Novak Djokovic at Rolland-Garros (Photo: Bloomberg)
It’s not just Roland Garros, Monte-Carlo, Rome or Hamburg where tennis is played on clay. More and more Quebec tennis clubs are equipping themselves with this type of surface. And that’s good for our joints.
“We are currently seeing an increase in clay courts in Quebec,” points out Réjean Lévesque, spokesperson for Tennis Québec. Whether red earth or gray-green (har-tru), this sandy surface is favored by many clubs and municipal parks. Laval, Montreal, Mont-Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville… all these cities now have this type of facility. Even indoor clubs (notably Stade Uniprix, in Montreal) include clay under their roof despite its messy factor.
For what? “Because clay has the property of being less aggressive on the ankles, knees and back,” explains tennis professional André Lemaire who directs the International Tennis Academy in Mont-Tremblant. Something to delight tennis players who want to extend their “career” on the court.
Clay also has the advantage of making it easier to learn the game. The speed of the ball is slower and allows for longer rallies. “In other words, to score a point on clay, it is not enough to hit hard. You have to know how to hit the ball in the right place,” concludes coach Lemaire.
Where to play?
Laval Carrefour Multisports
This Laval center, called by many the Roland-Garros of Quebec, is equipped with nine outdoor red clay courts. Rental costs $28 per hour. www.carrefourmultisports.com
International Tennis Academy, Mont-Tremblant
No less than 25 clay courts (including six red) are part of the facilities of this school located in Tremblant and Gray Rocks. Consistently, this destination ranks among the top 75 tennis resorts in the world (tennisresortonline.org, USA Today). Rental costs $30 per hour. www.tennistremblant.com
Uniprix Stadium, Montreal
Equipped with four indoor clay courts since June 2011, Canada’s National Tennis Training Center has everything you need to train international… and local champions. Open every day to the public. Rental from $15 per hour. www.stadeuniprix.com