Ball/Speed Comparison at Wimbledon 2003/2008

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JamaicanYoute, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    Not to bring up an old and much debated subject regarding the courts being slowed down at Wimbledon, but I was watching the 2008 Wimbledon Final and it's the BBC version. I'm here in the States and usually catch the NBC version. During one of the change overs they had a ball-speed comparison from Federer 2003 to Federer 2008.

    My apologies if this has been shown or mentioned before, just thought a few people might want to see this as I'm sure there are still people out there who don't believe they've slowed the courts (everywhere) and the balls (everywhere).

    forward to 6:20
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI8Uyu2ovtA
     
  2. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    nice I remember seeing that before
     
  3. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    Interesting video. Thanks for sharing! Confirms what we already could tell from watching Wimbledon over the last several years. It's nice to have confirmation. Good find
     
  4. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

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    The BBC coverage is just immense.
    Those guys bring sports broadcasting to the rank of art. Amazing.
     
  5. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, I approve this. The day Ivo Karlovic wins a slam I quit tennis...
     
  6. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    They also started using a ball that is six percent larger in diameter at Wimbledon, which has been shown to give the receiver, ten percent more reaction time to return.

    The ball is bigger but the same weight, which makes it easier to hit, it slows down faster and bounces higher, resulting in longer rallies.
     
  7. How much spin are on those serves? Simply showing an example of one serve struck at the same initial speed with no other information (and look at how the trajectories are immediately different!) is completely useless. The point above about the balls is a good one too.

    Federer also plays differently than he did in 2003. So...
     
  8. Semi-Pro

    Semi-Pro Hall of Fame

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    Great video! Never saw that before. I actually didn't know there was such a significant difference until now.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Ya true i guess!
     
  10. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

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    Good archival stuff. Yes Wimbledon is almost like clay now. Tragic it was slowed down. The US Open is becoming the last place for all court tennis.
     
  11. Lion King

    Lion King Semi-Pro

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    This is not correct. If the ball were bigger but weighed the same, it would slow down more as it traveled through the air. That BBC video demonstrated that this was not so: the two serves were almost identical as they traveled to their bounce point, and then the 2008 serve, which was supposed to bounce lower due to the lower angle actually bounced higher and slower.
     
  12. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Yes, they should have analysed the spin on the balls too, but there is no doubt they slowed it down, and Nadal would have never won that match otherwise.
     
  13. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    i hope they didn't just use that one sample to generalize, and rather used it as an illustration of some legitimate findings they discovered.
     
  14. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    So BBC is so dumb to use two totally different serves? Right.



    It's almost irrefutable to say the grass has not changed speeds at all. There's just way an overwhelming amount of evidence that says that the tour overall slowed down in the early 2000s.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  15. slicefox

    slicefox Banned

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    its not even a secret anymore.

    tennis was a boring serve-fest, they slowed it down to prevent extinction of the sport.

    imagine 1990s court speeds with today's equipment (strings, frames, etc).
     
  16. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^To each his own, I guess. I thought the days of S&V were pretty darn entertaining. I thought points were A LOT more exciting. Baselining has its place too
     
  17. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    No, I am correct, and here is the evidence that supports my original post.




    The ITF voted "overwhelmingly to use new balls in future play. Ball type 1 (fast speed) is identical in size to the standard ball except it is manufactured with harder rubber. Ball type 2 (medium speed) is the standard ball and ball type 3 (slow speed) is six percent larger in diameter than the standard ball and tends to move slower in flight
    . All are the same weight as a standard ball.

    The ITF said the larger type 3 ball flies off the racket at the same speed as a standard ball, but will slow down during flight to give the receiver about 10 percent more reaction time.

    It's report said during two years of experimentation, including testing at Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties and men's professional events, the larger ball improved accuracy, allowed for longer rallies at all levels of play and increased ball visibility for players and spectators.

    The ITF said a study by the South Bank University in London showed players could play for 35 percent longer when using a type 3 ball. The type 1 ball has a harder specification which produces a lower angle of bounce on surfaces such as clay, making it faster.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...es-of-balls-to-counter-power-game-670049.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  18. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    I couldn't agree more. I wish Tennis Channel would step up their game, get better commentators, technology (or ideas I guess), and get better coverage.
     
  19. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    That's an excellent video demonstration. See this related Time article:

    At Wimbledon, It's the Grass Stupid

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1815724,00.html

    [​IMG]

    See excerpt:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  20. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    The durability argument that AELTC created was an attempt to cover up their slowing attempts. If you read interviews from the 1990s (especially after the Goran / Sampras final) you will see that the head of AELTC insisted that Wimbledon was finding ways to slow down the game intentionally to create more rallies.
     
  21. Anaconda

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    ^^^By the way. Who is it who decided to slow the surfaces down? ATP or just the owner of the tournament.
     
  22. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    The ITF decided it as you can see from the increase in ball size.
     
  23. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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  24. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

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    Not sure about that.
    Lots of people tuning into the Exciting S&V final in 2001. Slowing Wimbledon down was a tragic disaster that took big chunks of variety out of Tennis and the GS's. Killing the sport one surface at a time.
    Wimbledon had more variety in play when it was faster. Now grinding baseline play is dominating.
     
  25. KHSOLO

    KHSOLO Semi-Pro

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    Same though exactly
     
  26. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Cheers. I got told that the grass at Wimbledon is thicker too. I'm not sure if this is true or whether this would make a difference either.
     
  27. okdude1992

    okdude1992 Hall of Fame

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    I like the new Wimbledon surface. Yes it is slower but I think now you can be successful with more styles of play there (imo leading to more exciting tennis) The comments about it being "green clay" are crazy. You can still play good old attacking tennis there and be rewarded for it. The reason we never see S&V at Wimbledon anymore is because that style of play is lacking in this generation of players. Even on the fastest indoor courts nobody serves and volleys. That is the fault of instant-gratification coaching (because developing an all court game, or S&V takes longer), not the balls or the court surface
     
  28. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    I agree with a lot of your quote, but I think in general you can play attacking tennis on any surface and be rewarded.

    They should not have slowed it down. It was tennis at its beginning, why change it. They aren't going to speed up the clay to help out the more aggressive players so why do it to grass. Yeah, the rallies can be fun, but to me it takes away from Wimbledon. It should and always has benefited the aggressor, not a baseline player.

    I fully agree with the coaching (or lack thereof) and that no one really comes in regardless of the surface. The top 'volleyers' today are horrible volleyers when you compare them to a decade ago.
     
  29. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    Since Wimbledon has slowed down so much, is it not fastest Slam surface anymore?
     
  30. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    I don't know. While it may be untrue, or hype or whatever, I've heard that the US Open plays faster... Anyone here know for a FACT? Played on either?
     
  31. ttbrowne

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    Nadal might not even be a force at Wimby if not for the change in grass. How fortunate for him.
     
  32. Charles Norris

    Charles Norris Rookie

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    I agree. That was a first of hearing the BBC coverage for me and I admit that it was very easy on the ears. Good stuff and great video. Thanks for the share.
     
  33. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting topic and now its clear to me that Wimbly has slowed down.
    We got enuf material out there that Aussie Open has slowed down too. Not sure if anything changed at the USO.
    Now, just wondering if anything changed in French Open Clay? Has it sped up? ..thus maybe explaining Soderling hard court like bashing of Rafa!
     
  34. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Actually they did speed up clay.
     
  35. If Wimbledon were "slow", Roddick and Venus would not have their greatest yearly success there. These are FAST COURT players...their weakest surfaces are slow. There are plenty of reasons why grass still plays quite fast.
     
  36. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Then what explains the Spanish Armada making 3rd and 4th round finishes (sometimes even QF with Ferrero) when before they couldn't even make it out of the first round.



    No one actually believes it is slower than clay, but it certainly isn't fast as it once was, otherwise some of these players would never have success.
     
  37. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    The "old" Wimbledon could be thrilling, but I also throught it could be boring serve-fests.

    That said, I still don't think they should have changed it. All playing conditions had their place in the game, and I could always appreciate that Wimby was a different condition, which required a different skill set than other surfaces. Wimbledon was about weapons, about shot making, not about grinding. If the points were short, so be it.

    I think that the AELTC had good intentions. They may have simply wanted to allow more balls to get in play, even if the point still ended after a few shots. Do you think they really planned on making it "green clay" (which I really don't agree it is).
     
  38. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    I hope they don't slow down the US Open like they've done at the other **** slams.
     
  39. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    I think the unique thing about tennis unlike other raquet sports, is that it is played on different surfaces. But not making the differences as extreme as they once were they are basically now all playing on the same surface just different colours. The differences are superficial and it's killed the game.
     
  40. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    The three different ball sizes was an ITF ruling in 1999 to establish a two-year (2000-2001) experiment in varying ball size. It was a reaction to several years' complaints that the game was too fast. Several companies released larger balls at that time, anticipating a grassroots change in the game. The Wilson Rally (6% larger in diameter) was the best known of these, but it was discontinued years ago. I found them fun to hit with, but normal-size balls never seemed to me in any danger of vanishing from the scene.

    The complaints were not that there were too many serve & volley players; in fact, the style was already 10 years past its tour heyday by the late 90's. Rather, viewers complained that there were too many unreturnable serves and that rallies were too short. Big serves followed by putaway forehands (if not by missed returns) were far more common that S&V attacks. Thus, the good ol' days that S&V fans long for are the 80's, not the 90's.

    I've never heard before this thread that the current Wimby slowdown is due to balls as well as court. Though I don't know for sure, it seems to me unlikely: it was always pretty obvious when someone was using the Rally ball.

    Is it possible previous comments were assumptions that a temporary experiment was a permanent rule change? Can anyone post a link about whether the ball size experiment was extended, or confirmation that Wimby currently uses Rally-size balls?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  41. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    Really?.... That's interesting. But I'm quite sure it has not sped up as much as Wimbledon has slowed down.
     
  42. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

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    But the current Wimbledon surface bounces much higher than the old one, why is everyone forgetting that?...it's not all about speed...
     
  43. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    COme on kids, think first. There's no way to draw any conclusions from a sample of ONE. And a sample, who's validity is extremely questionable. Matching ball incoming ball speed only. The trajectory is different, undoubtedly the ball spin is different, judging by the trajectory, which DOES affect bounce, as does the fact that one ball appeared to have hit the line.

    It's neat, but meaningless.
     
  44. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Good point. Sometimes, I think bounce is more important than speed.
     
  45. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Higher bounce = slower speed, whether perceived or measured.
     
  46. JamaicanYoute

    JamaicanYoute Rookie

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    Very true - you rarely hear the argument of higher bounce compared to the speed argument. With the way most pros hold their racquets today it definitely plays a part.
     
  47. ODYSSEY Mk.4

    ODYSSEY Mk.4 Professional

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    good point no one can really say but, by just looking at the flight path before the bounce they look damn close. really interesting to say the least, thank you for the link though!:)
     
  48. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Seriously? You think they'd be dumb enough to not consider spin?
     
  49. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Ferrero is a bad example. He was a USO finalist, thumping Hewitt and Agassi to the ground on the way to the final.
     
  50. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Yes but the years Ferrero made the QF of Wimbledon are 2007 and 2009, and by that point, Ferrero is predominantly a clay specialist. You would be hard pressed to make the argument that Ferrero is anything but a clay specialist from 2007 and on.
     

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