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View Full Version : The effect of slower surface, bigger balls


didier
03-09-2009, 03:19 AM
How much of the lesser dominance of Federer is due to the introduction of slower surfaces and bigger tennis balls?

When i look at a match between Federer and Nadal, i can't shake the feeling that a lot of nadal's play is helped because of this.
After all he has to get to the ball first to be able to hit it back.
And he doesn't hit with a lot of pace himself, he makes huge angles with his topspin and the slower surfaces and bigger balls all seem to favor that.
So my point is, tennis itself is responsible for the closing of the gap between Federer and the rest.

Which, i think, is a pitty because it takes so much out of the game.
Serving well is not easy as we all know and slowing the game down takes away the whole stroke. Tennis has become a lot less technical and is now more, sort of a race of attrition.
Which makes it boring for me, rally after rally after rally is boring.

as always, very interested in your views

breadstick
03-09-2009, 03:47 AM
I think it's more likely that Fededer has gotten a little slower and Nadal's game has improved, not that the conditions of the courts/balls have changed.

Zaragoza
03-09-2009, 04:35 AM
How much of the lesser dominance of Federer is due to the introduction of slower surfaces and bigger tennis balls?

They haven't changed since 2004. Federer dominated on these surfaces and with these balls.

tennis_hand
03-09-2009, 04:41 AM
surface at wimbledon slowed down, but I never heard of bigger balls.

prosealster
03-09-2009, 05:12 AM
surface at wimbledon slowed down, but I never heard of bigger balls.

yeah....Fed would have the record now if he has bigger balls :)

coloskier
03-09-2009, 06:08 AM
surface at wimbledon slowed down, but I never heard of bigger balls.

It's not so much bigger balls, but they bounce higher and are a bit slower. Much better for baseliners. S&V players want the ball to bounce low, so that it is harder to hit a passing shot.

TheNatural
03-09-2009, 06:34 AM
The conditions and equipment all changed while Fed was some years intro his career and not doing so great. There's a very good argument to suggest that The conditions greatly favoured Fed and helped him become #1.

Nadal was just a young kid when the conditions and strings etc changed so he had to work his way through the field like everyone else. Fed was already near the top so he was suddenly able to leapfrog a bunch of the top players with the new conditions and equipment which let him suddenly become a lot more consistent and more effective. He was able to use his baseline running game a LOT more when the conditions changed and that probably became one of his biggest advantages over the field. Before the conditions chnaged Fed wasn't consistent enough for his running game tyo come into play so much. Fed would have had to try to win more matches with riskier tactics ie like more volleying if he continued playing in the old conditions. He would have lost a lot more in those conditions because his skills are not as good or suitable to the old conditions.

Nadal is beating Fed in exactly the same way that Fed was beating all the other guys for years. Hes doing what Fed does even better than Fed when he plays him.

Cyan
03-09-2009, 08:38 AM
Federer is just getting older. Happens to everybody. Period. He is not 24 anymore :shock:

Cyan
03-09-2009, 08:39 AM
I think it's more likely that Fededer has gotten a little slower and Nadal's game has improved, not that the conditions of the courts/balls have changed.

Exactly. Fed is just aging. End of story.

Ocean Drive
03-09-2009, 09:33 AM
thats what all nadal fans say because they do not like the truth, end of story. wait until nadal is 27 and can barely move around the court and im laughin' my head off at him!

sureshs
03-09-2009, 11:23 AM
thats what all nadal fans say because they do not like the truth, end of story. wait until nadal is 27 and can barely move around the court and im laughin' my head off at him!

He will be retired by end of 2010, having won the Career Slam (2009), Calendar Slam (2009) and most number of Slams (2010).

saram
03-09-2009, 11:25 AM
A lot of people assume that the surfaces and balls help Rafa--but one must also realize that Rafa has more desire to get to and punish every ball struck than just about anyone on tour. Lots acknowledge the surface, etc--but simultaneously fail to realize Rafa has changed, developed and progressed annually--more than the surfaces have changed.

saram
03-09-2009, 11:26 AM
He will be retired by end of 2010, having won the Career Slam (2009), Calendar Slam (2009) and most number of Slams (2010).

I wouldn't put it past him....the kid is good.

Nadal_Freak
03-09-2009, 02:11 PM
thats what all nadal fans say because they do not like the truth, end of story. wait until nadal is 27 and can barely move around the court and im laughin' my head off at him!
You are heartless.

Nadal_Freak
03-09-2009, 02:14 PM
A lot of people assume that the surfaces and balls help Rafa--but one must also realize that Rafa has more desire to get to and punish every ball struck than just about anyone on tour. Lots acknowledge the surface, etc--but simultaneously fail to realize Rafa has changed, developed and progressed annually--more than the surfaces have changed.
They know it. Just want to make less of Nadal's accomplishments. For whatever reason in probably some hatred toward him.

GugaGuga
03-09-2009, 03:04 PM
I don't think there is any question that slower surfaces favor Nadal over Federer. Not to mention the fact that Federer tends to use a slice/topspin backhand, and a slice is not as effective on a higher bouncing court.

However, I think people are completely underestimating Federer's ability to make adjustments and beat Nadal. He's off to a good start by choosing Cahill; I can't think of a better coach for him.

The next few years are going to produce some excellent matches between these two. And Nadal's lack of variety is going to hurt him in the long run.

Nadal_Freak
03-09-2009, 03:06 PM
I don't think there is any question that slower surfaces favor Nadal over Federer. Not to mention the fact that Federer tends to use a slice/topspin backhand, and a slice is not as effective on a higher bouncing court.

However, I think people are completely underestimating Federer's ability to make adjustments and beat Nadal. He's off to a good start by choosing Cahill; I can't think of a better coach for him.

The next few years are going to produce some excellent matches between these two. And Nadal's lack of variety is going to hurt him in the long run.
Adjustments? Haha. He has played Nadal how many times? I think it is safe to say that Nadal will always be a problem for Fed. Cahill is no miracle worker. Fed has had other really good coaches but hasn't found the answer.

NamRanger
03-09-2009, 03:09 PM
Adjustments? Haha. He has played Nadal how many times? I think it is safe to say that Nadal will always be a problem for Fed. Cahill is no miracle worker. Fed has had other really good coaches but hasn't found the answer.


Oh how I would love to see what would happen to you if Federer ever beat Nadal at the FO. I think you might disappear forever. How wonderful would that be. I would want Federer to beat Nadal just because of that.

Nadal_Freak
03-09-2009, 03:11 PM
Oh how I would love to see what would happen to you if Federer ever beat Nadal at the FO. I think you might disappear forever. How wonderful would that be. I would want Federer to beat Nadal just because of that.
Oh how wonderful it would be if I won the lottery. :twisted:

coloskier
03-09-2009, 03:12 PM
Adjustments? Haha. He has played Nadal how many times? I think it is safe to say that Nadal will always be a problem for Fed. Cahill is no miracle worker. Fed has had other really good coaches but hasn't found the answer.

True, but Fed has always done better against Nadal on lower bouncing courts, Hamburg, etc. Remember how wet and cold those courts were and how the ball bounced like it was on a sponge? I actually think that court bounced lower than the "new" grass at Wimbledon. But now, I agree, it isn't the court that bothers Fed, it's the style of play. Until Fed starts attacking Nadal's crosscourt forehand on the rise like Murray does, he will always have problems.

NamRanger
03-09-2009, 03:25 PM
Oh how wonderful it would be if I won the lottery. :twisted:


You'll be the first one to disappear if Nadal loses to Federer at RG. First one. And you'll probably never appear again. I can guarantee it.

Nadal_Freak
03-09-2009, 03:29 PM
You'll be the first one to disappear if Nadal loses to Federer at RG. First one. And you'll probably never appear again. I can guarantee it.
Nope I'll be here. Just like I am now. It doesn't mean that much to me. I'll congratulate Fed for accomplishisng the incredible win against Nadal. I still don't see it happening.

veroniquem
03-09-2009, 09:16 PM
Nope I'll be here. Just like I am now. It doesn't mean that much to me. I'll congratulate Fed for accomplishisng the incredible win against Nadal. I still don't see it happening.
I feel the same way. I'll be in awe of Fed if he does that. I just don't see how it could possibly happen, it's like believing in Santa, it's fun to imagine the guy going down the chimney and everything but you still know you're fooling yourself, right?

shawn1122
03-10-2009, 10:58 PM
Oh how wonderful it would be if I won the lottery. :twisted:

Clever, I gotta admit I lol'd.