Tennis Net Height [Plus Official ITF Guidelines]

By Lin
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Understanding tennis net height can be tricky for those who don’t know the official measurement guidelines. With the dividing net comes a unique set of rules for how high (or low) it should be, which you should follow. Many wonder how tall the net is on a tennis court and why this matters. We’ve got the answers.

Per the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the net on a tennis court must be 42 inches high, nearing the posts, and 36 inches approaching the center. Therefore, the net is higher on the sides and lowest in the center.

Are you curious about why tennis net height matters? We have much more to share, so stay tuned!

Table of Contents

What Is The Height Of A Tennis Net?
Are All Tennis Nets The Same Height?
Why Are Tennis Nets Lower In The Middle?
Does Wimbledon Net Dip In The Middle?
Why Is There A Strap In The Middle Of The Tennis Net?
What Is The Tennis Net Height Required For Doubles?
Is The Tennis Net Lower In Women’s Tennis?
How To Measure A Tennis Net Height
How To Adjust A Tennis Net Height
Can You Play Tennis When The Net Is Too High Or Low?
What Are Net Measurement Checkers?

What Is The Height Of A Tennis Net?

Although this may vary slightly, all tennis nets, following the International Tennis Federation’s guidelines, should measure 42 inches on the sides and 36 in the middle.

Unit of MeasureHeight at PostsHeight at Center

You see a bit of sagging on most nets, which is meant to happen to permit these regulations. As the net reaches the posts holding it up, it will always be higher. That’s why you might run into trouble if you hit lower shots on either side of the tennis court net, so here’s a tip we have for you: stay in the middle.

It’s also worth mentioning this will be the same regardless of what type of tennis court you play on—clay, grass, hard, carpet, etc.

Are All Tennis Nets The Same Height?

The net should be the same if you play on a court following the ITF guidelines. These measurements have become standard worldwide in tennis, so net height shouldn’t vary.

However, if you notice a tennis court net appears higher in the middle than it should be (most common), it can’t hurt to ask for a measurement. After all, you might hit the net during a match because it is too high, which means points are awarded to your opponent.

You also want to ensure your net hasn’t fallen too low. That can make for an unfair game, which you want to avoid. A good time to raise this concern would be when switching sides and letting the other player or scorekeeper know of the issue.

Why Are Tennis Nets Lower In The Middle?

The tennis net is lower towards the middle because of how gravity pulls it. Because your net spans the entire court, it’s expected to sag towards the center point.

The ITF has considered this, which is why the 36-inch threshold exists. Tennis nets are heavy, another reason you might see sagging during a match. Again, pause the game and adjust the net as needed if this becomes too low.

They should be easy to fix if two people head to each post. Trying to keep the net perfectly straight across a tennis court can create unneeded tension and alter the recommended height.

Does Wimbledon Net Dip In The Middle?

Yes, the net at Wimbledon does dip towards the middle. Although this happens across all major tennis events, Wimbledon courts have been known to have a ‘droopier’ net that fans raise their eyebrows at.

However, the event continues to follow International Tennis Federation guidelines, with the center measuring 36 inches. Worst case, the net may drop below this, and an event employee goes out and fixes it.

You also want to remember the Wimbledon courts likely use top-of-the-line nets, which weigh more. That could explain the more severe dip you see while watching the event.

Why Is There A Strap In The Middle Of The Tennis Net?

For those wondering why a strap exists in the middle of the tennis net, this is what you use to adjust its height from the center court. Instead of walking to each post, you can pull the strap and heighten or lower the net accordingly.

Not all tennis nets have these, but many newer ones will. If you see anything unusual, it’s as easy as heading over to the center of the net, adjusting the strap, and returning to your game.

This might be a white-colored strap with a hook on the side, so keep an eye peeled for one the next time you play.

Our post on reaching over the net is another great read.

What Is The Tennis Net Height Required For Doubles?

There is a difference in court size between singles and doubles. The width of the singles court is 324 inches, and the one for doubles is 432 inches. Therefore, your net will be longer for doubles but should still follow the ITF guidelines from earlier.

Typically, you want to ensure the centers of the net posts must be 36 inches outside the doubles court on each side.

The posts holding the net in place should also be around 42 inches tall, so the net, although longer, should stay the same as a singles court. This can be tricky depending on how heavy your net is, so a mid-court adjusting strap might be what you’d need.

What Is Different Between A Singles And Doubles Net?

Tennis Court for Singles Match
Tennis Court for Doubles Match

The main difference in net size between singles and doubles courts is the length. As mentioned, the net will always be longer on a doubles tennis court.

For singles, the court dimensions are 78 feet by 27 feet. For doubles, the overall court length is 78 feet, and the width is 36 feet.

In contrast, a singles court is what most people practice on at their local tennis club, with a shorter net. Regardless, the sides should be 42 inches high, and the middle will be 36.

Is The Tennis Net Lower In Women’s Tennis?

No, the net in women’s tennis will not be lower than men’s. This is a common misconception in the sport, with many fans believing women have a shorter net.

The net will remain the same as the International Tennis Federation specifies, at 36 inches in the center and 42 inches on each side nearing the goal post. However, there are differences between men’s and women’s tennis: the net remains the common denominator.

How To Measure A Tennis Net Height

When measuring the net on a tennis court, this is easier than you’d think. First, you want to purchase measuring sticks to have on hand for anyone who runs into a low or high net.

You will use these vertically on the ground on each net side and finish in the center.

If the measurements fall out of line with ITF guidelines, adjust the court’s net as needed. This is standard practice, and tennis centers/facilities should have a measuring stick for you to use.

Suppose no one has a measuring stick; you can use your tennis racket for a rough estimate of the net, using its length and width.

Here’s a video explaining how to do this:

Therefore, you have two options for measuring, although we recommend a measuring stick first and a racket as a last resort.

How To Adjust A Tennis Net Height

If you need to adjust the net on your tennis court, there are two ways we recommend doing this. First, see if your net has a center strap with a hook for adjustments. For this method, grab the white strap above or below the metal buckle, then pull to tighten if you need to drop the net’s height.

The next way to adjust a tennis net height is by heading to each side. You can ask a friend or fellow athlete to assist. Pull the net up or down, securing it on each side. This will also raise/lower the center.

However, before making any adjustments to the net, it’s recommended to measure it with a measuring stick to ensure the change is needed.

Can You Play Tennis When The Net Is Too High Or Low?

Although you can play tennis with a net too high or low, this can impact performance on both sides. As we mentioned, tennis nets should not be too high in the center or sides, as this can make returning balls (or even serving them) difficult.

Suppose the net is too high from side to center. You may have been able to hit the ball over it without it touching, winning you the point. That’s why double-checking net height before a match is a good idea.

In contrast, if the net is super low and sagging, this makes it unfairly easy to return and serve balls.

If you want a true challenge, you want to avoid playing tennis on a court with an unfairly low net. Again, someone will likely fix this in a professional match before any players walk onto the court.

What Are Net Measurement Checkers?

Net Measurement Checkers are portable and easy-to-use devices that accurately measure the height of a tennis net’s center. You will see these at professional tennis events, often brought out before a match begins.

To use one, all you must do is pull the tab, and a red line on the tape at 36 inches marks the required height that a tennis net should adhere to. Furthermore, these should cost under $25, so they won’t break the bank.

That said, you don’t necessarily have to have a Net Measurement Checker device to ensure the net follows ITF guidelines, but using one does make this easier.


This article covered the official tennis net height requirements for courts: 36 inches toward the center and 42 inches nearing each net post. Although this doesn’t seem like a big deal, keeping the net compliant with the International Tennis Federation is recommended to all players.

A net being too high or too low can impact YOUR game!

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Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.