PDA

View Full Version : Are Roma's courts faster than other clay events?


Ariel
05-04-2005, 05:40 AM
This is for those of you that have The tennis channel. Can you tell me if Roma's courts are playing fasted than normal? The reason of my question is that A-Rod is through the second round, Coria had a hard time agains Gonzalez, Henman cruised past Kuerten, Lubicic seems to have found his feet on clay, and many dirtballers are getting killed. My only explanation is that the difference is on the courts but I have found no info about it anywhere.

Vlad
05-04-2005, 05:47 AM
I think the answer would be YES. Rome is the tournament that always had weird results such as Pete Sampras winning it, Agassi winning, Roddick making semis.
Big servers tend to do better in Rome than traditional clay courters like Coria...

SMASHER
05-04-2005, 05:53 AM
While I was watching the Roddick match this morning, I noticed that as well. Monte Carlo seemed much slower. As a spectator I enjoyed the long rallies and drop shots that dug into the ground. Good Eye Ariel!

scoot
05-04-2005, 07:29 AM
Rome faster than RG, Hamburg slower than RG, Monte Carlo about same as RG

gugafanatic
05-04-2005, 07:40 AM
Are the clay courts at RG, tweeked to help French players do alot better. I mean players like Monfils, Grosjean and Gasquet may perfer quicker conditions.

GRANITECHIEF
05-04-2005, 07:44 AM
Faster courts good for the Americans!

Bertchel Banks
05-04-2005, 01:45 PM
I think the answer would be YES.

Me too. I think one of the reasons for this is because Rome is farther south than RG, Monte Carlo, & Hamburg. The weather is hotter, the clay is drier and thus the ball zips through the court faster than in damp Hamburg, or Paris.

Rodzilla
05-04-2005, 02:09 PM
Yes, I agree also Vlad with all you wrote. But Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi winning it, with Andy Roddick making the semis is not weird to me. Andre won RG, Sampras got to the semis at RG, and Andy, who knows?

VamosRafa
05-04-2005, 02:13 PM
Sorry, my message was posted twice. See one below.

VamosRafa
05-04-2005, 02:14 PM
I agree the court seems faster than Monte Carlo, but they wet down the court between matches. And players still have time to run down balls that would be outright winners on hardcourts. So faster, perhaps, but certainly not fast. Again, I wish there were player interviews, so we could get their take on it.

lagranwilly
05-04-2005, 02:25 PM
Last year i did hear Andy Roddick talking about how fast where the conditions on central court in Rome.This was after his loss to Canas in the first round i think.Andy was saying he didn't understand why he played so badly under such fast conditions of the court

VamosRafa
05-04-2005, 02:36 PM
Last year i did hear Andy Roddick talking about how fast where the conditions on central court in Rome.This was after his loss to Canas in the first round i think.Andy was saying he didn't understand why he played so badly under such fast conditions of the court

I think it had something to do with the fire in his hotel room. Wasn't that last year?

Rodzilla
05-04-2005, 02:52 PM
Yes, it was last year. I don't think it had to do with the fire though. It was not his hotel room, it was the whole hotel. Andy, I'm proud to say, also saved Sjeng Schalken and his wife from the fire and helped out other ways. Humbly, he said he wasn't the heros but the firemen were. It was a reasonable lost, Canas play very nice on clay.

VamosRafa
05-04-2005, 03:08 PM
Yes, it was last year. I don't think it had to do with the fire though. It was not his hotel room, it was the whole hotel. Andy, I'm proud to say, also saved Sjeng Schalken and his wife from the fire and helped out other ways. Humbly, he said he wasn't the heros but the firemen were. It was a reasonable lost, Canas play very nice on clay.

Yes, I know, it wasn't in his room per se. Although his sneakers melted, I think. And I do remember his heroics, which were great. But I thought he said afterward that the whole thing upset him. All credit to Canas, who played great, and who defeated Andy in his first bid for a Masters Series title (I seem to recall). But after that loss, Andy went straight home; he seemed pretty upset about the hotel thing. More so than about the loss.

West Coast Ace
05-04-2005, 08:02 PM
Me too. I think one of the reasons for this is because Rome is farther south than RG, Monte Carlo, & Hamburg. The weather is hotter, the clay is drier and thus the ball zips through the court faster than in damp Hamburg, or Paris.Monte Carlo gets less rain than Rome - and it's less humid - more like Los Angeles. The biggest determinant is the tournament director. He tells his ground crew how fast or slow he wants the courts. If he says 'make them fast' then they do the backbreaking work of scraping them and getting rid of most of the loose stuff. I watched the guys get center court ready in '99 in Monte Carlo.

Zeta
05-04-2005, 11:52 PM
I was on Rome Central Court yesterday.
Ther court is wetted between match. But yesterday there is some wind in Rome, that helps in dry fast the court.

Vlad
05-05-2005, 09:35 AM
From Brad Gilbert on May 4..

5.4.2005 -

The conditions in Rome are perfect so far for Andy and Andre. When you get this kind of sun and heat the clay almost plays like a hardcourt. People donít realize but because of the weather you can have two different tournaments inside of a non-hardcourt slam especially Roland Garros. When itís raining and cold the big hitters arenít as effective and the guys that play with more spin have an advantage. When itís hot and dry itís so much easier to hit through the court, which helps guys like Andre and Andy.

You know when Andy is dropping 149 MPH bombs on clay that the courts are hard and dry. When he is getting aces and holding serve heís in the match against anyone on the dirt.

Kevin Patrick
05-05-2005, 09:44 AM
Very true, the weather is a major factor any any clay event. At the '96 French Open the 4 semifinalists were Sampras, Kafelnikov, Stich & Rosset. It was very hot & dry that event.

Dedans Penthouse
05-05-2005, 11:41 AM
Very true, the weather is a major factor any any clay event. At the '96 French Open the 4 semifinalists were Sampras, Kafelnikov, Stich & Rosset. It was very hot & dry that event.
Good call. And (ironically) those same "hot & dry" conditions that "speed" up the conditions at Roland Garros for the serve & volley/all-court types have the opposite effect at Wimbledon, i.e. when it's warm and dry during the fortnight, by the 2nd week, when the courts start to get "scuffed" up especially in the middle of the baselines and the "T" (first volley zone), the grass takes on more of a straw-like texture and the ball sits up more (albeit with more bad bounces) as opposed to a rain-slick, freshly lined "1st week" court where the ball zips/skips low.

As to Rome, do they still do the Adriano Panatta inspired "air-mailing" of coins at some of the "non-local" visiting players? ;-)

The tennis guy
05-05-2005, 02:00 PM
Weather and humidity equal, RG is the fastest red clay court event.

Bertchel Banks
05-05-2005, 04:50 PM
You know when Andy is dropping 149 MPH bombs on clay that the courts are hard and dry. When he is getting aces and holding serve heís in the match against anyone on the dirt.

If the speed of a served is measured when the ball leaves the racket, won't Andy hit 149mph bombs regardless of the surface.

35ft6
05-06-2005, 06:00 AM
^ I think they measure the speed almost immediately after impact... by the time the ball's gone over the net it's lost a LOT of speed... and it loses much more speed still by hitting the ground/bouncing... don't bet your life on these numbers, but I think a 127 mph serve is like 85 or so after the bounce and that's on hard courts... on clay it must slow down waaaaaayyyyyyyy more... so the surface matters a lot. If X mph was "regardless" of surface, there would be no such notion as "fast" and "slow" surfaces. If it was a matter of how fast a player could move his feet, hard courts would be the fastest surface around.

Yeah, the commentators on TTC made a comment about Roddick winning a clay court tournament but on the "slower" clay of North America.

Bertchel Banks
05-06-2005, 06:38 PM
If X mph was "regardless" of surface, there would be no such notion as "fast" and "slow" surfaces. If it was a matter of how fast a player could move his feet, hard courts would be the fastest surface around.

I understand what you're saying. I'm well aware of the difference in playing surfaces. I've played on Green Clay, hardcourt, slick indoor wood, and that thing they have in Harlem, NYC. I was only questioning the noteworthyness of Roddick hitting a 149mph serve on clay. It gave the impression they got those numbers from the ball after impacting the court, instead of off the server's strings. If it's the latter, a 149 mph A-Bomb isn't news.

YEMntFtb
05-06-2005, 06:59 PM
NO - I don't think a 125 serve would slow down to 85 miles an hour on the bounce, serves would be much less affective if this were the case.

Datacipher
05-06-2005, 08:14 PM
NO - I don't think a 125 serve would slow down to 85 miles an hour on the bounce, serves would be much less affective if this were the case.

Of course it depends on the spin, surface, air conditions etc. But actually 125 to 85mph on the bounce is quite a reasonable guess from the studies I've read. In some cases, it might lose even more speed.

And I think Bertchel is correct, yes, Roddick should be able to serve as fast no matter the surface. In fact as the guns get better and better at picking up the serve earlier and earlier, other enviromental conditions besides surface should also matter even less. If you measure the serve later, after it has travelled in the air but before the bounce, variances in air characteristics might have a small effect.

Max G.
05-06-2005, 08:23 PM
NO - I don't think a 125 serve would slow down to 85 miles an hour on the bounce, serves would be much less affective if this were the case.

Yes, serves do slow down that much by the time they get to the reciever. From what I remember, they slow down even more - to maybe a bit over half of their original speed. Remember, half of 130 is still 65.

Also the spin has an effect - I would guess that the more topspin a serve has, the less speed it loses after the bounce, but I'm not sure.

A ball moving at 65mph is still frickin HARD to track, especially since it was just moving at 130 just half a second ago.

Vlad
05-06-2005, 09:32 PM
The reason Brad mentioned Roddick's speed is because if it was as slow as let's say in RG, than Roddick would not have served at 149mph in the first place.. Remember Seville 2004 Davis Cup? That was the SLOWEST clay court possible.. I don't remember Roddick even reaching 145 mph on the radar gun and those Davis cup guns are JUICED UP. It simply is not effective to try to blast as hard as he can on slow surface. More topspin would do the job much better...