Federer wants faster surfaces

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Steve0904, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I am beginning to wonder if some of the people on these boards ACTUALLY PLAY tennis, or maybe just like to commentate on it. They are different courts yes, with different characteristics, like taking spin, bounce etc, but the speed IS SIMILAR. This is the issue. When did a serve/volleyer last make a semi or final at Wimby? Maybe 2002 or 2003 being Rafter or Goran at a guess? That is a long time.
     
  2. Tafmatch

    Tafmatch Rookie

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    Happened in every professional sport. Don't think it has anything to do with hardcourt.
     
  3. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    True, many of the characteristics of the surfaces remain the same but the speeds on almost all courts are drifting closer together. For example, AO and RG both play quite slow but RG is always gonna be difficult for those that can't slide very well. Same thing for grass, Davydenko(one of the best baseliners in history) is boss on HC and clay yet he never made it past 4R(got there once, beaten by Baggie) on the modern slower grass of WB that, in theory, should favor his game.

    As for the S&V game, it will come back only if they lay out a lightning fast court, like when Llodra made SF in Paris MS a couple of years ago. But here's the thing, people STILL love baseline tennis, those that demand S&V tennis still seem pretty niche. Cincy is quite fast but S&V is still rare there and with today's equipment, players could dictate from the baseline on a fast court. Imagine guys like Delpo/Soderling/Berdych on a truly fast court. If their main weapons clicked, they would rarely need to come to the net to finish a point, let alone go there right after the serve.

    WTF, indoor tennis, which is supposed to be quite fast, has layed out a SLOW ASS COURT since it moved from Shanghai and yet this past edition, something like 250,000 fans watched the matches live, not to mention the millions that watched at home. And this is with most players staying away from the net like it was made of fire. Baseline tennis still has quite the audience it seems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  4. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Tennis will continue to be dominated by baseliners that's for sure. However even amongst those baselines there is less variety these days, with more defensive, grinding baseline tennis becoming so dominant across all the surfaces

    Some faster surfaces, would at least better reward more attack-minded shot-making tennis from the baseline, with more winners and shorter points. Plus players would be able to hit more effective approach shots and come to the net at least occasionally although not regularly.

    The German player Mischa Zverev came through the ranks and had a leftie serve-volley style a few years ago that was so refreshing to see. He was never going to challenge for the big tournaments or anything, but he at least looked like he could establish himself at tour level, good enough to play at the main ATP tournaments. However then he abandoned that playing style and transformed into a defensive pusher. His results declined and now he is a challenger level player.
     
  5. VPhuc tennis fan

    VPhuc tennis fan Professional

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    Not sour grapes.
    He's spoken about it at least a few times in the last few years, and not only yesterday. And why not? We don't eat hamburger, or spaghetti, or steak, or salad, or the same exact food everyday even though that dish can be our favorite, do we?
     
  6. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Regarding hard-courts, for me one of the biggest regrets in tennis history is that hard courts have become so popular and widespread at the expense of grass, carpet and even green clay/har-tru in the USA.

    9 out of the 14 biggest annual tennis tournaments on the calendar being held on the most dangerous surface on the players' bodies is just ridiculous.

    I think that one grand slam and a handful of masters series and other smaller ATP events on hard courts would have been fine, but certainly not the ridiculously high number of tournaments that we have on the surface nowadays.

    Over the years many players have said that grass courts have been for cows or that clay courts have been for pottery. One of my favourite quotes was the American clay-court specialist Eddie Dibbs saying that hard courts were for parking lots.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  7. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    No, but Nadal should. They have lots of clay court in Florida
     
  8. VPhuc tennis fan

    VPhuc tennis fan Professional

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    Nah, but it seems to be a suggestion that SoBad can hardly do for himself. Envy?:oops:
     
  9. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    wasn't easy to pick only one from her huge collection of gems... great sig. :rolleyes:
     
  10. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    i agree with Federer, slower courts have ruined tennis more than polystrings...
     
  11. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    I am not the biggest Fed fan but I don't think he sounds "sour" at all. He cites London as being one of the quicker surfaces (did he say that this week? or 2 years ago?) and rightfully includes himself as one of the tour's top defenders who benefit from the slower surfaces, and it's true.

    Federer's arguments are really hard to attack. Should all the surfaces be the same speed? Or different speeds? It's the same as asking should every court in the world be the same color. No. Boring. Let's see some variety soon, please.
     
  12. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I know of Federer's stance on this issue over the years. I don't think it was sour grapes, I simply said I think it will sound like sour grapes (to anybody who's not a fan of Fed, and maybe even some that are) given its timing, but I don't really think it was. He's taking his stance, and if somebody asked him a question like that, at least he was honest as he always is, but I think the timing could've been better. He even said the WTF court was fine as it is, and it's not like he can't defend. Although he will never be at a Nadal or Djokovic level, he was great at it in his prime, but obviously he's getting worse.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  13. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Roger wants "some" variety which is best for the sport. While it's true that he suffer because of gradual slowing down of the surfaces in the past years, but many players who thrives on fast surfaces suffer even more. Tsonga, Roddick, Soderling, Del Potro, Berdych to name a few would have a better career had there were more fast courts.. NOle and Nadal are at where they are right now because all the slow surfaces rewards their style. Federer is the only exception that he can play both on slow and fast court, although he would have even better results had there were more faster courts.

    Federer is not speaking for himself, but for the entire tour so game can be more balance, because certain players just play better on fast court and vice versa.
     
  14. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    No he's speaking for himself and Soderling, Del Potro and Berdych would not prefer faster surfaces.
     
  15. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sorry but you're omitting a very important fact here, players in 60-70's (and before that) played 3 slams on lightning fast grass unlike today's Wimbledon where players grind each other down in 30+ stroke rallies.

    That's not even mentioning wood racquets, no poly etc. which also factor in longevity, it was a different time with somewhat different skillsets being rewarded.

    Somehow I doubt you and your fellow Nadal fans (including Nadal himself and tio Toni given their comments on surface speeds and proposed changes to the game) would be thrilled to see so much tourneys on old-school grass and don't you dare claim old grass would lead to Karlovic and Isner types being contenders (a made up excuse by proponents of slowdown and homogenization of the game), they wouldn't do **** on old grass, their utterly horrible ROS and athleticism would guarantee that without a shred of a doubt.

    Another fact you also omitted is that usually HC specialists have significantly longer and more injury-free careers compared to CC specialists, if clay is such an awesome surface, why is that I wonder? Maybe because it's easier to keep points short on HCs instead of engaging in grueling rallies and fitness contests?
     
  16. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    With bigger serve and power of course they would. The bigger players doesn't have the movement to grind on slower surfaces, having short rally is a plus for them.
     
  17. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    It's always want, want, want with Federer. Never thinking about the other players. He wants to be a gentleman while the rest burn. What tennis NEEDS is more clay-court tournaments, compared to hard-court, since hard-court tournaments take up too much of the calendar.
     
  18. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    I said grass, not necesarily old school grass though tbh I couldn't care less what kind the grass. Grass is softer on the body, it's one of the original surfaces and personally, I like watching grasscourt tennis more than on HC I've seen better matches in Queens than in many some MS.Don't know if Karlovic/Isner would be contenders but they are guy who tower at over 2 meters tall and on old grass their balls would stay lower on this surface, even if subsequently they couldn't reach their opponent's shots as well. Personally I think that they would do better on old grass.

    As for specialists, what are specialists nowadays?

    Almagro, a guy that heavily relies upon clay for points, played as many HC tourneys this year as he did clay(11 to 11). The southamerican/spanish contingent(the usual suspects for clay prowess) usually plays more HC events per year than clay so they end up spending more time on HC than on clay per year even if they were better on the red stuff. It's the nature of the tour.

    As for HC'ers having longer careers, I doubt it. Most of the clay "superstars" of the 90's, Muster(32), Bruguera(31), Costa(31), Gaudio(33), Ferrero(32), Kuerten(32) retired in early 30's and even these guys spent more time per year on a HC than on a claycourt, at least for most of their playing years. They are called CC specialists because of their results but they spent most of the year playing on hardcourts just like their counterparts.

    Is Chang a HC'er or a CC'er(won RG but also won several HC MS and made finals in AO and USO)? If we go further back, what is Wilander, a CC'er or a HC'er? Lendl, a guy that won almost as many CC events as he did carpet ones, what is he? So called CC'ers like Kuerten or Ferrero made Tour Finals on fast hardcourt and a "dirtballer" like Kuerten managed to beat Agassi and Sampras back to back in TMC 2000.

    From the 90's onwards the tour consisted mainly of guys playing on HC, with a little clay and grass thrown in. Some were good on clay and got labeled "specialists" but even these guys played most of their year on HC and in the long term suffered for it.

    Are you really gonna deny that natural surfaces are far kinder to the body than starting and stopping repeatedly on freaking asphalt? I agree with you that the tech changed, that surfaces speeds varied, than tennis got more physical/professional but I do find it strange that since HC took over the tour in the 90's, the average age for retirement has dropped by 7-10 years.
     
  19. Ms Nadal

    Ms Nadal Semi-Pro

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    We do need a variety of surfaces, I agree with Roger.
     
  20. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Two simple points.

    1) Fed's comments are absolutely self serving, and in two distinct ways. One, he stands a better chance on faster courts against his top rivals who are all better defenders than they are attackers. Two, greater variability will make it harder for any one player to dominate. You'll wind up back in the 90s, where top fast-surface players tended to rack up the most points in a season and then during the clay court season a bunch of Europeans will claim the dirt titles.

    2) Is tennis better off with greater variability of courts? I think so. The whole point is indeed to make it very hard to achieve winning on all surfaces. It seems like today any of the top players can do it primarily with outstanding defense and just ok offense.
     
  21. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    I said grass, not necesarily old school grass though tbh I couldn't care less what kind the grass. Grass is softer on the body, it's one of the original surfaces and personally, I like watching grasscourt tennis more than on HC I've seen better matches in Queens than in many some MS.Don't know if Karlovic/Isner would be contenders but they are guy who tower at over 2 meters tall and on old grass their balls would stay lower on this surface, even if subsequently they couldn't reach their opponent's shots as well. Personally I think that they would do better on old grass.

    As for specialists, what are specialists nowadays?

    Almagro, a guy that heavily relies upon clay for points, played as many HC tourneys this year as he did clay(11 to 11). The southamerican/spanish contingent(the usual suspects for clay prowess) usually plays more HC events per year than clay so they end up spending more time on HC than on clay per year even if they were better on the red stuff. It's the nature of the tour.

    As for HC'ers having longer careers, I doubt it. Most of the clay "superstars" of the 90's, Muster(32), Bruguera(31), Costa(31), Gaudio(33), Ferrero(32), Kuerten(32) retired in early 30's and even these guys spent more time per year on a HC than on a claycourt, at least for most of their playing years. They are called CC specialists because of their results but they spent most of the year playing on hardcourts just like their counterparts.

    Is Chang a HC'er or a CC'er(won RG but also won several HC MS and made finals in AO and USO)? If we go further back, what is Wilander, a CC'er or a HC'er? Lendl, a guy that won almost as many CC events as he did carpet ones, what is he? So called CC'ers like Kuerten or Ferrero made Tour Finals on fast hardcourt and a "dirtballer" like Kuerten managed to beat Agassi and Sampras back to back in TMC 2000.

    From the 90's onwards the tour consisted mainly of guys playing on HC, with a little clay and grass thrown in. Some were good on clay and got labeled "specialists" but even these guys played most of their year on HC and in the long term suffered for it.

    Are you really gonna deny that natural surfaces are far kinder to the body than starting and stopping repeatedly on freaking asphalt? I agree with you that the tech changed, that surfaces speeds varied, than tennis got more physical/professional but I do find it strange that since HC took over the tour in the 90's, the average age for retirement has dropped by 7-10 years.

    But the comparisons HC-natural surfaces effects on the body could only be made if we had guys that played mostly on HC in a certain amount of years and guys that play mostly on natural surfaces for a certain period but this second category simply can't exist in today's tennis, at least not at top level.
     
  22. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    evasive bs, made up stats and one evidence provided : a white paper in a web site of a company with interests in selling clay courts!!!

    however moron, one of the very few scientfical papers i could find does metion this :

    Compliance or stiffness of surfaces, surprisingly, could not be related to the frequency of injuries on particular playing surfaces

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3135565
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  23. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    So because it's on that website you decided to ignore the findings?

    Ok, real world test.

    Go play 10 matches on a hardcourt and 10 on clay(any clay). See how your body feels after the matches end. I switched to hard in winter last year and my ankles hurt like hell(knees weren't feeling too great as well) even though the court was in good condition. On clay(even the so-so courts I play on in spring-summer) I could play 4 days out of 7 with no issues but after playing on HC for winter months I can see why the lower body injuries are more prevalent on this kind of surfaces.

    I can't believe I'm even arguing this - it's commong sense that a surface with some give will be friendlier on the body that freaking asphalt. Find me one doctor that will recomend HC over a claycourt if we are talking about player health and I'll stop posting on this topic.

    HC wins out for the honchos because it's cheap, not because it's better for the players health.

    Later Edit: Gorecki, you do realize that BM Nigg from University of Calgary, Canada from your link is probably the same guy whose research paper on tennis injuries I just linked on that har-tru site? And in that link there are statements such as:

    - In most cases, injuries to the lower extremities are surface related.

    -Senior players reported fewer knee problems when they had played predominantly on clay
    courts, compared to senior players who played predominantly on hard surfaces. (Kulund et al –
    1979)

    - Fifteen top-ranked tennis players had more back and lower extremity injuries when playing on
    hard courts than when playing on clay. (von Salis-Soglio – 1979)

    -The injury frequency for clay and synthetic sand were significantly lower than the injury
    frequencies of the other four surfaces (synthetic surface, asphalt/concrete, felt carpet, synthetic
    grill). The differences were not only significant, they were substantial.. Injury frequencies were 4 to 8 times smaller for clay than for the four
    surfaces that did not allow any sliding
    .

    Now obviously I realize that people could have an agenda but Jesus, to me it just seems like common sense, that surfaces with some give to them are better for player health than hard asphalt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  24. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Not clay. Grass. Tennis should be hard 1/3, clay 1/3 and grass 1/3.
     
  25. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Slow court tennis IS boring. A prime example is the laughable 6-hour AO final.
     
  26. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yet you mentioned 60 and 70s, you do realize the grass they played on is quite different than the one that 2002+ Wimbledon is played on?

    LOL, of course.

    Except the "original surface" was quite different than the mockery we got since early 2000s.

    You do realize how much at a disadvantage would those 2 lumbering oafs be on the old low bouncing grass?

    Do you realize that in the 60's tennis and before you mention, relatively shorter guys like Laver and Rosewal were at an advantage because of their height which made it easier for them to pick up dead balls on a grasscourt?

    And I personally think they would look like cows on ice.

    The vast majority of the tour today are HC specialists.

    I was saying CC specialist in general not just this era but to be more precise I meant players whose game suits clay the most (not players who are great on clay but suck on other surfaces or vice versa).

    Are you serious? I didn't mean retirement dates, I meant career, you mention Guga (!?!) as an example to support your theory? For real?

    Here, since I have to spell it out for you:

    -Kuerten last slam final reached at the age of 25
    -Muster last slam final reached at the age of 25
    -Gaudio last slam final reached at the age of 26
    -Ferrero last slam final reached at the age of 23
    -Bruguera last slam final reached at the age of 26

    Let's compare it to some of the guys who excelled on HC instead:

    -Agassi last slam final reached at the age of 35
    -Sampras last slam final reached at the age of 31
    -Lendl last slam final reached at the age of 32
    -Connors last slam final reached at the age of 34
    -Federer last slam final reached at the age of 31 (last HC slam final reached at the age of 29)

    Chang's best surface is HCs.

    All-surface player but I'd say his best surface was clay.

    He reached 8 USO final in a row, take a random guess.

    Oh for crying out loud, I mean guys whose best surface is clay, whose playing style suits clay the most.

    There are/were CC tourneys all year around, guys like Muster took full advantage of that fact.

    No, not "natural surfaces" like real grass (not this modern crap) but clay? Yes, absolutely, I do claim that while moving on clay is easier on body than moving on HC, fact remains that the average rally is so much longer and grueling on clay that in the end it is worse.

    Of course with HC speeds getting closer and closer to clay it does become a problem. Solution? Speed up HC and bring back carpet and old grass.

    And I do find it strange that most players who love clay end up having a shorter career compare to their HC loving colleagues despite clay being such an awesome body-friendly surface.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  27. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    How do they have shorter careers? Most of them(the so called CC'ers) from the 90's retired in their early 30's, just like the guys that were better on HC. If we don't go by retirements dates when measuring careers, what do we go on? Last slam final? In that case, Roddick made his last slam final at 27, almost like a CC'er. :)

    And those CC'ers that did retire a couple years earlier did so because they were no longer relevant on tour, not because of injuries they got on clay or anything like that. They couldn't cut it on clay anymore(got old, less endurance) and they weren't good enough for the later stages of HC tourneys. Those it the in the same boat on HC could rely on their serves to see them through, see Sampras and his last years.

    The clay game rewards those that plan their moves(can't ballbash on slow clay nor can you serve it out) and have the endurance to go the extra mile. But they can do so only because the surface is accomodating, it has some cushioning and it makes long rallies easier to take.

    Champions on clay, once they lose their youthful endurance(and by this I mean mental endurance as well, the willingness to stay in long rallies till the end and not back down), they tend to go on a downward spiral because on this surface there is no easy way out, no 1-2 punch to keep you alive at old age like on faster surfaces.

    But anyway, real comparisons can't be made because we don't have a group that plays only on HC and one that plays only on natural surfaces to see end results over career length.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  28. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Are you purposely pretending to not understand my point? Guga for example retired at the age of 32 yes but spent the majority of his time after his last slam victory on the sidelines with injuries, his retirement at the age of 32 (when his ranking was in 1000s) is in no way comparable to the retirement of say Ivan Lendl (guy who reached 8 USO finals on that terrible surface called HC) who didn't finish the year out of top 10 till he was 34, do you understand the difference? Do I have to draw a picture for you?

    Yes, last slam final is a good measuring factor because it shows the last time they were a factor in the biggest tourneys.

    Yes, almost.

    You're seriously denying that injures aren't a factor in player being a contender in a slam ? Are you serious :)?

    Premium claycourters (as in not to use the term CC specialist) are more injury ridden than premium hardcourters, do you deny that?


    Yes, because Connors and Agassi were such monster servers.

    Bla bla bla, clay rewards grinders, great movers and fit players, their style of play is very often their downfall as evidenced by their boatload of injuries and short period of contending for tennis' biggest prizes ( so no need to bring bring up Guga's retirement date, hilarious stuff honestly)

    They burn out faster (and no Nameless, burning out doesn't= retirement) mostly because of their style of play which is geared towards success on claycourts, grinding the other guy, keeping the ball in play, heavy defense etc.

    Sure, you can, if in the last say 20 years you compare premium CC players to premium HC players you'll see that in the vast majority of the cases premium HC players had a healthier career.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  29. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Forgot to add Nameless:

    Connors is 60 and still hasn't officially retired and he won more matches at USO than anybody (many of those when it was played on HC), what an amazing longevity, career that is still lasting.

    Retirement date is all that counts, right?
     
  30. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    It should be last RG/maybe AO final because many of these claycourters were not a factor in WB and USO


    Nope but those CC'ers didn't cut it after a certain age because they got old and had no shortcuts on their best surface unlike the old HC'ers. Example: How could a 27-28 year old veteran CC'er resist a young talented rising 18-20 year old, one that is willing to go 4 hours + to win? It's no coincidence the best ever on this surface, Nadal and Borg, started winning when they were very young(18-19) and started having problems on this surface around their mid 20's.

    Probably the best HC'ers in history, Lendl and Fed, didn't win their first HC slam until they were 25, respectively 23 years old and they also started having problems with challengers 5-6 years down the road.




    They choose that style of play because clay ALLOWS it but the reason they burn out faster is because they also start faster. Clay is a young man's game and it rewards patience and endurance, both physical and mental. A guy over 26 may know what is needed to win on a CC but after six-seven years of grinding out wins he simply can't stay with a fresh and fit 18 year old.



    No you can't because, as far as I am aware of, there is no player that have played exclusively on natural surfaces in the last decade. There are however a couple of HC guys that squeeze RG-WB plus their respective warm-ups and do nothing but HC for the rest of the year.

    If you had guys that played mostly natural surfaces for most of their career and guys that played mostly artificial surfaces in their career then you could compare but as it, the first category doesn't exist and quite simply can't exist in this tennis enviroment. Heck, there are old CC players that load up on clay tourneys towards the end of their career(even though the real money would be on HC, more MS, more slams, etc.), knowing that they have small chance to go far but at least they know that they are protecting their joints.

    Anyway, the discussion is veering a bit off topic here.

    I maintain my opinion,that clay(and grass as well, regardless of speed) is more friendly for anyone who plays on it versus an artificial surface with no give.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  31. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Wiki says that he retired in 96.

    I could say the same for Nastase, he was around 40 when he retired and he really really liked to play on clay, quite a few exhibitions he has played since his retirement have been on clay, probably to go easy on his old man joints. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  32. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The only years when Thomas Muster played more on hardcourt than on clay were 1984, 1989, 1997, 1999 and 2010.

    In 1984, Muster was 2-2 on hardcourt and 2-1 on clay
    In 1985, Muster was 1-1 on hardcourt and 11-7 on clay
    In 1986, Muster was 1-5 on hardcourt and 21-10 on clay
    In 1987, Muster was 9-5 on hardcourt and 17-10 on clay
    In 1988, Muster was 3-5 on hardcourt and 43-9 on clay
    In 1989, Muster was 11-4 on hardcourt and 4-2 on clay
    In 1990, Muster was 10-2 on hardcourt and 37-11 on clay
    In 1991, Muster was 2-3 on hardcourt and 28-13 on clay
    In 1992, Muster was 7-5 on hardcourt and 30-13 on clay
    In 1993, Muster was 18-7 on hardcourt and 55-10 on clay
    In 1994, Muster was 18-10 on hardcourt and 37-9 on clay
    In 1995, Muster was 11-6 on hardcourt and 65-2 on clay
    In 1996, Muster was 14-8 on hardcourt and 46-3 on clay
    In 1997, Muster was 28-6 on hardcourt and 9-9 on clay
    In 1998, Muster was 11-7 on hardcourt and 20-11 on clay
    In 1999, Muster was 4-5 on hardcourt and 1-6 on clay
    In 2010, Muster was 0-1 on hardcourt and 0-0 on clay
    In 2011, Muster was 0-1 on hardcourt and 0-1 on clay

    Also, Muster was 27 when he won the 1995 French Open, not 25.

    Connors had a hunger and desire that was out of this world.
     
  33. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    "What you don't want is that you hit 15 great shots and at the end, it ends up in an error," he said. "So I think sometimes quicker courts do help the cause. I think it would help from time to time to move to something a bit faster. That would help to learn, as well, for many different players, different playing styles, to realize that coming to the net is a good thing, it's not a bad thing."

    Having more tournaments played on faster surfaces could make it easier for other players to challenge the sport's "Big Four," Federer said, adding that he wasn't sure tournament directors would necessarily buy into that.

    "I think some variety would be nice, some really slow stuff and then some really fast stuff, instead of trying to make everything sort of the same," he said. "You sort of protect the top guys really by doing that because you have the best possible chance to have them in the semis at this point, I think. But should that be the goal? I'm not sure."


    ''Anyway, every surface is very similar today, otherwise we couldn't have achieved all these things on all these different surfaces so quickly, like him and myself.''


    I've been saying exactly these same things here for a long long time. Federer knows what he is talking about (unlike many of his tards here).
     
  34. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    I expect Rafa to win his last RG at his age as well.

    In general,27 seems to be a cut off point in the modern age for RG champs.
     
  35. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Why do people keep going on about surface speed yet seem in ignorance of the vital importance that the racquet and string technology's plays in the way the modern game works? The 1990s conditions are never coming back, unless you make 1990s racquet and string technology compulsory for all players.
     
  36. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Okay, last RG final then.

    And because they're also riddled with injures due to their style of play, hard to think of a shortcut when you can't even play at all (see Guga).

    He couldn't because his body is so beaten up from all those years of grinding the can't go the distance against the young gun.

    You mean when they were at their peak intellectual capacity due to clay being such a thinking man's surface ?

    Fed won his first HC slam when he was 22, Lendl was a choker in his younger days.


    Do you deny that players who are most successful on clay and those who are most successful on HC have different playing styles that are most rewarded on those specific surfaces?

    Gee, I wonder why that is? Maybe because it's the physically most demanding surface?

    Sure, I can. I can compare best HC and CC players of the last two decades and come to the conclusion that best CC players have far more injury ridden careers and burn out a hell of a lot faster.

    Maybe, I wouldn't say it strayed far off though.

    And I maintain my opinion, that clay rewards/demands a playing style that leads to shorter longevity and to an injury ridden career.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  37. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hardcourts shorten careers. Before they started becoming more widespread in the mid-1970s, players regularly played well into their 30s and into their 40s. It doesn't happen now, and the predominance of hardcourts on tour is the biggest reason of all. Connors is probably the only exception, and he has had a hip replacement.
     
  38. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    That's true too, obviously.

    Poly strings may have changed the game at least as much or even more so than homogenization (to slowness) of courts and slower/fluffyer balls.

    But even with todays technology of racquets and strings, in Dubai this year (it was a faster hard court than usual by todays standard, but not even as fast as some hard courts in the 90s and 80s) you could see the difference. There was more agression, faster points and many close sets (tie-breaks, 7-5....) as it used to be on these kind of fast conditions.
     
  39. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Where is the violin? :cry:
     
  40. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Strange, I was convinced he never retired officially, maybe some of the former pro regulars can shed the light on this issue?

    Nastase was a one of kind talent and far from having a grinder playing style. It's also debatable what's his best surface.

    Which kinda proves my argument that not every player played majority of his matches on HC in the 90s.

    My mistake.

    Sorry, but given the number of matches he won/played at USO he should have been a cripple if we presume HC is so punishing for the body, all the desire and hunger in the world couldn't help Guga.
     
  41. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    So do claycourts to an even higher degree.

    Players regularly played into their 30s and 40s before because most of the tourneys were lightning fast (even HCs and Laver and the co. did play on HC as well) and rallies were extremely short (except on clay) due to different conditions and technology.
     
  42. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The old Wimbledon grass (up to September 2001) was 70% Rye and 30% Creeping Red Fescue. The new Wimbledon grass (since September 2001) is 100% Rye.

    Lendl fell outside the top 10 in 1993, when his back started becoming increasingly problematic. That year, Lendl lost in the first round of 3 majors, and the second round in the other major (Wimbledon).
     
  43. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Clay is much easier on the body than hardcourts. To do well on clay, you need patience (mental discipline) and stamina (physical discipline). Hardcourt is really bad on the joints. And clay was never lightning fast, and was regularly about in the days of the old pro/am tours.
     
  44. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    So new Wimbledon grass since 2001 then? Early 2000s either way.

    Ok, didn't fall out of top 10 until he was 33, still doesn't change the comparison I made with Guga one bit, retirement date only tells a part of the story.
     
  45. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    I do not see, why you are arguing with him.

    His *******ism is in no way smaller than that of , say, NSK. He just has the brains to hide it behind a more acceptable facade (albeit a simple mind would do a better job of that , than the one he is doing).

    Most of the time, when he has a problem to recognize, that his opponent is right, he gives half-assed answers ot just conviniently ignores to answer the question asked in a straightforward manner, like a stand up guy would.

    There is no point in arguing. He wouldn't acknowledge, that he is wrong.
     
  46. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    Where is the proof?
     
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Muster left tennis in 1999, without officially retiring, because he was fed up with working hard and getting worse results. He was the king of clay in 1995 and 1996, utterly dominant on the surface. He changed his racquet in late 1996, which enabled him to hit the ball flatter and to serve better, and this really helped his hardcourt results in 1997 (the best of his career), but his results on clay went downhill bigtime because it was a lot harder to hit topspin. In 1998, Muster tried switching racquets for different surfaces, with only marginal success at best, and in 1999, his form went way down.

    Connors had a hip replacement, for goodness sake. He played tennis until he physically couldn't anymore. He played in the juniors in the 1960s, as a full-time professional from 1970-1992, as a part-time professional from 1993-1996, and on the seniors' circuit from 1993-1999.
     
  48. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yet it rewards the playing style that leads to a more injury ridden career.

    You need mental discipline to win on every surface, however there is no doubt that clay is the most physically demanding surface by far.

    Never said it wasn't (that especially holds true for amateur players), however CC tennis puts a strain on player's body in its ways as well, as I said it rewards grinding style of tennis.


    Didn't realize I said clay was lightning fast? If I did it was a lapsus, I feel claycourts were slower in the past.

    However, I do believe that in 60s and before most surfaces were very quick (3 of the 4 slams were played on grass, there were tourneys played on carpet, even wood etc.)
     
  49. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's all well and nice but my point was that Nameless' was wrong when he claimed that all players (even CC specialists) played majority of their tennis matches on HC. I remember that Agassi and Sampras were complaining (sort of anyway) when Muster got to #1 that he did so by playing a ton of CC tourneys.

    I do remember people saying that Muster's improvements on HC lead to his decline on clay (Wilander was even saying a few years back that something similar will happen to Nadal).

    So did Guga, problem is his "physically couldn't anymore" moment came a lot earlier, as it does for most CC players.
     
  50. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gustavo Kuerten's initial problems with his hip started at the 2001 US Open during that epic night match he had with Max Mirnyi, i.e. on hardcourts. Kuerten won the match by 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2, and at the time, he was the clear world number 1. In the quarter finals against Yevegny Kafelnikov, it was 4-4 in the first set, when Kafelnikov then dominated the rest of the match, winning 6-4, 6-0, 6-3. Kuerten then lost 10 of his next 11 matches and also lost the year-end number 1 ranking to Lleyton Hewitt.

    Then, in February 2002, Kuerten decided he needed to have hip surgery. Whilst Kuerten was still a good player after this surgery, and capable of the odd great performance, he was never the old Guga on a consistent basis ever again.

    In terms of working hard to constantly build up momentum, yes, but not in terms of physical stress on the joints.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

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