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Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Tennis 

Key differences every tennis player should know

The differences between playing tennis indoors and outdoors may seem obvious, however, there are some subtle aspects of playing tennis indoors that can change your game and strategy. I’d like to discuss some of these aspects and help you prepare your game for the indoor season.  

Lack of Wind

The first and most obvious difference between playing tennis indoors and outdoors is the lack of wind. If you’re used to playing on windy tennis courts like me, you know how much wind affects your game and your strategy. When playing indoors, you are free to focus on honing your game style, shot selection, and shot tolerance. Something I’ve always enjoyed about playing indoors is the feeling of having more precision on each shot, and the freedom to swing out when you get the opportunity. These changes seem to come more frequently without the disturbance of swirly or gusty wind conditions.  

Court Speed

One interesting aspect of playing tennis indoors is court speed. Often, but not always, indoor tennis courts will play faster than outdoor courts. This impacts your strategy but also can affect your strokes. If the court is really fast, you’ll need to shorten your backswings to keep up. Mixing in all-court play, or even some serving and volleying is a great play on a fast court as well.  

Low Humidity

Finally, playing tennis indoors usually means a few things; it’s probably a colder time of year, and thus the humidity is probably low. Lower humidity means the tennis ball will fly, making it feel like the courts are playing faster and you’re hitting harder. To compensate, you may need to increase your tension by 2-4 lbs. You will find you can control the ball much better during indoor play with a tighter string bed, at least in my experience.

As with anything in tennis, everyone has a different and personal comfort zone. Knowing the conditions for play can help tennis players adjust their comfort to play successfully anywhere! Shop for GAMMA tennis gear and equipment here.

By Ewan Malenfant, GAMMA Stringing Machine Service Technician


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