ball speed, less skidding of the ball on the court surface, and the high ball bounce. With this, you would want to use a light tennis racquet.

A lighter racquet can give you a faster swing. Also, the lighter racquets can help you control the high bounce of balls on the clay court. Moreover, you can move better on the court with a light tennis racquet compared to heavier ones. (Source)

Other than the racquet’s weight, string patterns can also make a difference in your clay court plays.

Tip: Use an open string pattern on your racquet for better ball spin control.

The larger spaces in the racquet can help you give more “spin” to the ball since the string would latch onto the ball better. This is very important in a clay court where ball spin and direction changes would be very useful.

The gauge, or thickness of the strings on your racquet, is also significant.

Most stores have a 15-gauge to 18-gauge available, with 15 being the thickest and 18 being the thinnest.

A thin tennis string will give you better control over the ball you would want in a clay court. However, thin strings are more prone to breakage.

It would be good if you begin with a 17-gauge first before moving on to an 18-gauge. This way, you can assess yourself if your playstyle can do considerable damage to your strings.

Since you would want a racquet that can give you control, the strings’ tension should also be noted. If your racquet can give you the best control, then its tension might already be okay. However, you can increase the tension if you lack control, especially if you are playing on a clay court.

What is the Average Cost of Clay Courts Tennis Racquets?

You might be wondering about the price range of the type of racquets you would need in your clay court plays. Here is a table summarizing some good tennis racquets: (Source) The average cost of tennis racquet suited for clay courts is $ 130 while ranging from $90 to $160.

Tennis Racquet ModelDetails About ThemPrice ($)
Head TI S6 Tennis RacquetA beginner racquet with good control and power$100
Head Graphene LaserRacquet for intermediate players which can give good handling when used$90
Babolat Drive GA flexible and stiff racquet$119 – $ 159
Gamma RZR BubbaFlexible racquet for shot executions$195
Dunlop SrixonA stiff racquet which gives you good control$189
Wilson UltraA lightweight racquet that can help you produce great power$104
Table 1. Various tennis racquet models and their respective retail prices.

To get one on a budget, we recommend buying a previous year model. There are no changes in the design or material, just ensure that the weight, strings, and grip are suited for you.

If you are a beginner and what but a clay court tennis racquet on a budget, we recommend:

  1. Try out the racquet before buying it – Many shops allows you to do so, or borrow one from a playing mate.
  2. Always look for older models – The new ones are exactly the same !
  3. Check out our previous articles on playing on a budget: Wanna play tennis on a budget? We Got you! and High Quality Tennis Shoes on a budget.

Additional Tips on How to Maintain Your Tennis Racquets

Always look after your racquets

Tennis racquets will be as good as the way they are taken care of.

First, always check your tennis grip. The grip, if worn out, can give you arm and grip problems. This is one vital part of the tennis racquet because a good grip can give you the control that you need when playing.

If you notice that your arm gets very sweaty or blistering when playing, you might need to consider grip customization. Other incidents that you need to watch out for would be the racquet slipping when you play. A minimum of twice a year is the recommended grip replacement interval.

Strings on your tennis racquet will degrade as you play more and more. Professionals would suggest restringing your racquet depending on the time you spend playing with it. The number of hours you play per game should be the amount of times you restring per year. So, if you play 2 hours per day, you need to restring twice a year.

This tip is a no-brainer: protect your racquet from external harm. You can put protective tape on the head of your racquet so that it will not wear out very quickly. Moreover, store your racquets in a good-quality tennis bag, especially when traveling with it.

Lastly, do not forget that temperature can alter the sturdiness of the racquet’s frames. A hot temperature can distort your racquet’s frame. So keep it out of direct and bright sunlight, especially when not in use!

Also, very cool temperature can make your strings very fragile. Again, a good-quality tennis bag can help protect your racquet from extreme temperature damage.


A light weight tennis raquet with open strings is generally recommened for clay court tennis. The racquet change/ customization is preferred as you need to adjust your game style to the increased spin and additional control required in clay courts.

The average cost of a new tennis racquet, suited for clay courts, is $130. However, if you are confident enough with your own gear and skills, modifications to the strings (pattern and tension) and grip might be sufficient.

As always, look for older models if you intend to buy a new one, as they are the same as the latest models.

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