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Red clay Made in Italy for worldwide tennis courts

Stanislas Wawrika and Roger Federer played on Terre Davis clay

Red clay Made in Italy for worldwide tennis courts

Claudia Astarita

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Terre Davis is a small family enterprise based in Cremona, which specialized in a niche industry: the production of red clay for tennis courts. The quality of their product comes from a long family tradition and the singularity of the resources available in the Emilia Romagna region. In fact, this area counts many farmsteads to be demolished.

"The new bricks provide the red colour. However, the quality of our product depends on the clay that we extract from these bricks. The clay in our area contains a lot of iron, which results in high draining capacity and allows to play for a prolonged time despite the rain", explained to Il Sole 24 Ore Anna Gravelli, who holds the activity together with her sister Rita.

"The bricks built at the end of '700 and '900 were hand-made and baked in the sun, very differently from today, when bricks are baked at two thousand degrees", continues Ms. Gravelli. The two entrepreneurs have taken over their father's company and have been able to expand it and introduce innovative changes. Over the years, Terre Davis has reached 25 thousand customers, amongst whom tennis clubs and builders of sportive centres. The Italian company is also reference point for some of the most famous international tournaments, such as Foro Italico, Montecarlo, Fed Cup, Davis Cup and Torino Indoor. At the final game in Rome, at Foro Italico, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka played on a Made in Italy clay court.

Their market goes from Europe to China, from Russia to Australia, where last year Melbourne Park commissioned them eight clay courts. The last commissions were accomplished in Thailand. To realize one tennis court 60 thousand kilos clay are necessary, whereas for its maintenance just 3 thousand are used. Every year, the productive site of this company produces kg 10million clay gathered on Po's riverbank.

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