Tennis court graphics -- side view (profile) drawn to scale for analysis and instruction

This is the side view of a tennis court, drawn to scale. 1 pixel = 1 inch.
This is the side view of a tennis court, drawn to scale. 1 pixel = 1 inch. | Source

Why would I need a side / profile view of a tennis court drawn to scale?

When discussing tennis, analyzing shots, or offering instruction, the need for a graphic of a tennis court, drawn to scale, is sometimes wanted. I know that I've wanted it many times, so I decided to create one. There are lots of places online to find the dimensions of a tennis court: builders, organizers, etc ... But I hadn't found one specifically for marking up and instruction. So here you go!

Image Format: High Quality JPEG
You will need to follow the link in the caption to access the high quality image. I've hosted it at a popular image hosting website.

Image Purpose: Mark-up and instruction
You should be able to download the image into your favorite image editing software, or print it out, and draw on it to assist in your analysis or instruction.

An example of marking up the graphic


Have you ever needed a side view of a tennis court to mark up like this?

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The profile tennis court graphic includes several interesting features, including a vertical net ruler

Certain tennis shot characteristics can be gleaned from a profile analysis of the shot. This graphic is designed with a few features in mind:

  1. Vertical Net Ruler
  2. Common Behind Baseline Distances
  3. A lights reference
  4. A back fence reference
  5. Actors!

Vertical Net Ruler

This ruler essentially duplicates the middle of the tennis net (36" [inches] high) and projects it vertically into the air to a distance of about 27 feet. Each unit of measure is three feet, and they are marked. Extremely faint horizontal rules help to project each height notch all the way to the back fence.

Common Behind Baseline References

A lot of tennis is played behind the baseline--at the professional level as well as the recreational level. The International Tennis Federation's rules of tennis describe the minimum and recommended distances from the baseline to the backstop (fences).

Lights, backstops (fences) and actors!

With this graphic you'll have a to scale reference of common recreational level backs-stops (18 feet) as well as the minimum distance for professional level events (21 feet). The heights of the professional backstops vary somewhat greatly, because they don't really need to be that high and they have to account for spectators, but the recreational level backstops are almost always 10-12 feet tall (usually chain link or curtain). By actors, I mean graphics of people on the court, which are also drawn closely to scale. Both actors in the primary image are "about six feet tall."

Below are just a few examples a some common tennis shots

Below you will see a series of images representing common tennis shots, like a heavy topspin ground stroke, a first serve, a slice, and a topspin moonball.


About the example tennis shot mark up

The above graphics are just a few examples of tennis shots and scenarios you might want to play around with. About the examples: there are some many variables at play that determine the trajectory and the bounce of a tennis shot. These markups are very loose, eye-balled markups based on my experience and understanding of tennis physics. Here are some things to take into consideration:

  1. The Magnus Force / Effect -- A phenomenon important to the physics of tennis. Put simply, this will cause topspin shots to dip down into the court during the later portion of the flight phase. This is why the parabolas on the topspin shot seemed skewed downward toward the end of the flight phase. The effect also occurs on other types of spin, such as backspin (this will create lift) and side spin (this will create horizontal bend, not pictured here).
  2. Bounce Height -- The bounce height will always be less than the flight phase height of the ball, and usually by more than half of highest point. Spin, pace, and surface type will change the bounce height.
  3. Bounce trajectory -- after the bounce phase, the ball will exhibit the second flight phase and the trajectory will be different than but influenced by the original shot. Based on the pace, spin, and court surface the trajectory will change. Put simply, if all the examples are diving relatively steeply into the court: topspin will have a moderate angle out at about medium bounce height, backspin* with have the largest angle out and will bounce the highest, and side spin will have the smallest angle out with the lowest bounce height.

*It's worth noting here that in the above Slice shot example, you see a relatively low angle out, and that's because a really well played slice will have just enough backspin to generate some lift, but will also have heavy side spin to keep the angle out low.

Would you like to see more graphics like this? Perhaps a bird's eye, top down tennis graphic?

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Conclusion about the side view tennis graphics

ATT: In order to access the full resolution, to scale graphic, you must click on the link at the top of this page, under the image, in the caption.

This article and these graphics are for the tennis community. You're free to use the graphics in and linked to by this article in any way you see fit, but this written article is copyright protected. All that I ask is that you link to this article and give me credit when you post them online. Seems reasonable, right?

If you have questions, requests to see certain graphics, or simply have comments--please leave them in the comments section! You can comment as a guest, or you can sign up and comment as a user. Either way, I like to interact with my community. Enjoy the article!

Play well,


© 2013 Time Spiral

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