Although squash is gaining in popularity around the US, it is not quite as popular as tennis. So, whether you’re a fan of these sports or looking to pick up a new hobby, you might wonder which is the more forgiving of the two sports. So, is squash tougher than tennis?
Squash is tougher from a mental and physical perspective because the game requires that you think tactically and move fast within a confined space. However, on a technical level, tennis is tougher because it involves skill for shot-making and winning rallies.
Although squash and tennis are ball sports played with racquets and on courts, they require different skills from the player. Fitness levels, tactical thinking, and natural ability all come into play in determining which of the two you’d prefer.
Which Is Tougher, Squash Or Tennis?
While squash is gaining in popularity around the US, it still is not as popular as tennis. There are fewer squash facilities, and tennis is a mainstream sport.
However, whether you’re looking to diversify your sporting options or add some new skills, it is helpful to consider which of the two is the tougher sport to play.
In considering which is tougher, squash or tennis, it is helpful to consider the different elements that make up the games and compare them.
These elements include tactical, physical, and technical ability. Squash is arguably tougher in the tactical and physical aspects because you have to think quickly and strategically about where to place the ball.
In addition, you need to move around the court quickly to get the ball, which tends to move a lot quicker than in tennis because the courts are smaller and more compact, and rallies happen quicker than on a tennis court.
The back wall can be used to keep the ball in play, and of course, the ball can bounce off the side walls too, providing it doesn’t bounce more than once before it is hit.
Regarding technical ability, tennis is considered the tougher of the two because shot-making and natural ability influence how well you hit the ball. Unlike squash, where there is little potential for different strokes and shots, tennis has a range of ways you can hit the ball.
Tactical Thinking In Squash
Squash is less about finesse in shot-making and more about strategic thinking and placement of the ball. Rallies happen quickly, and your main objective is to place the ball in places in the court that make it hard for your opponent to return.
Because you play squash in a walled-in court and can bounce the ball off the walls, you have more options regarding how to hit the ball and place it in hard-to-reach places for your opponent. This is a significant difference between squash and tennis.
The idea is to place the ball so you push your opponent to move around as much as possible, pushing them from the front of the court to the back, thereby tiring them out and making it harder for them to get to the ball in time.
Fitness In Squash
Squash is incredibly physically demanding because of the compacted space and the quicker rallies which happen as a result.
In tennis, the court is bigger, and rallies are generally slower because the ball is hit across a net and has to travel the distance to your opponent, unlike squash, where it bounces back at you off a wall.
So playing squash will require you to improve your fitness levels to keep up with rallies.
Technical Ability In Tennis
Unlike squash, where you hit the ball hard, and the focus is on the ball’s placement, in tennis, you have to be able to hit a range of shots to be successful.
Natural ability plays a role here, but you can learn the different strokes and how to achieve them.
For example, the standard way of hitting a squash ball is with a flat direct stroke because the emphasis is on hitting the ball against the wall, so it doesn’t make a huge difference how you hit it. It bounces back the same way.
But in tennis, there are different ways of hitting the ball, and they make a difference to the outcome of the bounce. For example, you can add spin to a shot, slice a shot, or hit it flat and straight.
These are just a few examples, and how you hit the ball in tennis influences how it bounces when it hits the ground on your opponent’s side of the court.
As a result, there’s more focus on skill and how you hit the ball in tennis than squash.
What Are The Main Differences Between Squash And Tennis?
The main differences between squash and tennis are found in the game’s objectives. For example, in squash, the objective is to hit the ball strategically in areas where your opponent will battle to return it.
In tennis, you are also aiming to do this, but how you do it is different from squash because there is a lot more focus on the repertoire of shots and your ability to change things up and be effective on the court.
In addition, there are some technical differences between squash and tennis pertaining to the equipment used.
Squash racquets are generally lighter than tennis racquets, with an approximate weight of 110 to 170 grams, and are much smaller than tennis racquets. In addition, they have a smaller head and a thinner handle than tennis racquets.
Tennis racquets range in weight between 250 to 320 grams, and tennis balls weigh approximately 57 grams.
You can play singles or doubles in both sports, but in squash, you play on a walled-in court side by side with your opponent, whereas in tennis, you play on an open court and hit the ball over the net to your opponent.
What Are The Pros Of Squash Over Tennis?
One of the benefits of playing squash instead of tennis is that you aren’t confined to weather patterns. Because squash is played indoors, you can play at any time of the year. You can also play at night if the facilities are open.
As a result, some players who enjoy playing tennis through the warmer months switch to squash during winter because rain affects tennis. Many players who do this report an overall improvement in both the games over time, because they are practicing different skills.
Changing things up from tennis to squash can help improve your overall fitness level because, in squash, you’re moving in short sharp bursts, as well as your tactical ability. Taking a break from tennis discipline can help freshen up your mental approach.
Squash and tennis have a lot to offer in terms of challenging yourself and your tactical approach, physical strength, and mental focus. Which one you choose to play will depend on your personal preferences.