If you don’t know or anything about badminton or tennis, don’t worry, you’ll learn everything you need below. In this article, I will walk you through the equipment, court, rule, and popularity, differences. And more.
Badminton and tennis have clear similarities between them; however, in the end, they are totally different sports in many ways.
The key difference between tennis and badminton is that in tennis, the ball needs to bounce once in your side before striking, but in badminton, you need to strike it before it hits the ground. Other major differences include the popularity where tennis is far superior, equipment, and the court.
It goes without saying that there are even more differences, such as which one is harder and the rules. You will get to all of these aspects if you stick with me a while longer.
Without further due, let’s start the comparison starting from the equipment differences in tennis and badminton.
Differences in equipment
We need to talk about many pieces of equipment if you want to understand the differences between them. The obvious differences can be found in the racket, strings, ball & shuttlecock, and shoes.
A tennis racket is sturdier, heavier, and larger racket when compared to a badminton racket. This is because the tennis ball is heavier, so the object you hit needs to be durable. If you hit a tennis ball with a badminton racket, it would bend from its neck.
The frame of a tennis racket can be constructed of many materials. The most popular ones are graphite and carbon fiber, but they can be made from kevlar and titanium. A popular choice for budget rackets is aluminum. When talking about length, tennis rackets are a bit shorter in general, and the length is often between 19″ (48cm) to 25″ (63.5cm).
Let’s talk about the head and neck of the racket. Unlike in badminton, the neck of a tennis racket is two-branched to give more support because it needs to handle the force of a tennis ball. Head sizes generally go from 82sq – 113sq, so there is a lot to choose from!
Badminton rackets are considerably more delicate and lightweight. That’s because the shuttlecock, the ”ball” in badminton, is so much lighter and will come at a much faster speed. Thus, the racket needs to be quicker to move.
The usual material used for badminton rackets is graphite or aluminum for the best rackets, and you can find some steel rackets meant for beginners. Again, graphite and aluminum are the best choices because of their lightweight and durable attributes.
Badminton rackets are 26.18”-26.77” (66.5-68cm) long and have a head width of between 8.66”-9.06” (22-23cm). The most interesting thing about the racket is the neck. The part connects the handle and the head, which is really thin, making the racket weigh between 2.46 and 3.35oz (70-95g).
Learn more: Can You Play Badminton With A Tennis Racket?
When talking about strings, there are 4 main materials of strings:
- Natural gut strings
- Synthetic gut strings
- Nylon (multifilament) strings
- Polyester (monofilament) strings
Generally, all these string materials can be found in tennis and badminton strings. However, there are some major differences in the gauge (thickness of the strings). Tennis strings have lower gauge strings than badminton does.
The lower the gauge, the thicker the string, so badminton strings are thinner than tennis strings. This makes sense because a shuttlecock is considerably lighter, so the strings don’t need to be as thick as they do in tennis rackets.
String gauge (thickness) choices
- Tennis racket: 15-18 Gauge (1.40mm – 1.21mm)
- Badminton racket: 20-22 Gauge (0.8mm – 0.65mm)
In addition to the material and gauge, there is string tension and pattern.
In badminton rackets, the string tension is higher than tennis because the shuttlecock is lighter, and the trampoline effect doesn’t need to be as high. When the tennis ball hits the tennis rackets, the strings will go in a bit, making a trampoline effect that increases the ball’s speed. Also, badminton rackets are harder to string than tennis rackets.
Tennis ball and badminton shuttlecock is the most noticeable difference between the sports, and it’s no wonder.
A tennis ball is made out of rubber that is covered with wool or synthetic felt. The color is green or yellow, which the debate is still going on. There are two kinds of tennis balls, pressurized and pressureless. Pressurized balls are high-quality balls that rely on the bounce on the pressure inside, whereas pressureless balls rely on the rubber shell.
A badminton shuttlecock doesn’t look like a ball whatsoever, even when it is the ”ball” used in badminton. A shuttlecock has a cork head made out of bark connected to a skirt of 16 feathers with threads and glue.
|Comparison||Tennis Ball||Badminton Shuttlecock|
|Weight:||1.975oz – 2.095oz (56g – 59.4g)||0.168 – 0.194 oz (4.75g – 5.50g)|
|Circumference :||8.09” – 8.48” (20.6cm – 21.5cm).||3.09” – 3.46” (7.5cm – 8.8cm)|
|Materials used:||Rubber & felt||Cork oak, feathers, threads|
Learn more: Why Are Tennis Balls In Pressurized Cans?
Regarding tennis and badminton shoes, they have many similarities, yet one difference is critical, and it could ruin your shoes, especially if you play tennis in badminton shoes.
There are many types of tennis courts where we will get soon, but the thing to know here is that tennis courts are outdoors, whereas badminton courts are indoors.
This is why you can’t really use both shoes as the same because if you use badminton shoes for tennis, your outsole will surely get damaged and if you play badminton with tennis shoes that have been worn outside, you risk making marks on the badminton court.
Another minor difference is that tennis shoes often have better cushioning for absorbing the shocks from running around like a mad man. In badminton, there isn’t as big a need for that, so the shoes are often more lightweight.
Other than that, both shoes offer lateral support, lightweight, breathable materials, and overall cushioning.
A huge difference between tennis and badminton is the courts. Tennis courts are outdoors and badminton courts indoors. There are indoor tennis courts in high-end tennis clubs, and you can play badminton outdoors, but for the benefit of both sports, tennis is an outdoor and badminton an indoor sport.
Tennis courts come in 3 main types: Hardcourt, clay court, and grass court.
- Hardcourt: These courts are the most usual ones because they require less maintenance than the others. They are made from asphalt or concrete, which is then coated with various materials. Hard courts have a great bounce for the ball, and the overall playing experience is good. Hard courts are a bit rough on the foot, so a good pair of shock-absorbing shoes is recommended.
- Clay Court: These courts require maintenance because if they aren’t watered from time to time, they will become extremely dry and dusty. Clay courts are soft for your feet and the whole body but the balls bounce isn’t as bouncy as in hard courts.
- Grass Court: These courts are the original ones used in lawn tennis when it was invented. Nowadays, grass courts are the least popular because of their high cost and maintenance. Also, when it rains on a grass court, it will take hours or even days to dry completely, and it’s really dangerous to play on wet grass. Tennis on a grass court does have a great and authentic feel to it.
Personally, I like hard courts the best because the bounce is great, and the footing feels great to me. However, feet can get sore if you play many hours in a row.
Moving on to badminton courts, there are 4 main types of courts: Syntethic, Wooden, Rubber, and Cement.
- Synthetic court: If you go to a badminton court, the highest chances are that it is a syntethic court. Whether it is a PVC/PU or Acrylic surface, both have great bounce and anti-slip properties. Most of the time, these courts have a wooden base and the synthetic material is laid on top.
- Wooden court: Wooden courts are the second popular one. These courts have a natural feel to it and they quite gentle for your body as well. The reason why it is behind syntethic courts is that it can get slippery. If the surface gets sweat or water on it, it will get really slippery which can cause injuries.
- Rubber court: This isn’t exactly a court but more of a flooring. These rubber mats are quite new in the indusrty and can be used for many sports protectig the floor beneath and giving benefits for the player. Rubber flooring is easy to maintain, it increases shock absorption, and they are really easy to install and uninstall which makes them so popular.
- Cement court: Finally, cement courts are meant for outdoor badminton. They doesen’t realy have any benefits other than minimal maintenance need. They are often found in parks and outdoor sport centers. You should be careful playing on top of cement because there are no shock absorbtion which can strain your knees and joints in the long run.
Personally, I like synthetic courts the best because of the benefits, and wooden courts can sometimes produce an annoying sound, especially with new shoes.
The size of the courts differs as well as tennis courts are considerably longer than badminton courts. However, tennis courts are only a bit wider than badminton courts.
|Comparison||Tennis court size||Badminton court size|
|Lenght||77.11ft (23.77m)||43ft (13.4m)|
|Width||27ft (8.23)||20ft (6.1m)|
|Playing area||2,091ft² (195.6m²)||860ft² (81.7m²)|
Moving on from the equipment and courts and let’s talk about the actual sports. There are big differences in how and what it is like to play both tennis and badminton.
The main difference between tennis and badminton is that tennis is more endurance-focused, whereas badminton requires faster movement and reflexes. Also, in badminton, you need to strike the shuttlecock before hitting the ground, whereas, in tennis, you hit after the first bounce.
Tennis courts are nearly twice as long as a badminton court; you need to run from side to side and front to back much more than in badminton. Badminton is the opposite because you need to jump and constantly volley instead of running like a mad man even tho you need to do that to some extent.
The speed of both tennis ball and shuttlecock have differences as well. Take a look at the top speeds of both:
- Top tennis ball speed: 163mph (263kph)
- Top shuttlecock speed: 306mph (493kph)
As you can see, both sports require extreme levels of agility and reflexes. However, a shuttlecock has been recorded to be struck at the speed of 306mph, which is just incredible.
The thing is, a shuttlecock will slow down faster than a tennis ball, so the sports aren’t as far from each other in terms of speed as it first seems like when looking at the top speeds. Still, badminton is the world’s fastest sport.
The scoring system also has differences. The tennis scoring system is a weird one, and you really can’t even understand it if you don’t know the meaning. Badminton’s scoring system is more traditional and straightforward.
Tennis scoring is scored as follows: 0(love), 15, 30, 40, game. If both players have 40, then the game-winner is determined with a 2 point difference. There are six games in a set and two or three sets in a match. A match is won by two set differences.
Badminton scoring is easier to understand, and it is scored normally as 1,2,3,4,5… all the way to 21. Again, if both players have 20 points, then the winner of the set is determined by a 2 point difference. Badminton matches have 3 sets, and the first one to win 2 sets is declared the winner.
Both tennis and badminton are similar racket sports, so why is it that tennis is so much more popular than badminton in the United States?
It all dates back to history. Both sports have British origins, but tennis had a more central place in the British world, whereas badminton developed in British India. This is why tennis has gotten more coverage and spread wider in western countries.
However, tennis isn’t more popular when looking from a worldwide standpoint.
Let’s talk statistics. Tennis is estimated to have 87 million players globally, whereas badminton is 220 million. This may seem unbelievable at first, but that’s the way it is, and I’ll tell you why.
First of all, badminton is far more easily accessible than tennis. Most schools include badminton in their gyms, where dozens of players can enjoy badminton. Tennis, on the other hand, requires an outdoor court most of the time, which makes everything less accessible.
Second, badminton is far more popular than tennis in Asian countries where there are statistically much more people.
Easier accessibility and more people are bound to make badminton more popular than tennis worldwide.
Is badminton harder than tennis?
Generally, tennis is harder in more ways than badminton, such as hand-eye coordination, strength, endurance, and flexibility. However, badminton is the world’s fastest sport, and given that a tennis court is nearly twice as long as a badminton court, the reflexes and speed required are greater.
Many sports organizations such as ESPN rank tennis as the world’s 8th hardest sport, whereas badminton, is at the 30th place in the same list. When I personally give it a thought, I agree that badminton isn’t harder than tennis.
Similarities between tennis and badminton
Whew, there is a lot to learn when talking about the differences between tennis and table tennis. However, there are many similarities as well, such as:
- Both are racket sports
- Both sports have a net
- Tennis and badminton are difficult high-speed sports
- Both sports are in the Olympics
- Both sports are played as singles and doubles
- Good mental skills are required in both tennis and badminton
- Tennis and badminton require skilled footwork
I do love racket sports; I can tell you that. The fact that both sports need fast reflexes and a sharp mind is something that I hold close to my heart, and if you have only tried one racket sport, I highly recommend trying more such as tennis, badminton, table tennis (my favorite), squash, pickleball, cricket, you name it!
Tennis and badminton game videos
Take a look at these videos from badminton and tennis! Both sports require a vast amount of skill and dedication to make it to the top levels as the players are in the videos.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.