Tennis vs. Squash – What’s Better?

tennis vs squash image

I’m in a group that plays tennis or squash weekly.

I love both games.

While in an ideal world we’d have one night of tennis and one night of squash each week, we all have young kids so that’s not going to happen.

After all, we don’t want to give up our poker game either haha.

Our club started playing squash, then COVID-19 hit.  Our squash facility closed.  We were left high and dry until one member suggested meeting at local tennis courts and resuming our weekly racquet game.

We were all on board immediately.

A little background

I’ve been playing both squash and tennis since I was 8 years old.  I was never on the pro track for either, but I’m decent at both. It’s purely recreational for me.

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What’s better – Squash or tennis?

“Better” is subjective.  It could mean more fun? Better for a social outing?  Fitness intensity.

For that reason, I’ll address all of them.

What’s more fun – tennis or squash?

It’s a tough call but I have to give the nod to squash.  I like the faster pace of squash.  I also believe I’m a better squash player than tennis which makes it more fun for me.

I find I’m more able to execute strategy more effectively playing squash than tennis which contributes to squash being more fun for me.

We have a couple of newer guys to both tennis and squash and they prefer squash just because it’s an easier game to play when new.

The one thing tennis has over squash is that it’s outdoors.

What’s a better sport for a group?

We’re a group of 5 guys, but often one can’t make it. Tennis is much better because we can play doubles if necessary.  If we get both courts, we can play two games of singles.

Our squash facility has one court so when four of us show up, two sit out at all times.  This compromises the fitness and fun component, but chatting while waiting isn’t all bad.

On the balance, tennis is a much better sport for a group unless you can get your hands on two+ squash courts.

Is squash or tennis a better workout?

I’m typically more gassed and beat after squash than tennis.  Squash is a faster game in that there’s much less time in between points so it’s almost constant intensity.

I have an Apple smartwatch where I track my heart rate.  My heart rate is more consistently at higher levels playing squash than tennis.

That said, I’m a believer that being outdoors alone is healthy and for that reason, playing tennis outside offers that health benefit.

What equipment costs more money?

Not including the cost to actually build the courts, squash probably costs a tad more just because we need to pay for a membership to play at our club.  It’s not expensive but it’s more costly than tennis at free public courts.

Of course, if you play tennis at a private club, that’ll cost more.

On the flip side, we spend far more on tennis balls than squash balls.  We get one night with a can of tennis balls but a squash ball lasts a few months.

As for racquets, my squash and tennis racquets cost about the same ($150 to $250 each).

At the end of the day, both sports are relatively inexpensive compared to golf, skiing, and many other recreational pursuits.

What about court access – what’s easier or more convenient?

Since we play tennis on public outdoor courts, we’re at the mercy of rain.  Living in a rainy climate as we do means some weeks we’re rained out which sucks.

Rain is not an issue with squash – we can play rain or shine.

Another downer about accessing tennis courts is we often have to wait for a court given it’s popular in our area with a limited number of decent courts.

With respect to squash, we reserve our court a week in advance and have yet to not be able to book the court for our preferred time slot.

All in all, it’s easier to access squash courts than tennis.

What’s better for becoming a professional?

That’s a no-brainer. If I could be a pro tennis player or squash player, I’d opt for tennis.  Tennis players earn many times more than pro squash players.  The best squash player in the world makes just under $300K per year.  The best tennis players make tens of millions per year once you tally up tournament winnings and endorsements.

What’s better to watch?

Undoubtedly it’s more fun to watch tennis on both TV and live.  It’s a better spectator sport due to the larger court size, variable shots and strategies and the incredible level of skill given tennis is a harder game to master.

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