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HotCarl
07-03-2006, 11:38 AM
"Well, it's hard to play serve and volley these days obviously because it's a lot slower and the ball's a lot bigger." - from his post match interview (def. Mirnyi)

More proof I guess. Why would they do this at wimbledon? Why not leave it the one Grand Slam you have to come to the net to win (for the most part)?

croatian sensation
07-03-2006, 11:50 AM
I'm gonna repeat here what I said off-topic in some other thread..but I see you're reading my thoughts.
I was thinking about it today watching the Murray-Baghdatis match.

3 Spaniards in the 1/8 finals. I'm not saying they can't play good on surfaces other than clay...but this is ridiculous.
Wimbledon is destroyed. 20 shots ralleys? Players who have seen volleys only on TV (like our buddy Baghdatis today) in QF? They've turned Wimby into green clay. Why do they even bother to put grass when they've made it so shamefully slow. My suggestion is that they just turn it into hard next year and paint it green. It will be cheaper, and there will be no difference.

Looking at remaining list of players in the tourney... I can only say S&V R.I.P!

ED_4.6HSE
07-03-2006, 11:53 AM
The groundsman said the courts bouce a fair bit higher than they did a few years back in an interview this morning as well.

I guess they did it to appease clay courters/baseliners and maybe less experienced tennis viewers who dont appreciate shorter points.

It seems accepted that they changed to courts in '02 and look at the differences in final from '01!

Way i see it its a big shame, you can see constant baselining all year round anyway

Ash Doyle
07-03-2006, 12:06 PM
on Peter Bodo's blog, he tells how the Slazenger ball used at Wimbledon is very obviously larger than the standard ball used on the ATP tour. They've made a conscious effort to slow play at Wimbledon to favor longer rallys, but in my opinion, the main thing they have done is hurt the unique character of Wimbledon.

Serve & Volley is hampered by the changes at Wimbledon but I don't think it's the main reason you see less S&V players around now, and I don't think it's the racquet technology either. I think the main reason is it just isn't taught any longer to the up and coming juniors who go with the easier and quicker developed baseline game with western forehands and two-handed backhands.

peter
07-03-2006, 12:19 PM
on Peter Bodo's blog, he tells how the Slazenger ball used at Wimbledon is very obviously larger than the standard ball used on the ATP tour.


That's rubbish. I play with many different kinds of balls, and have actually started playing a lot with the Slazenger Wimbledon balls the last months and it's definitely not "obviously" larger than any other ball.

What I do find is that it's a bit inbetween the very light (and thus very wind sensitive) Pro Penn/Wilson US Open balls and the more heavy (and thus hard to generate spin with) Wilson Double Core/Tretorn Z-Tour balls. It lasts a long time (both indoors on felt carpet and outdoors on clay courts).

It's a really nice ball in my view.

dh003i
07-03-2006, 12:34 PM
I agree. This is ********, done to help out clay-court players. WTF. They have an entire freaking season with clay. Wimbledon should be unique.

Nothing is more boring than constant baseline rallies.

MR. 81
07-03-2006, 12:41 PM
I agree. This is ********, done to help out clay-court players. WTF. They have an entire freaking season with clay. Wimbledon should be unique.

Nothing is more boring than constant baseline rallies.

well...it's your opinion, I don't think the majority of the fans agree

anyway you're right Wimbledon should be unique

armand
07-03-2006, 01:09 PM
Last year, it was said on more than one occasion that they open the can of balls 3 weeks beforehand. I remember it was told to Tim henman in a press conference.

Anyone know anything about this?

P.S. Well said, Croatian Sensation!! You're the lady!

couch
07-03-2006, 01:19 PM
At least lets see some contrast in styles at Wimbledon. There's no contrast anywhere now.

Baghdamania
07-03-2006, 02:02 PM
**** s&v. We want rallies

th41291
07-03-2006, 02:17 PM
**** s&v. We want rallies

shut up

9000tennis
07-03-2006, 02:57 PM
When I started playing tennis, I told all my friends that one day I was going to win Wimbledon. Then I found out that it was played on gras, and everybody was playing S&V, and the best of them wins. I knew I could never play that kind of game, so I decided to win the Fench Open instead, but now I might just have a chance of winning Wimbledon :cool:

I really miss the old Wimbledon and S&V. Grass tounaments were so cool, because there were only like 4 of them during the whole season, and the tennis was so different on grass. A serve and the just charge. Today it's just like watching a hardcourt game, and I'm sad that they've changed the balls and the surface and made the whole game slower. I think it was more fascinating back then.

arosen
07-03-2006, 03:03 PM
OK guys, how about some perspective here. Ancic, Bjorkman, and Stepanek are all in the quarters. These are S&V players. Ancic and Stepanek go in on second serves for goddsakes. It's not all doom and gloom for good ole SV. Ancic played a beautiful couple of S&V sets today (set 4&5) against a typical baseliner Djokovic. C'mon.

unjugon
07-03-2006, 03:04 PM
I'm gonna repeat here what I said off-topic in some other thread..but I see you're reading my thoughts.
I was thinking about it today watching the Murray-Baghdatis match.

3 Spaniards in the 1/8 finals. I'm not saying they can't play good on surfaces other than clay...but this is ridiculous.
Wimbledon is destroyed. 20 shots ralleys? Players who have seen volleys only on TV (like our buddy Baghdatis today) in QF? They've turned Wimby into green clay. Why do they even bother to put grass when they've made it so shamefully slow. My suggestion is that they just turn it into hard next year and paint it green. It will be cheaper, and there will be no difference.

Looking at remaining list of players in the tourney... I can only say S&V R.I.P!
The problem is, if this were true, Bjorkman wouldnīt be in the QF in the first place. Bjorkman wouldnīt even reach 3rd round on "green" clay. Have you seen his forehand? Itīs not pretty, and unreliable, a shot from out of the top 200.

Sorry. :(

HotCarl
07-03-2006, 03:52 PM
What is true, apparently, is that Wimbledon has slowed down the conditions considerably, which makes it much HARDER to play S&V and much EASIER to return and play from the baseline. Jonas' opinion should carry a lot of weight, as well as Bodo's. I think it sucks that they changed it, because it was a unique tounament that required unique play. Federer said that even the indoor season is remarkably slower than when he first came on tour. I don't understand the need for uniformity. Why don't we just have surf contests in wave pools, and racing on identical tracks? In the words of Homer Simpson,"BORING!"

tonysk83
07-03-2006, 04:05 PM
Its funny when you see old wimbly vids the center of the courts are torn up and down to mud, while now in the second week the center of the courts are still very nice grass, just shows how much more people aren't moving to the net.

FiveO
07-03-2006, 04:07 PM
I'd be inclined to take Bjorkman's word for it and it is another contributing factor perpetuating, with rare exception, the "sameness" on both the men's and women's tour we see today.

For those who want rallies and welcome the slowing down of conditions, get a copy of a Borg v. McEnroe, Sampras v. Courier or Agassi v. Rafter match on grass, when grass was grass, and conditions, including the ball were much faster. Try to appreciate the contrasts of style and realize that neither player was disadvantaged by truly fast and slick conditions.

Marat Safinator
07-03-2006, 04:10 PM
your right, nadal is quarters, its a shambles.

Feņa14
07-03-2006, 04:31 PM
In regards to the balls being bigger, well I also believe that to be nonesense.

Aparrently Todd Woodbridge has kept 9 balls from the 9 years that he won the doubles and they are all the same size.

Zverev
07-03-2006, 04:44 PM
before whining, look at the draw again... Bjorkman in QF?
Pure S&V suck much more than pure baseline game.
1-2 shots rally? thanks God, it's not there

AAAA
07-03-2006, 05:12 PM
Bjorkman can always boycott the event if he doesn't like the surface.

FiveO
07-03-2006, 05:28 PM
I like seeing both, and all-court and everything in between. Artificially altering playing conditions is resulting in high velocity junior tennis on the tour and now on what were the second fastest conditions on tour. You may want to see clay court tennis on every surface. Give me variety and contrast of style. There are more than three strokes (serve, fh and bh) in the game. The wear spots on the grass betray how the sport has degenerated into a one dimensional contest. In that context it is a travesty.

How do you determine who is the better returner? The better passer? Who has the ability to transition, volley and continue to hit overheads for five sets? The better tactician?

Even in fast conditions baseliners, the best baseliners could compete. Borg, Connors, Lendl, Courier, Agassi, etc. There abilities from the ground were affirmed by being able to counter the best s&v and all-court practioners and didn't ***** about how disadvantaged they were. They were forced to answer the challenges presented by a variety of styles and find different ways to skin several different kinds of cat.

Forget that clay courters dominate the rankings and draws of the majors, sometimes comprising entire quarters because most go off to amass ranking points in a nearly year round clay court schedule and then get "results" because their sheer number in a given quarter simply means that a clay courter has to come out of that section of the draw. Compound that by further thwarting anyone with the ability to play another style and what do you get? World class tennis beginning to look like a series of groundstroke drills played by lab rats.

I question the wisdom of altering conditions on every surface and reducing tennis to a contest of groundstrokes.

tlm
07-03-2006, 05:34 PM
Serve+volley is dead in the pros,there are no good s+v players it does not work in the modern game.

Sure fed comes to the net some but he is a baseliner.How did roddick get to the finals the last few years?Was that s+v tennis?

Believe it or not the 80's are gone+tennis is a contest of groundstrokes.

dh003i
07-03-2006, 05:47 PM
tlm,

Yes, and the diminishing of variety is ruining the game.

AAAA
07-03-2006, 05:49 PM
The racquets and strings are a far bigger problem than court speed. Those flick shots Nadal and Murray played from extremely defensive positions against Kendrick and Roddick respectively would be unlikely if they used heavier small headed racquets.

Marat Safinator
07-03-2006, 05:49 PM
I dont really like serve and volley but i wish wimbledon was a tad faster like it used to be.

FiveO
07-03-2006, 06:02 PM
Serve+volley is dead in the pros,there are no good s+v players it does not work in the modern game.. Why do you think?

Sure fed comes to the net some but he is a baseliner.How did roddick get to the finals the last few years?Was that s+v tennis?. You can't play what you never learned how, and on slower and slower surfaces with ever slower balls. Yet even those with exceptional abilities can.

Believe it or not the 80's are gone+tennis is a contest of groundstrokes.

Believe it or not 2002 wasn't sandwiched between '80 and '89, was less than four years ago and in the midst of this modern era. In fact Sampras played more s & v than he ever played prior and did it despite the ever slowing conditions, progressivley heavier balls and grittier surface at the US Open.

I'd imagine if they Weed-B-Goned the Wimbledon grass and played with beach balls the game would look even more modern. I never thought one dimensional and modern were synonyms.

Moose Malloy
07-03-2006, 06:07 PM
dh003i,
the grass hasn't been changed since '02. so Federer has dominated Wimbledon the last 3 years on slow grass/fast hardcourt like conditions. If the grass was the way it was in the 90s, I'm not sure he would have beaten Philippoussis in '03 or Roddick in '04 . Returning 140 mph serves on ultra fast/no bounce grass is quite a bit more difficult that the higher bounces of the new grass.

As great a player as Federer is, he has benefitted greatly from the "all baseline tour" that the atp has created(indoor events have been slowed as well) He only S&Ved 14% of the time at last years Wimbledon. He hardly comes to net at all anymore on any surface, and has been playing this way since he started dominating the tour in '04. In his interviews he says that he prefers playing baseline tennis, because it is where he is most comfortable. His tennis at W doesn't really resemble all the great grasscourters of the last 20 years-Sampras, Becker, Edberg, McEnroe. They all came to net more than he does, even Borg & Connors did.

I'm not surprised to see Ferrer, Verdasco, Nadal do well at W this year. Coria, Gonzalez, Ferrero made the 2nd week last year. When I watched Federer last 3 years play primarily from the baseline at W, I figured it was only a matter of time for other baseliners to start making an impact at W.

FiveO
07-03-2006, 06:16 PM
.....and, here are where some other devout s & v, (over the hill, out of shape, of somewhat limited abilities) ranked at the beginning of this year, in 2006 not 1986.

29 Dent, Taylor (USA) 1025

30 Monfils, Gael (FRA) 979

31 Moya, Carlos (ESP) 940

32 Verdasco, Fernando (ESP) 935

33 Lopez, Feliciano (ESP) 910

34 Mirnyi, Max (BLR) 905

35 Hanescu, Victor (ROM) 856

36 Henman, Tim (GBR) 850

37 Rusedski, Greg (GBR) 840

newnuse
07-03-2006, 06:25 PM
Never would I imagine a few years back Wimbledon would be won from the baseline.

What has happened to it? It has always been the baseliners dominating at the FO and the S&V'ers dominating at Wimbledon.

So much for all that so call Wimbledon tradition. What's next, ... they might as well get rid of the whites

Amone
07-03-2006, 06:29 PM
Face it, though. Dent, he's out of shape. Henman's aging, Mirnyi's a doubles player (Yes. They play singles. They're good at it. But you'll note that most top-10 singles players aren't high on the doubles ladder, and visa-versi.) and Rusedski... well, I don't know anything about Rusedski. It's not just the surface that's changing. I was watching the Champion's Tour a while ago, and JMac serves and volleys on hard court, so it's not like grass just brings out the Serve Volley in people. They do it all the time or they don't, they rarely change it based on the season. People were surprised when they saw Nadal could flatten out his forehand for grass, remember?

The fact is, nobody serves and volleys. The game's not 'slowing down.' People are being taught fundamentally differently. Watching a match between Navratilova and Evert a week ago on ESPN, I was amazed how many errors they made, and on little, put away things. These days, people are simply that much more consistent, and past consistency, agressive and accurate. Microscopically speaking, the kicker out wide is great to come in behind, but someone who can burn it up the line, it's not good to come behind. People are getting better at returning it, is all. Blaming grass is bullocks.

FiveO
07-03-2006, 07:15 PM
This article is from the 2005 AELTC:

The grass is always slower
By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at Wimbledon


Tim Henman has complained that slower playing surfaces at Wimbledon are responsible for drawing the sting from his game.


Henman has been unimpressed with the conditions at Wimbledon
The British number one bemoaned the grass was becoming "increasingly slow, heavy and high bouncing", after his arduous five-set victory against Jarkko Nieminen.

It is not the first time Henman or his fellow players have raised the issue.

Greg Rusedski claimed Wimbledon purposely slowed the courts in 2001 and this year American Taylor Dent agreed they have been getting slower each time he plays here.

Organisers started to use 100% perennial ryegrass seed in 2001 to provide a stronger grass more able to take the wear-and-tear of two weeks of continual usage.

"What Tim is saying is absolutely true," agrees John Lloyd, BBC Sport commentator and two-time Wimbledon mixed doubles champion.

"The courts have become slower and they are bouncing higher than they used to.

"When I was contesting Wimbledon 25 years ago, playing on grass was more like Russian roulette.

If we go on like this we'll be having clay-courters winning the title

From M
Have your say on Five Live

"You got a lot of bad bounces, quick-shot rallies and a lot of serve-and-volley. Even playing in the senior doubles now, I can tell it's changed, you have much longer to return the ball now.

"But I don't think it's a sinister reason. Wimbledon just changed the texture of the grass to make the courts more durable and that makes them slower because the grass is spongier."

None of this is good news for Henman of course, whose serve-and-volley game is supposed to be a perfect fit for grass.

You could probably count five serve-and-volleyers at Wimbledon but 15 years ago they made up 50% of the draw

John Lloyd
The Briton was forced to change his tactics against Nieminen and admitted he served and volleyed "less than 20% of the time" in the final two sets against the Finn.

Faced with having to make difficult decisions to abandon his natural game, a time-machine might just be Henman's only hope of claiming an elusive Wimbledon crown.

"If the conditions were as they were 20 years ago, then Tim would have a better chance at Wimbledon," agreed Lloyd.

"His type of game benefits from the surface that existed back then - the spins, the slice approaches, the volleys would all work, it would even help his serve.

"Slower courts now mean he loses a slight advantage that he would have on quicker grass courts.

"Tim has to be at the top of his game to have any chance here and against Nieminen he looked so far below that."


Sharapova is a stranger to the net
Those that rise to the top in the new-age at Wimbledon are baseliners.

Reigning women's champion Maria Sharapova barely ventures to the net while big-hitters such as Andy Roddick and Marat Safin are now cutting a swathe through the field.

"We are moving in that direction," admitted Lloyd. "I think the serve-and-volley game is dying.

"You could probably count five serve-and-volleyers at Wimbledon but 15 years ago they made up 50% of the draw.

"The ball is bouncing so much truer now, it's almost like playing on a hard-court."

So if Henman is no longer able to make hay on Wimbledon's grass-courts, can the British public count on new hope Andy Murray to cut it?

"Andy doesn't have a traditional grass-court game, he's better on clay and hard-courts at the moment - or he thinks he is," says Lloyd.

"But he has a huge serve, he moves well round the court and, yes, I think he will be a very good grass-court player."


Does this translate to something dying a natural death or being systematically killed off by intentionally changing the grass and according to Bjorkman changing the balls used at Wimbledon to further slow down playing conditions? S & V is not dying a natural death it's a homicide, intentional or not. Making playing styles untenable by changing the conditions is not any affirmation of the modern game it is thwarting and eliminating what was a viable alternative approach to playing the game.

scotus
07-03-2006, 11:25 PM
Isn't it strange how we all want to see S&V now?

Back when tennis was dominated by big S&V'ers, everyone thought tennis was boring and wanted to slow down the game. I believe Johnny Mac was the biggest proponent of this idea. He proposed heavier balls, wooden racquets, eliminating the second serve, etc.

But now that S&V is dying, people really want to revive that form.

Yes, I wish Wimbledon would go back to its old grass, so that we can have at least one surface where S&V can still win the match.

Variety is what keeps things interesting.

AAAA
07-04-2006, 05:11 AM
Ancic, Miryni, Phillippousis played at least one match where they served many aces. Rusedski and henman are both over the hill hence their weak serves.

AAAA
07-04-2006, 05:22 AM
Like it all not, professional pride dictates that the head groundman does all he can to provide a quality grass court for top level play. That means reducing the chances of gaining lucky points from bad bounces hence the need for consistent truer bounces. Also to reduce wear and tear they are now able to make the courts harder. I wonder if some of you moaners have even watched any of the matches this Wimbledon. It you watch the BBC feed on TV or via the Wimbledon site you will see the court area around the baseline has been reduced to a dusty surface, wear and tear has broken the top soil and crushed the dry soil into a powdery form. Making the courts harder was an attempt to delay the degradation.

Dilettante
07-04-2006, 07:10 AM
Like it all not, professional pride dictates that the head groundman does all he can to provide a quality grass court for top level play. That means reducing the chances of gaining lucky points from bad bounces hence the need for consistent truer bounces. Also to reduce wear and tear they are now able to make the courts harder. I wonder if some of you moaners have even watched any of the matches this Wimbledon. It you watch the BBC feed on TV or via the Wimbledon site you will see the court area around the baseline has been reduced to a dusty surface, wear and tear has broken the top soil and crushed the dry soil into a powdery form. Making the courts harder was an attempt to delay the degradation.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that Borg once said about Wimbledon that after the early rounds the grasscourt, around the baseline, started to work like a claycourt.

AAAA
07-04-2006, 07:54 AM
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that Borg once said about Wimbledon that after the early rounds the grasscourt, around the baseline, started to work like a claycourt.

Considering what I said about the surface layer being ripped up by the shoes and then crushed under foot into a dry powdery soil the comparison with crushed brink dust appears valid.

But to be precise it's only the area from a few feet behind the baseline to just infront of the baseline so the other whiners need not jump up and down and say 'see see see the courts already played like a clay court for the clay court whiners'. For that to be true the whole court would need to be devoid of grass.

Edit: Just occurred to me in Borg's day the area from service line to baseline may have shown more wear and tear compared to now. Can't be bothered to think about how this affects my thoughts above.

Babblelot
07-04-2006, 08:24 AM
That's rubbish. I play with many different kinds of balls, and have actually started playing a lot with the Slazenger Wimbledon balls the last months and it's definitely not "obviously" larger than any other ball.

What I do find is that it's a bit inbetween the very light (and thus very wind sensitive) Pro Penn/Wilson US Open balls and the more heavy (and thus hard to generate spin with) Wilson Double Core/Tretorn Z-Tour balls. It lasts a long time (both indoors on felt carpet and outdoors on clay courts).

It's a really nice ball in my view.
Interesting, you're so quick to dismiss Jonas Bjorkman's comment, a 34 y/o veteran making his 13th appearance in the singles main draw.

Hey, I've played with a variety of balls--new, fuzzy, old and flat, wet--on various surfaces--freshly paved hardcourts, green clay, mixed courts (i.e., old hardcourts with grass spouting through the cracks) and I don't notice much of a difference between the balls either. Maybe you and I have more in common than you and Bjorkman, or other ATP players that have played on at Wimbledon before the changes to the grass and balls were made about 5 years ago.

FiveO
07-04-2006, 09:04 AM
Isn't it strange how we all want to see S&V now?

Back when tennis was dominated by big S&V'ers, everyone thought tennis was boring and wanted to slow down the game. I believe Johnny Mac was the biggest proponent of this idea. He proposed heavier balls, wooden racquets, eliminating the second serve, etc.

I always felt that Mc's opinion was heavily biased and disengenuous due to the sting of Becker and Lendl. His assessment ignored another axiom he used often to describe match-ups giving the edge to the "heavyweight against the middleweight". He was being overpowered by bigger and in the case of Becker, better athletes chosing to blame that fact on graphite, which he had access to and switched to, instead of acknowleding the limitations of his grips, body type and off court training ethic.

The push to slow the game on grass came before the advent of graphite, when players like Tanner, Smith and Dibley (who hit serves in the 140's with a wooden Dunlop Maxply) were deemed to have an unfair advantage on slick surfaces. It ignores the fact that practically none of the biggest servers of any era ever won the AELTC championship when the grass was slick even after the advent of graphite, until Becker. McEnroe, Cash, Edberg, Agassi not even Sampras were the biggest servers of their day, yet won the event, while dispatching some of those other biggest, baddest servers.

Were the points shorter? Yes. Was it ever impossible for groundstrokers with smaller serves to succeed on the surface? Nope. Agassi's win and runner-up there, along with Lendl, Courier and Washington reaching the finals at the event answer that question. Clearly the pre-2001 conditions rewarded excellence in serving but not necessarily the biggest. What it did was shift the pressure applied to players. The ability to hold on the surface emphasized holding to the nth degree. A stark contrast to the French where it breaks are much more common.

But now that S&V is dying, people really want to revive that form.

Yes, I wish Wimbledon would go back to its old grass, so that we can have at least one surface where S&V can still win the match.

I agree.

Variety is what keeps things interesting.

I think so, only the baseline community sees it differently. Defenders of the turf never went out of their way to attack the extreme conditions of RG. On the other hand the *****ing, moaning even boycotting of the event by devout clay-courters resulted in pre 2000 research by event organizers "coincidently" into the use of larger diameter balls, as Bjorkman eluded to has in fact happened, and changes in grass type. I don't believe in coincidence. The self serving defense of incredibly obvious surface change at Wimbledon by the same group infers that Becker and Sampras were lucky. That inference also implies that Connors and Agassi were the beneficiaries of alot of "lucky bounces" on the road to their titles there. I guess Borg was five times "lucky".

Even granting a huge benefit of doubt regarding the "reasons" for the changes, the effect has been that it has rendered the use of slice as a weapon imprudent to useless, and has effectively killed an entire style of play and reducing tennis to a one dimensional, bore. Those that never saw the contrasts provided by Borg v. Mc, Mc v. Connors, or Sampras, or Rafter vs. Agassi or Courier on will never appreciate the contrast and the extreme test that was once Wimbledon.

While the self proclaimed "modernists" seem to want everyone in London, New York and Melbourne to do as the Parisiennes do I enjoyed the contrast. While I believe the clay-courters would prefer to watch four clay court majors I would never advocate a return to a 3 to 1, grass to clay ratio. I liked the contrast and that it encouraged varied game styles.

Evidently to some diversity is bad and boring and homogenous and one dimensional are modern and most entertaining and making every event surface and game style identical would be the ideal. IMO those espousing this point of view never saw, never played and or simply don't understand s & v or TRUE all-court tennis. You can't miss what you don't know.

tlm
07-04-2006, 11:41 AM
Look i know a lot of you like s+v,but it is not effective anymore.These guys are playing for money,they dont give a damn what kind of style they play.They use the best style of tennis that gets the job done.

They could care less what the fans want,they want to win.I like the modern game,some like the old style.But it doesnt matter, they use what works.S+V does not work consistently enough at the pro level period.

Todays players are stronger,with much better equipement,the game is so much faster.When i watch some of the older matches on espn it looks like it is in slomo.I think the women today hit as hard as the men were hitting during the 80's.

ED_4.6HSE
07-04-2006, 12:27 PM
Todays players are stronger,with much better equipement,the game is so much faster.When i watch some of the older matches on espn it looks like it is in slomo.I think the women today hit as hard as the men were hitting during the 80's.
Krajicek slow? Sampras slow? Ivanisevic slow? All s&v winners up until the 2002 court changes and then we had hewitt v nalbandian in the final, hardly faster!

FiveO
07-04-2006, 02:10 PM
There are still s & v players winning matches on the tour despite the changes. There is one in the QF at Wimbledon this year. Serve and volleyers won W through 2001 when the change in surface took place.

Ignore it if you want but Sampras won the USO in '02. When did the modern era start IYO?

If the "modern game" is so superior to s & v what was Agassi doing in the '05 USO final when in '02 he couldn't get past Sampras playing an inherently inferior game?

The reverse reasoning being employed by the so-called "modern gamers" here is transparently myopic.

If they tore up all the grass and replaced it with red clay at the AELTC the "modern game" clay courters would be even more validated but that wouldn't be Wimbledon. The modern game isn't proving itself when the players who still employ a style had the grass pulled from under their feet.

And just a reminder to those "modern game" clay courters, is how ****ed they were when in 1996 when RG organizers allowed the red clay to dry out and play fast for one year and as a result Krajicek and Pioline reached the QF, Sampras, and Rosset reached the SF and Stich reached the final.

Baseline play didn't die during those two weeks. S & V didn't prove it's superiority to baseline play on clay that year. Because the clay played different to how it played both before and after. The conditions were significantly different there that year allowing a larger number of s & v players to play deep into the second week. And oh how the baseliners *****ed. It has never happened again at RG.

The change in surface at Wimbledon had the same effect. The effect was dramatic and sudden. It perceptibly altered how the game could be effectively played there. 2001 Ivanisevic v. Rafter. 2002 Hewitt v. Nalbandian. This was no evolution of the modern baseline game it was a change in surface there which suddenly allowed baseline play to flourish there. It didn't happen in the 1980's nor the 1990's it happened between 2001 and 2002. It wasn't an evolution of a superior species of player at Wimbledon, it was a "Big Bang" change of the environment which occurred there and happened in one year.

tlm
07-04-2006, 02:13 PM
Are you going to say that players in the 80's+90's hit as hard as the players today.Sure there were a few players that hit hard,but the majority did not.

The power game started in the 90's,but it was nothing like today.Go watch the old matches+tell me how hard they hit the ball compared to today.

tlm
07-04-2006, 02:23 PM
Are you saying that s+v can only be effective on grass?Thats if the grass is a certain way.

Theres only 3 weeks of grass court tennis,not going to make a living off that.Sampras had a great serve+that was the key to his game.

The majority of matches are on clay+hardcourt,i have watched dent+henman play thier s+v game in the modern era+it does not work.Are you also saying that it was only s+v players that won w up to 2001?

FiveO
07-04-2006, 02:42 PM
Are you going to say that players in the 80's+90's hit as hard as the players today.Sure there were a few players that hit hard,but the majority did not..

This sounds like the shell game you played in the OW debate.

The power game started in the 90's,but it was nothing like today.Go watch the old matches+tell me how hard they hit the ball compared to today.

Okay. Who dominated the '90's and WIMBLEDON in particular? Period.

What game style did he play?

What game style won Wimbledon thru 2001?

Were there not alot of modern game players in the USO men's draw in 2002? Not the '80's or in the '90's, TWO THOUSAND TWO.

And what game style continued to dominate Wimbledon, which is what this conversation is about, RIGHT UP UNTIL THE CHANGE IN THE SURFACE, BY WIMBLEDON'S OWN ADMISSION, FOR WHATEVER REASON?

The fact remains that THE MOMENT IN TIME CONDITIONS WERE INTENTIONALLY CHANGED AT WIMBLEDON, NOWHERE ELSE, THE RESULTS CHANGED AT WIMBLEDON, NOWHERE ELSE.

jaykay
07-04-2006, 02:52 PM
Interesting, you're so quick to dismiss Jonas Bjorkman's comment, a 34 y/o veteran making his 13th appearance in the singles main draw.

Hey, I've played with a variety of balls--new, fuzzy, old and flat, wet--on various surfaces--freshly paved hardcourts, green clay, mixed courts (i.e., old hardcourts with grass spouting through the cracks) and I don't notice much of a difference between the balls either. Maybe you and I have more in common than you and Bjorkman, or other ATP players that have played on at Wimbledon before the changes to the grass and balls were made about 5 years ago.

-chortle-

Touche'...

tlm
07-04-2006, 03:30 PM
To five0,to your answer sampras+sampras did play a lot of s+v+ he definitely dominated in his career.

As far as your shell game,i dont know what you mean.The power game from the baseline didnt happen overnight.It has been evolving for some time now.

Are you going to say that the new racquets+strings have not changed the game?Look the power Game has been coming since graphite+it has taken over.

Maybe they changed the surface at W,i dont care,i just know that s+v is not effective anymore.Sure there were some power players in the 90's,but now even the little guys can hit hard.

hoosierbr
07-04-2006, 03:34 PM
I agree with what Martina Navratilova said today. It's not just the courts that have gotten slower that is making serve-and-volley difficult it's the changes in racquet technology. Modern racquets are more powerful and have much bigger sweetspots so it's easier to hit passing shots and great groundstrokes. That more than anything else is the biggest enemy to serve-and-volley. Of course, I don't advocate going back to wood racquets!

ED_4.6HSE
07-04-2006, 04:06 PM
I agree with what Martina Navratilova said today. It's not just the courts that have gotten slower that is making serve-and-volley difficult it's the changes in racquet technology.
Hmm its a combination of things

i miss net play badly but what is there to do to do reality?

speed the courts up- would this give the few skilled net players a chance or would we just see the likes of Roddick blamming down 150mph bombs and still not coming to the net? The game could be made far worse. I'm not sure there are any net players to take advantage of faster courts any more

change the rackets- what would huge companies like wilson, dunlop etc make of that? cant see many players being too happy either

tell the coaches to teach all round games- why would they do that when they know the player would gain nothing?

I'm sure tennis needs to diversify and not end up as just baselining but its difficult. There needs to be something that'll give net players a chance again but i havent a freakin clue what it is!

FiveO
07-04-2006, 04:56 PM
To five0,to your answer sampras+sampras did play a lot of s+v+ he definitely dominated in his career.

Into 2002 even on the downhill side of his career where his best result in 2001 was his second USO final in two years.

As far as your shell game,i dont know what you mean.

In this thread, I say 2001-2002 you imply with your question that I'm comparing playing styles of 2002 and later with the '80's or '90's. The surface was much the same until 2001 but not hitting styles off the ground. I never said it, never intimated it. On the other hand it appears you believe that s & v was only was used in the '80's and '90's.

The power game from the baseline didnt happen overnight.It has been evolving for some time now.

Absolutely. Never implied that it hadn't. The point is well into that evolution S & V was in it's own evolution, and played markedly differently by Sampras than in the '80's and 90's. It was viable on three of the four major surfaces and dominant at one, Wimbledon, until 2001.

Are you going to say that the new racquets+strings have not changed the game?Look the power Game has been coming since graphite+it has taken over.

No. Didn't. Never did. While the power game dominated the rankings early in this millenium it couldn't touch Wimbledon until the surface changed.

Maybe they changed the surface at W,i dont care,i just know that s+v is not effective anymore.Sure there were some power players in the 90's,but now even the little guys can hit hard. The surface change has taken away the s & v'er's ability to keep the ball down, way down, through the use of offensive slice. The 2005 article quotes players as saying the ball is bouncing higher off the new grass than in 2001 and slower. So s & v'er's are denied a tool for making the ball skid, and the surface causes formerly forcing shots to check up and into the power groundstroker's wheelhouses. So by definition it took away a major weapon against the hardest hitting ground strokers. It has robbed the s & v, the ability to create offensive vertical angles, a steady diet of balls hit ankle height at the baseline by definition yields volleys hit from higher contact points or such slim margins of net clearance for the passer that it almost invariably would tip the balance in favor of the player attacking the net, no matter how hard the pass was struck. Inches in contact height can cause major shifts in who holds the advantage.

As an example while I AM NOT comparing era ball speed in any way, the same sort of shift occurred in the '70's, when the US Open, changed from grass to har-tru. From one year to the next the s & v players were at a disadvantage. It's about angles and the inability to penetrate the court. S & V was not suddenly eclipsed by baselining the surface changed, suddenly and with direct result. As I said earlier in this thread the best of the best baseliners had the opportunity to succeed on traditional grass but now had a distinct advantage due to the surface change.

Again I am talking about grass and only grass. The results changed simultaneously with the surface change at Wimbledon and even while the game evolved or de-volved around it, Wimbledon continued to reward several skills, not luck, not chance, specific skills. That all changed with the surface change. The power baseliners didn't suddenly in a months time master grass, the grass came to them and thwarted a primary tool in most every quality s & v arsenal. That is a substantive change not mastery of a surface by a competing style.

It is my, very subjective opinion that if Wimbledon were to switch back to the pre 2002 conditions those still around with the necessary s & v skills would likely prevail as few as their numbers are and the lament of how archaic and out of touch the surface was, would begin anew.

tlm
07-04-2006, 06:10 PM
You may well be right about wimbledon,a lot of the players agree it is much slower than in the past.But a faster court does not just cater to s+v,after losing roddick was complaining about how the ball was not taking off like in the past.

I didnt say s+v were used only in the 80's+90's.I agree with hoosierbr,about what martina said about the new racquets+string.She has been around a long time+it sounds like she is saying the same thing that i am.

Players+racquets are to powerful to go to the net ,its that simple you will get passed so many times you will lose.

You could well be right that if wimby went back to old surface it would be better for s+v.But face it the grass season is only 3 weeks long.

netman
07-04-2006, 07:19 PM
Well Brad Gilbert shed some clear light on the subject during Saturday's coverage. He said the Wimbledon organizers did slow down the grass to add to the impact of the heavier balls. They did it because they wanted to make the tournament more attractive to the numerous top European players who either didn't normally attend or didn't really think they could win, thereby making half-hearted stabs at playing.

Now that makes perfect business sense. If you are trying to sell tickets (to pay for that new roof and the increased prize packages), you want all the top players to attend and hopefully still be around in the second week. So why not slow things down dramatically so all the clay court specialists think they have a shot at winning. Gilbert did state he thinks they overshot this year and may speed things up a bit next year. So the dirt ballers better take advantage of this window of opportunity.

Now here is the conspiracy theory for you. Since the top British player, Murray, is a retriever trained on clay in Spain, it makes sense to give him a better chance. With Henman and Rusedski in the twilight of their careers, why favor S&V players anymore? So maybe Wimbledon will stay slow for a few years. As Murray improves his fitness level, he might just have a shot. He definitely isn't a S&V guy.

Oh well. Its a business at the end of day and the goal is to make as much money as possible. The US Open and Australian Open both switched off grass. Maybe next, Wimbledon will go to the the same grass they use in the rough at the Masters. That will really slow things down.

I guess for now we are fated to watch a lot grunting, topspinning retrievers bash the ball back and forth at each other for long periods of time. Who can hit the most topspin shots in a row? About as exciting as watching two ball machines shoot balls at each other.

Make tennis even more boring. Perfectly logical response by the out of touch professional tennis community as the world wide interest in tennis continues to drop.

-k-

FiveO
07-04-2006, 07:45 PM
You may well be right about wimbledon,a lot of the players agree it is much slower than in the past.But a faster court does not just cater to s+v,after losing roddick was complaining about how the ball was not taking off like in the past.

I didnt say s+v were used only in the 80's+90's.I agree with hoosierbr,about what martina said about the new racquets+string.She has been around a long time+it sounds like she is saying the same thing that i am.

Players+racquets are to powerful to go to the net ,its that simple you will get passed so many times you will lose.

You could well be right that if wimby went back to old surface it would be better for s+v.But face it the grass season is only 3 weeks long.

Good points but even with the equipment "advances" it is still much more difficult to pass on a lower, faster skidding ball which denies the power baseliner from setting himself with regularity, even with all the power off the ground which is prominent today. More difficult but not impossible. The ball scooted in the past so it put a premium on passing on the run but denied those excelling in retrieving from setting themselves, hence the shorter points. So little separates the top players that a single, but elemental change is enough to tip the balance back to the basliner's favor on grass. As the bounce height and speed robbing surface friction rises the advantage clearly tips toward today's baseliners. I.E. from traditional grass conditions to USO conditions to the AO to RG, quicker and lower to slower and higher bounces.

A prime example in my opinion is the long term h2h between Sampras and Agassi where the balance was in Sampras's favor at Wimbledon and US Open and tipped to Agassi at the AO and French where the surface slowed, allowing more balls to be run down, and raised the bounce height, putting the ball in a more advantageous strike zone. They are substantive differences which are enough to shift the balance from one style to the other. It does also hurt the groundstrokers who thrive on the ability to hit more through the court than typical Spanish and S. American style clay courters. Slow things even more and players like Agassi, Roddick and Blake are also impacted by it but to a lesser degree.

TrueAce
08-13-2006, 09:04 PM
Everyone needs to get over what they're doing to slow the game down.... sounds like an old geezer saying they used to walk 10 miles to school in the snow.....things change get a clue.....

Phil
08-13-2006, 09:17 PM
I'm gonna repeat here what I said off-topic in some other thread..but I see you're reading my thoughts.
I was thinking about it today watching the Murray-Baghdatis match.

3 Spaniards in the 1/8 finals. I'm not saying they can't play good on surfaces other than clay...but this is ridiculous.
Wimbledon is destroyed. 20 shots ralleys? Players who have seen volleys only on TV (like our buddy Baghdatis today) in QF? They've turned Wimby into green clay. Why do they even bother to put grass when they've made it so shamefully slow. My suggestion is that they just turn it into hard next year and paint it green. It will be cheaper, and there will be no difference.

Looking at remaining list of players in the tourney... I can only say S&V R.I.P!

Wimbledon is not QUITE green clay yet, but other than that, I totally agree with this. Sad but true; Wimbledon is a shadow of its halcyon days when the Macs, Edbergs, Beckers, and Sampras' ruled the roost and baseline robots were afraid to trod.

NamRanger
08-13-2006, 10:30 PM
Well Brad Gilbert shed some clear light on the subject during Saturday's coverage. He said the Wimbledon organizers did slow down the grass to add to the impact of the heavier balls. They did it because they wanted to make the tournament more attractive to the numerous top European players who either didn't normally attend or didn't really think they could win, thereby making half-hearted stabs at playing.

Now that makes perfect business sense. If you are trying to sell tickets (to pay for that new roof and the increased prize packages), you want all the top players to attend and hopefully still be around in the second week. So why not slow things down dramatically so all the clay court specialists think they have a shot at winning. Gilbert did state he thinks they overshot this year and may speed things up a bit next year. So the dirt ballers better take advantage of this window of opportunity.

Now here is the conspiracy theory for you. Since the top British player, Murray, is a retriever trained on clay in Spain, it makes sense to give him a better chance. With Henman and Rusedski in the twilight of their careers, why favor S&V players anymore? So maybe Wimbledon will stay slow for a few years. As Murray improves his fitness level, he might just have a shot. He definitely isn't a S&V guy.

Oh well. Its a business at the end of day and the goal is to make as much money as possible. The US Open and Australian Open both switched off grass. Maybe next, Wimbledon will go to the the same grass they use in the rough at the Masters. That will really slow things down.

I guess for now we are fated to watch a lot grunting, topspinning retrievers bash the ball back and forth at each other for long periods of time. Who can hit the most topspin shots in a row? About as exciting as watching two ball machines shoot balls at each other.

Make tennis even more boring. Perfectly logical response by the out of touch professional tennis community as the world wide interest in tennis continues to drop.

-k-


Serve and Volley has been around since Jack Kramer pretty much. Wimbledon has catered S&V play since the beginning of time, because it was very nice and smooth to watch. There needs to be a balance between the slams. When Henman in 2004 goes farther in the FO and the US Open but loses early at Wimbledon, you know there is something wrong with grass.


Wimbledon is just not about business, it is about tradition. Traditionally they've kept the grass the same for the longest time ever. Clay courters and Baseliners CAN win on pre-2002 grass, it's called adjusting your game to it. If all the players have to adjust their game to the clay court season, then the clay courters should learn to adjust their game to the grass, rather then moan and groan about it. Because honestly, a clay court player does not pick up grass within a span of 2 weeks (Not just talking about Nadal, plenty of other clay courters).

dannyjjang
08-13-2006, 10:52 PM
i thought grass was the only thing that it got slower?? can that make hard courts slower too?