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View Full Version : They need to make the French Open surface fair


NoBadMojo
06-11-2006, 11:08 AM
I am not saying this because Fed lost, but the French Open has always been an anomoly with one trick ponies winning it, and many of the best of all time not able to win there. Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline. I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.

JayxTheKoolest
06-11-2006, 11:10 AM
Spoiler.

Anyways, I think the surface favors a completely different style of tennis when compared to the grass courts. If you don't like this, then that's your opinion.

Gilgamesh
06-11-2006, 11:17 AM
FO should stay clay forever. That is it's legacy. It is the most prized clay tournament.

One trick ponies? Over the last few years it would appear to seem so but in it's history no. Borg dominated both clay and grass. Two completely opposite surfaces. Sure a lot of greats could not win FO but lets not blame the clay. :rolleyes: Lendl could never win Wimbleton should we take away grass?

Warriorroger
06-11-2006, 11:19 AM
Great champions win, no matter the surface, BTW, the French clay is on of the fastest claycourts in the worlds, so don't see your point.

dh003i
06-11-2006, 11:22 AM
Warrior,

So, according to you, Budge, Laver, and Agassi are the only players who were ever great, since they're the only one's who've won GS' on every surface they played?

I guess Sampras is just some chump, too; after all, he never won at the French Open. What do 14 grand slams mean?

Ridiculous.

ShcMad
06-11-2006, 11:23 AM
Great champions win, no matter the surface, BTW, the French clay is on of the fastest claycourts in the worlds, so don't see your point.

During a match in the first week of the '06 FO, Nadal supposedly asked the umpire to spray some more clay on the surface because he claimed that it felt it was as quick as a hardcourt.

Max G.
06-11-2006, 11:23 AM
I am not saying this because Fed lost, but the French Open has always been an anomoly with one trick ponies winning it, and many of the best of all time not able to win there. Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline. I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.

I disagree. I like variety in surfaces - I personally think that Wimbledon should speed the grass back up.

The more different surfaces there are, the more different playing styles will be viable.

On the contrary, it would seem much more unfair to me if one particular playing style could be used to dominate on all surfaces.

Simon Cowell
06-11-2006, 11:33 AM
I think they should make it grass so Federer can win his grand slam and the fans on here can stop crying.

federerhoogenbandfan
06-11-2006, 11:36 AM
All surfaces are made slower now, grass, hard, and clay. It is just the way they want to do things these days.

Tennis_Monk
06-11-2006, 11:46 AM
If all courts were same in all grandslams, then why play 4 grandsams ? have one mega slam per yr and we are done.

A true player shuld adopt to all conditions and win against variety of surfaces. Pistol Pete is Great tennis player. But his game is not good enough to win FO. His strengths (among others) are his Bludgeoning Serve and S & V game. Those are neutralized in FO.

A true clay court player needs to have a Heavy TopSpin shots and ability to grind rallies from baseline. These skills are neutralized in Wimbledon.

Roger Federer came close to solving FO puzzle. He may eventually solve it or (may be he wont).

dh003i
06-11-2006, 12:01 PM
Warrior,

You said,

Great champions win, no matter the surface

With the obvious implication that Federer isn't a great player, because he didn't win, "no matter the surface". Therefore, I had to ask, you must think Sampras, Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, etc, were also not great players either, right? Because all of them had at least 1 surface they couldn't win the Grand Slam on.

My point wasn't about excuses or anything. Nadal won, played the better game, end of discussion in that regards. No-one is saying Federer should have won, and I'm certainly not saying there was anything unfair about it. I'm simply saying that Federer is still a GOAT, and is a great clay-courter.

allcourter
06-11-2006, 12:09 PM
Variety makes it more fun to watch how players adjust to diff. surfaces but the master will take them all. In that sense, Nadal is excluded but Federer may. The 06 French Open was there for Roger to take but he didn't tactical counter Nadal's high spin. He should use more b/h slice to Nadal's b/h forcing him to hit up on the ball and move to the net to finish points off. May be next yr. Federer take the French?? :rolleyes:

Roforot
06-12-2006, 05:48 AM
I think the surface allows one-trick ponies to beat up higher ranked players in the early rounds, but for the most part, the champions are solid players who do well on hard courts as well.
Having said that, I was hoping there'd be some rain overnight so the courts would play faster.

BHud
06-12-2006, 06:05 AM
Fed needs no excuses...his body of work speaks for itself...being #1 on every surface but clay (where he is a lowly #2) is not bad! He is still the one to beat, but I enjoy seeing other challenge him...we need a great rivalry (unfortunately, Nadal needs to pick up his game on the other surfaces if it's going to elevate to Borg/Connors, Pete/Andre, etc.)

textbook strokes
06-12-2006, 06:12 AM
How pathetic is this thread:mad: !. And yet we should believe this has nothing to do with Fed's lame performance!.
Don't blame Roland Garros, the most classy GS that still means something to modern tennis (Grass is a joke!), just because a great player had an horrible day!.
The tournament was very interesting, and I recall several good matches like Mónaco- Ljubicic, Ferrero-Gaudio, or Nadal- Mathieu.
Now we have to endure some nobodys during the grass "season", like Popp, Arthurs or Dent.
By the way, the OP remembers that #s 1,2,3 and 4 made the semis?- How unfair is that?

NoBadMojo
06-12-2006, 06:28 AM
How pathetic is this thread:mad: !. And yet we should believe this has nothing to do with Fed's lame performance!.
Don't blame Roland Garros, the most classy GS that still means something to modern tennis (Grass is a joke!), just because a great player had an horrible day!.
The tournament was very interesting, and I recall several good matches like Mónaco- Ljubicic, Ferrero-Gaudio, or Nadal- Mathieu.
Now we have to endure some nobodys during the grass "season", like Popp, Arthurs or Dent.
By the way, the OP remembers that #s 1,2,3 and 4 made the semis?- How unfair is that?

how pathetic is your post? your post clearly shows you know nothing about tennis and its history. no wonder i rarely post n this secion of the board. there is a long list of players who the only majour they won is the french and a long list of great players like the other two best of all time <sampras and laver> who never won the french. if that doesnt make this majour a freakish anomoly then nothing does. i dont appreciate your callng my thread pathetic..shows a distinct lack of class. You also clearly dont understand that the grass at W now plays more like a higher bouncing hardcourt than the grass of old and that baseliners like Nalbandian do quite well there.
Also anyone with reading skills can see tat I prefaced my thread by sayin that it didnt have anything to do with this one sinle match. It was a general statement that I think they should speed up the clay at the French so that one dimensional grinders dont usually win...
nice post there chief...dont supose you will apologize

barney
06-12-2006, 06:48 AM
....Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline.The French Open is what it is. An extreme test of endurance, movement, and consistency. This is what makes it so unique and special. And so difficult to win.

I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. From my understanding, most of the tennis communities in Europe and South America consider the French to be the world's #1 tennis tournament. I'm not sure why most Americans feel that way about Wimbledon.

Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.Totally disagree. IMO.

textbook strokes
06-12-2006, 07:08 AM
how pathetic is your post? your post clearly shows you know nothing about tennis and its history. no wonder i rarely post n this secion of the board. there is a long list of players who the only majour they won is the french and a long list of great players like the other two best of all time <sampras and laver> who never won the french. if that doesnt make this majour a freakish anomoly then nothing does. i dont appreciate your callng my thread pathetic..shows a distinct lack of class. You also clearly dont understand that the grass at W now plays more like a higher bouncing hardcourt than the grass of old and that baseliners like Nalbandian do quite well there.
Also anyone with reading skills can see tat I prefaced my thread by sayin that it didnt have anything to do with this one sinle match. It was a general statement that I think they should speed up the clay at the French so that one dimensional grinders dont usually win...
nice post there chief...dont supose you will apologize

I'm sorry Nobad, but I really don't find a better adjective for your thead. Perhaps you should give yesterday final a couple of days before posting:( .
About Wimby, they changed the grass precisely because something was wrong, but that's not the case with the French Open.
About Tennis history; I'm not ant expert but I think Laver did win it in 69 against Ken Rosewall in 3 (Also in 62, before the oper era).
Too bad Roger couldn't !.

Arafel
06-12-2006, 07:33 AM
Warrior,

You said,



With the obvious implication that Federer isn't a great player, because he didn't win, "no matter the surface". Therefore, I had to ask, you must think Sampras, Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, etc, were also not great players either, right? Because all of them had at least 1 surface they couldn't win the Grand Slam on.

My point wasn't about excuses or anything. Nadal won, played the better game, end of discussion in that regards. No-one is saying Federer should have won, and I'm certainly not saying there was anything unfair about it. I'm simply saying that Federer is still a GOAT, and is a great clay-courter.

Connors won the U.S. Open on clay once (against Borg) and made the finals the other two times it was held on clay. He also won the U.S. Clay Courts several times back when it was a big tournament, and I feel certain that if he had been able to enter it in 74, or hadn't boycotted it from 75-78, he would have won at least one FO.

That's not to say that Sampras, Borg, McEnroe et al weren't great players, but I don't think you can quite lump Connors in with the other crowd.

Arafel
06-12-2006, 07:35 AM
how pathetic is your post? your post clearly shows you know nothing about tennis and its history. no wonder i rarely post n this secion of the board. there is a long list of players who the only majour they won is the french and a long list of great players like the other two best of all time <sampras and laver> who never won the french. if that doesnt make this majour a freakish anomoly then nothing does. i dont appreciate your callng my thread pathetic..shows a distinct lack of class. You also clearly dont understand that the grass at W now plays more like a higher bouncing hardcourt than the grass of old and that baseliners like Nalbandian do quite well there.
Also anyone with reading skills can see tat I prefaced my thread by sayin that it didnt have anything to do with this one sinle match. It was a general statement that I think they should speed up the clay at the French so that one dimensional grinders dont usually win...
nice post there chief...dont supose you will apologize

Since Laver won the Grand Slam in both 62 and 69, he won the French. It was Sampras who could never break through, and in fact never made the final.

katarddx
06-12-2006, 08:24 AM
FO should stay clay forever. That is it's legacy. It is the most prized clay tournament.

One trick ponies? Over the last few years it would appear to seem so but in it's history no. Borg dominated both clay and grass. Two completely opposite surfaces. Sure a lot of greats could not win FO but lets not blame the clay. :rolleyes: Lendl could never win Wimbleton should we take away grass?
completely agreed! if a player is considered the best then it should be playing well on it - pretty simple! keep the Dirt!!!!!!!!!

North
06-12-2006, 08:46 AM
I am not saying this because Fed lost, but the French Open has always been an anomoly with one trick ponies winning it, and many of the best of all time not able to win there. Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline. I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.

I couldn't agree more, especially the one trick pony winners. I spent part of the match paying bills - write a check, look up and six more baseline groundies have gone by - yawn. It would be nice if the idea for each Grand Slam meant the player had to win by being able to do it all, not just one style of play. BTW, do you think they maybe slowed Wimbledon down a bit too much?

skip1969
06-12-2006, 09:04 AM
i'm not exactly sure who all these "one trick ponies" are who keep winning roland garros. though i agree, the tournament has been a thorn in the side to some great players. but so what? if anything, that should be a source of pride for the french. that their tournament is so hard to win. i mean, top players have skipped the slams that they don't feel they have a shot at winning. are we gonna blame that on the tournaments, too?

the top men and women already have the deck stacked in their favor so that they may advance in the slams. we protect 32 seeds now (which i think is lame). the top players play on the better courts, at the better times. i mean, maybe we can have the unseeded players play in their bare feet, with one arm tied behind their backs? that should REALLY help these supposed "great players" who can never seem to win in paris.

personally, i like upsets. i like seeing underdogs win. there have always been players who have an advantage on clay. but other players have advantages on other surfaces. that's just the way it is. sometimes, even when you're "the best" you STILL can't win 'em all, as the saying goes.

when the same couple of players are winning all the slams, people b*tch. when the same couple of players DON'T win all the slams, people b*tch. i guess there's just no pleasing everyone, is there?

The Pusher Terminator
06-12-2006, 09:09 AM
yeah they need to change roland garros to grass courts!

NoBadMojo
06-12-2006, 09:25 AM
I couldn't agree more, especially the one trick pony winners. I spent part of the match paying bills - write a check, look up and six more baseline groundies have gone by - yawn. It would be nice if the idea for each Grand Slam meant the player had to win by being able to do it all, not just one style of play. BTW, do you think they maybe slowed Wimbledon down a bit too much?

lol..laughing here....i brain cramped when i typed that laver didnt win the French.it dawned on me right after i wrote it....I expected to get attacked for it, but thanks all for not jumping me.
yea..boring tennis for sure..i really think they need to speed things up there at least within the realm of reasonable especially these days when there is already so much baseline grinding going on.
W make their courts high bounding and non skidding unlike the grass of old to accomodate the whiney dirtballers (remember when they were threatening to boycot W because of the seedings? they were seeded lower because they went out in the first round because they couldnt play on the grass). I think it fair the French be played on a more neutral surface..seems reasonable to me.
Who wants to watch endless corss court exchanges and players coming in to deal with short balls then retreating back to the comfort of the baseline....err 20 feet behind the baseline....maybe they should put a wall up behind each court making it impossible to play from that far back..sholdnt have to hit 3 winners to actually win the point

North
06-12-2006, 09:35 AM
(remember when they were threatening to boycot W because of the seedings?

Remind me again why that would have been a bad thing - lol! (Sorry - this is North stuck in the shaded region)



Who wants to watch endless corss court exchanges and players coming in to deal with short balls then retreating back to the comfort of the baseline....err 20 feet behind the baseline....maybe they should put a wall up behind each court making it impossible to play from that far back..sholdnt have to hit 3 winners to actually win the point

ROFL - would make an interesting video game.

NoBadMojo
06-12-2006, 09:46 AM
ROFL - would make an interesting video game.

aye..or you could make it part of the real game....be able to play the ball off the back wall like you can in racquetball, paddle tennis, etc....then you would have one dirtballer who is a wall coupled with a wall which is a wall...... ;O

I guess I like to see all the court and all the shots being played rather than just mostly forehands...

Andres
06-12-2006, 09:48 AM
They should change every GS' surface to grass, so Federer can win anything...


:roll: :rolleyes: :roll:

Dedans Penthouse
06-12-2006, 10:16 AM
The French Open is the French Open and like it or not, it's about red clay and long rallies. Sometimes the weather will be usually dry and hot throughout the fortnight, speeding up the courts (but only to a degree). This year, the first week, it was dank and cold and the courts played "heavy/slow."

As lousy as some thought yesterday's match was, see if you can get your hands on some film/tape of e.g. 1987 Wilander - Lendl: that was enough to put you to sleep. Even worse, were the Borg routs over Vilas ('75 & '78)--absolute disasters that had the crowd derisively whistling out of boredom during some of the interminably long points between the two, to the point that even Philipe Chartier, The French Tennis Federation President admitted afterwards that it was a boring mess and that something might eventually have to be done. But things run in cycles and fortunately the French Open hasn't always centered around 2 guys willing to play "patty-cake" back-and-forth-forever tennis. Nadal, for all his pre-match 'in-yer-face' Guido-ishness, isn't some nondescript, faceless baseliner merely content to lollygag you to death with moonballs ad nauseum....waiting...waiting for his opponent to miss.

skip1969
06-12-2006, 11:25 AM
Who wants to watch endless corss court exchanges and players coming in to deal with short balls then retreating back to the comfort of the baseline....err 20 feet behind the baseline....maybe they should put a wall up behind each court making it impossible to play from that far back..sholdnt have to hit 3 winners to actually win the point
well, YOU might not want to see it. and maybe I don't want to see it. but there are tons of folks out there who love roland garros and the red clay.

i know the french have gotten a lot of stick during this tournament for being "rude" or whatever. but they know their surface, and what can be done on it. they know that it's difficult to be aggressive all the time, but it's not impossible to be aggressive. plenty of past champions have shown how to do it; how to take your opportunities and finish off the point. true, you have to be much more selective and thoughtful about it, but as dedans said, even the french don't want you to just stand way back there and hit crosscourt backhand after crosscourt backhand until the cows come home. it isn't fun for the fan in the stands anymore than it is for the fans watching at home.

every surface is what it is. it's what the player does on it that counts.

NoBadMojo
06-12-2006, 11:40 AM
This is precisely my point....it was boring tennis in my opinion, and i dont understand why the court played so slow for the finals with the hot conditions...it should have played at it's quickest...I wasnt saying many of the matches in the olden days werent boring as well (that's kinda my point). i can understand that others may not think it was boring and that's col beans....i do however think they shouldnt slow down the conditions even more than the other clay events, because I think variety is nice and i would have enjoyed a Federer (or anyone else for that matter) be able to contrast the grind it out style with an all court style, but the court conditions precluded that

Kevin T
06-12-2006, 11:49 AM
I agree with Mojo that the final was a dud. I probably enjoy the FO least of all the slams because I really don't like watching the grinding baseline style of play. Different strokes, I guess. Mojo is definitely correct when mentioning the "one trick ponies". Roland Garros has produced a number of champions since the 70's, and especially in the 90's and 00's, that have never won another slam and often not even been competitive. Anyone remember Andres Gimeno? No? How about Panatta? Maybe? Those guys are household names. Real world beaters. Lendl, Wilander, Borg, Agassi, Courier won other slams but in the last 15 years you have winners like Gaudio, Kuerten, Moya, Bruguera, Gomez, Chang, Muster, Noah. No other slam wins except for the dirt. If you look at men's champs at Wimby since the late 60's, only Stich, Cash, Krajicek and Goran never won another slam. But every one of those guys was a major threat or made the finals at other slams. With the exception of Orantes in 1975 and Rafter's 2 wins, all the US Open champs have had success at the other slams. Same goes for the Aussie with the exception of Korda, Johansson and Kriek.

And if you want an insomnia cure better than Xanax laced with vodka, grab some French Open matches from the 70's and early 80's. Moon ball heaven.

Brad Smith
06-12-2006, 12:33 PM
The match yesterday was boring because Federer didn't play well. A well played clay court match can be just as exciting as one on other surfaces. There have been plenty of boring Wimbledon finals with too many aces and service winners. I like the contrast these two provide at the extremes of the sport as well as the variety of surfaces in between. Today's clay court game is more exciting than 20-30 years ago because players can hit with so much more power and spin even when standing 10 feet behind the baseline.

I also believe that the variety of surfaces makes it possible for a greater variety of players to make a living which makes the sport stronger overall. The clay court specialists in particular can play almost their entire schedule on clay if they want to. This wouldn't be possible if there wasn't interest in it. There used to be a lot more tournaments in the US, and these were mainly hard courts or indoors, but over time these have moved to Europe or South America where clay is the more popular surface.

As for my two cents on Federer, I think his backhand is great but it's not a clay court backhand and against a lefty Nadal it breaks down. A one handed backhand can be a great weapon on clay (Muster, Kuerten, Costa, Gaudio) but the true dirtballers wait more on the ball and hit it with a more Western grip than Federer. They can hit the shot with heavy spin over and over again. Federer uses a less extreme grip and uses his incredible timing to generate spin and to take the ball more on the rise, but on clay it's hard to do that since the bounces are not as consistent. It's also hard to hit that shot over and over again especially against Nadal's heavy spinning lefty forehand. The same is true to a lesser degree with Federer's forehand -- it's more semi-Western than the full Western preferred by true dirtballers and he uses his timing more than grip to generate spin. He is so good he can get away with it and beat most guys out there on clay, but against Nadal it's not enough.

shawn1122
06-12-2006, 12:59 PM
The skill in tennis comes from being able to hit winners, not returning winners because you are fast and play a "safe" brand of tennis.

However, it's true that Wimbledon also promotes a one-dimensional style of tennis.

So, why can't we all just love hard courts and denounce these stupid "traditional" grand slams?

JeffG
06-12-2006, 01:28 PM
I think the exact opposite should occur- make the grass at Wimbledon slicker than snot. Different surfaces should favor different styles of play. As long as everyone is playing on the same surface at a particular tournament, it's fair.

While I didn't think their complaints were made in total good faith, I do think the dirtballers had a point about seeding at Wimbledon. Afterall, highly ranked players are typically given corresponding seeds at Roland Garros, even if they have terrible records there.

Roddick is a perfect example as a five seed this year. If seeds are to be determined by past success, he should certainly be in the twenties, if seeded at all. He's 4 and 6 lifetime at Roland Garros with three first round exits. Can you imagine the outcry if he didn't get a seed though?

MaxT
06-12-2006, 01:55 PM
I totally agree with NoBad. FO surface is like mud!

There were clearly many points that should have been over, with such depth and angel, but because of the surface one can always flip a lob and start the point again. Eventually the one attacking and constructing points makes a mistake. It basically rewards the style of perpetual heavy topspin. For the players and fans, this style is as interesting as chewing wood.

That is why I say, if Fed, who plays attack tennis better than anyone in history, cannot eventually win over a spinner. The game is in trouble.

Equivalently, if a tennis player loses to a wrestler in mud, you don't ask the tennis player to become wrestler, you fix the mud!

DoubleHanded&LovinIt
06-12-2006, 02:07 PM
Federer has dominated TMS Hamburg which has the slowest clay in the world. Federer couldn't attack and play an all-court game because Nadal kept it deep and to his backhand, consistently.

I do agree with NoBadMojo, though, that it was strange that conditons during the final were so hot and yet, the court was so slow. That's an excellent point. I wonder why that was?

Moose Malloy
06-12-2006, 02:31 PM
I do agree with NoBadMojo, though, that it was strange that conditons during the final were so hot and yet, the court was so slow. That's an excellent point. I wonder why that was?


It wasn't slow, that was just Fed's excuse for being too nervous/tired(90 degrees) to come to net more.

Did you see the amount of mishits/balls flying 1st 2 sets? That is typical of fast conditions on hot days.

DoubleHanded&LovinIt
06-12-2006, 02:34 PM
Yup, you guys got me. I'm assuming that the court played slow because Federer said so. That is my fault. I shouldn't believe him, apparently.

Moose Malloy
06-12-2006, 02:40 PM
Nadal didn't say it was slow.
In the 20 years I've watched the French, virtually all the players say when its hot, conditions are fast. Yet Federer says otherwise(& he only said it when he was asked why he didn't come to net more)
Imagine if he said he was too nervous to come to net. That would be an admition no player would ever make & it would show that Nadal is really in his head.

If it was slow, there would have been a lot of long rallies, there weren't.

jackson vile
06-12-2006, 03:52 PM
I am not saying this because Fed lost, but the French Open has always been an anomoly with one trick ponies winning it, and many of the best of all time not able to win there. Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline. I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.

What the duece, are you really saying this?

The reason the courts are slower is that the basline bashers in many peoples opinion were ruining tennis. They want to see more serve and volley, think this over for a second, the new rackets and string have increased the ball speed to a much higher degree making it almost impossbile for the S&V and ect so that the BLB would win time and again.

That makes tennis one dimensional and boaring, so they are simply evening things back out.

Fed just simply got owned end of story, and the different surfaces and ect make it more challenging, tennis is interesting because not eveyone can do it.

That is what is so great about the FO, it is so hard for the hard courters to win there, but you saw them doing better than ever this year.

Life is about challenges only losers hate challenges

tlm
06-12-2006, 04:14 PM
Well stated,jackson vile.

Guga_x
06-12-2006, 05:17 PM
I just do not get why you say that RG is a freak's show, that should be faster bla bla bla, lose its traditional slow clay etc., and then you whine when on the other side of the spectrum they did what you are defending for the French. They slowed the courts to stop the freak show at W, where guys that can only serve win games (Karlovic anyone).

Now guys seriously, especially you NBJ, from whom I have a lot of consideration from your technical post on other parts of this forum, this is a stupid discussion. diversity is great. I am glad I get to see high level tennis on clay courts on Europe and South America, Fast Courts on Africa and North America, Indoor Carpet on Asia, and Grass on .... well in England ;) ; with different playing styles on each surface. That is what keeps tennis interesting. If all tennis matches would be played on one surface, with everyone playing the same style, than it would be boring.

Finally, if you get bored watching 20 ball backcourt rallies, like I do get bored watching (not playing) S&V for an entire match, than don't watch and use that time to play how you like to play instead.

NoBadMojo
06-12-2006, 06:04 PM
I just do not get why you say that RG is a freak's show, that should be faster bla bla bla, lose its traditional slow clay etc., and then you whine when on the other side of the spectrum they did what you are defending for the French. They slowed the courts to stop the freak show at W, where guys that can only serve win games (Karlovic anyone).

Now guys seriously, especially you NBJ, from whom I have a lot of consideration from your technical post on other parts of this forum, this is a stupid discussion. diversity is great. I am glad I get to see high level tennis on clay courts on Europe and South America, Fast Courts on Africa and North America, Indoor Carpet on Asia, and Grass on .... well in England ;) ; with different playing styles on each surface. That is what keeps tennis interesting. If all tennis matches would be played on one surface, with everyone playing the same style, than it would be boring.

Finally, if you get bored watching 20 ball backcourt rallies, like I do get bored watching (not playing) S&V for an entire match, than don't watch and use that time to play how you like to play instead.

oh you deem it a stupid discussion i see...i guess you are the person who determines such things and are smarter than everyone else...tennis IS boring now at the pro level other than a few players..thats my point....it's constant baseline grinding ..a fitness grind more than anything else and for the French to make their surface even more conducive to such play isnt so good i dont think..the history of this tourney speaks for itself...lots of one trick ponies and many of the best of all time who havent won the event. these days having a great fitness trainer and terrific medicine cabinet is more important than being able to play the entire court and hit all the shots

By the way you guys, this thread isnt about Fed..it isnt about Nadal..it's a general comment about how I feel they should make the surface there more conducive so more players have a chance to win like they've done at Wimbledon and to encourage more variety of play..maybe even have some matches with contrasting styles. anyone who can read can see this wasnt about federer. by the way dude..only a small handful of players even play constant serve and volley on the tour these days, and NONE of them are top players....so you dont even see this style much anymore...so i dont know what sport you are commenting about...all you see is the grind........yawn

conclusion: I think it is more enjoyable to watch players hit all of the shots than just some of the shots or basically a bazillion forehands

FiveO
06-12-2006, 07:18 PM
I am not saying this because Fed lost, but the French Open has always been an anomoly with one trick ponies winning it, and many of the best of all time not able to win there. Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline. I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.

NBM,

Good thread topic, once again. But I don't mind RG being RG. It is an extreme. I have no problem with that. However, I do mind the powers that be artificially manipulating conditions at Wimbledon though, for a couple of reasons. It had always been an extreme and many felt in the opposite direction. RG rewarding endurance of mind and body, willingness to engage in almost unending rallies, resolve etc., and allowing those with a skillset perhaps lacking in serve or stature or the ability to blast an opponent into submission to instead outlast their opponents with marathon-like aerobic endurance of mind and heart. Fine. While not aesthetically pleasing to me I fully acknowledge, appreciate and respect those skills in an athlete. Awesome.

Where I have a problem is with Wimbledon in that they are doing everything short of calling scores in French and using Weed-B-Gone on the turf to turn the Euro half of the Grand Slam into two dust bowls. Wimbledon used to reward huge servers, anaerobic fitness, blink of an eye lightning quick reflexes, micro-wave speed strategies, do or don't tennis. Some saw that as boring as some see the monotonous metronomic rallies the conditions at RG reward. I didn't. I saw the unique skills and gifts those conditions rewarded. Fast. Lightning fast tennis requiring equally awesome skills to successfully prosecute for seven rounds in order to hoist hardware.

To me they were both beautiful in their own diverse ways. The contrasts stark, the requisite skill-sets to excell on each markedly different. And once or perhaps twice in a lifetime we got to see that guy, who could do both and did both on surfaces diametrically opposed to each other. Laver, Borg and Agassi and their like. As great as JMc, Lendl, Edberg even Sampras were they just were not diversely skilled enough. Close, but just not there. Fed may never do it despite establishing himself as the Vilas to Nadal's Borg on clay.

But in prior eras, including Borg's, Wimbledon was greasy fast and RG was often mud-like slow. Now the grass at AELTCC is playing more similar to the terre batu than it is to the hardcourts of Flushing or Melbourne. Even the Aussie Open, while unique and absent the sliding of a granular surface, is closer to French-like speed than a traditional hardcourt. But it is at least unique.

Simply stated the surfaces are not as different as they once were. They seem be becoming homogenized more and more. If someone duplicates Borg's 3/3 back to backs at RG and Wimbledon with the conditions as they are now it will pale in comparison to Borg's achievement because the surface and balls used at Wimbledon have substantively changed the game-style there to such a great degree as morphing the only grass court championships into something more similar to RG than it ever was in the past.

Give me diverse. Give me the specialists who excell at either the grind of RG or the fighter pilot speeds of the old Wimbledon conditions. For the anticipated nay-sayers, you'll still have the "fair" tests of the Aussie and US Opens to give each a chance to ply their style on more level playing fields for majors. And to continue the age old arguments of who is better the irresistable force or the immovable object.

I would say leave RG as is but return Wimbledon to as it once was and then every once in a while, perhaps every third or fourth generation of players, there will be that guy, the one, who can do it on everything from one extreme to the other who will allow us to more ably debate the GOAT. JMHO.

tykrum
06-12-2006, 07:34 PM
Okay the original point was that the French Open has champions that are "flukes" or not considered amongst the greatest of all time. But let's think about it this way - in general, winning in tennis at the highest level favors a more attacking style of play. Most of the greatest players played a style where they relied on their attacking skills - skills that are nullified at the French. Players that rely more on their defense will lose for the most part on other surfaces against players with superior offense, but their defensive skills have the chance to shine on a clay surface.

NoBadMojo
06-12-2006, 07:58 PM
Thanks Fiver. I enjoyed your post. I think we're saying the same things here. I wasnt in favour of them making W play more like a slow hardcourt than grass either, I was just commenting that it does, and if they are further homogenizing our sport, it's ridiculous that the French would make the play even more one dimensional than it already is..at least they should make it play like the other surfaces like the others have done.

In any case, I dont think the surface speed and changing the balls is the problem any way. Now we have a entire new crop of players who learned to play with modern style (abrupt swing paths, western forehands, etc) and larger headed frames. Things are not going to change I dont think unless they change the equipment limits for the Tour only. If they limited the frames to any combo of length plus width = 36" or make the max size perhaps around 90, I think the syle of play would be far more diverse and you wouldnt see nearly as many baselining clones out there. nadal and others with that style need every bit of their 100 headsize..

FiveO
06-12-2006, 08:10 PM
Thanks Fiver. I enjoyed your post. I think we're saying the same things here. I wasnt in favour of them making W play more like a slow hardcourt than grass either, I was just commenting that it does, and if they are further homogenizing our sport, it's ridiculous that the French would make the play even more one dimensional than it already is..at least they should make it play like the other surfaces like the others have done.

In any case, I dont think the surface speed and changing the balls is the problem any way. Now we have a entire new crop of players who learned to play with modern style (abrupt swing paths, western forehands, etc) and larger headed frames. Things are not going to change I dont think unless they change the equipment limits for the Tour only. If they limited the frames to any combo of length plus width = 36" or make the max size perhaps around 90, I think the syle of play would be far more diverse and you wouldnt see nearly as many baselining clones out there. nadal and others with that style need every bit of their 100 headsize..

True that, NBM, true that!

5

Kaptain Karl
06-12-2006, 10:17 PM
I agree with (what I think) NoBadMojo is posting. I believe the French clay is TOO slow. (Leave it dirt, just make it a touch more realistic.)

This may not mean "slow it down," but ... make the outside areas less conducive to the ridiculous make-an-unbelivable- "get"-and-reset-the-25-ball-counter-for-this-point bunch.

BTW, the French clay is on of the fastest claycourts in the worlds....Yikes! Someone does not know much about clay courts around the world.

Ashe used to say running on those courts was like running in mashed potatoes.

I probably enjoy the FO least of all the slams because I really don't like watching the grinding baseline style of play. Agreed. I turn it on with the volume low ... and if the crowd goes nuts enough to get my attention, I watch the replay of the last five strokes of the previous point. The French is SO out of whack on the Endurance/Skill Scale ... at least it's a cure for insomnia.

The rest of Kevin's post was a clear delivery of the facts, too. Good job!

In the 20 years I've watched the French, virtually all the players say when its hot, conditions are fast.Huh???

A "fast" RG Centre Court is still very slow compared with other clay.

If it was slow, there would have been a lot of long rallies, there weren't.Hello??? How you gonna have long rallies when one player has gone on a walkabout? The short points were not solely a function of the court speed, but the absence of Roger Federer, IMO.

My dream for the Majors would be...
... Oz on hard
... French on normal clay
... Wimbledon on slick grass
... US Open on Har-Tru

- KK

DoubleHanded&LovinIt
06-12-2006, 10:32 PM
Kaptain Karl,

That's what dreams are for. The USTA, I don't think, will ever have the U.S. Open on any kind of clay (even the faster stuff like Har-Tru).

Offshore
06-13-2006, 05:36 AM
My dream for the Majors would be...
... Oz on hard
... French on normal clay
... Wimbledon on slick grass
... US Open on Har-Tru- KK

I completely agree with this (and NBM's points). I like the variety of surfaces and the challenges that they pose to the very best player's. It makes the Grand Slam what it is. That said, the French was waayyyyy to slow this year and not as interesting to watch. It seems that some of the tourneys now are trying to slow down the game with the surfaces which is creating a lack of well rounded players, interesting contrasting styles of play, and "in match" strategy changes. The same players with the same styles are playing the same game each week. You have to give credit to Federer for making the final and it is even more disappointing that he did not show up at this great opportunity.

textbook strokes
06-13-2006, 11:46 AM
Boy!. I expected a reaction after Fed's disaster on sunday, but this surpassed all I could have thougth !
Suggestions like changing the surface, putting limits for the pro's frames, or denying a player the ability to return winners.... . Fortunately The rest of the world thinks different, so... better start developing an eye for modern game or.. tune the retro-channel in your tv.
May I remind you guys, that Nadal was the only true "specialist" that made to the semis, 'cause David Nalbandian plays better on hard courts (Shangai), and even Mario Ancic had a great run. This should tell something about the speed of the courts, that, by the way, changed a lot since Ashe's days (Warriorroger is rigth. Do a little reseach) .
The big irony is that had Roger played two more sets the way he played the first, and we would be talking about how he "learned" the surface to achieve his historical task ;) .

NoBadMojo
06-13-2006, 12:13 PM
Boy!. I expected a reaction after Fed's disaster on sunday, but this surpassed all I could have thougth !
Suggestions like changing the surface, putting limits for the pro's frames, or denying a player the ability to return winners.... . Fortunately The rest of the world thinks different, so... better start developing an eye for modern game or.. tune the retro-channel in your tv.
May I remind you guys, that Nadal was the only true "specialist" that made to the semis, 'cause David Nalbandian plays better on hard courts (Shangai), and even Mario Ancic had a great run. This should tell something about the speed of the courts, that, by the way, changed a lot since Ashe's days (Warriorroger is rigth. Do a little reseach) .
The big irony is that had Roger played two more sets the way he played the first, and we would be talking about how he "learned" the surface to achieve his historical task ;) .

again..no reading comprehension skills by this person as this thread isnt about Fed or Fed losing to Nadal as cearly pointed out by the OP <me>.

textbook strokes
06-13-2006, 12:34 PM
again..no reading comprehension skills by this person as this thread isnt about Fed or Fed losing to Nadal as cearly pointed out by the OP <me>.

Well... you contradicted your preface in every intervention in this debate, complainig about the solw court in the final. That is way many posters are mentioning Federer.
Perhaps my reading comprehension skills inlclude reading between the lines :cool:

tomahawk
06-13-2006, 12:37 PM
Making the surface fair? If the surface was fair, all tournaments would be on one surface! Honestly, the ATP has done a lot to make each surface 'fair' for the other players to fare well. They made the tennis balls bigger and the grass slower for the clay courters, they made the hard courts and indoor carpet surfaces slower for the clay courters...hmmm, I see a trend here. Seems a lot of the changes they've made are mainly to help the clay court players do better.

NoBadMojo
06-13-2006, 12:37 PM
Well... you contradicted your preface in every intervention in this debate, complainig about the solw court in the final. That is way many posters are mentioning Federer.
Perhaps my reading comprehension skills inlclude reading between the lines :cool:

clearly not..it's just you twisting about what i posted and now are blaming me and other posters because you cant process words correctly..nice going chief

Offshore
06-13-2006, 12:48 PM
Well... you contradicted your preface in every intervention in this debate, complainig about the solw court in the final. That is way many posters are mentioning Federer.
Perhaps my reading comprehension skills inlclude reading between the lines :cool:

Textbook...I think that you are trying to create something that is not there. It was obvious to many, including the players, that the French surface has become extremely slow and that was my interpretation of the OP. It doesn't make for exciting tennis and the game has become very one dimensional because of many factors other than court surface. This isn't a big "go retro" rant or posts by apologists for Federer (I wish that he came with a better game for the final though)that you are seeing, just some logical input from players that would enjoy watching more entertaining and skillful play rather than this homogenized stuff.

Moose Malloy
06-13-2006, 01:11 PM
Huh???

A "fast" RG Centre Court is still very slow compared with other clay.


I'm just going by what the players say, they say the FO is one of the fastest clay courts on tour. They've been saying this for last 10-15 years(and you've said in the past you don't watch much claycourt tennis, so I'm not sure what your basis for your opinion is)

Hamburg is much slower than the French. All the players say this(& it isn't a coincidence that it is cold/rainy there) And Federer has won Hamburg 3 times.

If you are using Ashe, someone who played 30 years ago, with different equipment as the basis of considering FO slow, what can I say. Agassi, Becker, Sampras, Muster & many others over the years say that the French is among the faster claycourts on tour.

Hello??? How you gonna have long rallies when one player has gone on a walkabout? The short points were not solely a function of the court speed, but the absence of Roger Federer, IMO.


This entire tournament had much quicker points, much more attacking tennis than years past. I guess you weren't watching. Ancic made the QFs. Ljubicic made the semis. If the French was truly slow, they would have no chance to have those results.

unjugon
06-13-2006, 01:28 PM
No point discussing with him, Moose. He actually thinks RG is one of the slower clay courts. A zoom of the camera is enough to see how thin the layer of clay dust is. A little wind, and boom!!...a hard court all of a sudden.

Seriously, did ANYONE watch any of the damm matches at RG?? That´s the fastest clay of the year, and much, MUCH faster than the first time Kuerten won there, for instance. :(

Moose Malloy
06-13-2006, 01:33 PM
No point discussing with him, Moose. He actually thinks RG is one of the slower clay courts. A zoom of the camera is enough to see how thin the layer of clay dust is. A little wind, and boom!!...a hard court all of a sudden.


Yeah, and remember that Nadal complained about the court conditions after his first round match? He said that it was dangerous to slide on it because it played more like a hardcourt.

After watching the 1st week, I thought Fed would take the title since conditions seemed so fast.

Seriously, did ANYONE watch any of the damm matches at RG?? That´s the fastest clay of the year, and much, MUCH faster than the first time Kuerten won there, for instance.

Yeah I was just watching the Kuerten-Norman final from '00. If posters here really think the French was too slow this year, I wonder what they'd call the clay that year. Super slow?

FiveO
06-13-2006, 01:42 PM
Roland Garros Champions

1990 Andres Gomez ECU
1991 Jim Courier USA
1992 Jim Courier USA
1993 Sergi Bruguera ESP
1994 Sergi Bruguera ESP
1995 Thomas Muster AUT
1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov RUS
1997 Gustavo Kuerten BRA
1998 Carlos Moya ESP
1999 Andre Agassi USA
2000 Gustavo Kuerten BRA
2001 Gustavo Kuerten BRA
2002 Albert Costa ESP
2003 Juan Carlos Ferrero ESP
2004 Gaston Gaudio ARG
2005 Rafael Nadal ESP
2006 Rafael Nadal ESP

Wimbledon Champions

1990 S Edberg
1991 M Stich
1992 A Agassi
1993 P Sampras
1994 P Sampras
1995 P Sampras
1996 R Krajicek
1997 P Sampras
1998 P Sampras
1999 P Sampras
2000 P Sampras
2001 G Ivanisevic
2002 L Hewitt
2003 R Federer
2004 R Federer
2005 R Federer

It would probably be best if those espousing the RG as a fair and accurate representation of who the best modern era player is from year to year not to make this a debate about who comes out in the wash at the end of each event. One only has to look at the list of recent champions in each event and examine how they fair elsewhere.

Agassi is a push he won at the Slams before RG. The others show the following:

One slam wonders:
Wimbledon: 3 Stich, Krajicek and Ivanisevic

RG: 6 Gomez, Muster, Moya, Costa, Ferrero, Gaudio

That would be 18 3/4 percent of the Wimbledon champions from 1990 to 2005 vs. 37.5 percent of the RG champions being one time wonders, or anomolies, in the same time period. Double the anomolous winners on red clay than grass in the same time frame.

During that time period Wimbledon champions have won 16 majors on other surfaces divided between the AO and USO while the RG Champions have won 3 and only at the Aussie (Courier twice and Kafelnikov once).

Where's the modern game being played again? And at it's highest level?

I have no problem with RG being what it is, but don't hold it up as a fair test. It's its own unique and extreme test but fair it isn't. A fair representation of how the modern game is played? No. When conditions blunt all but one style of play it ain't fair. It's a much steeper hurdle for those who don't inately play that way. By definition they must play out of their comfort zones. In that sense it's almost analogous to playing in the wind, everyone gets mired in the same style and oft time produces less than spectacular tennis. It's a grind. Again I have no problem with one major being played that way. But it is not a true representation of the game as a whole.

The OP and others have stated it was even slower than it had been in recent years. I didn't see enough of the tourney to opine either way on that issue, but I respect the knowledge of NBM and KK very much and would suspect their observations are spot on.

5

unjugon
06-13-2006, 01:48 PM
The OP and others have stated it was even slower than it had been in recent years. I didn't see enough of the tourney to opine either way on that issue, but I respect the knowledge of NBM and KK very much and would suspect their observations are spot on.
I trust their knowledge a lot, too. But not their eyesight. :)

textbook strokes
06-13-2006, 02:20 PM
Well.. and old Ivanisevic winning in 2001, and then not being able to win a single macht the rest of the year tells me more about W than the list of winners.
Modern game is about players hitting with power and consistency, and not relying on serve only. That is the kind of tennis I saw in RG this year.
Would you call Nadal a pusher?. Nalby?. If you do there is no point in arguing.

NoBadMojo
06-13-2006, 02:20 PM
Thanks for taking the tIme to do that exercise Five0. Very revealing.
Perhaps when Nadal said the court played more like a hardcourt and was dangerous to slide on, he meant that he was sticking in the court rather than being able to slide which is what typically happens on a clay court when it is softer than it should be and has more moisture in it than there should be (SLOWER)..that's what the typical complaint is about clay for those of you who havent played on the stuff and dont know how to play on the stuff and dont know how to slide on the stuff. I've played on clay that was setup to play fast and it's conclusive to playing any style of tennis, and the HarTru clay can be set up to play faster than many hardcourts. so unless people have direct knowledge and experiences or can even remember how a player like Noah won the French Open way back when by playing serve/volley tennis you shouldnt say that the surface is faster now than back then ...sure back then you had some moonballers, but that was always counteracted with people who did nothing but come in, and then you had those who could mix it up..there was diversity back then..now you mostly have people just hitting forehands....HOW EXCITING !

Kaptain Karl
06-13-2006, 03:35 PM
I trust their knowledge a lot, too. But not their eyesight.That was pretty good.

Full Disclosure: The members pointing out I have a limited sample from which to draw my conclusion that the FO is super slow ... have a point. Surprise!

For years, the French has been more of a "ho-hum" event to me. Watching players mirror each other, match after match, in a war of attrition is a big time turn-off for me. (Where's the variety?) I usually only start paying attention to the French at the Quarters.

But even this year I had similar observations. Specifically ... Luby, Nalbandian, Ancic, Robredo, Davydenko, Djokovic AND Federer perplexed me with how flat they tended to hit (not just serves, but) even their ground strokes.

I grew up on (Har-Tru) clay and *I* know how exhausting it is to try to over-power your opponent on clay. Lots of times the Pros named above would be blasting the *snot* out of their strokes (flat) and the natural clay courters would hardly need to hurry to return them. I thought, "These guys are gonna kill themselves trying to hit *through* (Gaudio, Benneteau, Arguello, Hidalgo, Kiefer and Nadal) the natural clay courters. (As we all saw) they managed for a while ... but in the end, the patient grinders and topspinners -- in the form of Nadal -- prevailed. "Oh well...!"

On Har-Tru -- a very fast clay -- spins bite well and flat shots work too. All these years of (casually) observing the French have made it clear to me ... you gotta bore your opponent to death *each point.*

No fun, little skill, big blah....

- KK

FiveO
06-13-2006, 04:45 PM
Well.. and old Ivanisevic winning in 2001, and then not being able to win a single macht the rest of the year tells me more about W than the list of winners.. Really!?


Modern game is about players hitting with power and consistency and not relying on serve only. That is the kind of tennis I saw in RG this year.

Unfortunately (again omitting Agassi), a devout belief in this approach has resulted in over a 93 percent failure rate for RG champions at the other three major venues in the last 16 years and the one dimensional tennis we see from the bulk of the tour while Wimbledon champs have AVERAGED more than one other major a year in the same period. Champions need more than power and consistency off the ground. The greats have much, much more with which to win and continue to win with at the other three venues.

Would you call Nadal a pusher?. Nalby?.

Where in this thread were you lead down this path?

If you do there is no point in arguing. This I can agree with.

North
06-13-2006, 05:28 PM
Unfortunately (again omitting Agassi), a devout belief in this approach has resulted in over a 93 percent failure rate for RG champions at the other three major venues in the last 16 years and the one dimensional tennis we see from the bulk of the tour while Wimbledon champs have AVERAGED more than one other major a year in the same period. Champions need more than power and consistency off the ground. The greats have much, much more with which to win and continue to win with at the other three venues.

Intuitively, those kinds of results seemed obvious but I was wondering what the numbers were. Thanks for the info, which makes a good point.

textbook strokes
06-13-2006, 09:18 PM
Statistics sometimes dont tell the hole story Five, and i'm afraid this is the case. These numbers talk about the careers of Sampras, Federer and Hewit, all great players, but u can't reduce more than 10 years of tennis to those 3 names. To fully rate the merit of a GS you need more than the name of the winner.

FiveO
06-14-2006, 07:20 AM
Statistics sometimes dont tell the hole story Five, and i'm afraid this is the case. These numbers talk about the careers of Sampras, Federer and Hewit, all great players, but u can't reduce more than 10 years of tennis to those 3 names. To fully rate the merit of a GS you need more than the name of the winner.

My post was in direct response to the assertions you made here:

Suggestions like changing the surface, putting limits for the pro's frames, or denying a player the ability to return winners.... . Fortunately The rest of the world thinks different, so... better start developing an eye for modern game or.. tune the retro-channel in your tv.

Your attempt to twist this discussion, accusing those describing the French as too slow, shifting too much of the emphasis, and distilling tennis to ground strokes and endurance to the near exclusion of any other facet of the game, into a call for a return to tennis played in eras past, is disingenuous. The fact of the matter is that you seem to be claiming that how tennis is played at RG is THE MODERN GAME. This is a hollow claim when were examine how tennis is played elsewhere for much of the rest of the year and at the remaining 3/4's of the majors, now, and in the all the years commonly accepted as delineating the "modern game era" and the type player who rises to the top the vast, vast, vast majority of the time in all other venues. Clay court specialists laying claim to THE modern game, is self-delusional when examined statisically and historically with results. Counter claims seem myopic and rife with subjectivity lacking quantitative evidence to support them.

To put it very simply, when discussing the 4 major venues in the sport and which if any is a true reflection of how the game is played in this current era:
"One of these things is not like the others".

In fact the historical complainers about surface have been the very clay-courter specialists you seem to claim as the standard. They *****ed, moaned and lobbied enough to cause substantive changes at Wimbledon because they felt they had zero chance at that venue.

Another reality re: clay courters is that a parallel dirt ball universe has been created for them between the AO and TMS Indian Wells and then again between Wimbledon and the US Open. This is where the best clay courters in the world go to further refine an effective but one dimensional game while the rest of the world's best prepare for the next biggest hard court championship. Those smallish clay court tourneys do not lead to a big clay court championship. What the powers that be have allowed and/or been cajoled into, is permitting those larger tournaments to have their draws artificially impacted with the clay courters taking their points from their three clay court seasons and use them to gain direct entry and seedings in the larger draws of the majors and TMS tourneys. What this can cause is entire quarters of these hard, grass or carpet tourneys having clay courters playing clay courters. It also forces more competent players on those surfaces out of more appropriate seeds and to float, potentially into another better player's portion of the draw where they eliminate each other. But that is a debate for another thread.


May I remind you guys, that Nadal was the only true "specialist" that made to the semis, 'cause David Nalbandian plays better on hard courts (Shangai), and even Mario Ancic had a great run. This should tell something about the speed of the courts, that, by the way, changed a lot since Ashe's days (Warriorroger is rigth. Do a little reseach) .

I agree, with the suggestion of doing a little research. While Nalbandian has proven competency on many surfaces 3 of his 5 titles have, in fact, come on clay.

As to the RG being a true reflection of the modern game, I've seen the lies and damn lies, just not the statistics or evidence to support that assertion.

NoBadMojo
06-14-2006, 07:51 AM
Statistics sometimes dont tell the hole story Five, and i'm afraid this is the case. These numbers talk about the careers of Sampras, Federer and Hewit, all great players, but u can't reduce more than 10 years of tennis to those 3 names. To fully rate the merit of a GS you need more than the name of the winner.

lol....so now when you are presented with the cold hard facts, you chose to say that the cold hard facts lie...so to summarize..you enter this thread insisting that it was about something it isnt about, make broad stroke statements with no supporting evidence, make snide comments, and when presented with the facts, say the facts lie...not a very credible way to 'discuss'.

luishcorreia
06-14-2006, 09:12 AM
Well...Roland Garros, and clay court tennis, is where, in my opinion, you see the bets shot-making, touch shots, and real artistic players around.

Clay court is more about strategy, shot-making (you cant just overpower your adversary) and physical conditionning and resistance.

My favorite Grand Slam is the Australian and next is Roland Garros. Winbledon is my least favorite because you can see an whole match with points averaging 3 ball exchange, expecially with todays power and racquets.

I thing the thing is...american players can't play in clay. Too bad...a lot of other contries can. Just look and players like Gustavo Kuerten, Marcelo Rios, Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Nalbandian, Gaudio, Moya, these are the most entratainning players to see...the most artistic...

if anything, clay payers have the short end of the stick, because more than 50% of the seasson is on clay and last year Nadal won the same number of tournaments than Federer and came out in second place

luishcorreia
06-14-2006, 09:16 AM
In most of Europe and South America the kids learn to play in clay corts. Americans need to get over the idea that their country is the entire world.

Check out the top 100, you'll find more spanhish and argentinian players than americans.

FiveO
06-14-2006, 09:47 AM
...Check out the top 100, you'll find more spanhish and argentinian players than americans.

Hence my point about the Argentines and Spaniards going off to play in their year round clay court world while the remainder of the tour, Euro, Asian and yes American follow a schedule intended to prepare for the next Major or TMS event. Force EVERYONE to play TOGETHER on four different and diverse surfaces throughout the year and the rankings would have a markedly more diverse make up...IMO.

This argument by the clay courters, who they themselves have created an alternate reality of clay court events for 3/4's of the year which, intended or not, skews and alters the rankings never ceases to a amaze me. That combined with their proclivity to *****, moan and boycott events not to their liking until the powers that be bend to their will and drastically change conditions there to stop the clay courters from crying into their brick stained towels. Then the audacity to say Americans think the tennis world revolves around them.

On the contrary the opposition seems to be claiming the tennis world revolves around a clay court. It has, does and should continue to do so, for about three months of the year, leading up to RG. Prior to that the tour has a short preparation for the crushed tire courts of the AO ending with the hardcourt TMS events. Then its on to the clay courts of Europe. After the French cycle its grass ending with Wimbledon, then the summer series on hards followed by the carpets of the year ending indoor portion of the schedule. The bulk of the international tour follows the schedule but except for being forced to play the end of year carpet cycle because there's no dirt events, the clay courters go off by themselves to amass points on there altenate monochromatic red universe.

The BS argument of nationalism sounds like projecting to me.

Eviscerator
06-14-2006, 10:13 AM
Therefore, I had to ask, you must think Sampras, Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, etc, were also not great players either, right? Because all of them had at least 1 surface they couldn't win the Grand Slam on.



In case no one pointed this mistake out, Connors has won a slam on every surface.

Eviscerator
06-14-2006, 10:45 AM
Roland Garros Champions

1990 Andres Gomez ECU
1991 Jim Courier USA
1992 Jim Courier USA
1993 Sergi Bruguera ESP
1994 Sergi Bruguera ESP
1995 Thomas Muster AUT
1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov RUS
1997 Gustavo Kuerten BRA
1998 Carlos Moya ESP
1999 Andre Agassi USA
2000 Gustavo Kuerten BRA
2001 Gustavo Kuerten BRA
2002 Albert Costa ESP
2003 Juan Carlos Ferrero ESP
2004 Gaston Gaudio ARG
2005 Rafael Nadal ESP
2006 Rafael Nadal ESP

Wimbledon Champions

1990 S Edberg
1991 M Stich
1992 A Agassi
1993 P Sampras
1994 P Sampras
1995 P Sampras
1996 R Krajicek
1997 P Sampras
1998 P Sampras
1999 P Sampras
2000 P Sampras
2001 G Ivanisevic
2002 L Hewitt
2003 R Federer
2004 R Federer
2005 R Federer

It would probably be best if those espousing the RG as a fair and accurate representation of who the best modern era player is from year to year not to make this a debate about who comes out in the wash at the end of each event. One only has to look at the list of recent champions in each event and examine how they fair elsewhere.

Agassi is a push he won at the Slams before RG. The others show the following:

One slam wonders:
Wimbledon: 3 Stich, Krajicek and Ivanisevic

RG: 6 Gomez, Muster, Moya, Costa, Ferrero, Gaudio

That would be 18 3/4 percent of the Wimbledon champions from 1990 to 2005 vs. 37.5 percent of the RG champions being one time wonders, or anomolies, in the same time period. Double the anomolous winners on red clay than grass in the same time frame.

During that time period Wimbledon champions have won 16 majors on other surfaces divided between the AO and USO while the RG Champions have won 3 and only at the Aussie (Courier twice and Kafelnikov once).

Where's the modern game being played again? And at it's highest level?

I have no problem with RG being what it is, but don't hold it up as a fair test. It's its own unique and extreme test but fair it isn't. A fair representation of how the modern game is played? No. When conditions blunt all but one style of play it ain't fair. It's a much steeper hurdle for those who don't inately play that way. By definition they must play out of their comfort zones. In that sense it's almost analogous to playing in the wind, everyone gets mired in the same style and oft time produces less than spectacular tennis. It's a grind. Again I have no problem with one major being played that way. But it is not a true representation of the game as a whole.

The OP and others have stated it was even slower than it had been in recent years. I didn't see enough of the tourney to opine either way on that issue, but I respect the knowledge of NBM and KK very much and would suspect their observations are spot on.

5

Excellent post, and I heard several pros comment on how the FO was slower this year than Rome or the other one (MC maybe?)

Rabbit
06-14-2006, 10:57 AM
NBMJ - On the Nadal incident, I got an insight from a special on the RG groundskeeper. The groundskeeper said the most damaging thing to a red clay court is wind. Apparently during the Nadal match in question, there was a considerable amount of gusty wind that blew the top dressing off the court, or severly reduced it. Underneath that top dressing is compressed limestone. This, in effect, made the court very hard and slippery which is what Nadal was objecting to. It was deemed by him unsafe for play.

This is an interesting debate. A number of years ago, the ATP was dominated by clay court tournaments. I remember reading an article in Tennis Magazine, strangely enough, about the failure of American players on clay. The article pointed out that the USTA had committed to hard courts as the surface of choice and questioned (I think rightly) the wisdom of that choice in light of the rest of the tour.

Since then, it appears that hard courts have made much more headway into the tour and now may be the most prevalent on tour. I think this is why there are so many more injuries on both tours and why careers are shortened. I've said it many times before, the professional tour should be contested on natural surfaces whether they be clay or grass. That said, I understand that there is a period of time when that's not possible and that used to be the indoor season. But, the indoor season is very short and could be contested on hard or supreme (anybody remember those) courts.

With regard to the French Open, I think that the clay courters of the tour have been politically dominant of late. The ATP has feared the power game and tried to slow all courts down. Because of this, the clay courters seem to have gotten an upper hand. They pretty much told Wimbledon that they should change their seeding practices and slow their courts down and the AELTC complied. The French Open is very unique, probably the most unique of the four. I like it and every year when it rolls around, I'm about ready to watch a lot of tennis. What makes it even better is the contrast that used to be Wimbledon. I liked it as well.

Sadly the contrast between the French and Wimbledon is disappearing.

NoBadMojo
06-14-2006, 11:25 AM
Aye Rabbit. thanks for the correction..i was going by what the poster said who said the court was more dangerous because it played like a hardcourt..hardcourts have great traction as opposed to the dirt, so i assumed he was getting stuck in the court and was having trouble sliding thus making it dangerous..so he was complaining because he was sliding too much because it was windy? Nadal now wants them to fix the weather? lol.
I aree with all you said..i've been a long time proponent of replacing the American hardcourt season with Har-tru leading up to and culminating in the USOpen which would be played on hartru as it once was. You could also have a longer grass court season. The hard court season could be a hardcourt/indoor season and could be after the USOpen and culminate at the Oz. As you say, careers would be longer and injures would be less and you would have a much better chance at some multidimensional tennis as you could set up the HarTru FAIRLY to accomodate ALL playing styles.
Anyone who says the us hardcourt season played in the heat and humidty and the pounding you take on the hardcourts isnt demanding, or that serve and volley tennis isnt at least as demanding as grinding out from the back on dirt is totally off their nut. 5 sets at the French in usually mild weather on the dirt is a walk in the park compared to the beating you take with 90 degree heat and 90% humidity, with the sun baking down on a hardcourt.
As to the people who make the dirisive comments about Americans, that isnt even worth responding to

Rabbit
06-14-2006, 12:25 PM
Americans need to get over the idea that their country is the entire world.

You know, it may be that other countries need to lose that chip on their shoulder.

I don't know anyone here that thinks the US is the only country in the world.

textbook strokes
06-14-2006, 03:32 PM
Five, I admit you migth have a point about the claycourters gaining political weight in the ATP of ITF, but they earned that position after dominating the tour and competing and winning against fast court players Imho. Shure you had Sampras at Wimby all these years, but there were others excelling everywhere else at the time, like Guga, Rios, Moya, all #1s at one point of their careers.
I realize that is pointless to argue about what kind of tennis is more interesting to different people. It seems that everyone is prone to apreciatte more the surface that someone plays regularly, but that said, I should tell you that grass, and Wimbledon, is very boring for many of us, even with the slow seeds of today, and we see RG as a much more meaningful event.
That is wy many of us don't think that there is anything wrong with the FO, as the fact that the best 4 players reaching the semis shows, and no matter what the OP said ( And probably will conitnue to say), this thread is clearly a consequence of Roger failing to win on sunday.
By the way, Nalby learned to play in the only two hardcouts available in his little town of Unquillo, Córdoba, and despite his thropys in Atp events, he was clearly more succesful in AO. USO, and Wimby than in FO, untill last year.

Kaptain Karl
06-14-2006, 04:09 PM
It seems that everyone is prone to apreciatte more the surface that someone plays regularly ... "Not quite." My favorite surface will always be Har-Tru. But at 6,200 ft in semi-arid Colorado, it's too expensive to maintain. IOW, I've been playing Hard exclusively for 24 years ... but I still long for Har-Tru.

... I should tell you that grass, and Wimbledon, is very boring for many of us ...Intellectually, I can appreciate this. But personally, I really don't get it. Fans of Dirt play write about "artistry, beauty, variety and strategy." Frankly, I don't see any of this at the French. (When the US Open was on Har-Tru, I DID see all of these....)

... no matter what the OP said ( And probably will conitnue to say), this thread is clearly a consequence of Roger failing to win on sunday.If you're not going to give people the benefit of the doubt, that they mean what they post ... why not just make up any argument you want about (anything) and say "This is really what the issue is." C'mon! Don't insist on putting words in others' posts....

By the way, Nalby learned to play in the only two hardcouts available in his little town of Unquillo, Córdoba, and despite his thropys in ATP events, he was clearly more succesful in AO. USO, and Wimby than in FO, until last year.How does this jive with the fact that he has MORE Clay championships than Hard? Your argument flies in the face of the facts.

- KK

NoBadMojo
06-14-2006, 04:32 PM
Five, I admit you migth have a point about the claycourters gaining political weight in the ATP of ITF, but they earned that position after dominating the tour and competing and winning against fast court players Imho. Shure you had Sampras at Wimby all these years, but there were others excelling everywhere else at the time, like Guga, Rios, Moya, all #1s at one point of their careers.
I realize that is pointless to argue about what kind of tennis is more interesting to different people. It seems that everyone is prone to apreciatte more the surface that someone plays regularly, but that said, I should tell you that grass, and Wimbledon, is very boring for many of us, even with the slow seeds of today, and we see RG as a much more meaningful event.
That is way many of us don't think that there is anything wrong with the FO, as the fact that the best 4 players reaching the semis shows, and no matter what the OP said ( And probably will conitnue to say), this thread is clearly a consequence of Roger failing to win on sunday.
By the way, Nalby learned to play in the only two hardcouts available in his little town of Unquillo, Córdoba, and despite his thropys in Atp events, he was clearly more succesful in AO. USO, and Wimby than in FO, untill last year.

groan..in spite of me saying that this IS NOT about federer several times in this thread and also putting that disclaimer in with my original post, you continue to insult me by saying I dont really mean it..that's real nice.
Then you proceed to base your evidence of how diverse and fair the FO is by sayng that the top 4 seeds made it to the semis, which is one isolated case and Five0 took the time to go back at least a decade. Then you mention that Nalbandian learned to play on hardcourts...again, big deal...he comes to the net about once a quarter and is a grinder as well and his success on hard and at W is only because they slowed down the surfaces and homogenized and sanitized the play.
So i suggest you either make a meanigful significant accurate comment or just excuse yourself from this thread and take your snide remarks with you..thanks. you're just not looking good here on a number of levels..if you like that style..that's fine...many dont...most of us like dversity because diversity by its very definition is well....err diverse..and not boring by its very nature..adios chief...
as for me, if i was relegated to the baseline and forced to hit endless forehands, i would be bored to death and probably chose to play another more interesting sport...but thats just me...ralley on

JennyS
06-14-2006, 05:26 PM
Federer's had success against every player on clay not named Nadal. The way Nadal plays, he's not going to be able to keep it up for 10 years. I say Fed will win the FO once in the next three years.

quest01
06-14-2006, 05:53 PM
Federer will eventually win the French Open. One of these years Nadal will be injured and miss the French. It could be next year or five years from now.

textbook strokes
06-14-2006, 06:01 PM
Federer's had success against every player on clay not named Nadal. The way Nadal plays, he's not going to be able to keep it up for 10 years. I say Fed will win the FO once in the next three years.

Sorry Jenny, but the op doesnt want me to talk about Fed. He also wants that Nalby plays more net game, and to put limits for the size of the raquets in pro tour :mrgreen: .

I´m sorry nobad..., just add my name to Breakpoint in that list of yours!!

David L
06-14-2006, 06:21 PM
I am not saying this because Fed lost, but the French Open has always been an anomoly with one trick ponies winning it, and many of the best of all time not able to win there. Now the clay there plays even more slowly than the clay at places like Rome and they are using heavier balls. I think that is ridiculous. It doesnt even make for good tennis. Even W has changed the courts to give the dirtballers a chance to win. What tennis doesnt need is to find more ways for people to play strictly from the baseline. I really dont even consider it a Grand Slam anymore other than in name only. Today's match was a classic example...it wasnt even enjoyable tennis no matter who won..there was only one really terrific point in the entire bunch of boring tennis..the defensive point Fed played while down 4-5 in the 4th. IMO.

I love clay court tennis. I love hard court tennis. I enjoy grass court tennis, in moderation(glad the season is short). I recognise Wimbledon as the most prestigious Grand Slam, but this is only because of its history. I don't think it always brings out the better player, because some people can get away with largely just having a big serve. Rusedski/Wayne Arthurs types, can beat people that they really have no business beating. Fortunately, there are players who are good enough to prevent such types winning the title.

Slower surfaces, I would say, generally bring out the better player. I don't, however, think this is necessarily the case with clay. A special technique(sliding), is the obstacle for a lot of people, who have not grown up on it, so naturally they are at a disadvantage. Clay, however, also tests consistency and endurance, as someone stated earlier. Consistency is a legitimate tennis skill, and as professional athletes, pros ought to be fit. Ultimately, I enjoy clay court tennis. I see no problem with it.

I think slow hardcourt is the fairest surface. Tests everything. No one can get away with just a big serve, but you can still hit winners or set up easy put aways. There is no loose ground, to disturb your footwork, and no style of play is neutralized too much. You can play the way you want to play and still win, you just have to be better at your style, than your opponent is at theirs.

I think it's good to have different surfaces at the Grand Slams. It is not a must to win them all, but if you can, it is the ultimate compliment of your abilities as a tennis player. You have the two extremes(Wimbledon and Roland Garros) and the more moderate(Australian Open and US open). It is perfectly balanced as it is. I happen to like 20+ stroke rallies, I can also enjoy the serve and volley game. The hardcourt seasons are a nice, extended respite, that afford players the opportunity to compete equally with their style of preference.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

NoBadMojo
06-14-2006, 06:23 PM
Sorry Jenny, but the op doesnt want me to talk about Fed. He also wants that Nalby plays more net game, and to put limits for the size of the raquets in pro tour :mrgreen: .

I´m sorry nobad..., just add my name to Breakpoint in that list of yours :(

what an ignorant person you are..i am afraid your behavour isnt going to get you very far in life

it's a shame this forum has slipped so far that in so many of the threads there has to be a person or more, who ruins it for others..people who cant come up with anything reasonable so they resort to insulting someone. what a creepy place this has become with creepy people....i wont be back in this thread or this part of the forum because it is imposssble to have fair discourse around here...so attack away..doesnt matter to me

FiveO
06-14-2006, 06:42 PM
You know, it may be that other countries need to lose that chip on their shoulder.

I don't know anyone here that thinks the US is the only country in the world.


Well said Rabbit.

Bolt
06-14-2006, 07:06 PM
what an ignorant person you are..i am afraid your behavour isnt going to get you very far in life

it's a shame this forum has slipped so far that in so many of the threads there has to be a person or more, who ruins it for others..people who cant come up with anything reasonable so they resort to insulting someone. what a creepy place this has become with creepy people....i wont be back in this thread or this part of the forum because it is imposssble to have fair discourse around here...so attack away..doesnt matter to me

ok thanks...bye now.

Right back at you, chief.

Rabbit
06-14-2006, 08:53 PM
Well said Rabbit.

Thanks, bud. The bashing gets old. I heard a pundit the other night say that the biggest decision the US has to make is whether it wants to afford to be a super power. As far as I'm concerned, we have enough poor in our borders we should look after them first. But that's another thread.

I love grass court tennis. To me, it's a breath of fresh air. Hard court tennis gets boring to me. Clay court tennis can get monotonous(sp?). Grass court tennis is a challenge to the players. It is the only surface of a Grand Slam which changes during the tournament. It starts off lightening fast and can slow down by the end of the two weeks. I think there should be a longer grass court season and at least one other Grand Slam played on grass. It would make more sense for the Aussie to play grass, French clay, Wimbledon grass and US clay (hartru or rubico). Then you'd have the best of all worlds. In between the US and Aussie, there would be the indoor season which could be hardcourt.

FiveO
06-14-2006, 10:07 PM
Rabbit,

I like your idea. I'd be reluctant to change our open to har-tru though. Even grass would be better for the US championships to me. I know that's probably rooted in my first views of open tennis at Forest Hills and a pipe-dream to boot. But failing that I would prefer N. American section of the calendar to remain on hard courts. I think most Americans relate to hard courts because that's what most of us have the easiest access to just like the Euros and S. Americans have easier access to red clay.

I'm not a golfer but I saw how the golf US Open at Bethpage State Park in New York, appealed to the masses first hand. The public response was enormous at least in part because ANYONE had access to play that course at very reasonable cost.

My preference would be:

The AO on har-tru and off the rubber in that cauldron
RG on red clay
Wimbledon on real grass (the way it was)
and the US Open on hard courts

Any events run in parallel to the TMS and other top tier events in the weeks leading up to the majors must be played on the identical surface everywhere. No options to go to TimBukTu (sp?) to play your best surface while the top competition beat each other's brains in on the surface of the season.

After the US Open condense the Davis and Whitman Cups to 4 weeks and get it done on one of the standardized Major surfaces, rotating those surfaces each year. Then have the end of year individual singles and doubles titles on that same surface. Done by November. Play your indoor exhibitions, fund raisers and pro-celebs if you choose but affording players the option to rest up, recycle, train and improve their games. Then see you in January on the har tru warm ups for Oz.

aj_m2009
06-15-2006, 03:20 AM
...Intellectually, I can appreciate this. But personally, I really don't get it. Fans of Dirt play write about "artistry, beauty, variety and strategy." Frankly, I don't see any of this at the French. (When the US Open was on Har-Tru, I DID see all of these....)...

I myself see it. I mean at the FO (and other clay tourneys) you see soo many shots you normally wouldn't see on hard or grass courts. I mean you get drop shots, angles, lobs and lots of stuff like that, stuff that's not often needed on the faster courts because you can blow your opponent off the court with tons of power (and nothing but power).

what an ignorant person you are..i am afraid your behavour isnt going to get you very far in life

it's a shame this forum has slipped so far that in so many of the threads there has to be a person or more, who ruins it for others..people who cant come up with anything reasonable so they resort to insulting someone. what a creepy place this has become with creepy people....i wont be back in this thread or this part of the forum because it is imposssble to have fair discourse around here...so attack away..doesnt matter to me

Sorry, NBM, but I really don't see how calling him ignorant makes anything better here since you're just doing what he's been doing (insults). People like this are just better off being ignored, IMO.


Now as for the topic, I don't see anything wrong with the FO being as slow as it is, or Wimbledon being as fast as it used to be. I just think if you want to succeed at both, you need to have a very well rounded game, which a lot of the players now lack. I mean at the French, you need to be very fit and have a lot of consitency, and good accuracy for the shots on the run (well I guess I should say slide when refering to clay), and for Wimbledon, you need to be able to hit with more power and also have good timing and a few weapons, and the accuracy needed on clay for the same reason. There are only a handful of players I can think of anymore that have all of these qualities, one of them being Federer, which is why he's been so dominant these past couple of years. So really, I don't think it's a problem with the surfaces, just with the players and their lack of some of the mentioned things. And the fact that not every player gets to play on each surface equally when their younger (well at least a hard and clay court). So I think if more hard courts were brought to South America and Europe, and more clay courts to North America, you'd see a lot less players who only have 1 slam to their name because they'd know a bit better how to play on each surface. (Now I'm sure that'll never happen, but I do think it's something that could be done that would help the problem being talked about)

Kaptain Karl
06-15-2006, 08:23 AM
I myself see it. I mean at the FO (and other clay tourneys) you see soo many shots you normally wouldn't see on hard or grass courts. I mean you get drop shots, angles, lobs and lots of stuff like that, stuff that's not often needed on the faster courts because you can blow your opponent off the court with tons of power (and nothing but power).Huh? You haven't named a single shot we don't "normally" see on Hard or Grass.

(I often think Clay-lovers denigrate Grass and Hard as surfaces which cater exclusively to big servers and power games because:
... their drop shots are effective *only* on Clay.
... their volleys are so undeveloped, they don't even recognize the finesse invlolved in angled volleys, firm volleys, drop volleys and stop volleys.
... they think of Sliced strokes as solely a defensive shot or a way to catch an extra breath on the Dirt. The concept -- and the technique -- of an offensive Slice is foreign to them.
... their own Return of Serve is one-dimensional; they don't know how to block or punch a Return. They know only to take a full swing.
But that *could be* just me....)

I don't see anything wrong with the FO being as slow as it is, or Wimbledon being as fast as it used to be. I just think if you want to succeed at both, you need to have a very well rounded game, which a lot of the players now lack.We agree here ... but somehow I bet you and I have very differing views of which players games are one-dimensional.

I mean at the French, you need to be very fit and have a lot of consitency, and good accuracy for the shots on the run (well I guess I should say slide when refering to clay) ... Okay. No argument, so far.

... and for Wimbledon, you need to be able to hit with more power and also have good timing and a few weapons, and the accuracy needed on clay for the same reason.I'm not sure what *you* mean be "a few weapons." Very often Clay-lovers seem to ignore the fact that the best Grass players have excellent touch. (Contrary to the popular knock, the points on fast Grass are not only three shots long.) Slice groundstrokes are an offensive tool on Grass. Grass *does* take spins ... just differently than on Clay. Especially with regard to volleys -- (Oh those!) -- the variety of shot is broad. (Which is why *I* believe Nadal will do better and better during the Grass seasons to come. He knows how to volley.)

There are only a handful of players I can think of anymore that have all of these qualities, one of them being Federer, which is why he's been so dominant these past couple of years.Nadal is "gaining" -- kinda like Borg did. Luby, Blake, Haas, Berdych, Bagy.... And then there's Nalby's success on Grass. (Where did JCF and Lopez "go"? Robredo's got the skills....)

I don't think it's a problem with the surfaces, just with the players and their lack of some of the mentioned things. And the fact that not every player gets to play on each surface equally when their younger (well at least a hard and clay court).Okay.

So I think if more hard courts were brought to South America and Europe, and more clay courts to North America, you'd see a lot less players who only have 1 slam to their name because they'd know a bit better how to play on each surface. (Now I'm sure that'll never happen ....)Yeah, but we can dream, right?

- KK

Rabbit
06-15-2006, 09:12 AM
You know, for as much as the artistry of clay court tennis is lauded, I think there is the same admiration for the precision of a great grass court player. When I think in terms of precision, there is no player greater on grass than Richard Krajicek. When RK was on his game, there was none better. His serve and the volley that followed it were the best in the game. IMO, he was the ultimate serve and volley player. He didn't use great amounts of touch or make unbelievable angles. What he did do was open the court up and stick his volley in the open court with a precision that hasn't been seen before or since. His game, IMO was a thing of beauty in that he had no real transition off the ground. Rather, he served, moved effortlessy to the net, and stuck a volley. All that said, it's a crying shame that RK was injured for most of his career. Had he been healthy, he might well have provided us with a great rivalry on the greens with Sampras that would have surpassed that between Edberg/Becker.

Anyway, for as much as clay court tennis is all about feeling warm & fuzzy and drawing hearts in the clay after a 5 hour match, grass court tennis is about the total and complete destruction of your opponent by using a scalpel. I recently purchased the 1984 final between John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors and enjoyed every minute of it albeit brief in contrast to his '84 RG finals against Lendl.

Where claycourters such as Nadal bludgeon their opponents to death in a game of attrition, grass court players slice their opponents repeatedly and let them bleed to death on their own.


And quite honestly, if there were more hard courts in South American and more clay courts in the United States, do you know what we'd really see? We'd see more players playing the same game and a whole lot less variety than we have now. I'd rather see more variety and that means we need fewer hardcourts and more grass and clay courts.

aj_m2009
06-15-2006, 11:05 AM
Huh? You haven't named a single shot we don't "normally" see on Hard or Grass.

(I often think Clay-lovers denigrate Grass and Hard as surfaces which cater exclusively to big servers and power games because:
... their drop shots are effective *only* on Clay.
... their volleys are so undeveloped, they don't even recognize the finesse invlolved in angled volleys, firm volleys, drop volleys and stop volleys.
... they think of Sliced strokes as solely a defensive shot or a way to catch an extra breath on the Dirt. The concept -- and the technique -- of an offensive Slice is foreign to them.
... their own Return of Serve is one-dimensional; they don't know how to block or punch a Return. They know only to take a full swing.
But that *could be* just me....)


I'm not sure about you, but I don't see those shots too terribly much on grass, a bit more on hard, yes, but still not as much as you do on clay. I mean there are obviously a few that use those shots on grass, Fed being one of them, of course, but I just don't see it much anywhere else (though that's probably because I live in America so I get to see mostly American players who lack those shots).

And obviously power games aren't the only type of game that wins on grass and hard. I mean if that were true Hewitt for one sure as heck wouldn't have won either the USO or Wimbledon.

We agree here ... but somehow I bet you and I have very differing views of which players games are one-dimensional.

You're probably right....

Okay. No argument, so far.

:)

I'm not sure what *you* mean be "a few weapons." Very often Clay-lovers seem to ignore the fact that the best Grass players have excellent touch. (Contrary to the popular knock, the points on fast Grass are not only three shots long.) Slice groundstrokes are an offensive tool on Grass. Grass *does* take spins ... just differently than on Clay. Especially with regard to volleys -- (Oh those!) -- the variety of shot is broad. (Which is why *I* believe Nadal will do better and better during the Grass seasons to come. He knows how to volley.)

Just what I said, a few weapons.:P Big forehand, good volleys, etc... just a couple of shots that stand out. I mean look at Roddick, he's got his big serve and forehand, Sampras, big serve and great volleys (plus more, obviously), Fed, every shot in the book. You starting to get what I mean?

And I really think that's a bit where clay courters lack. A lot of them don't really have much that stands out. Plus the fact that they really don't get much time to play on grass hurts them a bit, too.

And what you say about the grass courters and touch is definitely true, they do have great touch. And yeah, slices can be used offensively on grass (and on any surface, imo), which I definitely think is part of the reason you (used to) see a lot of players like Henman for example do good there, because they knew how to use the slice and use it effectively and it helped them win a lot of points.

And I agree with what you say about spin as well.

Nadal is "gaining" -- kinda like Borg did. Luby, Blake, Haas, Berdych, Bagy.... And then there's Nalby's success on Grass. (Where did JCF and Lopez "go"? Robredo's got the skills....)

I agree yeah, Nadal obviously has great fitness, and he has a lot of different shots as well (definitely not as much as Fed, but he knows how to use what knows how to do very effectively).

And yeah, you could say a lot of them have the skills needed to do well on both.

Okay.

:-)

Yeah, but we can dream, right?

- KK

Yep, but too bad that'll pretty much be nothing but a dream.:(

aj_m2009
06-15-2006, 11:09 AM
And quite honestly, if there were more hard courts in South American and more clay courts in the United States, do you know what we'd really see? We'd see more players playing the same game and a whole lot less variety than we have now. I'd rather see more variety and that means we need fewer hardcourts and more grass and clay courts.

Ohh good point! Maybe my idea wasn't a good one now that I think of it. Though the "more clay courts in North America" would still be nice.:)

Rabbit
06-15-2006, 12:03 PM
Ohh good point! Maybe my idea wasn't a good one now that I think of it. Though the "more clay courts in North America" would still be nice.:)

I agree completely with more clay courts in North America. The technology exists now with hydracourts, water isn't wasted through evaporation. It does cost more to build clay doesn't it? I'm not sure now. The USTA shouldn't worry about saving money when building courts for professional play. They should be concerned about growing the game.

FiveO - I will disagree with you only in that I think all Grand Slams should be played on natural surfaces. If the USTA wants to go back to grass, that's fine. I personally think the HarTru suits the country better. There may be more hard courts in this country, but if the Open were on clay, the inclination would be to build more clay courts. The swing through the US, Indian Wells and the Nasdaq could still be hard courts, kind of a way to finish off the indoor season. However, the Aussie should retro itself back to grass like at Kooyoung.

In order to grow the game and produce professionals, this country is going to have to get away from the "instant gratification" approach of academy tennis and go back to growing professionals slowly, nuturing their games and allowing them to develop at a reasonable pace. Once they've done that, ala John McEnroe on clay, they can begin to branch out and find their games. Remember the guy many on these boards and on TV are purporting to be the most complete player ever, Roger Federer, grew up on red clay, not hard or grass.

Kaptain Karl
06-15-2006, 12:40 PM
In order to grow the game and produce professionals, this country is going to have to get away from the "instant gratification" approach of academy tennis and go back to growing professionals slowly, nuturing their games and allowing them to develop at a reasonable pace.Bravo!!!

- KK

BiGGieStuFF
06-15-2006, 12:44 PM
Man I just want to see S&V tennis again *sniff* I don't know if speeding up the grass courts will help but anything to see S&V again in singles play

FiveO
06-15-2006, 12:59 PM
Sorry! Operator error.

FiveO
06-15-2006, 12:59 PM
...FiveO - I will disagree with you only in that I think all Grand Slams should be played on natural surfaces. If the USTA wants to go back to grass, that's fine. I personally think the HarTru suits the country better. There may be more hard courts in this country, but if the Open were on clay, the inclination would be to build more clay courts. The swing through the US, Indian Wells and the Nasdaq could still be hard courts, kind of a way to finish off the indoor season. However, the Aussie should retro itself back to grass like at Kooyoung.

That's cool. Yours would be a palatable second choice for me. Unfortunately I don't see any substantive change that would yield more diverse styles or done in the interest of reducing injury/extending playing careers, coming down the pike in the foreseeable future. I could just imagine what the response would be in Western Europe, Central and South America to a proposal to change another Major to grass even if that was off-set by a change to har-tru in another.

In order to grow the game and produce professionals, this country is going to have to get away from the "instant gratification" approach of academy tennis and go back to growing professionals slowly, nuturing their games and allowing them to develop at a reasonable pace. Once they've done that, ala John McEnroe on clay, they can begin to branch out and find their games. Remember the guy many on these boards and on TV are purporting to be the most complete player ever, Roger Federer, grew up on red clay, not hard or grass.

Well said but equally unlikely with the pressure being applied to American production lines as the Spanish and S. American factories continue to spit out a very similar product.

textbook strokes
06-15-2006, 09:44 PM
I didn't insult him AJ, I just didn't take him seriously beyond certain point.