rafa nadal tennis court

After our March issue was posted with th Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre Costa Mujeres (Cancun, Mexico) would be the April Facility of the Month, we received an email from Steve Brillhart, tennis coach and Managing Partner of CaliClay Basalt Surface Systems. Steve was originally informed about the newsletter by our contributor and Northern California tennis club owner Rod Heckelman. (Thank you, Rod. Glad to see word-of-mouth still works.)

Steve wrote, “I just wanted to reach out and introduce myself as the surface supplier of Nadal’s 3 covered courts as well as their center court. Those 4 courts are our CaliClay courts supplied by us and installed by Rolf Schlettwein’s Proyectos Deportivos in Mexico. Rolf also built the other 4 traditional clay courts on the site.

We supplied our CaliClay system of proprietary turf and dirt. He built the bases and brought a crew in to install the first 3 courts while training his crew to continue the installation of the center court’s surface. The center court is on a concrete base with our CaliClay surface on top.

Nadal’s people chose our surface over many others due to the playability, durability and environmentally advantageous characteristics of our surface. Our courts need very little water and maintenance compared to all other clay surfaces.”

Well, we asked Steve for more information and here it is.

tennis court

CaliClay is a clay court system developed in Mexico recently available in the U.S. It is ideal for use an an overlay – converting existing hard courts into a beautiful natural red clay surface.

The CaliClay system solves the 3 major problems facing clay courts:

*High costs
*High water usage
*High maintenance.

There is no need for 24/7 underground watering or heavy daily overground watering. The shallow top surface uses about 100-150 gallons a day applied manually or via overground sprinklers. Reclaimed water is more than ok to use. It can also be left dryThe CaliClay system uses a proprietary synthetic turf installed upon an asphalt, concrete or other hard base, topped with 14 tons of organic red basalt rock material from Mexico. With a depth of under an inch of material, the system replicates the playof traditional clay and green American clay courts but at a lower cost and much less maintenance. D
uring weeks or months of no use without damaging the surface.

For cold climates, the courts do not need to be shut down in the winter or rebuilt in the spring. Let them be and add some material in the spring and give a couple rolls and the court is ready for play.


The synthetic turf is not an active part of the play – the clay is simply held in place by the relationship between the turf and the bottom layer of clay, allowing for a clay court tennis experience on the top layer.
Court speed and softness can be adjusted by using more or less material. The court is warrantied for 10 years and will likely last well over 20. Because the system is made of parts, sections can be replaced over time if needed rather than the entire turf.

Our red crushed basalt rock material does not stain your clothes. It is heavy enough to stay on the court during strong weather events, and light enough to slide on during play. The turf and clay combination gives a softer impact on your joints – extending your tennis playing years. The firm subsurface gives stable footing and a consistent bounce.

We stand behind our system 100% and guarantee quality and workmanship for 10 years of play with minimal maintenance.

caliclay rafa nadal  rafa nadal caliclay
rafa nadal caliclay


Recent installations include:

Nadal Tenis Centre – Cancun, Mexico (picture left)

Manhattan Country Club – Manhattan Beach, CA

Hampton Club – Southampton NY