Tennis players at the Marco Island Racquet Center are all smiles as they play on the new Classic clay court surfaces.
The official opening was on Friday, with the players using the four courts, plus the four other clay courts.
Council Chairman Bill Trotter served the first ball, then volleyed on the new surface.
“The new courts incorporate low maintenance with a world-class surface that allows play in wet and dry weather conditions,” he said.
Compared to traditional clay courts, the Classic courts dry faster, with players being able to resume play almost immediately after a rain shower, said Bill Van Glabek, racquet center manager. The older clay courts do not rebound as quickly and can cause slow downs in tournaments and cancellations of court rentals, he said.
Since there is zero water needed for the Classic courts, there is an estimated savings of one millions gallons of water in a year.
Players boasted of the court’s worthiness.
“The surface is much softer and the lines are always there, unlike the other clay courts where they get covered up during play,” Lou Makris said.
Pat West also mentioned the softer surface. “There is more give and I am not as fearful of falling on this surface,” she said.
Tina Caruana talked about the lack of cleanup time with this surface.
“The courts can dry faster and with no need to prepare the courts between sessions (matches) it will save at least 10 minutes between sessions,” she said.
In a city media release, it sited the worthiness of the new surface. The first Class courts were installed in Victoria, Australia in 2001. Since then the courts have endured high temperatures and dry conditions in the summer to cold and very wet conditions in the winter. The court has never been repaired or had any reported complaints after steady usage, the media release said.
For questions, or to reserve a court, call 394-5454.