Players say bounces are higher, pace slower on U.S. Open hardcourts

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Moose Malloy, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    For years, players have observed that the once lightning-slick lawns at Wimbledon have gradually slowed down.
    One look at the brown baselines this month revealed the obvious: a surface once dominated by net chargers has become a backcourter's paradise.

    But the notion that surface speed has changed could just as easily be applied to Grand Slam tournaments in New York, Paris and Melbourne, Australia.

    According to players, officials and tournaments, surface speed has been trending toward the middle, meaning grass and indoor courts are slower, clay is faster and balls bounce higher and with less pace on hardcourts.

    No less an intergenerational authority than Martina Navratilova is convinced this homogenization has taken over the sport.

    "Everything's slower," says the nine-time Wimbledon singles champ, who at 49 has played in four decades on tour.

    On grass, "The slice stays low, but the topspin doesn't," says Navratilova, who finished her career at Wimbledon two weeks ago in doubles and mixed doubles.

    Many players assert that hardcourts in the USA are no exception.

    "You don't have these American hardcourt tournaments which are just unplayable from the baseline, unreturnable," says No. 1 Roger Federer, the reigning U.S. Open champion who won his fourth consecutive Wimbledon crown July 9 against Rafael Nadal. "Everywhere you sort of get into the points. It's actually quite slow now."

    The evidence is more than anecdotal. After the 2000 Open, U.S. Tennis Association officials felt the DecoTurf II at the National Tennis Center in New York was too fast. They slowed it down for 2001 and made another adjustment in 2003.

    When Spanish baseliner Juan Carlos Ferrero made it to the final that year against cannon-serving Andy Roddick, officials felt they had achieved a happy medium. It hasn't changed since.

    "With Roddick and Ferrero reaching the final that year, we thought we had the right balance," USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier says.

    Other tournaments in the North American summer hardcourt swing, now part of the US Open Series, followed suit in order to align themselves with the season's final Grand Slam.

    That's the case at the Rogers Masters in Montreal and the Pilot Pen in New Haven, Conn.

    "We could not attract top players unless we had the same surface as the U.S. Open," says New Haven tournament director Anne Worcester, who laments the push toward the middle.

    "The beauty of tennis is the heterogeneity of our surfaces," adds Worcester, a former CEO of the WTA. "In my view, maintaining that diversity is a critical asset to the sport, and I think we should be doing everything possible to encourage serve-and-volleying in tennis."

    Montreal tournament director Eugene Lapierre agrees attracting pros who want to play on something similar to the New York courts is a big reason his event switched to a slower DecoTurf surface in 2003.

    "But the main reason is the show itself," he says, explaining that the switch to a medium-paced court ensures that attacking and counterpunching styles can thrive while increasing the odds of long, entertaining rallies.

    At Wimbledon, erosion provides ample evidence that, if not speed, the style of the game has changed. Where once sandy brown patches would develop around the service "T," now the bulk of the worn turf is on the baseline.

    Tour officials say there has been no conscious effort to dumb down surfaces, with the exception of indoors, where tournaments have adopted slower courts to increase rallies and avoid two-shot tennis.

    "We try to avoid the extremes," says Andre Silva, vice president of player relations for the ATP tour.

    Eddie Seaward, the head groundskeeper at the All England Club, says Wimbledon has not attempted to slow down the grass in his 17 years overseeing the club's 19 playing and 22 practice courts.

    "I'm not saying (claims of slower grass) are bunk, but we have done nothing intentionally to make them slower," says Seaward, 62.

    However, the composition of the grass has changed in recent years. In 2001, Seaward and his staff switched to 100% ryegrass from a blend using 60% ryegrass, which is thicker and sturdier and therefore more durable.

    The bigger change, as far as Seaward is concerned, is the soil. The club went to a denser, harder dirt that lets in more air and dries quicker, meaning bounces are truer and higher, especially in arid, hot weather — which was the case at Wimbledon this year.

    "The only thing I can think of is that the ball bounces higher because the courts are harder than 10 years ago," Seaward says.

    That's certainly Andre Agassi's impression. The 36-year-old Las Vegan, who announced at the start of Wimbledon that he will retire at the U.S. Open, says the surface has become so hard and true that the ball "almost ... bounces like a hardcourt."

    Conspiracy theorists aside, there are other reasons it's now often more advantageous to hug the baseline rather than charge the net.

    Racket and string technology has contributed to the extinction of serve-and-volley tennis. The ability to hit big returns and balls that many players say are bigger and heavier are other factors.

    Rick Leach, a former No. 1 doubles player who played for 20 years at Wimbledon, says he kept balls from previous tournaments and the felt covering is much less fluffy from years past.

    The materials used in most indoor surfaces are more cushioned and slower. Likewise, some events in the USA are using surfaces with more granules in the paint, which causes the ball to grip more and accentuate the effect of topspin.

    "In my opinion, there has been a conscious effort to slow the ball speed down a bit," says Jim Lathrop, whose company, Total Tennis, oversees resurfacing for the courts at the ATP's Cincinnati Masters tournament.

    "I mean, Indian Wells, forget about it," Navratilova says of March's Pacific Life Open tournament. "You hit a great volley, and the person's got five minutes to run it down and hit it by you."

    Whether homogenization is good or bad for the sport is another topic.

    Virginia Wade, the 1977 Wimbledon singles champ, says the switch from the red clay of Roland Garros to the grass of Wimbledon used to be "dramatically different." But even though it's closer today, that's not necessarily bad.

    "It's been an evolution, but it's no detriment to the game," Wade says.

    Navratilova disagrees.

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

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2006-07-16-surface-tension_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA
     
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  2. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    That's completely depressing. I grew up in New York. My club that I belonged to had red clay and har-tru courts. I grew up on them, and learned to slide. It was fun, but playing ETA tournaments, most were on hard courts, so I started to play on public courts to get more experience on them and found I liked them more.

    What I liked most was the Deco-Turf II at Flushing. I used to try to play 2-3 tournaments a year at Flushing. I remember they had indoor courts of the same stuff for winter tournaments. The surface was slick and fast, but it played so great and allowed so much variety. You could play from the baseline and be successful (Borg made three finals on Deco-Turf, and Lendl made like 8 straight I think), or you could play serve-volley and be successful (McEnroe, Becker, Edberg and Sampras).

    I loved the old Deco-Turf and the old color. Forget the blue!

    Looks like the clay-courters have won the tennis battle. They've managed to get all the tournaments to create surfaces that favor their slower, massive topspin style. It's sort of funny to me; you used to see clay-courters boycott Wimbledon, claiming the surface was irrelevant, yet the Wimbledon players never boycotted the French, even though, looking at the tour in the 80s-90s, clay was a far more irrelevant surface, since becoming a good attacking player meant success at the grass of Wimbledon and the fast asphalt of the U.S., as well as, until 87, the grass of the Australian.

    There is almost no variety on the tour anymore. People used to complain that Sampras' tennis was boring, because it was serve and hit winning volley. But baseliners used to be successful back then too. Now, everything is baseline tennis in both the men's and women's game.

    I always used to love the all-court players like Connors, and even Borg, who while primarily a baseliner played serve-volley almost exclusively at Wimbledon and also a lot of serve-volley at the U.S. You never see that anymore.
     
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  3. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Nadal has an even better chance now to win US Open 2006.
     
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  4. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    If this is true, Nadal will certainly have the edge over other players due to the nature of his groundstrokes.
     
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  5. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    That's what I was thinking while reading the article, 'good news for Rafael'. "They" want to get Americans back at the top of pro tennis . . . speed up the courts to where they used to be.

    Thanks for posting, Moose.
     
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  6. Marat Safinator

    Marat Safinator Banned

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    hahahaha.
     
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  7. Shabazza

    Shabazza Legend

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    It's the time we're living in, nothing you can do about it!
    Let's face it, the "average" tennis fan wants baseline rallies nowadays! They won't change the courts untill the preference of the fans change. Tennis is about money and money comes from the fans and sponsors!
    In 15-20 years they'll change most of the courts again, cause most tennis fans will be bored by the constant baseline bashing a la WTA these days.
    The players have nothing to say about the courts changing and won't so in the fututre.
    It's sad but true.
     
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  8. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    Great research and a nice post Moose.

    Tennis is a speed game and the further killing of fast courts is criminal. Somebody better wake up before it's too late. :confused:


    Jet
     
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  9. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Tennis is trying to transform itself from a marketing tool for
    narrow specific demographic to one for wider audience, IMO.

    It is first time to see my girlfriend finally get to enjoy watching
    tennis on TV (while she never played it).

    Same type of tennis whenever people watch it on TV thru out
    the year.

    More domination of top players on all surfaces, which means
    always familiar players at the semi's and finals. Better marketing
    tool for wider audience.

    This is phenominal success of ATP in terms of business terms.

    P.S. Moose, I thought I read from somewhere Wimbledon installed
    extra cement layer underneath grass layer. It was something
    out British website. Was it false information I've got ?
     
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  10. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Where have you been last couple of years?
    That's the precisely same reason why Federer became successful from 2003.

    It has been well known for years and that's why some people
    predicted Nadal will do pretty well on grass and hard courts.
    It's no surprise all top players including Federer are doing well
    on *all* surfaces.
     
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  11. Babblelot

    Babblelot Professional

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    The movement to homogenize the surfaces has lead to a homogenous style of play. I wish the vast majority of players did more thinking on the court; with very few exceptions, those days are long gone. The WTA's experiment with coaching during matches would never have been brought to the fore if it weren't the case.

    In any event, it sure makes the sport more difficult for those of us stuck in the '80s and '90s to predict.

    I'm losing my ***!


    ...come to think of it, young people really don't give a rats azz about any of this because going for broke at all times is all they've ever known.
     
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  12. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    It is disgusting how they are trying to turn tennis in a year round clay court season. It is bad enough they have 3 masters events on clay and 0 on grass and have eliminated almost all the carpet events. Now though grass has been slowed to the point people say it like slow hard court, fast hard court has been slowed to the point it is very slow hard court, and rebound ace has been slowed to the point it is like slow clay. It is pathetic, that is why we see clay courters like Mauresmo, Nadal, and Henin dominating now, the whole tour is like a big clay court show these days. People are going to start watching tennis if the womens and mens tour dont realize what crap they are trying to pull right now.
     
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  13. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Well, as I understand, it's got faster on WTA side over the years.

    The new slowed condition produced the great champion Federer
    who does very well on all surfaces. Becasue of that same reason
    we have the big rivarly with Nadal.

    I don't think ATP will go back to faster condition any time soon.
     
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  14. Babblelot

    Babblelot Professional

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    Me-ow!!!!! :p :p
     
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  15. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    Federer became successful from 2003 since his brain started to catch up with his game. He would not be hurt by faster surfaces and he would actually like them more. He is better on faster surfaces and his worst surface is clay the slowest surface.
     
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  16. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    I dont think it has gotten faster on WTA side, in fact I dont know how you can say it has gotten faster on WTA side and slower on ATP side. If it has gotten slower on ATP side it would to a large way on WTA too. Remember women play the same grand slams as men, so if the courts are slower for the men as they obviously are of course they are for women too who play on those same courts. Henin and Mauresmo are dominating and both are slow court type players.

    ATP(and WTA since I think they are also slower now) should go to much faster surface on every surface since it is becoming embarassing. I think they will since they are making fools of the game.
     
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  17. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I'm not sure how you can say that Federer is better on fast surfaces, since there are no fast surfaces today. Read the article, they changed the grass to rye grass in '01. The slowed the US Open in '03. Guess who starting dominating those events around that time? Federer has never even won a tournament on carpet, which used to be a significant part of the tour.
    The guy is a great talent, but he has been greatly helped by the slowing of the tour. He is a baseliner, not an allcourt player. The guy comes to net less than Michael Chang, yet so many consider him the most complete player ever, which is odd to me.

    Nadal is just taking advantage of the same conditions that Federer has been taking advantage of. It isn't fair to speed things up, because Federer now has a rival.
     
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  18. Shabazza

    Shabazza Legend

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    As long as it ensures high TV-ratings they won't, which is the case atm. and probably will be for the next few years! Remember their target is a wider audience not just people, who actually play the game! :|
     
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  19. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    Right on Moose. I've always amazed at how many people talk about what a complete player Federer is, and how he can serve and volley and attack. He comes to the net less than 10% of the time on average. An attacking player is someone like McEnroe or Edberg, who both made the finals of the French by EXCLUSIVELY serve/volley. An all court player is someone like Connors, who played just inside the baseline and pounded groundstrokes until he got a short ball, the hit a hard flat approach to come in to net and put away the volley. Connors did that for his entire career.

    I dare all these people who talk about Federer being an all-court player to watch a Connors match so they can see what all-court tennis actually is.

    Incidentally, Connors played that same game (pound groundstrokes, wait for short ball, hit hard approach, attack net, put away volley) at the U.S. Open in 76, on CLAY, to defeat Borg. And for those who claim the old greats couldn't hit hard, I suggest you watch this match. Both Connors and Borg were crushing the cover off the ball.
     
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  20. Babblelot

    Babblelot Professional

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    Now that you guys mention it, the most recent match I saw featuring two attacking players was the Wimbledon ladies final between Henin and Mauresmo. lol

    cuddles, where were you for that one?
     
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  21. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    You think it was easier to predict in the 90s? It seems more predictable to me today. You see top 10 players consistently in the quarters/semis of slams today, when that was pretty rare in the 90s. I think the fact that all surfaces are similar has something to do with that.

    Top 4 were in semis of French this year. Top 4 hadn't even made QFs of French since 1985. Nadal & Federer played back to back slam finals at FO & W, first time since Courier-Edberg '91 US Open/'92 Australian Open.

    If they do it again at US Open, it would be the 1st time in open era that 3 straight slam finals have the same players. I'm sure the oddsmakers have them favored to do so.
     
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  22. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    Federer was not a strong mental player before 2003. He changed to some point after winning Wimbledon and really changed after winning the year-end Champions to end 2003. You really think Chang is better at the net then Federer, that is hilarious. Nadal has much weaker serves, net game, and less ability to hit winners quickly in points then not only Federer but many other players so of course he would be hurt much more by faster surfaces then many others but this isnt only about one player anyway. I dont know why you say they should change nothing if Federer has a rival, that has nothing to do with the point.

    As for Federer not winning an event on carpet there are almost no carpet events since he started dominating at the start of 2004, and he has missed most of the fall season with injuries the last two years anyway.
     
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  23. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I didn't say that, just that he comes to net more than Federer. So did Connors, Lendl, Borg, Wilander.
    Which is pretty funny when you think about it, since Federer is considered the most complete player ever.
    Federer is more comfortable at the baseline, & has said so. His volleying in the W final was pretty weak, I don't think he can change his game to attacking style with consistent success(which is why Nadal is a tough matchup for him) He has been thriving is these slow conditions for so long, he can't completely change his baseliner mentality.

    From the tone of your pots, you sounded upset at the tour becoming more for claycourters, which sounds like a shot at nadal. again, the tour conditions haven't changed since '03. were you fine with the slow condition when Federer was dominating in '04/'05? Yet now you have a problem with it?
     
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  24. Free_Martha

    Free_Martha Guest

    I heard the Wimbledon courts were playing like green coloured clay that's why Nadal made it to the final.
     
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  25. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    Well his play in the Wimbledon final was very weak, it was one of his worst matches so everything was weak for him, volleys, forehands, backhands, returns. On most days I find his volleying to be very skilled and good when he comes in, I find his technique and reflexes at net to be very good. That is wasnt in the Wimbledon final was more a reflection of his performance that day. I do think he could come in more if he wanted to and do it very well, and I wish he came to net more then he did.


    I did not like the way the courts were becoming slower the last 3 years. Nadal's extreme success level on so called faster surfaces with his overly spun strokes and playing 20 feet behind the baseline is one thing that emphasizes it to a higher degree that is becomes embarassing though. The tour should feel embarassed as well, if they think catering the tour to not only Nadal but players like him all year long will help the popularity of the game they are crazy. I dont know why people are saying the mens(or womens for that matter)game is giving people what they want now, tennis ratings are going down the to all time lows in the U.S, Poker is being shown on TV more then tennis. Anyway if anything the U.S players would benefit alot from faster courts so more reason for the ATP to make the courts faster then they are now, U.S success diminishing to where it is now will always be bad for the game.
     
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  26. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    That is also why players like Roddick did not do that well also probably.
     
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  27. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    If Federer become successful, it's because it's mental.

    If Nadal becomes successful, it's because surfaces got slower ?

    Let's give Nadal some credits.
     
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  28. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Federer won 4 times on that same green clay.
     
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  29. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    This is really becoming depressing.Now the u.s open is being slowed down?They might as well build all 4 slams on clay, what a joke!
     
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  30. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Go watch Chang's match against Sampras at quarter-final of
    1993 US Open. That might make it not that hilarious if someone
    says Chang is better at the net than Federer.
     
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  31. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    If you followed mens tennis you would know Federer was weak with mental game before middle of 2003, and not even real strong until start of 2004 which is the reason he was an underachiever until then. Nadal at young age has no mental problems, competing problems. So that is an obvious difference and to ignore that while coming up with theories is flawed and skewed reasoning.
     
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  32. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    It's not "now". It had been slowed from 2003 and stayed same
    since then. It's been done for both Wimbledon and US Open since 2003.
    And we have 2 baseliners Federer and Nadal dominating the whole tour.
    Get it now ?
     
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  33. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    I saw that match, I still say hilarious, still any expert would find hilarious if asked if Chang was better at net then Federer, and most of your posts that I have read the last week are hilarious as well. I almost ask myself if somebody like you is for real, but I guess there are tennis fans who know nothing about the game and still like to talk about it. You make for good comic strip on message board, so keep up, I find you funny.
     
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  34. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Then why are you reading my posts ?

    You're worring if Federer's achievements get tarnished by this whole
    slowed condition since 2003.

    That prevents you from thinking in unbiased way.
    Just don't read my posts if it worries you...

    Don't worry. This does not tarnish Federer's achievements. Get it?
     
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  35. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

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    I was reading them since they were stuck on most of the threads I was going on. Now that I realize you are nuts after reading enough of them I read them to get comic and funnyness out of them.

    I never said anything about Federer's achievements being tarnished so I dont know what you are talking about but then again I have not in any of your other posts either since none of them make sense.
     
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  36. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Follow this thread and see who's acting nuts 1st.
    I treat anyone in the way he/she treats me.
    I'm a nice guy but not a dumb guy.

    Look. There's undeniable simple facts in what Moose originally posted.
    That does not mean Federer is not a great player.
    It just gives insights into whatever happening in tennis right now.

    I hope you're not one of those many over-reacting Federer fans in this
    board.
     
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  37. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    It's not as easy to come in as it was in the 90's either. If you could stay back and have the success that Federer has, why would you come in? Even if you had Henman's volleys (who I might add doesn't serve and volley anymore, even on grass.) This is due to many reasons, not the least of which is court speed. But if it's increasingly harder to get to net in todays game, it seems logical that you're not going to be as solid up there as if the surface (and strings blah blah blah) allowed you to. I mean, there weren't alot of dudes hitting winners cross court on the line inside the service line from 10 feet behind the baseline nearly in the coaches box against Edberg either, ya know what I mean?
     
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  38. newnuse

    newnuse Professional

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    Chang was pretty aggressive at the US Open. He was not a strict baseliner. He would wait for the short ball and attack. He would even throw in a S&V here and there.

    I guess people consider Fed an all courter is because by today's standard, he is. If you compare him to players of the 90's, he would be viewed of as more of a baseliner.

    Dammit, I miss the variety in the game. All of the bashing from the baseline is pretty boring to watch for me. Tennis in the USA is on the decline.
     
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  39. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    Question for Fastdunn and Moose. Do you think Federer would still be dominating as he is now if all the courts were set up like the 90's?
     
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  40. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

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    Chang only did that after a number of leg injuries that slowed him down. He needed to find something to replace the speed that won him tournaments in the first few years of his career. He tried to add pace to his serve (but getting a longer racquet) and began attacking more and more.
     
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  41. Babblelot

    Babblelot Professional

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    1980-84
    Borg (3 titles; 3 finals)
    McEnroe (6 titles; 3 finals)
    Wilander (3 titles; 1 final)
    Connors (3 titles; 1 final)
    Lendl (1 title; 5 finals)
    5 men made won 16/20 (80%) of all slams; took 29/40 (73%) of final spots

    1985-89
    Wilander (4 titles; 3 finals)
    Becker (4 titles; 1 final)
    Lendl (6 titles; 5 finals)
    Edberg (3 titles; 2 finals)
    4 men won 17/19* (89%) of all slams; took 28/38 (74%) of final spots
    *no 1986 AO

    1990-94
    Edberg (3 titles; 3 finals)
    Sampras (5 titles; 1 final)
    Becker (1 title; 2 finals)
    Courier (4 titles; 3 finals)
    Agassi (2 titles; 3 finals)
    6 men won 15/20 (75%) of all slams; took 27/40 (68%) of final spots

    1995-1999
    Agassi (3 titles; 2 finals)
    Sampras (7 titles; 1 final)
    2 men won 10/20 (50%) of all slams; took 13/40 (33%) of final spots

    2000-2004
    Agassi (2 titles; 1 final)
    Sampras (2 titles; 2 finals)
    Safin (1 title; 2 finals)
    Hewitt (2 titles; 1 final)
    Federer (4 titles)
    5 men won 11/20 (55%) of all slams; took 17/40 (43%) of final spots
    doesn't compare favorably to '80s and '90s

    2000 AO Agassi def Kafelnikov
    2000 RG Kuerten def Norman
    2000 W Sampras def Rafter
    2000 USO Safin def Sampras

    2001 AO Agassi def Clement
    2001 RG Kuerten def Corretja
    2001 W Ivanisevic def Rafter
    2001 USO Hewitt def Sampras

    2002 AO Johansson def Safin
    2002 RG Costa def Ferrero
    2002 W Hewitt def Nalbandian
    2002 USO Sampras def Agassi

    2003 AO Agassi def Schuettler
    2003 RG Ferrero def Verkerk
    2003 W Federer def Philippoussis
    2003 USO Roddick def Ferrero

    2004 AO Federer def Safin
    2004 RG Gaudio def Coria
    2004 W Federer def Roddick
    2004 USO Federer def Hewitt

    Have any hard evidence to support your musings, Moose?

    Further, you're looking at 1 year and projecting (soft) 1/4 of the year at that (2006 USO). This is common folly found on many message boards...

    ...Federer will pass Sampras in 2010 (oh, really?)
     
    #41
  42. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not if he faces a real good S&Ver. The Mirnyis and the Dents are no match for him.
     
    #42
  43. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

    Joined:
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    I guess the answer is no one really knows for sure.

    I think it was certainly harder to do well on all surfaces in 90's.
    You do well on clay but you become basically no show on
    grass and indoor carpet. "Specialist" was pretty common in 90's.
    The real complaint in tennis of 90's was this polarization not
    the serving speed.

    But I am NOT saying it's easier to dominate in today's homogenized
    condition. But I say it's somewhat easier to dominate with large
    extent (big difference between Federer/Nadal and rest of tour).

    But I think it is harder to "extend" domination because it is homogenized.
    This means this homogenity does not tarnish Federer's long domination
    (Please don't mis-interpret it, Federer fans).

    I'm also NOT saying 90's condition was tougher. There's different
    type of challenge in today's tour. (I'm clarifying this because some of
    Federer fans are over-reacting....)
    So Federer can still dominate even in 90's conditon but
    it would be slightly different type of dominations, I think,
    certainly not the type of domination he is currently doing...
     
    #43
  44. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    I remember you didn't believe me early this year when I said ATP had slowed down the courts along with balls. I think now you have gone to the other extreme.

    Not eveything in the article is true. US Open slowed only marginally. The article made it sound like US Open is so slow right now. Everyone who has gone to US Open the last a few years know US Open courts are still very fast. Many tournament directors tried to justify the slowdown of their courts by using US Open as example. I have been to US Open every year for more than 10 years. US Open is still extremely fast. I have also been to Montreal and New Heaven many times, and their courts have always been much slower and higher bouncing than US Open. It was their own choices. Similar in New Heaven where Mauresmo and Davenport complained their courts were much slower than US Open that they couldn't get used to US Open courts with only one day practice.

    It's incrediblely dishonest for Wimbledon to say they never intentionally tried to slow down men's game. They tried everything, balls with less air, open the balls at least a week earlier, etc. Just like those two tournament directors who wouldn't admit they intentionally slowed their courts as well. They blame US Open. Get a grip, make your courts as fast as US Open first, would you?

    Just a note: women are not affected by this as much because WTA use different balls which are much lighter.
     
    #44
  45. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Random thoughts:

    You cant compare tennis from 1990 or whatever to tennis of today..everything is different.

    Federer is a most excellent serve/volleyer..he doesnt do it because there is no longer the right percentage in playing it...if there was he would. In fact, he used to play s.v more and as the conditions slowed down and the ball bounced higher, he stays back more and more

    Often the WTA'ers use a lighter faster ball than the ATP'ers so even though the surfcae may be the same for both, the ATPers often use the heavier slower ball
     
    #45
  46. Sadyv

    Sadyv Rookie

    Joined:
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    SLower surfaces will not make tennis appeal to a wider mainstream American audience.

    THe back and forth baseline play is not a style that that the average American sports would care to watch.

    THink of the popular sports in America. Baseball, which features long periods of slow action punctuated by quick, intense moments.

    Football, again, there is the pause and setup, and then the explosion of athleticism and skill.

    Basketball is a back and forth game, true, but look at what makes the highligh reels, the devastating slam dunks.

    TO make a broad comparison, think of serve and volley tennis like a football series, or a hurried up at bat in baseball. That quick, athletic action is more appealing to the average John Smith sports fan, and it is easier for them to see why someone one a point in tennis off a big serve or sharpley put away volley.

    Compare the modern baseline game to something like soccer or hockey. These sports feature long, long periods of back and forth play, where nothing significant (at least to the wider audience the ATP is allegedly looking for) happens. These sports do not attract or generate anywhere near the revenue of football or baseball. The American sports fan just doesn't care for that type of action.

    The same reasoning can be applied to the modern tennis game. The sportsfan looks at the long back and forth rallies as dull and uneventful, and often times to them it looks like the points end simply because someone made an error or was too slow. It doesn't connect with them.

    TO me, the newer racquets are enough, and the balls and surfaces should stay the same. With the newer, stronger racquest, someone chasing down a volley and flicking their wrist for a screaming passing shot would still be possible, but there is no need to change the surface so the ball will sit up and slow down for them to do so.

    I think had the ATP not messed around with the courts, that the game was evolving more toward a happy medium, with greater racquets and athletes making it harder for serve and volley to dominate on fast courts, but by tampering with the surfaces, they threw all the weight in the baseliners favor and killed serve and volley.
     
    #46
  47. The tennis guy

    The tennis guy Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. Federer used to play all court game, and served and volleyed on almost every point against Sampras in 2001 Wimbledon. Rather than the slow courts benefit Federer, actually Federer adjusted his game to slower and higher bouncing condition. Read his interview in 2005 about what Tony Roche had helped him, he said Tony had suggested to him playing more conservatively, serving with more kick than going for ace to adjust to slower and higher bouncing condition. Now he becomes mostly a baseliner because of the condition.

    The article convienently interviewed two tournaments that are much slower than US Open, rather than the other two tournaments that are closer to US Open, Cincinatti and Indianapolis. I am sure Nadal fans are going to scream for hearing all Nadal wins on hard courts are slow or medium high bounce courts.

    Just look at how anything changed at US Open since Ashe stadium was built in 1997 when super fast US Open courts were introduced. By the way, you saw what happenned to Nadal in 2004 against Roddick, and 2005 against Blake on these "SLOW" US Open courts. Give me a break. Talking about slow, they should talk about Miami and Indian Wells, not US Open which is still very very fast.

    1997: Rafter Rusedski Chang Bjorkman
    1998: Rafter Philippoussis Sampras Moya
    1999: Agassi Martin Kalfelnikov Pioline
    2000: Safin Sampras Hewitt Martin
    2001: Hewitt Sampras Safin Kalfelnikov
    2002: Sampras Agassi Hewitt Schlken
    2003: Roddick Ferrero Agassi Nalbandian
    2004: Federer Hewitt Henman Joachim Johansson
    2005: Federer Agassi Hewitt Ginepri
     
    #47
  48. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    6,294
    One big thing disappeared is the classic match-up between S&Vers
    and baseliners.

    But I don't think I ever seen non-tennis playing casual sports fan
    enjoy watching tennis this much. There are more rallies.

    Also baseline rallies are something casual tennis fans can relate to
    more naturally. I've never seen my girl-friend enjoy watching tennis
    this much and even offer opinions like "Federer is so good" even though
    she hardly plays tennis...


     
    #48
  49. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Didn't just about everybody S&Ved at Wimbledon in 2001 or before ?

    There is no question about Federer's resilient game that can adjust
    to conditions. Don't get me wrong. He probably has the most resilient
    game I've ever seen and that's why he is a great champion.

    But let's compare his offensive weapons to those of power players of 90's.
    Federer isn't exactly that type, is he ? Players like Marat Safin or
    Johakim(?) Johansson were supposed to be next generation dominating
    power players. Where are they now ?

    I know Federer appears all mighty right now. But it's not really convincing
    to say "Federer didn't do much of such and such thing since 2003,
    but if he does he'll do as good as now". Yeah, Federer is all mighty
    and he is the best in what ever he does.



     
    #49
  50. cuddles26

    cuddles26 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Messages:
    936
    Any person not drunk or stoned that says in the matter of only about 2 days:

    Agassi and Federer are same kind of mover around court
    Chang volleys better then Federer
    WTA surfaces are speeding up while ATP are slowing down when the play slams on the same surfaces

    .......is calling me a nut, you really a tall drink of something. Most people would be covering their head in shame after saying those things, once they got over their hangover they were probably on.

    Also you were the one who quoted alot of my posts so dont give me this "well why do you read my......" since you are the one who was trying to push your strange opinions on me by quoting me first, not vice versa. One final time I now conclude your posts are meant for humour and comic relief and will only read them from on for such purposes, not for serious tennis discussion as they make too little sense to even start to debate on. So dont try and engage in conversation by quoting me in the future. It would be funny to read some of your womens tennis views which might be:

    Hingis has a better serve then Serena Williams
    Davenport moves the same as Venus
    Capriati is better at net then Mauresmo or Hingis
     
    #50

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