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The tennis guy
07-04-2006, 10:02 PM
Q. In general do you subscribe to the theory that the general homogenization of surface in the game, that clay is faster, grass is slower, hard courts are maybe

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Pretty slow.

Q. Even in the U.S.? You do?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's a bad thing. It's a bad thing, no question about it.

Q. You think they use more sand in the paint in U.S. hard courts today?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everything's slower. All the courts are slower. I mean, Indian Wells, forget about it. You hit a great volley and, you know, the person's got five minutes to run it down and hit it by you.

So it's frustrating, yeah. You can't play a normal game. It should be equal. A great serve and volleyer of the same ability should play against a great baseliner and it's like half and half. Half the time this one, and half the time that one. So on this court, this one's slightly favored; on this court, that one's slightly favored.

Now the ball has gone completely in favor of the baseliner. It's a shame.

Exile
07-04-2006, 10:11 PM
half the time people rag on her for rambling on about stuff, but here she pretty much hit it right on the mark.

FiveO
07-04-2006, 10:11 PM
Where was this quoted from?

Egalite
07-04-2006, 10:18 PM
Yawn, play another record.

In fact "yawn" is the word I remember for those godawful matches when the likes of Sampras, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, etc were playing at Wimbledon. No-one would return a serve in the first hour. Serve, return and putaway volley would count as a long rally.

Phil
07-04-2006, 10:19 PM
half the time people rag on her for rambling on about stuff, but here she pretty much hit it right on the mark.

I don't get that feeling. When she sticks to TENNIS she generally knows her stuff, and is often spot-on. It's when she goes off on politics or society that she sometimes puts her foot in her mouth.

I agree with her...the tennis powers-that-be have killed s&v tennis, even at Wimbledon. I know a lot of people complained about boring no-strokes serve fests, but that, to me, was the fun of Wimby, while RG, USO and the AO had plenty of baseline rallies. That the different surfaces played as they were SUPPOSED TO, and made tennis a diverse game, was part of its attraction. I find myself less able to sit through Wimbledon matches these days, knowing what it used to be like.

HyperHorse
07-04-2006, 10:44 PM
I totally agree with her... Grass plays more like a medium paced hard court, but the bounce is still fairly low....
I miss the S&V play... Wimby has been boring to watch, i must say....
unless its a match where you're not sure who's going to win...
most of Roger's matches are like that... im kinda dissapointed he hasnt S&V'ed more....
*yawn*

superman1
07-05-2006, 12:29 AM
When Nadal is dominating guys on grass, you know something is wrong.

fastdunn
07-05-2006, 01:04 AM
Actually something already went wrong from 2001 and
Federer won it 3 times frm the baseline. (surface got slowed
from 2001.)

Federer is getting taste of his own medicine from Nadal,
basically: strong baseline game on slowed surface.

When Federer was doing very well on all surfaces,
people just said "oh well, he is a genius".
Now that Nadal shows his potential on all surfaces,
"something is wrong" ???

I've been saying this at least for 2 years at TW borad here.

vive le beau jeu !
07-05-2006, 01:49 AM
When Nadal is dominating guys on grass, you know something is wrong.
she's right, they slowed down the game too much...

Marius_Hancu
07-05-2006, 03:43 AM
No one has posted stats on the weight of ball and its pressure 20 years ago and now, and between RG, W, and USO.

And the ball companies are lying through their teeth: balls aren't the same. Of course the racquets aren't either, but that isn't the main factor, just one of them.

skip1969
07-05-2006, 04:53 AM
"you hit a great volley and, you know, the person's got five minutes to run it down and hit it by you." that martina, she cracks me up!

well, i suppose i can take her word for it. girl's been playing the same way for how many years?? she ought to know.

Rabbit
07-05-2006, 05:57 AM
No one has posted stats on the weight of ball and its pressure 20 years ago and now, and between RG, W, and USO.


If I'm not mistaken, the balls at RG were pressureless back then. That means they were rocks.

At Wimbledon, I believe I'm right in saying that they open the balls a week ahead of time to let them lose a little of their spring.

The US Open allegedly uses the Wilson ball which we can all buy. I don't know that it's any different than many moons ago.

I agree with MN that they have slowed the game down way too much. But, then again, I really enjoyed watching a player like Richard Krajicek tear a baseliner apart.

ED_4.6HSE
07-05-2006, 05:58 AM
I agree

You cant argue with someone who's won 20 wimbledon titles, 58 grand slams and played pro for over 20 years at the end of the day. If anyone knows about changes in conditions its her

BiGGieStuFF
07-05-2006, 06:23 AM
I like the S&V game at the wimbledons of old. It was a "attack or be attacked" mentality.

Bhagi Katbamna
07-05-2006, 08:02 AM
I agree with her. I have a couple of Borg matches on video tape and he played S&V tennis at Wimbledon. If the surface is the same now as it was back then, he could have stayed back and won 10 in a row.

Kaptain Karl
07-05-2006, 08:24 AM
Who cares if the Spaniards and South Americans boycott? Bring back real grass court tennis at Wimbledon!

(I *do* wish we had more tournaments on Har-Tru (the green American clay). It's a happy medium on speed and it's easier on their bodies....)

- KK

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 08:29 AM
Actually something already went wrong from 2001 and
Federer won it 3 times frm the baseline. (surface got slowed
from 2001.)

Federer is getting taste of his own medicine from Nadal,
basically: strong baseline game on slowed surface.

When Federer was doing very well on all surfaces,
people just said "oh well, he is a genius".
Now that Nadal shows his potential on all surfaces,
"something is wrong" ???

I've been saying this at least for 2 years at TW borad here.

I think you miss the point. She is not just talking about Wimbledon, she is talking about slowness of all surfaces except clay.

2001 started to use rye grass, but the court was not as firm, and the balls were not as heavy. The combination of slow grass, firm ground, and heavy balls make Wimbledon slower each year. It doesn't show on women's side as much because they use regular balls.

I have no problem if they want to slow down Wimbledon, I actually agree they should. However, I have been here talking about overall slowness of all surfaces that make all players the same. It eventually gets boring. This is beyond one player Federer or Nadal.

If they speed up the courts, it definely favors Federer more over Nadal because Federer can serve and volley, and had served and volleyed. However, that is not the point of discussion.

mowcopian
07-05-2006, 09:05 AM
she has just retired hasn't she at the age of 49.ok then she will retire this year is what i meant.

ED_4.6HSE
07-05-2006, 09:08 AM
she has just retired hasn't she at the age of 49.
well i watched her play doubles on saturday so i dont think so!

she is retiring very soon i think though

sureshs
07-05-2006, 10:50 AM
The chief guy in charge of the lawns claims that the ball bounces exactly as it always did at Wimbledon.

Before we bindly accept what players say, let us remember that the success rate on player's challenges with Hawk Eye is below 30%.

ED_4.6HSE
07-05-2006, 10:55 AM
The chief guy in charge of the lawns claims that the ball bounces exactly as it always did at Wimbledon.

An easy way of ending any questions. I saw an interview the other day with a groundsman and he said they're bouncing "a fair bit higher than they did a few years back". Its blatantly obvious

Rabbit
07-05-2006, 10:55 AM
Who cares if the Spaniards and South Americans boycott? Bring back real grass court tennis at Wimbledon!

(I *do* wish we had more tournaments on Har-Tru (the green American clay). It's a happy medium on speed and it's easier on their bodies....)

- KK

Exactomundo.

If the players say it's slower, then it's probably slower. A groundskeeper may be able to claim the ball when dropped from a particular height rebounds to the same height, but that has little to do with how a court plays. One could do the same at the US Open and say the balls bounce just as high as they did when hartru was used...

skip1969
07-05-2006, 10:58 AM
The chief guy in charge of the lawns claims that the ball bounces exactly as it always did at Wimbledon.

Before we bindly accept what players say, let us remember that the success rate on player's challenges with Hawk Eye is below 30%.
line calls are a totally different matter altogether. and while i don't think the players call the lines better than the linespeople, i will put more stock in their observations about surfaces moreso than the groundscrew at wimbledon.

plus, like someone else said, she is talking about surfaces in general, not just grass. the so-called "faster" surfaces.

RiosTheGenius
07-05-2006, 11:04 AM
When Nadal is dominating guys on grass, you know something is wrong.
I agree with everything said in this thread, but unfortunately , I knew this is where this was going eventually... so now if Nadal goes away with the title or makes the final people will start saying that it is only because of the courts.
I think the people who run this tournaments should be able to do whatever they want with the surfaces, and if any player doesn't like it, THEY DON'T HAVE TO PLAY IT. so if the wimbledon people want to slow things down they are entitled to do so , IMO

Roforot
07-05-2006, 11:04 AM
Who cares if the Spaniards and South Americans boycott? Bring back real grass court tennis at Wimbledon!

(I *do* wish we had more tournaments on Har-Tru (the green American clay). It's a happy medium on speed and it's easier on their bodies....)

- KK

Agree on both accounts, especially that if there were more Har-tru tournaments here for junniors, I think we'd have better luck in Davis Cup and clay-court seasons.

araghava
07-05-2006, 11:19 AM
People on this forum keep talking about how S&V is boring. And i agree that it would be if every player S&V'd on every serve. However even S&V'rs only S&V on 1st serves. So a S&V'r would be playing from the backcourt about 50% of the time on his serve and 100% of the time on the opponents serve.

Seems like an ideal blend of tennis when 50% of the points are played S&V and the other 50% from the baseline.

Courts should be speeded up and made lower bouncing to achieve this.

dh003i
07-05-2006, 11:49 AM
RiosTheGenius,

Except, Wimbledon isn't doing this because they "want to". They're doing it because of whiney clay-court specialists who are *****ing because the Wimbledon grass was too fast for them to have a chance on.

And sure, they have the absolute right to make the grass however they want to. However, it isn't good for tennis, and it sucks.

chess9
07-05-2006, 11:54 AM
The chief guy in charge of the lawns claims that the ball bounces exactly as it always did at Wimbledon.

Before we bindly accept what players say, let us remember that the success rate on player's challenges with Hawk Eye is below 30%.

Do you really think they are going to tell us they have purposely slowed the game? I suspect not.

-Robert

fastdunn
07-05-2006, 12:18 PM
I think you miss the point. She is not just talking about Wimbledon, she is talking about slowness of all surfaces except clay.

2001 started to use rye grass, but the court was not as firm, and the balls were not as heavy. The combination of slow grass, firm ground, and heavy balls make Wimbledon slower each year. It doesn't show on women's side as much because they use regular balls.

I have no problem if they want to slow down Wimbledon, I actually agree they should. However, I have been here talking about overall slowness of all surfaces that make all players the same. It eventually gets boring. This is beyond one player Federer or Nadal.

If they speed up the courts, it definely favors Federer more over Nadal because Federer can serve and volley, and had served and volleyed. However, that is not the point of discussion.

Of course, I agree with Navratilova. I've been saying same thing on this TW board
for more than 2 years. We already knew somehting was heavily
manipulated to slow down the game. I was just replying to supermans
comments.

But I'm not sure if faster condition favors Federer.
It won't favor Nadal, obviosuly. Until 2002, Federer
was considered to have big potential but lacks fire power to hurt
top players. Slowed conditions made everything ideal for him.
If condition gets fatser, he'll get attacked by some attacking players.

Federer, Nadal, Hewitt and Nalbandian.
They are all same kind in macro scale.
Consistent baseline game with some counter punching.
Current condition favors them. If surfaces get quicker,
I don';t think these players will dominate like now....

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 12:32 PM
But I'm not sure if faster condition favors Federer.
It won't favor Nadal, obviosuly. Until 2002, Federer
was considered to have big potential but lacks fire power to hurt
top players. Slowed conditions made everything ideal for him.
If condition gets fatser, he'll get attacked by some attacking players.

Federer, Nadal, Hewitt and Nalbandian.
They are all same kind in macro scale.
Consistent baseline game with some counter punching.
Current condition favors them. If surfaces get quicker,
I don';t think these players will dominate like now....

Lightning fast court doesn't favor Federer. ATP will not go there for sure like in 90s, they would just speed them up a little bit to US Open level on hardcourt if they do at all.

I never heard anyone said Federer lacked fire power. 4 years ago, he was not strong enough physically and mentally.

Of the 4 you mentioned, faster courts will bother only Nadal. Federer, Hewitt, Nalbandian all love faster court with lower bounce. If they do super fast court, then they would be hurt a little bit. Federer is the only one that can adapt to super fast court better. As I said many times, Federer was serving and volleying a lot and with success 4 or 5 years ago when condition was quicker. He was just not consistent enough, mentally more than physically.

fastdunn
07-05-2006, 12:40 PM
I never heard anyone said Federer lacked fire power. 4 years ago, he was not strong enough physically and mentally.
.

Go read Tennis magazine's 40 best in history.
That's what people said in Federer's early days.
Consider 90's standard. then You'll understand what they mean.

Federer's attacking game is based on accuracy.
Not exactly type of explosiveness like Safin or Blake or even Baghdatis.

Federer would not like any changes in current tour conditions.
He happens to have ideal game for current condition.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 12:50 PM
Go read Tennis magazine's 40 best in history.
That's what people said in Federer's early days.
Consider 90's standard. then You'll understand what they mean.

Federer's attacking game is based on accuracy.
Not exactly type of explosiveness like Safin or Blake or even Baghdatis.

Federer would not like any changes in current tour conditions.
He happens to have ideal game for current condition.

I just don't agree. Federer to me is as explosive as anyone on tour right now. He might not be able to hit every shot as hard as Safin or Blake, but he is as explosive.

US Open in 90s was still quite fast - hasn't changed much since 97. Federer defintely does quite well there. Federer would like the hardcourts speed up a little bit, not bouncing as high as they are now - that gives him more trouble than speed itself. I agree with you he doesn't want the supreme carpet back. It is difficult to adjust that much when you are in your mid 20s because he DOES need to change his game a little bit for supreme carpet. For US Open type of hardcourt, he doesn't need adjust his game at all.

arosen
07-05-2006, 12:51 PM
It's ironic really, the slower grass at Wimby favors Fed because he gets more time to set up his wind-up backhand. At the same time it allows Nadal to play his game and perhaps get to the final to play Fed, and we all know how well that worked for Fed so far.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 12:55 PM
It's ironic really, the slower grass at Wimby favors Fed because he gets more time to set up his wind-up backhand.

Don't agree slow grass favors Fed backhand. Federer's backhand is quite good on low bouncing court. His strokes are quite compact.

ED_4.6HSE
07-05-2006, 12:57 PM
I'm really not sure about this. I would have said fed would be just as good in faster conditions, he can volley great, amazing movement etc etc but watching ancic playing him today gave me second thoughts. Many of Mario's shots today would simply have been unreturnable a few years back. His serve would be even more potent, groundstokes would be even heavier, and volleys wouldnt sit up half as much. Fed passed him or hit winners loads of times on shots that i think wouldnt have sat up as much. Would he have found it so easy?

Im not saying federer wouldnt still have won just that it would be a bit more interesting

Just my thoughts today, anyone else notice something similar?

fastdunn
07-05-2006, 01:04 PM
I just don't agree. Federer to me is as explosive as anyone on tour right now. He might not be able to hit every shot as hard as Safin or Blake, but he is as explosive.


I repeat people assessed his game in his early days compared
to top pro's of 90's. You would still disagree with it ?

About Blake and Safin, I disagree. There are actual numbers
we can compare like serve speed. That's why Blake or Safin can
take out Nadal on hard courts. Federer's game is based on accuracy
and not power which is pretty corrct statement, insn't it ?

dmastous
07-05-2006, 01:06 PM
There is another reason for the rye grass being used at Wimbledon since 2001. It's not just to slow down the courts so that the serve/volleyers aren't so dominat. It's also due to some of the newer shoes players have been using to get better footing. The grass was getting chewed up too fast so they went to a more robust grass to make it last longer. The result was an overall slower court.
I'm in the same camp as those who think it's now too slow. What does serve/volley tennis get you these days? The racquet technology has made it so easy to hit hard with tremendous spin, and made passing much easier for even the journeymen players. There's been nothing to make the volley more effective in turn. I think Wimbledon's been pretty much been the last bastion of serve/volley tennis, and since they've slowed down the courts, there's just no reason to play that style anymore.
At the same time, I find it interesting that so many have commented on how boring Wimbledon was with such short points, and overpowering serves. Now that that has been negated we are complaining that it's too slow, where's the overpowering serves and net points? :rolleyes:

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 01:12 PM
I repeat people assessed his game in his early days compared
to top pro's of 90's. You would still disagree with it ?

About Blake and Safin, I disagree. There are actual numbers
we can compare like serve speed. That's why Blake or Safin can
take out Nadal on hard courts. Federer's game is based on accuracy
and not power which is pretty corrct statement, insn't it ?

I agree Federer was not strong enough in his late teens relative to pros of 90s. I don't agree he is not strong or explosive enough now.

Safin and Blake hits the ball flatter that give Nadal more trouble. Federer's game, to me, is based on the combination of power, accuracy, and variety. Average first serve speed wise, Safin, Blake and Federer are quite similar in low 120s.

I'd like to see Federer plays Nadal on US Open type of hardcourt before I can say Blake and Safin can take out Nadal on hard courts better than Federer. Federer and Nadal have played on very limited surfaces so far.

Moose Malloy
07-05-2006, 01:13 PM
Go read Tennis magazine's 40 best in history.
That's what people said in Federer's early days.
Consider 90's standard. then You'll understand what they mean.


yeah you are right. many commentators/writers weren't sure about federer's long term potential around 2001 due to lack of consistent power/weapons, not just his fragile mental game. he was thought of as less likely to dominate the tour compared to safin. then the atp slowed the tour down & federer achieved his potential.

even peter bodo in recent blog, said that federer doesn't have the physically imposing game at w that sampras & becker did.

if you compare federer's body now to sampras, becker, krajicek he does look very skinny.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 01:19 PM
There is another reason for the rye grass being used at Wimbledon since 2001. It's not just to slow down the courts so that the serve/volleyers aren't so dominat. It's also due to some of the newer shoes players have been using to get better footing. The grass was getting chewed up too fast so they went to a more robust grass to make it last longer. The result was an overall slower court.
I'm in the same camp as those who think it's now too slow. What does serve/volley tennis get you these days? The racquet technology has made it so easy to hit hard with tremendous spin, and made passing much easier for even the journeymen players. There's been nothing to make the volley more effective in turn. I think Wimbledon's been pretty much been the last bastion of serve/volley tennis, and since they've slowed down the courts, there's just no reason to play that style anymore.
At the same time, I find it interesting that so many have commented on how boring Wimbledon was with such short points, and overpowering serves. Now that that has been negated we are complaining that it's too slow, where's the overpowering serves and net points? :rolleyes:

If they don't intend to slow down the court, then use the same balls they used to use, and don't open those balls a week ahead before the match. I am afaid they are just trying to defend themselves against chorus of criticism of too slow.

I don't think anyone just wants short rally. People are complaining more about the 4 slams are being played the same way now. I for one love to see each slam played a little bit differently.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 01:25 PM
if you compare federer's body now to sampras, becker, krajicek he does look very skinny.

He looks skinny relative to becker for sure, not sampras and krajicek. Federer lists heavier now than Sampras around same age ( Sampras was 6'1, 170 when he was 24, 25). Krajicek is just taller. Federer just doesn't hit flat ball like those 3.

sureshs
07-05-2006, 01:28 PM
don't open those balls a week ahead before the match.

That has been fixed after Henman complained last year.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 01:31 PM
That has been fixed after Henman complained last year.

It doesn't matter whether they fix it or not. It just shows their intention was to slow down the game. So don't give the bull that we didn't intend to slow down the grass, it was because players' shoes wore out our old grass.

Moose Malloy
07-05-2006, 01:33 PM
I disagree. The forearms/biceps & shoulder of Sampras/Krajicek were noticably bigger than Feds.
And Sampras' calves/legs were bigger as well(thats why his vertical leap is so much higher than Fed)

I wouldn't read too much into listed weights of players, who knows if many players actually are truthful or even care what they are listed as. This isn't the NBA/NFL where someone actually weighs them.

dmastous
07-05-2006, 01:33 PM
He looks skinny relative to becker for sure, not sampras and krajicek. Federer listed heavier than Sampras around same age ( Sampras was 6'1, 170 when he was 24, 25). Krajicek is just taller. Federer just doesn't hit flat ball like those 3.
Sampras flat????
They did a study back in the mid 90's, in San Jose, of the amount of rotation on the ball and found that Sampras & Agassi had two heaviest balls of the tournament.
Federer has spindly arms and legs, but his trunk is solid. That's where he gets his power and spin. He looks like a Spongebob.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 01:38 PM
I disagree. The forearms/biceps & shoulder of Sampras/Krajicek were noticably bigger than Feds.
And Sampras' calves/legs were bigger as well.


Not sure about krajicek's shoulder, Sampras has really wide shoulder. Look at Sampras in 94-96, except shoulder, he looked similar to Federer now. Federer has different body type. His legs are skinny like Hewitt, but moves as fast as Sampras. Federer's movement makes up any power "deficiency" he has relative to Becker and Krajicek.

Simon Cowell
07-05-2006, 01:43 PM
Not sure about krajicek's shoulder, Sampras has really wide shoulder. Look at Sampras in 94-96, except shoulder, he looked similar to Federer now. Federer has different body type. His legs are skinny like Hewitt, but moves as fast as Sampras. Federer's movement makes up any power "deficiency" he has relative to Becker and Krajicek.

Federer does not have skinny legs.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 01:52 PM
Federer does not have skinny legs.

Relative to Sampras and Becker we were talking about.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 02:00 PM
then the atp slowed the tour down & federer achieved his potential.


I just don't agree with that causality analysis. They didn't slow down US Open, he is doing quite well there.

Except indoor supreme courts where Federer does have to adjust his game a little bit in my opinion, Federer would do as well on fast hardcourt and grass.

ohplease
07-05-2006, 02:33 PM
I just don't agree with that causality analysis. They didn't slow down US Open, he is doing quite well there.

Except indoor supreme courts where Federer does have to adjust his game a little bit in my opinion, Federer would do as well on fast hardcourt and grass.

I agree. Grass might have changed. It might be slower, but it still ain't slow.

Personally, I'm tired of the constant complaining from tennis fans. In Becker's prime, the courts were too fast, the serve too dominant. Now the courts are too slow? Wimbledon is too slow? If anything, Wimbledon has done a great job in making its surface more fair - preventing the equivalent of clay-court specialist phenomenon - only on grass.

The best players in the world are going deep. Good for them. Players like Puerta, Gaudio, Coria, et al. go deep at the clay events and no where else - so what? That's not a good thing. Would Wimbledon be better if it continued to be dominated by the likes of Philippoussis, Mirnyi, Ancic? No.

Wimbledon did its job in making the surface less of a factor. No more one trick pony champions or finalists like Krajicek or Ivanisevic. Roland Garros and the clay court circuit should follow Wimbledon's lead in this regard. In fact, it's easy to argue that the high incidence of fluke second week participants at the French is precisely why the tennis world outside of Spain or South America thinks so little of the tournament or its champions.

fastdunn
07-05-2006, 02:36 PM
I'm sure Federer is versatile enough to play even if conditions
get faster than now. But the issue is that he will get more
competitions from power players. Look at the sorry status
of some of power players: Roddick, Safin. Or Johansson
who was considered as next generation power players.
if conditions get quicker, new group of power players
will emerge.

The tennis guy
07-05-2006, 02:43 PM
I'm sure Federer is versatile enough to play even if conditions
get faster than now. But the issue is that he will get more
competitions from power players. Look at the sorry status
of some of power players: Roddick, Safin. Or Johansson
who was considered as next generation power players.
if conditions get quicker, new group of power players
will emerge.

Absolutely, I agree. Faster court will produce more attacking players. However, look at Federer's record on fast surface in the last a few years, attacking players don't necessarily give him more trouble though. They can give him more trouble on indoor supreme. US Open type of fast court is not fast enough to bother Federer.

Kaptain Karl
07-05-2006, 02:51 PM
Would Wimbledon be better if it continued to be dominated by the likes of Philippoussis, Mirnyi, Ancic?Whoa!!! Since when have these guys "dominated" at Wimbledon?

No.Yes! Yes! One hundred times, YES!

The dirt-ballers get their glory at the French. Let the subtleties of S&V have Wimbledon as their showcase. (Like it used to be....)

- KK

Moose Malloy
07-05-2006, 02:52 PM
Players like Puerta, Gaudio, Coria,

Coria made the 2nd week at Wimbledon last year along with Ferrero & Gonzalez. This year Verdasco & Ferrer made the 2nd week. You really think it isn't slow? We now have same guys that do well on clay doing well on grass, which would have been impossible with the conditions of the 80s/90s.

In Becker's prime, the courts were too fast, the serve too dominant.

Serve was always the most important shot on grass. Was just watching Smith play Newcombe in '71 W Final. No rallies at all, 1-3 shot tennis. This is why they have different surfaces, so you can have such extremes within weeks. That difference isn't there anymore. Borg came to net at W more than Federer does. Which just doesn't sound right.

No more one trick pony champions or finalists like Krajicek or Ivanisevic.

Yeah & now you (possibly) have the best claycourter in the world making a Wimbledon final. Not sure if that is better for tennis than Krajicek(who was a FO semifinalist) winning W.

Maybe when we have a Robredo or Davydenko making W finals, you'll then realize they went too far.

ohplease
07-05-2006, 03:36 PM
Coria made the 2nd week at Wimbledon last year along with Ferrero & Gonzalez. This year Verdasco & Ferrer made the 2nd week. You really think it isn't slow? We now have same guys that do well on clay doing well on grass, which would have been impossible with the conditions of the 80s/90s.



Serve was always the most important shot on grass. Was just watching Smith play Newcombe in '71 W Final. No rallies at all, 1-3 shot tennis. This is why they have different surfaces, so you can have such extremes within weeks. That difference isn't there anymore. Borg came to net at W more than Federer does. Which just doesn't sound right.



Yeah & now you (possibly) have the best claycourter in the world making a Wimbledon final. Not sure if that is better for tennis than Krajicek(who was a FO semifinalist) winning W.

Maybe when we have a Robredo or Davydenko making W finals, you'll then realize they went too far.

And yet, Nadal also almost went out in the second round to a jouneyman American S&V'er that would have no business playing him that close anywhere in the world EXCEPT Wimbledon. Does jouneyman mid 200's claycourter press Federer on clay? I'll say no. Now I'll go look at Fed's clay results this year...

Other than Nadal, he's lost sets on clay to Djokovic (who's quickly showing himself to be legit), Almago (#54, in a tiebreak), Nalbandian, and Massu (in a tiebreak). Huh.

Why isn't the complaint that Roland Garros is too fast, nowadays? Why aren't people complaining that Federer has no business making clay tournament finals? Henmen has gone deep there, as has Rafter, Edberg, Becker, Stich, & Sampras. The answer, at a minimum, relates to the point I made before - fluke results correspond to less respect.

Never won at Roland Garros? Compared to never won at Wimbledon? No contest. Wimbledon is doing what they should be doing. That is, if they're doing anything at all - Guga made the Wimbly quarters several times, too. Conspiracy, indeed.

And I'll go on record right now: Robredo will never make the finals at Wimbledon. Ever. Davydenko just might, as he's much closer to an Agassi/Hewitt/Nalbandian than random Jose Claycourter.

Moose Malloy
07-05-2006, 04:02 PM
And yet, Nadal also almost went out in the second round to a jouneyman American S&V'er that would have no business playing him that close anywhere in the world EXCEPT Wimbledon.

It just sounds like you don't like S&V. Low ranked unknowns with big serves have troubled many a top player on grass, even in 70s. I have no problem with that. Its whats unique about the sport. You really don't mind watching Ferrer on grass playing exactly the same way he plays on clay? The adjustment isn't that hard for players these days due to grass being changed.

Does jouneyman mid 200's claycourter press Federer on clay? I'll say no. Now I'll go look at Fed's clay results this year...


Its not fair to use Fed's results to compare how unknowns do against top players on clay, since Fed had always been a very good claycourter & is the most dominant all surface player since Lendl. If you look up Edberg, Becker, Mac, Sampras, I'm sure they have been troubled (or beaten) by Kendrick's claycourt equivalent. And the Kendrick match was an anomaly. There really aren't that many dangerous low ranked players on grass anymore. And that result may have had more to do with nadal's inexperience on grass than kendrick's great grasscourt ability.

And I'll go on record right now: Robredo will never make the finals at Wimbledon. Ever.

I'm sure you said the same thing about nadal a year ago. we'll see what happens at w in a few years, I imagine we'll have claycourters going deeper in the draw every year. and they won't have to s&v like borg had to when he became w champion.

The answer, at a minimum, relates to the point I made before - fluke results correspond to less respect.

Never won at Roland Garros? Compared to never won at Wimbledon? No contest. Wimbledon is doing what they should be doing.

I don't understand. You think Wimbledon changed the grass because of fluke results? The tournament did not get any less respect in the 90s, it was still the most prestigious event. And the list of player that did well there aren't flukes compared to those that did well at the French. You had players that were much higher ranked, accomplished more, etc.
Ivanisevic was not a fluke, he was ranked in the top 10 for 6-7 years. It wasn't just on the basis of his play on grass. Someone like Berasategui was a fluke, not sure he won more than 10 matches on any surface outside of clay in his career.

ohplease
07-05-2006, 04:21 PM
It just sounds like you don't like S&V. Low ranked unknowns with big serves have troubled many a top player on grass, even in 70s. I have no problem with that. Its whats unique about the sport. You really don't mind watching Ferrer on grass playing exactly the same way he plays on clay? The adjustment isn't that hard for players these days due to grass being changed.



Its not fair to use Fed's results to compare how unknowns do against top players on clay, since Fed had always been a very good claycourter & is the most dominant all surface player since Lendl. If you look up Edberg, Becker, Mac, Sampras, I'm sure they have been troubled (or beaten) by Kendrick's claycourt equivalent. And the Kendrick match was an anomaly. There really aren't that many dangerous low ranked players on grass anymore. And that result may have had more to do with nadal's inexperience on grass than kendrick's great grasscourt ability.



I'm sure you said the same thing about nadal a year ago. we'll see what happens at w in a few years, I imagine we'll have claycourters going deeper in the draw every year. and they won't have to s&v like borg had to when he became w champion.



I don't understand. You think Wimbledon changed the grass because of fluke results? The tournament did not get any less respect in the 90s, it was still the most prestigious event. And the list of player that did well there aren't flukes compared to those that did well at the French. You had players that were much higher ranked, accomplished more, etc.
Ivanisevic was not a fluke, he was ranked in the top 10 for 6-7 years. It wasn't just on the basis of his play on grass. Someone like Berasategui was a fluke, not sure he won more than 10 matches on any surface outside of clay in his career.

1) I like S&V just fine. However, as a style of play, it's not entitled to success. Wilander style grinding doesn't work anymore, either. The game, like everything else, evolves.

2) Perhaps Nadal is a legitimate all court threat. Courier made the final at Wimbledon - was the world ending then, too?

3) The worst I've said about Nadal is that he hadn't yet earned comparisons to Guga. In my mind, he still hasn't - but he's not far off. I may not like his game, but he deserves far more respect than he gets around here (as to why he doesn't, I have my own theories).

4) Flukes don't have to be winners. What does Dr. Ivo do during the rest of the year? Dick Norman?

Moose Malloy
07-05-2006, 04:27 PM
2) Perhaps Nadal is a legitimate all court threat. Courier made the final at Wimbledon - was the world ending then, too?


Courier made the final by S&Ving every 1st serve. As I said all baseliners(except Agassi) of 80s/90s changed their game when they played Wimbledon. Ferrer, Nadal, etc aren't having to change their game much this year because of new grass. I'm not saying the world is ending, but that they have it easier than the baseliners of a few years ago.

4) Flukes don't have to be winners. What does Dr. Ivo do during the rest of the year? Dick Norman?

Not sure what your point is. The clay season has many flukes. And even though the grass has changed, there are still flukes. Thats why we have different surfaces.
And Karlovic lost 1st round at W last 2 years, he's not as big a factor on grass as you think.

as to why he doesn't, I have my own theories).


its the pants, right?

FiveO
07-05-2006, 05:03 PM
...Wimbledon did its job in making the surface less of a factor. No more one trick pony champions or finalists like Krajicek or Ivanisevic...

One trick ponies?

The oft injured Krajicek reached at least the QF or better in all four majors:

Australian Open = SF

Roland Garros = SF and another QF

Wimbledon = Won once, another SF and twice to the R16

US Open = QF three times, twice to the R16



The oft injured and off the wall Ivanisevic may have excelled on grass (and carpet) BUT:

Australian Open = QF twice

Roland Garros = QF three times

Wimbledon = Won once, Finalist three other times, SF twice more and another QF.

US Open = SF and two other R16's.

These guy were not "one trick ponies" like the anomolous winners who have sprung up with greater regularity at Roland Garros.

They played into the second week of all four majors alot. Combined they played on the final weekend of all four majors eleven times.

dh003i
07-05-2006, 05:23 PM
look, the tennis courts should be diversified. We want a wide variety of style.

However, for those who praise Wimbledon for making the courts slower and the FO making the courts faster (e.g., ohplease), you have to have some respect for that. They don't want specialists, and fluke results, players who never do anything anywhere else. This is alot better than the worthless hypocrisy of people like Vamos who think it's perfectly fine to slow down the Wimbledon, but that the French shouldn't be sped up.

However, I would note as above posters said that the Wimbledon isn't known for specialists. You typically don't see people winning the Wimbledon who can't go far in the other slams. I think most Wimbledon winners have won other slams. There are few Wimbledon winners who haven't done anything anywhere else. On the other hand, the French Open is full of clay-court specialists who wouldn't win a game on grass if their life depended on it, and aren't much better on hard-courts either.

fastdunn
07-05-2006, 05:34 PM
Krajicek and Ivanesvich are NOT one-trick pony.
They are just unlucky to have to compete with Sampras
at Wimbledon for a decade.

ohplease
07-05-2006, 09:52 PM
look, the tennis courts should be diversified. We want a wide variety of style.

However, for those who praise Wimbledon for making the courts slower and the FO making the courts faster (e.g., ohplease), you have to have some respect for that. They don't want specialists, and fluke results, players who never do anything anywhere else. This is alot better than the worthless hypocrisy of people like Vamos who think it's perfectly fine to slow down the Wimbledon, but that the French shouldn't be sped up.

However, I would note as above posters said that the Wimbledon isn't known for specialists. You typically don't see people winning the Wimbledon who can't go far in the other slams. I think most Wimbledon winners have won other slams. There are few Wimbledon winners who haven't done anything anywhere else. On the other hand, the French Open is full of clay-court specialists who wouldn't win a game on grass if their life depended on it, and aren't much better on hard-courts either.

Thank you. Not that hard to understand.

Further, it's not like fast courts don't exist on tour, anymore. Why has Nadal bothered to serve bigger at Wimbledon? What's keeping S&V'ers from succeeding at the indoor tournaments at the end of the year? Where does the conspiracy end, exactly?

At some point, you've got to give the current crop of "claycourters" props. People have been talking about how much more well-rounded the latest crop of Spaniards are/will be since before Moya. And they are. That they're not Stefan Edberg isn't their problem - it's that of the audience.

FiveO
07-06-2006, 12:44 AM
52,200 heavier, slower Slazenger tennis balls.

₤50,000.

Installing slower, higher bouncing rye grass at the AELTCC?

₤1,000,000

People actually believing that the Spanish Armada have suddenly evolved as a group to play on grass instead of the Wimbledon's playing conditions being altered enough to suit a limited playing style.

Priceless!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The only "props" handed out should be from the Spaniards to the "Traditionalists" who are responsible for altering the playing conditions on the grounds of the AELTCC enough to finally suit them.

Offering an "Olé" or "Vamos" in tribute to the clay courters improvement and newfound ability to play in "fast" conditions seems unwarranted when in fact those conditions have finally been slowed and raised to their liking. It's perceptible, a shame and a sham.

It insults the legacies of players like Budge, Laver, Borg and Agassi who actually possessed and/or developed the rarest of abilities necessary to succeed both on the slowest and fastest of surfaces at the majors.

newnuse
07-06-2006, 01:27 AM
Players used to have to adjust to the tournament surface. That's the way it should be. The tournaments should never make changes to their surface to accomodate some whiners.

When Borg won Wimbledon, he won it at the net. Borg was a great clay courter who changed his game at Wimbledon.

When McEnroe made it to the finals of the FO, he made some adjustments to his game. He stayed back more on his service games, mainly on 2nd serves. He still came to the net when he got a chance, but he worked his way up there. If you ever saw Mac play, you know he was as pure a S&V as there ever was.

The clay court specialist used to flame out in the first round at Wimbledon, not because of the grass. The stunk on grass because their games were so limited. They never could or refused change or improve other parts of their games. Borg did, Lendl did. Lendl S&V his way into the finals of Wimbledon.

With the slowing down of the hard and grass courts, it has really eliminated the different styles of play that makes tennis so great back in the 90's and earlier. The advantage has swung very far over to the baseliners. Nadal is kicking butt at Wimbledon, but has he really changed his style of play like a Borg?

Few fans who know their tennis would argue Martina/Chris was the greatest rivalry ever in tennis. One of the main reason their rivalry was so great was that it was a classic battle of a baseliner vs S&V'er. Martina had the advantage on Grass, Chris on clay. This rivalry wouldn't be the same today. Evert would have a big advantage now.

Mac vs Connors/Lendl, Lendl vs Edberg/Becker... etc.. classic battles that we don't get to see these days.

ohplease
07-06-2006, 06:22 AM
So when McEnroe goes on and on about how Nadal is, in fact, altering his game - bigger serves, less loop in his shots - that's not an adjustment?

And how does slowing the grass down help English tennis, exactly? Murray arrived early even this year, and was nowhere to be seen earlier in the conspiracy era.

Champions find ways to win. If they're a Jimmy Arias, doomed to an era in equipment or playing style or surface trends that don't suit them, my response to that is he and his handlers are simply too stupid to figure out a way to harness his considerable talents. That's also my problem with fluke, one time finalists or winners. Yeah, you got hot. So what. Let's see you do it again.

Stubbornly insisting that Wimbledon "should" be won by playing a certain way is fundamentally no different than some hack complaining about how pushers expose their weeknesses. Cry me a river. Tennis, right now, is about he who sets his feet first. Bluffing/rushing/crushing your way in to get your points doesn't work anymore? Awww. Maybe your mommy can listen to you cry. Until then, somebody else is lifting the trophy.

Let's do a test - how often are Sampras/Goran serve fests shown on ESPN classic? How many articles from that era talked about the outstanding quality of tennis at Wimbledon? *Gasp* Could that brand of tennis have had something to do with the changes?

Kaptain Karl
07-06-2006, 09:18 AM
So when McEnroe goes on and on about how Nadal is, in fact, altering his game - bigger serves, less loop in his shots - that's not an adjustment?Mac "goes on and on" about a lot of things. Rule changes ... the evils of new racket tech ... Federer ... Nadal ... etc. Just because he was a great competitor -- and is a very good analyst -- doesn't mean he's correct when it comes to "sea changes" in Tennis.

And how does slowing the grass down help English tennis, exactly?Who made this claim?

Champions find ways to win. <snip> ... fluke, one time finalists or winners. Yeah, you got hot. So what. Let's see you do it again.We agree here. Although, I do give Agassi lots of credit for not "mailing in" his Semis and Finals against Sampras. There was something ... honorable ... about his refusal to give up or give in....

Stubbornly insisting that Wimbledon "should" be won by playing a certain way ...Except for the fact that no one is stating this, you might have had a good argument.

Tennis, right now, is about he who sets his feet first. Bluffing/rushing/crushing your way in to get your points doesn't work anymore? Awww.Ah! I see. You simply don't like -- or cannot succeed yourself with -- S&V tennis. (So you ridicule it???)

That's fine, but just because you cannot appreciate/detect the subtlety of (traditional) Grass Court play doesn't mean it isn't there. Traditional Grass, as a surface, takes speed, spin, touch and angles very well. Traditional Grass just doesn't play into the strength of the (mostly) extreme grip clay courters.

I *do* think it's strangely ironic that just at the time modern racket technologies have helped make the Return of Serve more dependable, accurate (and even) more of a weapon ... this is the same time period that AELTCC capitulated to the threats and whines of the clay courters and slowed the surface for them. (I don't for one second believe this was "for the good of the game" or any such nonsense. The AELTCC powers someow figured it would make more money, period.)

I learned and played on (Har-Tru) clay up until my late teens. I actually prefer clay (even though I've been stuck on Hard for the last 30 years) and appreciate the (faster) clay style of play, I find the slow European / South American clay matches to be some of the most boring tennis immaginable. (Throw in the between-points stalling of Pierce, Shriekapova, Nadal, etc. and I'd rather clean the bathroom than watch this kind of clay court tennis...!)

Offering an "Olé" or "Vamos" in tribute to the clay courters improvement and newfound ability to play in "fast" conditions seems unwarranted when in fact those conditions have finally been slowed and raised to their liking. It's perceptible, a shame and a sham.

It insults the legacies of players like Budge, Laver, Borg and Agassi who actually possessed and/or developed the rarest of abilities necessary to succeed both on the slowest and fastest of surfaces at the majors.Bingo! Amen! Yes!

- KK

Eviscerator
07-06-2006, 09:27 AM
I don't get that feeling. When she sticks to TENNIS she generally knows her stuff, and is often spot-on. It's when she goes off on politics or society that she sometimes puts her foot in her mouth.

I agree with her...the tennis powers-that-be have killed s&v tennis, even at Wimbledon. I know a lot of people complained about boring no-strokes serve fests, but that, to me, was the fun of Wimby, while RG, USO and the AO had plenty of baseline rallies. That the different surfaces played as they were SUPPOSED TO, and made tennis a diverse game, was part of its attraction. I find myself less able to sit through Wimbledon matches these days, knowing what it used to be like.

I agree

North
07-06-2006, 09:51 AM
Ah! I see. You simply don't like -- or cannot succeed yourself with -- S&V tennis. (So you ridicule it???)

That's fine, but just because you cannot appreciate/detect the subtlety of (traditional) Grass Court play doesn't mean it isn't there. Traditional Grass, as a surface, takes speed, spin, touch and angles very well. Traditional Grass just doesn't play into the strength of the (mostly) extreme grip clay courters.

I *do* think it's strangely ironic that just at the time modern racket technologies have helped make the Return of Serve more dependable, accurate (and even) more of a weapon ... this is the same time period that AELTCC capitulated to the threats and whines of the clay courters and slowed the surface for them. (I don't for one second believe this was "for the good of the game" or any such nonsense. The AELTCC powers someow figured it would make more money, period.)

I learned and played on (Har-Tru) clay up until my late teens. I actually prefer clay (even though I've been stuck on Hard for the last 30 years) and appreciate the (faster) clay style of play, I find the slow European / South American clay matches to be some of the most boring tennis immaginable. (Throw in the between-points stalling of Pierce, Shriekapova, Nadal, etc. and I'd rather clean the bathroom than watch this kind of clay court tennis...!)

- KK

Well put. Someone mentioned (earlier in this thread, I think) that the AELTCC has the right to make the playing surface whatever they wish. Well they ought to, but, unfortunately, it almost seems that is not the case, as they certainly capitulated to the "threats and whines of the clay courters", when they could have stood their grassy ground. How much of that decision was due to the profit motive and how much to anything else (trying to be politically correct, simply wanting to avoid obnoxious unpleasantry from a vocal special interest group, etc) is debatable.

It really was a pleasure before to see the then very noticeably different styles of play competitors had to use to succeed at the FO and then Wimbledon. Not too many people could do it. If you couldn't adapt, you just didn't have a chance. (Hm, are my Darwinian tendencies showing?) Much more of a challenge, I think, than grinding it out from the baseline on red clay at snail's pace followed by grinding it out on grass at a slightly faster turtle's pace.

ohplease
07-06-2006, 09:55 AM
Ah! I see. You simply don't like -- or cannot succeed yourself with -- S&V tennis. (So you ridicule it???)

That's fine, but just because you cannot appreciate/detect the subtlety of (traditional) Grass Court play doesn't mean it isn't there. Traditional Grass, as a surface, takes speed, spin, touch and angles very well. Traditional Grass just doesn't play into the strength of the (mostly) extreme grip clay courters.

I *do* think it's strangely ironic that just at the time modern racket technologies have helped make the Return of Serve more dependable, accurate (and even) more of a weapon ... this is the same time period that AELTCC capitulated to the threats and whines of the clay courters and slowed the surface for them. (I don't for one second believe this was "for the good of the game" or any such nonsense. The AELTCC powers someow figured it would make more money, period.)

Totally bush league. Whether or not I like or succeed at S&V is neither indicated nor pertinant. My position doesn't require personal attacks to stand on its own merits. Turn the other cheek, indeed - but remember to take the first swing, too.

And how exactly is the AELTCC making money on the change? That part of the conspiracy doesn't even make sense. Do Cypriots or Spaniards somehow pay more money to the English, or what?

Here's a theory that actually makes some sense: Wimbledon changed precisely because of and in response to the Sampras/Goran era serving snooze-fests. Articles from that time period proclaimed on high that tennis was dying. Something! Anything! Needed to be done! Change to what, exactly? Who cares?! We need to de-emphasize the power of the serve, and right quick.

Cue the law of unintended consequences. This is exhibit AAA #1 that the knee-jerk panicked world-is-ending response is exactly the wrong reaction. That's how Wimbledon got in this "mess" in the first place. Let 'em play.

In three days, Fed is likely hoisting his 4th straight, against someone he met in one of the last two Slam finals. These are today's giants. They're young and charismatic and meeting again and again and again, when it counts - a situation tennis hasn't had for a long time. AND STILL, there's something wrong with tennis.*

*This post free of personal attacks. Ad hominem attacks are privileged to moderators only.

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 10:20 AM
Drysdale said today that the transition from clay to grass(due to surface being changed) is easier than it was in the past. He emphasized it wasn't "easy" but just "easier."

ohplease, I don't think todays group of claycourters are that much better than those of the 90s. Ferrer, Verdasco, Nadal, Coria, Ferrero(all 2nd week players at W last 2 years) don't play that differently from Costa, Bruguera, Muster, Medvedev, Rios, Corretja(heck this guy was pretty good on all surfaces, he even beat sampras on grass! bet he wouldn't have boycotted W in his day had they had slow grass)

Let's do a test - how often are Sampras/Goran serve fests shown on ESPN classic? How many articles from that era talked about the outstanding quality of tennis at Wimbledon? *Gasp* Could that brand of tennis have had something to do with the changes?

True those matches weren't fun to watch. But those guys would have had the exact type match had they played each other on slow grass. They probably had the 2 best serves of all time, even when they played on slower surfaces, there would be a ton of aces, no rallies, & they would come to net constantly.

You can still play that way on grass today, there just aren't guys that can serve the way those 2 did around anymore.

Since todays game is so baseline oriented, if they switched the grass back it wouldn't change the way most play anyway. We'd still have mostly baseline duels(the standard of volleying it quite bad today), but we also might have some agressive S&V play.

ohplease
07-06-2006, 10:41 AM
Drysdale said today that the transition from clay to grass(due to surface being changed) is easier than it was in the past. He emphasized it wasn't "easy" but just "easier."

ohplease, I don't think todays group of claycourters are that much better than those of the 90s. Ferrer, Verdasco, Nadal, Coria, Ferrero(all 2nd week players at W last 2 years) don't play that differently from Costa, Bruguera, Muster, Medvedev, Rios, Corretja(heck this guy was pretty good on all surfaces, he even beat sampras on grass! bet he wouldn't have boycotted W in his day had they had slow grass)



True those matches weren't fun to watch. But those guys would have had the exact type match had they played each other on slow grass. They probably had the 2 best serves of all time, even when they played on slower surfaces, there would be a ton of aces, no rallies, & they would come to net constantly.

You can still play that way on grass today, there just aren't guys that can serve the way those 2 did around anymore.

Since todays game is so baseline oriented, if they switched the grass back it wouldn't change the way most play anyway. We'd still have mostly baseline duels(the standard of volleying it quite bad today), but we also might have some agressive S&V play.

So then it's a chicken and egg situation. Sampras and Ivo in their primes could still play the way they always did on today's grass. But they're not around anymore. Is it the surface at fault, then?

I think Drysdale's comments are quite fair. Has there been a change. Sure. Does that change make Nadal's run unworthy of credit? Heck no. And players like Brugera and Rios made the 4th round. Is Nadal's run this year that much different? Do we even have this conversation if Hendrick closes him out in the 2nd round?

Tell you what, I'll even put my internet pride at stake. I say if they're both playing competently, Marcos beats Nadal convincingly in their semi. Nadal has more upside, and Marcos can look terrible at times, but if they're both on typical form, I think the combination of natural playing style and surface (such as it is) makes for a routine win for the Cypriot. The hairball's gone through Grosjean, Murray, and Hewitt already - all guys who've shown they can play on this stuff.

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 10:57 AM
Tell you what, I'll even put my internet pride at stake. I say if they're both playing competently, Marcos beats Nadal convincingly in their semi.

You know, I've heard that said about 50% of everyone nadal has played over the last year. How many tennis matches are really won & lost just because of tennis abilities? Its mostly mental at this stage, & if its close Bags won't have a chance, he will be so nervous(Wimbledon tends to cause more collapses than any other slam, must be the pims)
I remember so many saying the same about Borg. "If player A plays his best, he will beat Borg convincingly)
A great defense can be a huge weapon.

think Drysdale's comments are quite fair. Has there been a change

So you have no problem that the transition from clay to grass is now "easier?" Pros shouldn't need any help.

Do we even have this conversation if Hendrick closes him out in the 2nd round?


I've been having this conversation for years(mostly with myself, only now people are listening)
I said that this type result(a claycourter in the semis of W) was inevitable the way things were going last few years-Coria, Ferrero doing well. Federer playing almost exclusively from baseline.
We'll see what W is like in a few years. I wouldn't be surprised if they make some changes when 3 of 4 semifinalists are from South America or Spain.

Personally, I do enjoy W more than in years past. But I'm not the changes are "right" you know what I mean? I like that Laver, Borg, Sampras all played on basically the same surface. Surface changes make it harder to compare the greats.

If Nadal or Federer does pull off this elusive FO/W double one year I don't think it will be as impressive as Borg.

alienhamster
07-06-2006, 11:11 AM
I thought most of you claiming that the grass was too slow were crazy little Barry types. But I have to admit that *in the second week* of Wimbledon now, I feel like I'm watching a hard court match. It didn't used to seem this slow, I swear.

BUT, but, but . . . I was at Wimbledon in person this year, 2nd round. And the grass was playing quick and low, as it should. Probably still slower than 10 years ago, but it certainly wasn't playing like a hard court.

The chewed up grass seems to be too true-bouncy and slow.

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 11:11 AM
Actually #1 evidence that Wimbledon got slow is
Mr. Federer.

Federer is not exaclty a fast court player. It's being
proven by Nadal.

alienhamster
07-06-2006, 11:15 AM
Actually #1 evidence that Wimbledon got slow is
Mr. Federer.

Federer is not exaclty a fast court player. It's being
proven by Nadal. WHA?? I'm pretty sure Fed is a good fast court player. Not many people are as quick and can take the ball as early as Fed. (As well as volley and serve hard when needed.)

Do you just mean it's because he chooses to stay on the baseline?

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 11:24 AM
WHA?? I'm pretty sure Fed is a good fast court player. Not many people are as quick and can take the ball as early as Fed. (As well as volley and serve hard when needed.)

Do you just mean it's because he chooses to stay on the baseline?

Yeah, I don't exactly have data to support my claim, I admit in this case.
It's all speculation right now and quite baseless conjecture.

But I'm not sure if Wimbledon is fast court now. If Nadal somehow wins
Wimbledon and beat Federer on hard courts, Is Nadal fast court player ?

P.S. "Fed can S&V if he wants to" is tiiring claim. He lost at early rounds
in WImbledon by doing that. As Gilbert said today and I've been saying for
years, Federer is a hard core back-court player.

alienhamster
07-06-2006, 11:27 AM
Yeah, I don't exactly have data to support my claim, I admit in this case.
It's all speculation right now and quite baseless conjecture.

But I'm not sure if Wimbledon is fast court now. If Nadal somehow wins
Wimbledon and beat Federer on hard courts, Is Nadal fast court player ?

P.S. "Fed can S&V if he wants to" is tiiring claim. He lost at early rounds
in WImbledon by doing that. As Gilbert said today and I've been saying for
years, Federer is a hard core back-court player. Okay, I gotcha.

Kaptain Karl
07-06-2006, 11:28 AM
... those guys would have had the exact type match had they played each other on slow grass. They probably had the 2 best serves of all time, even when they played on slower surfaces, there would be a ton of aces, no rallies, & they would come to net constantly.

You can still play that way on grass today, there just aren't guys that can serve the way those 2 did around anymore."Almost." Remember that Federer even played more S&V at Wimbledon four years ago. He hardly plays that way at all today. The slowER grass and the better Returners argue against playing constant S&V ... well, if you want to win, anyway.

Since todays game is so baseline oriented, if they switched the grass back it wouldn't change the way most play anyway. We'd still have mostly baseline duels (the standard of volleying it quite bad today), but we also might have some agressive S&V play.Again, "almost". The ratios of "who advances deeply in the draw" would be different. If the AELTCC courts were like they were ten years ago, the mix of "clay courters" would not be as high so deep into the draw. (Yeah. This means Karlovic probably would have made it two or three rounds into the tourney. So what?)

My point here is, you would see more S&V-ers ... Big Serve, Big FH-ers ... and the odd Chip & Charger making it a few rounds farther. So we would be seeing more variety of playing styles.

So then it's a chicken and egg situation. Sampras and Ivo in their primes could still play the way they always did on today's grass.No. Even these two would falter if they played S&V all the time on this slower grass. (As one who plays and All Court game -- with the least emphasis on Baseline -- I'm here to tell you, Serve & Volley takes a LOT out of you.) It is not at all "easy", even *with* a big serve.

I think Drysdale's comments are quite fair. Has there been a change. Sure. Does that change make Nadal's run unworthy of credit? Heck no.Agreed.

But there are *some* posters on TT who are pretending Nadal's success at this year's Wimbledon -- on *these* grass courts -- proves he'd have been as successful if the AELTCC courts had not been changed. This attitude is preposterous.

And players like Brugera and Rios made the 4th round. Is Nadal's run this year that much different? Do we even have this conversation if Hendrick closes him out in the 2nd round?No, we don't. And if Hendrick and Nadal had played that match on the previous AELTCC Grass, Nadal's victory would have been much less likely, IMO.

I'll even put my internet pride at stake. I say if they're both playing competently, Marcos beats Nadal convincingly in their semi.I would not bet either way on this match. I believe it will either be ... *the* match of the tourney, or ... a snoozer. We'll soon see.

- KK

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 11:28 AM
Do you just mean it's because he chooses to stay on the baseline?

Sounds like a good reason to me. Fed comes to net less on grass than Borg or Connors did. Think about that for a second. Heck, Nadal comes to net more than Fed.

Today on espn Gilbert said, "Everyone thinks that Fed is an allcourter, but really he's just a great baseliner."

I agree. Maybe Fed is an allcourter or great "fast court" player by todays standards, but in any other era he'd be called a baseliner.

Plus, alienhamster, there are less fast surfaces today compared to the 80s/90s. Virtually no indoor carpet, slow grass, etc.

!Tym
07-06-2006, 11:36 AM
Actually, Rios' game was taylor made for grass in my opinion. He already had a tricky slider serve as his best serve, and the grass would have enhanced it and gave it the potency/sting it lacked a little of. He also was short and low to the ground, and this made for taking the ball on the rise with non-extreme grips and technique, among the most compact and efficient stroking techniques on tour. Passing shot ability was second to none if his head was committed, same with returning. Good soft hands, great disguise on drop shots, fluid mover and great hands at net.

The problem was that his attitude toward the surface was pees-puur, like a cat with his claws out, he hated the surface and made it known.

As for Bruguera, he really never took Wimbledon seriously, and only played it like never basically. In 94, he played it, but I think a huge burden was off of him when he defended Roland Garros and proved it wasn't a fluke. He was ridiculously stressed out he said leading up to the defense he said, you can see the sense of relief on his face when he beat Berasategui just melt off him before your eyes in that final. Then, he played basically that Wimbledon without any pressure and probably just winging it. He ended up basically serving and volleying his way to victory over Rafter at Wimbledon in what was considered the match of the tournament basically. He had soft hands at net, the British reporter said he "couldn't believe" the volleys he was hitting because some of them the "artistry" and "touch" was "Edberg like." In other words, he played "over his head" for one match, this ONE particular MATCH-UP, and when does that heppen? What conditions are involved in that? Usually, a pysche edge against the opponent (over RAfter, check), bubbling with confidence and no pressure (check coming off victory at the French, playing for fun, nothing to lose on the grass). At the time, Rafter was considered a future star and 21 in the world, he cramped in the end (was a 13-11 5th set or something like that), and probably feeling a HECKUVA a lot more pressure than Bruguera in this match; McEnroe said later that this was the loss that really sent Rafter reeling mentally, confidence-wise, and then injury for the next few years.

Anyway, in the fourth round, Bruguera lost in three to Chang. First two set scores looked competitive, then the third, heard he tanked it, gave up, because he lost it 6-0 which wasn't uncommon for him. The thing was, the report I read on the match was one of dissapointment that Bruguera just went back to playing like he always did, from the baseline, against Chang in this match instead of serving and volleying. It could well be because he didn't respect Rafter's passing shots and returns (duh) like he would Chang's, and also because he probably figured against an athletic serve and volleyer on grass with a big serve (Rafter used to go for more on his serves back then, when he made his move up into the elite, he actually abbreviated the motion and focused more on kicking it with the Edberg strategy) it would be his only chance and he had nothing to lose, so why not? Probably had fun that match, that style would be equivalent of "going for broke" for a heavy topspin baseliner...so it can be done. Just don't count on it happening regularly. It's a once in a blue moon occurence that occurred probably at a time when Bruguera was at peak confidence and feeling good about himself after coming off the "relief" of Roland Garros. Yet, it just goes to show if your heads in the right order mentally, you can do alright even on poor surfaces for you. BUT, everything basically needs to fall in place for you for that to happen (like Rafter cramping).

Also, had Bruguera pulled out the second set tie-break against Chang, I think he could have beaten Chang, he certainly wouldn't have given up then (see how he gave up after losing the first set tie-break to Muster, he was like that). Had he beaten Chang, I think he would have given Sampras a better match than Chang in the quarters believe it or not. In every match, they ever played, he won more points than Sampras, even on razor fast indoors where came within two points of taking the second set 6-love, including the two matches he lost, and those two matches went the distance. His game matched up well with Sampras', and he read his serve well, better than Chang. Had more reach on the two-hander, and more importantly his dink chip forehand return didn't hurt him nearly as much against serve and volleyers as it did baseliners, since chipping it low at a serve and volleyers feet isn't always a bad play. In other words, even though it was a bad surface for him, I think matchup factors still hold even on other surfaces, just not as much, but they still do factor in. I think if Nadal and Federer meet in the final, given also that the surface is slower now, I would NOT be surprised if Nadal beats Federer. I think Federer's trying to psyche Nadal out, because deep down he's pysched out by Nadal. I think on grass, FEDERER is going to be the one with all the pressure on the world on him, especially after so many losses to Nadal, to demolish Nadal and show why he's the undisputed, pound for pound, best "tennis artiste" in the world (as opposed to "denigrated fighter" with Nadal, in the minds of so many tennis purists).

Matchups do factor in regardless of surface conditions, just not as much, but if conditions are perfect, and the player at a disadvantage on a surface has a positive frame of mind and is in good mood, i.e. no "I'm spooked out"/injured/not confident variables going on, then the effect of surface can be reduced greatly for just one match, not over a career, but on any given day, it's definitely possible. I'm honestly thinking it could be a Bruguera over Rafter type "surprise" (Bruguera basically owned Rafter otherwise like Nadal with Federer), yes he needed a little help with Rafter cramping and inexperienced/not fully developed, yet at the same time the grass was also much slicker/faster/bounced lower then as well.

alienhamster
07-06-2006, 11:37 AM
Sounds like a good reason to me. Fed comes to net less on grass than Borg or Connors did. Think about that for a second. Heck, Nadal comes to net more than Fed.

Today on espn Gilbert said, "Everyone thinks that Fed is an allcourter, but really he's just a great baseliner."

I agree. Maybe Fed is an allcourter or great "fast court" player by todays standards, but in any other era he'd be called a baseliner.

Plus, alienhamster, there are less fast surfaces today compared to the 80s/90s. Virtually no indoor carpet, slow grass, etc. Hmmm, all good points. But what do you consider Montreal and the US Open? They seem to play pretty fast to me.

And it's hard to evaluate carpet, etc. b/c it seems like Fed always sits out of the post US Open hardcourt season.

I've got to think about this some more. There seems to be *something* about Wimbledon's surface that accentuates Fed's game even more than any other surface. Maybe it's less the speed and more of the height of the bounce. Maybe Fed is just a great "low bounce" player.

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 11:40 AM
No. Even these two would falter if they played S&V all the time on this slower grass. (As one who plays and All Court game -- with the least emphasis on Baseline -- I'm here to tell you, Serve & Volley takes a LOT out of you.) It is not at all "easy", even *with* a big serve.


The grass was just as slow in '03. Philippoussis made the final S&V on every 1st & 2nd serve. If he can do it, I think Sampras & Ivanisevic can do it even better, since they have better serves & are better athletes. Heck Mirnyi S&Ved to a victory over Blake in 3rd round. Mirnyi is a mediocre talent compared to Goran. Then you have Stepanek. Also mediocre compared to Krajicek, etc.
There have been more S&V players that have done well on slow grass than you think('02 was the 1st year) Many great grasscourters retired around the same time(sampras, goran, krajiecek, rafter), so it seems that returns have gotten better, but really the tour just became more homogenized, baseline dominated. Even with fast grass today, Feliciano Lopez is not going to turn into Goran 2.0

Brad Gilbert agrees with me(that you can serve & volley if you have big serve)
Problem is many don't have that along with decent volleys(volleying today is at an alltime low) & great atheticism ala sampras.

Remember that Federer even played more S&V at Wimbledon four years ago. He hardly plays that way at all today

But Federer really isn't a S&V type player at heart. Brad Gilbert said he is a baseliner. I don't think Federer could S&V on fast grass nearly as well as Sampras or Ivanisevic, since his serve really isn't in their league. And Sampras volleys much better.
And really Feds baseline game is so good, there isn't a reason for him to do so. He plays the same everywhere else on tour, so why should he change at W.
Should be interesting to see if he plays nadal from the baseline on sunday.

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 11:45 AM
Today on espn Gilbert said, "Everyone thinks that Fed is an allcourter, but really he's just a great baseliner."


Oh my god. I've been saying this for years and got burned by Federer
fans here at TW.

I even said Federer's game has clay courter's mold and Nadal and Federer
are basically a same type of player in macro scale: consistent/strong
baseline game.

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 11:46 AM
Hmmm, all good points. But what do you consider Montreal and the US Open? They seem to play pretty fast to me.

And it's hard to evaluate carpet, etc. b/c it seems like Fed always sits out of the post US Open hardcourt season.

I've got to think about this some more. There seems to be *something* about Wimbledon's surface that accentuates Fed's game even more than any other surface. Maybe it's less the speed and more of the height of the bounce. Maybe Fed is just a great "low bounce" player.

US Open is considered fast by todays standards, but it is nowhere near as fast as grass & carpet of 90s. S&V was the only play on those surfaces.

Fed is a great low bounce player, but bounces aren't as low as they used to be, even at Wimbledon.

Kaptain Karl
07-06-2006, 12:20 PM
The grass was just as slow in '03. Philippoussis made the final S&V on every 1st & 2nd serve. If he can do it, I think Sampras & Ivanisevic can do it even better, since they have better serves & are better athletes.Even though I thought Flipper's success that year was very "flukey" ... you make a good point.

Brad Gilbert ...AAAaack!!! I'm *so* sick of reading about -- and hearing -- what Brad Gilbert has to say. That guy is wrong way more than he's right. (Have you ever tracked his "picks" in head-to-heads?) Man! I'm sick of that nut....

... volleying today is at an alltime lowWe agree, here.

But Federer really isn't a S&V type player at heart.Right. He's just about the prototype for an All Courter.

Brad Gilbert said he is a baseliner.See above. Gilbert is wrong ... again.

Should be interesting to see if he plays nadal from the baseline on sunday.I'm not as sure as you that Nadal is a "lock" for getting to the Final....

- KK

foetz
07-06-2006, 12:24 PM
i absolutely agree with martina and the most in here.
it's totally stupid to bring all surfaces to one standard. the point is that they are different and that's exactly what makes sense. i'm not keen on watching guys like nieminen or the spaniards all day. there's too less variety already. this should be pushed and not the opposite :mad:

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 12:34 PM
The grass was just as slow in '03. Philippoussis made the final S&V on every 1st & 2nd serve.

That's not true. He served and volleyed on most of his first serve, rarely served and volleyed on second serve. The commentator kept saying he couldn't beat Federer from baseline, just like JMcEnroe said about Ancic yesterday.

ohplease
07-06-2006, 12:40 PM
Oh, and while we're cherry picking our evidence - how did Jonas Bjorkman make it to the semis? Why didn't he go out to the prototypical modern baseliner Tommy Johansson in the 1st round, if the court's so slow?

Either the court is enabling Nadal's success, or it's enabling Bjorkman's. Or, perhaps it's enabling NEITHER and both a decent all-courter/doubles dude and one of the all time great clay courters are having a very good Wimbledon.

In fact, how does Blake lose to Mirnyi in these conditions?

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 12:42 PM
That's not true. He served and volleyed on most of his first serve, rarely served and volleyed on second serve.

I just watched it, he did S&V on every 1st & 2nd serve. He did it the entire event!
(I also have his matches with Agassi, Popp, Grosjean on tape)

He also S&V on every serve in '04 as well(making 4th round, while not winning more than a few matches at any event the entire year)

I don't think Philippoussis is the most talented player of all time or anything, but if he can do what so many say is impossible(with limited mobility) certainly others can. Krajicek did the same in '02 & had success. Mirnyi S&Ved every serve vs Blake. Its still a good play, most are just not capable.

Also, you should read Philippoussis interview at last year's W. He said that there is no difference in the grass of '05 compared to 90s! I guess if you do well S&Ving you really don't notice the different grass.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 12:52 PM
But I'm not sure if Wimbledon is fast court now. If Nadal somehow wins
Wimbledon and beat Federer on hard courts, Is Nadal fast court player ?


Come on, even with slow grass, Wimbledon is still a fast court. It is much slower this year because of extreme hot weather that makes the court extremely dry (high bounce) like every player said so in interview.

I don't think you should draw conclusion on court speed based on Nadal's play. It could be because of combination of condition and draw. Jim Courier made final one year with hot weather condition. If it were normal Wimbledon weather in June and July, the court would play faster than they are now.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 01:00 PM
I just watched it, he did S&V on every 1st & 2nd serve. He did it the entire event!
(I also have his matches with Agassi, Popp, Grosjean on tape)

He also S&V on every serve in '04 as well(making 4th round, while not winning more than a few matches at any event the entire year)

I don't think Philippoussis is the most talented player of all time or anything, but if he can do what so many say is impossible(with limited mobility) certainly others can. Krajicek did the same in '02 & had success. Mirnyi S&Ved every serve vs Blake. Its still a good play, most are just not capable.

Also, you should read Philippoussis interview at last year's W. He said that there is no difference in the grass of '05 compared to 90s! I guess if you do well S&Ving you really don't notice the different grass.

I have to watch it again.

Serve and volley can still work, no question about it. However, it is much riskier today than in the past, thus consistency would be lacking.

I don't read into Mark P's comment much. He is more of giving himself peptalk about nothing has changed, and he can still do it. Similar to Blake's comment about US Open not fast enough, it is more of him lobbying for faster US event. They can't make US Open faster than they are now. They should lobby for speeding up US Open series courts, and more indoor carpet events to replace those medium indoor hardcourt events in the fall.

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 01:01 PM
It is much slower this year because of extreme hot weather that makes the court extremely dry (high bounce) like every player said so in interview.

I don't think you should draw conclusion on court speed based on Nadal's play. It could be because of combination of condition and draw. Jim Courier made final one year with hot weather condition. If it were normal Wimbledon weather in June and July, the court would play faster than they are now.

It has rained this year btw. No player called Wimbledon in '93/95 "high bouncing." Ivanisevic was still serving 200 aces in a rain free W in '95.
Yes Courier made the final in '93 & weather was good. But he S&Ved every 1st serve that event because it was still insanely fast. And Becker & Edberg were in the semis that year.

A better bounce does not mean it is a high bounce, you know. Weather does not change Wimbledon as much as the French. Look at the list of the entire 90s, there were years with great weather & you still had baseliners do poorly, S&V players thrive.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 01:10 PM
It has rained this year btw. No player called Wimbledon in '93/95 "high bouncing." Ivanisevic was still serving 200 aces in a rain free W in '95.
Yes Courier made the final in '93 & weather was good. But he S&Ved every 1st serve that event because it was still insanely fast. And Becker & Edberg were in the semis that year.

A better bounce does not mean it is a high bounce, you know. Weather does not change Wimbledon as much as the French. Look at the list of the entire 90s, there were years with great weather & you still had baseliners do poorly, S&V players thrive.

High bouncing is relative term. Grass court bounce is always going to be lower than hardcourt and clay no matter what condition it is. That's why I love to play on grass. When the weather is cool and moist, the ball skids a lot more.

This year bounce is very high. From several interviews including Navratilova, they were all asked it seemed the grass is slower this year than in the past, they all said the same thing, the court seems to be the same as last year, it is slower and bounces higher because of unusual 90 degree temperature.

Moose Malloy
07-06-2006, 01:14 PM
I really doubt that, Mark isn't that bright, he does think the grass is the same.
And since he is S&Ving every serve with good success(final in '03), why would he think it was slow? If he really thought it was slow, he would change his game. He hasn't. Last year Philippoussis was a WC, basically a part time player, yet made 2nd round S&Ved every point & lost a close 3 sets to Safin.
He serves so big(& volleys decently) it isn't that hard for him to S&V.
Roddick is a horrible volleyer, of course he has trouble at net on slow, fast, whatever grass.

Ivanisevic played his last W in '04(made 3rd round after not playing for a year) & said he didn't notice a difference. The truly great servers aren't around anymore, thats partly why its harder to S&V. Sampras, Becker & co. would do fine. There are other reasons why Henman can't S&V, he serves too slow.

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 01:20 PM
Only major differences in bounce between hard courts and grass courts
now is its regularity, we can say.

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 01:23 PM
I don't think you should draw conclusion on court speed based on Nadal's play. It could be because of combination of condition and draw. Jim Courier made final one year with hot weather condition. If it were normal Wimbledon weather in June and July, the court would play faster than they are now.

Im not drawing conclusion on court speed. I'm objecting the assertion
that Federer is a fast court player. I've been also objecting another assertion
that Fed is an all court player. Now Gilbert is on my side.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 01:38 PM
Im not drawing conclusion on court speed. I'm objecting the assertion
that Federer is a fast court player.

He IS a fast court player. He does better second half of the year than the first half of the year. He has dominated Wimbledon and US Open for more than two years now. These are the fast courts - US Open is the fastest outdoor court you can find except soft grass.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 01:42 PM
Only major differences in bounce between hard courts and grass courts
now is its regularity, we can say.

Not true either. For US Open hardcourt, probably. For the rest of hardcourts, you'd be surprised how high those courts ATP are using right now are bouncing these days. Heavy topspin really jumps up. At today's Wimbledon, it doesn't at all even though temperature had been in 90s for a week.

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 02:08 PM
I've got same reaction when I said Federer is a baseliner a few years ago.
It took several years and Gilbert for some poeple to finally
at least appreciate the meaning of the statement.

Roger's game has a mold of style that based on a game
for slow to medium court. Roger's initial sucess came
very good on clay. (His 1st ever Master's title was on
the slowest clay at Hamberg. And he always does well
at Hamberg that has slowest clay).
And he skipped indoor carpet seasons
two years in a row, right ?

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 02:10 PM
Not true either. For US Open hardcourt, probably. For the rest of hardcourts, you'd be surprised how high those courts ATP are using right now are bouncing these days. Heavy topspin really jumps up. At today's Wimbledon, it doesn't at all even though temperature had been in 90s for a week.

I don't deny the differences. But as Cliff Drysdale said(after he tried
the court by himself), it plays like hard court pretty much.
The real differences are their irregularity of bounces, IMHO.
Chewed up badly here and there...

Galactus
07-06-2006, 02:13 PM
'The G.O.A.T' would ***-whup any of today's guys.
Piece-of-****.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 02:14 PM
I don't deny the differences. But as Cliff Drysdale said(after he tried
the court by himself), it plays like hard court pretty much.
The real differences are their irregularity of bounces, IMHO.
Chewed up badly here and there...

The second week, yes. The first week, no!

Marat Safinator
07-06-2006, 02:18 PM
When Nadal is dominating guys on grass, you know something is wrong.

your absolutely right.

The tennis guy
07-06-2006, 02:22 PM
And he skipped indoor carpet seasons
two years in a row, right ?

He had been injured in the fall the last two years. He had partially torn ligament on his ankle. He played well enough in Shanghai, people tended to forget about it - he practiced only two days before the tournament.

There is no indoor carpet season anymore. Most of tournaments in the fall indoors are on medium hardcourt. There is only one master event Paris on carpet, but it is not the 90s supreme surface.

I am sure Federer would love to play the indoor season where the like of Nadal would give him much less problem. His best surface is medium to fast court. He can play really well on slow to medium court because he grew up on clay. Federer plays better on clay than Sampras not because of his stroke, but because of his natural movement on clay. Federer is NOT a natural clay courter.

By the way, you don't see players whose game are molded for slow to medium court according to you take the ball as early as Federer. Federer is an attacking player. Very few players take the ball as early as Federer.

FiveO
07-06-2006, 05:36 PM
Oh, and while we're cherry picking our evidence - how did Jonas Bjorkman make it to the semis? Why didn't he go out to the prototypical modern baseliner Tommy Johansson in the 1st round, if the court's so slow?

Prototypical modern baseliner? Tommy Johansson? 31 year old Tommy Johansson? That Tommy Johansson? Which prototype are we talking about? The streak player who hits flatter than most on the tour, hence producing wildly up and down results? In the words of Bill Dana "Oh, I hope not."

The Tommy who leads the career h2h with Bjorkman, spread over the last 10 years, by a whopping 6-5?

The TJ who won the AO but is 11-10 there in his other campaigns down under?

The one who has never been past the 2nd round of RG in 9 tries and has a combined winning percentage at the 4 slams a tick below 60% (Bjorkman is a tick below 61%)?

TJ is not the prototypical clay courter being discussed here. He is not fleet of foot and hits flatter than any of the Spanish Armada-type players and thus has always been streaky and extremely up and down. His win at the AO and SF at Wimbledon last year are starkly contrasted by his 23 first or second round exits at the 36 Majors he's played.

He and Bjorkman are about equal, have been so throughout there pro careers (TJ broke in the year after Bjorkman), neither possesses notable footspeed nor any real weapons and match-up well whether they play on ice or tapioca.

Either the court is enabling Nadal's success, or it's enabling Bjorkman's. The luck of the draw has enabled them most...

Bjorkman's opponents:

1R - Thomas Johansson (equals on anything as explained above) 18-9 at W coming in.

2R- Lukas Dlouhy #89 first time at Wimbledon won exactly one match.

3R- Daniel Bracciali #54, now 6-4 at Wimbledon in four tries. 4-3 at W coming in.

4R- Max Mirnyi #53, Bjorkman held a 9-1 career h2h v. Max going into this match, now 10-1 to Bjorkman. One of the better returners vs. one of the weakest. Mirnyi came in with an 8-6 record at W.

QF- Radek Stepanek #13, was 6-4 at Wimbledon prior to this year now 10-5, he also doesn't hit like the clay courters being discussed here. Has won one singles title by the age of 27 and despite his ranking and this QF of 60% at the 17 majors he's played, just a tick below Bjorkman. Looked inexperienced double faulting away a couple of match points in the 4th set.

Nadal's opponents:

1R- Alex Bogdanovic #135, now exactly 0-6 in Wimbledon singles attempts. Good showing of 4, 6 and 4 against the world number 2.

2R- Robert Kendrick #237, now 0-3 at the W, 0-5 at the majors in 5 sets.

3R- Andre Agassi #25 seed, played for events this year compiling a 4-4 record with losses to #112, #80, #28 and #76. Sorry, but this ain't the WTA where AA can "show up" like the Williams sisters used to, and win.

4R- Irakli Labadze # 166, 2-3 at Wimby, 4-12 at the majors coming into the event. About 30 lbs overweight and still stretched the #2 to a tie break.

QF- Jarkko Nieminen #22 seed. 3-3 at Wimby, 23-16 at Majors including a QF at the '05 USO. Not exactly an experienced grass courter.

So leaving out an Agassi with hardly any matchplay this year, a year older and injury ridden, Nadal's opponents had a combined 5-15 record at Wimbledon coming into the event. Hell, even Nadal was 3-2 at Wimbledon coming into the '06 AELTC.

Or, perhaps it's enabling NEITHER and both a decent all-courter/doubles dude and one of the all time great clay courters are having a very good Wimbledon. Yeah Bjorkman is a decent 60% winner at the majors and has been lucky enough to be playing well against a group of his ranking peers. Nadal is a clay courter who is benefitting from the conditions and unbelievably fortunate breaks in the draw vs. opponents ranked well below those of Bjorkman and who have games less well suited to present conditions than his own. I wonder how those tie breaks he's been pushed to by some real "journeymen" would have gone had he been forced to played in the top quarter of the draw.

In fact, how does Blake lose to Mirnyi in these conditions? Blake came into Wimbledon with a 2-3 record on the post 2001 Wimbledon grass, doesn't hit the ball like the Spanish products and had been straight setted by Mirnyi in their only other meeting (on hardcourts). Evidently matching up with Mirnyi or playing on today's grass are things Blake doesn't do particularly well. Labelling that match a forgone conclusion in Blake's favor was a risky proposition yet still went 5.

fastdunn
07-06-2006, 05:48 PM
The second week, yes. The first week, no!

Ok. tennis guy. My point is that whatever favors Nadal now has favored
Federer and Hewitt last 5 years or so. Well, Federer is a special kind of
player but that does not necessarily mean he never benefited from
slowed grass court. Nadal will prove it in a couple of years, if not this year.

ohplease
07-06-2006, 05:56 PM
Prototypical modern baseliner? Tommy Johansson? 31 year old Tommy Johansson? That Tommy Johansson? Which prototype are we talking about? The streak player who hits flatter than most on the tour, hence producing wildly up and down results? In the words of Bill Dana "Oh, I hope not."

The Tommy who leads the career h2h with Bjorkman, spread over the last 10 years, by a whopping 6-5?

The TJ who won the AO but is 11-10 there in his other campaigns down under?

The one who has never been past the 2nd round of RG in 9 tries and has a combined winning percentage at the 4 slams a tick below 60% (Bjorkman is a tick below 61%)?

TJ is not the prototypical clay courter being discussed here. He is not fleet of foot and hits flatter than any of the Spanish Armada-type players and thus has always been streaky and extremely up and down. His win at the AO and SF at Wimbledon last year are starkly contrasted by his 23 first or second round exits at the 36 Majors he's played.

He and Bjorkman are about equal, have been so throughout there pro careers (TJ broke in the year after Bjorkman), neither possesses notable footspeed nor any real weapons and match-up well whether they play on ice or tapioca.

The luck of the draw has enabled them most...

Bjorkman's opponents:

1R - Thomas Johansson (equals on anything as explained above) 18-9 at W coming in.

2R- Lukas Dlouhy #89 first time at Wimbledon won exactly one match.

3R- Daniel Bracciali #54, now 6-4 at Wimbledon in four tries. 4-3 at W coming in.

4R- Max Mirnyi #53, Bjorkman held a 9-1 career h2h v. Max going into this match, now 10-1 to Bjorkman. One of the better returners vs. one of the weakest. Mirnyi came in with an 8-6 record at W.

QF- Radek Stepanek #13, was 6-4 at Wimbledon prior to this year now 10-5, he also doesn't hit like the clay courters being discussed here. Has won one singles title by the age of 27 and despite his ranking and this QF of 60% at the 17 majors he's played, just a tick below Bjorkman. Looked inexperienced double faulting away a couple of match points in the 4th set.

Nadal's opponents:

1R- Alex Bogdanovic #135, now exactly 0-6 in Wimbledon singles attempts. Good showing of 4, 6 and 4 against the world number 2.

2R- Robert Kendrick #237, now 0-3 at the W, 0-5 at the majors in 5 sets.

3R- Andre Agassi #25 seed, played for events this year compiling a 4-4 record with losses to #112, #80, #28 and #76. Sorry, but this ain't the WTA where AA can "show up" like the Williams sisters used to, and win.

4R- Irakli Labadze # 166, 2-3 at Wimby, 4-12 at the majors coming into the event. About 30 lbs overweight and still stretched the #2 to a tie break.

QF- Jarkko Nieminen #22 seed. 3-3 at Wimby, 23-16 at Majors including a QF at the '05 USO. Not exactly an experienced grass courter.

So leaving out an Agassi with hardly any matchplay this year, a year older and injury ridden, Nadal's opponents had a combined 5-15 record at Wimbledon coming into the event. Hell, even Nadal was 3-2 at Wimbledon coming into the '06 AELTC.

Yeah Bjorkman is a decent 60% winner at the majors and has been lucky enough to be playing well against a group of his ranking peers. Nadal is a clay courter who is benefitting from the conditions and unbelievably fortunate breaks in the draw vs. opponents ranked well below those of Bjorkman and who have games less well suited to present conditions than his own. I wonder how those tie breaks he's been pushed to by some real "journeymen" would have gone had he been forced to played in the top quarter of the draw.

Blake came into Wimbledon with a 2-3 record on the post 2001 Wimbledon grass, doesn't hit the ball like the Spanish products and had been straight setted by Mirnyi in their only other meeting (on hardcourts). Evidently matching up with Mirnyi or playing on today's grass are things Blake doesn't do particularly well. Labelling that match a forgone conclusion in Blake's favor was a risky proposition yet still went 5.

Thanks for proving my point. I agree with you - the surface "changes" matter far less than the draw, the weather, etc. In fact, that's exactly what I've been saying the whole time - plenty of other stuff matters more than the grand money-making conspiracy.

What's that? The surface doesn't present a logical difficulty because this year's surprise semi-finalists beneift from seredipity? EXACTLY. Even, FiveO says so.

BTW: When other people do the work for you - *that's* priceless. Hah.

FiveO
07-07-2006, 01:15 PM
Thanks for proving my point. I agree with you - the surface "changes" matter far less than the draw, the weather, etc. In fact, that's exactly what I've been saying the whole time.

Interesting. Like most all your other "points" I'm still trying to find where this claim, "(to have) been saying this the whole time", is supported. From what I've read of your posts it isn't. Not once.

What you HAVE said is:

I like S&V just fine. However, as a style of play, it's not entitled to success.

WOW! Based on what? This, I guess...

...Would Wimbledon be better if it continued to be dominated by the likes of Philippoussis, Mirnyi, Ancic? No....

Interesting claim. I'm still waiting for you to show when these three players dominated Wimbledon, even in some alternate universe.

You've also made these assertions...

I agree. Grass might have changed. It might be slower

...and that...

If anything, Wimbledon has done a great job in making its surface more fair - preventing the equivalent of clay-court specialist phenomenon - only on grass.

...equating...

Players like Puerta, Gaudio, Coria, et al

...with Wimbledon champions...

...Krajicek or Ivanisevic.

...concluding that...

Wimbledon did its job in making the surface less of a factor.

...and as a result of the surface change there will be...

No more one trick pony champions or finalists

The support you offer for this premise is claiming that Krajicek and Ivanisevic are just like Puerta, Gaudio, Coria et al, while failing to address THE FACT that Krajicek and Ivanisevic each reached the Quarters or Semis of all the slams.

If, as you say, in your latest post:

The surface doesn't present a logical difficulty

then why in this world would you suggest this?vvv

Roland Garros and the clay court circuit should follow Wimbledon's lead in this regard.

After making a case that slowing the conditions at Wimbledon and perhaps speeding them up at RG would be good and "fair" in the interest of preventing one trick ponies-types who just happened to reach the QF of all 4 slams and just happened to win Wimbledon, you state outright that serve and volley is not ENTITLED to success.

Evidently in your mind those who did have such success at all four slams when conditions were most extreme are unworthy either because they won Wimbledon or did it serving and volleying. Interesting premise.

Interesting thought. It's beyond priceless more like PRECIOUS. These "points" of yours were evidently grounds for the conclusion that we owe an "Olé" to the clay courters:

At some point, you've got to give the current crop of "claycourters" props. People have been talking about how much more well-rounded the latest crop of Spaniards are/will be since before Moya.

I guess your unsupported claims of clay courter improvements on grass fizzled when Nadal's opponent's at Wimbledon this year were posted.

Are we supposed to give props to the Spanish Armada for LUCKY DRAWS now too?

That's when you claimed victory, grabbed your de-pressurized balls and left the court. Another interesting conclusion on your part.

Well, a man's gotta accept when he's beaten. So please accept this equally well earned and hearty "Olé" for your win(?), in the spirit in which it is given, from me to you. I've got to be getting back to Earth now.

ohplease
07-07-2006, 01:45 PM
Interesting....<snip>

Are you really resorting to the tactic of quoting out of context? I also like the "I'm sarcastically conceding" concession. Bravo. Jolly good show.

I asked how the alleged surface changes caused both a decent but not outstanding doubles specialists AND the 2 time defending French champion to make the semis. Precisely because I've been saying that the surface conspiracy didn't make sense - and even if it did, good on the AELTCC because of X, Y, and Z.

In response, you said, specifically, that the draw was responsible, not the surface. You were too busy and too eager to playa hate to realize how much you were helping me out. Thanks, again btw. One doesn't need to be like you and dedicate an apparently Talmudic level of time or study to the thread to see that, plainly.

Really, it's quite easy to man up and admit one was wrong. For example, I freely admit and congratulate Rafa on proving my prediction wrong. While it's true that Marcos played like garbage in the first, Nadal deserves props for rising to the occasion when the hairball finally decided to show up. Good for him. See? It's EASY. You should try it sometime.

More importantly, good for tennis. First time the same two men have met in consecutive Slam finals since Edberg/Courier at 91 US/92 Aussie.