Is the Clay surface really Clay?
No. It is not. Originally the use of clay was merely a practical consideration. The Renshaw Brothers, back in 1880 in Cannes, apparently used powdered terra cotta to cover grass courts that were wilting in the heat. Since then, technology has obviously developed but the concept remains the same. The earth is covered with a total of five layers each around 80 centimetres in depth: the first is made up of stones, followed by gravel, clinker (volcanic residue), limestone and finally a thin layer of crushed brick about two millimetres thick, giving the courts their ochre hue.
Drawing the lines on the surface is a daunting task too. The lines are marked out with thread and scraped to 6cm wide, down to the limestone layer. A thin coat of linseed oil is first applied for better adherence, and then two coats of white paint are applied.