Did you know that clay tennis courts began in the Alpes Maritimes?

The Full English Breakfast Show - Did you know that clay tennis courts began in the Alpes Maritimes?

This week world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic has criticised the state of the tennis court at the French Open, claiming to have injured himself by slipping on the Philippe-Chatrier court, where according to him, there was not enough clay. Did you know that clay courts began in the Alpes-Maritimes and have a history which spans the whole of France, from Vallauris in the Alpes-Maritimes to the Waziers brickworks in the North.

Initially, tennis was played by aristocrats in the 18th century. A sport that they practiced on grass with nails to mark off the pitch. Until the arrival in Cannes of the Renshaw twins in 1878. These lords were passionate about tennis and very quickly, they invited their friends, had courts built and organized competitions. But playing on grass didn’t suit them, particularly because of the sunshine and drought. During a visit to Vallauris, they discovered the work of potters who used a terracotta powder, the famous “red earth”. They then decided to spread this raw material on soil without grass to make clay and the rest is history, as they say.

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