Why did they slow down the grass at wimbledon?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Skanavis, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Skanavis

    Skanavis Rookie

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    and do you agree with this decision?
     
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  2. paterson

    paterson New User

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    They slowed down the grass because the matches were often criticized as serving contests, the most boring brand of tennis known to man. With the power of modern racquets, the ball tended to skid low and move faster than the players could react. Thankfully, the courts have been slowed down. IMO, it was a good idea. The Federer-Nadal matches are more entertaining than those Sampras-Ivanisevic slugfests.
     
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  3. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    That's right, and it's a good things they did (although one does miss a good serve and volleyer once in a while, no?)

    Also, I think I heard something along the lines of this new type of grass is easier to re-grow and manage and that's why we see the courts at wimbledon are a little less worn-down as the tourney progress than in the past.

    All in all, a decision approved by the average fan but probably not by hardcore purists
     
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  4. roddickfan90

    roddickfan90 Banned

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    not a good enough reason to slow down the courts, if you want to watch a game of alot of rallys in, go to the french open
     
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  5. icedevil0289

    icedevil0289 Legend

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    I wish they never slowed it down because it seems you can't really serve and volley anymore or atleast that much, which sucks imo.
     
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  6. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    For details, pls read "ATP Conspiracy against Roger Federer" by TW Guru, 2nd Edition 2009.
     
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  7. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    It was slowed down because of the constant whining of the clay court specialists, who, in fact, half the time never showed up to play Wimbledon because they thought they had no chance. Which was true. You don't see Roddick or Karlovic boycotting FO, why should claycourters be any different for Wimbledon? That is why you have 4 different Grand Slams. The true best player in the world is the one who can win on both slow AND fast courts. If you brought ALL of the courts on the ATP circuit back to the speed they were at 10 years ago, I think you would have a real shakeup in the top 10 rankings, and I'm not just talking about Nadal and Fed. Simon would not even be in the top 20, along with Davydenko. Murray, Verdasco, and Roddick would be higher, Nadal would be lower, but not by much. Fed might even drop more than Nadal.
     
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  8. icedevil0289

    icedevil0289 Legend

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    I'm not sure about that. I think he would have still won a few wimbledons and ofcourse everything would probably stay the same. Fed did say that it was a lot easier to win on different surfaces than it was back then because the speeds are not so different.
     
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  9. welcome2petrkordaland

    welcome2petrkordaland Semi-Pro

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    from what i remember from a tennis documentary type program coupla years ago that the "slowing down of the grass" was not intentional at all. It was the result of improved technology when it comes to the packing down of the dirt before the grass is laid down. apparently, and agassi commented on this too, the ground/dirt is packed more than before, which does two things: it causes a truer bounce (less uneven bounces) and it causes the bounce to be higher than before. . . makes sense if you think about it.

    i could be wrong but i don't think they were slowed down on purpose. the main issue AFAIK was getting a truer bounce. anyone remembe hearing anything about this?
     
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  10. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    I completely agree.
     
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  11. JediMindTrick

    JediMindTrick Professional

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    They slowed down the grass to allow Nadal to beat Federer, that's why it's called "green clay".
     
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  12. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    And AO surface is now "blue clay". :roll:

    If anyone profited from the "green clay" it was Federer who won 5 times in a row on it. One can argue that it would not be a case on the "fast grass".
     
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  13. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    The grass is not that slow. I wish it was slower but Nadal has to rely on holding on to his serve which seems to be most effective on grass (lefty slice is nasty). Nadal rarely gets broken on grass but is good enough to get a break in each set. Very similar to Sampras ironically.
     
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  14. saram

    saram Legend

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    They slowed it down to give us posters here at TW something to over-discuss every other month.....
     
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  15. ESP#1

    ESP#1 Professional

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    I thought i saw a report stating it was something to do with the grass they use now, and how it seems to not wear as fast but the downside is that it slows down the courts, i guess that makes sense, thicker grass causes slower courts,

    but then i saw something saying how they use a ball with more felt also, so it makes play a bit slower, is this ball used because it helps with court maintenance also or are they really just trying to slow down the courts,

    at the end of the day it really doesn't bother me, i enjoy the long rallies but i also wouldn't mind more variety in the game
     
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  16. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    slowing down is good, but it has been over done.

    the balls they use have always been Slazenger, good and lasting balls but slightly slower than US Open Wilson balls which don't last well.
     
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  17. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    Those are really good points.
     
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  18. Giggs The Red Devil

    Giggs The Red Devil Rookie

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    How come a serving festival is more boring than baseball or cricket? Some of us enjoyed the diversity of the courts.

    Accelerate wimbly grass now!
     
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  19. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    slower grass longer rallies allowing players like Nadal win Wimbledon......sigh.
     
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  20. cottontail

    cottontail New User

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    I don't know about the documentary but what you said is correct according to what Wimbledon has been saying.

    They tried to get rid of the bad bounces as much as posssible and to make the surface more durable. They started using 100% rye grass with a firmer subsurface in 2001.

    Higher bounces are a by-product of the change.

    http://aeltc.wimbledon.org/en_GB/about/infosheets/grasscourts_general.html
    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/wimbledon05/news/story?id=2090997 (This article is from 2005)

    It's mindboggling that some people actually seem serious when they call the current Wimbledon surface green clay and claim it was changed so that Nadal could win. :shock:

    Those pepole don't know how the serve fest during the 1990 bored people and discouraged many people from attending Wimbledon (not that I personally disliked the situation).
     
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  21. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hmm no,Kolja can play great on fast HC/carpet and Fed is very good at adapting to different conditions,he won his first slam playing S&V,something no one else can claim to have done these days.I'm sure Fed would have adapted to fast grass just fine.
     
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  22. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    I'm glad it's slower, but I never knew why, thanks for the info.

    Definitely better for the tennis players. More spectators, bigger event, more prize money, more tennis for the spectactors. HALLALUJAH!!!!!!!
     
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  23. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

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    I would have liked to of seen a Fed-Nadal Wimby final on legit fast grass. Nadal did win queens lets not forget.
     
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  24. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    He was 2 pts from defeat against Karlovic, Djokovic had him on the ropes, Nishikori took a set off him, and he didn't do much to Roddick who was coming off a rotator cuff injury. He's good on legit fast grass, but I'd say he's much more prone to being upset (unlike at Wimbledon where he literally steamrolled everyone).
     
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  25. cottontail

    cottontail New User

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    O. Rochus, Soderling and Safin all played a close match with Federer in Halle in 2005-2006, especially Rochus who I believe had 4 MPs. It's all about winning, no?
     
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  26. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Winning convincingly shows how good you are on the surface. Kuerten won 3 FOs, but he had to struggle his way there. Sure, he's a great claycourt player, but not as good as Borg or Nadal. He could have won more if he could stay healthy; he just couldn't.



    Nadal is good on faster surfaces, no doubt. However, he's very prone to upsets on faster surfaces, where at Wimbledon (which is a more medium type speed now) he had no trouble outside of Gulbis and Federer.
     
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  27. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Good point. Nadal would have held his own on fast grass against Federer. It'd be even with the better player winning on the day.

     
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  28. King of Aces

    King of Aces Banned

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    Did you ever go to a baseball game in the mid August heat to watch a no-hitter? Its pretty freaking boring!

    I know nothing about cricket but its not all that popular here in the USA.
     
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  29. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Have you ever thought it was the movement that gave Nadal more trouble on hardcourts then grass? Nadal moves very comfortably on grass but looks at times not comfortable on hardcourts.
     
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  30. Giggs The Red Devil

    Giggs The Red Devil Rookie

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    Yeah, I would go watch a no-hitter and I would go watch a 0-0 football match.

    My point was that I miss the diversity. I enjoyed watching the long rallies of Roland Garros and a month later the 3 shots rallies of Wimbledon. Wimbledon is still fast tho, but it can be faster.
     
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  31. devila

    devila Banned

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    Fed couldn't overpower and outstretch most opponents the last year and a 1/2, with his long gorilla arm. That's why hard running and 6 foot 3 inch skinny
    guys can outsmart him if
    Federer can't stretch hard to his forehand side and serve 10 aces.
     
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  32. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    A. Nadal looked perfectly fine at the AO
    B. HCs skid more and are generally faster than Wimbledon
    C. Nadal looked totally out of place at Queens. Hate to say it, but he did have a little bit of luck to win that title.



    He's perfectly fine at Wimbledon. At Queens or other fast surfaces, his movement doesn't look so great.
     
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  33. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Queen's comes right after the French Open. No time for Nadal to rest after 2 weeks of tennis. Beating Roddick in straight sets I would hardly call being lucky. Nadal is a beast on any type of grass. Sorry to burst your bubble. Hard courts at the Australian Open were very slow. Almost clay speed but Nadal still struggled. It is the SURFACE that hurts him the most. Not the speed.
     
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  34. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    That was Wimbledon's "official" explanations but I wonder why

    1. They increased sub-surface packing in 2003 (after they had two Serve and Volleyer finalists in 2002).

    2. US Open hard court also got significantly slower from 2003 (at the same time frame Wimbledon got current slow).
     
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  35. rubberduckies

    rubberduckies Professional

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    Until 2008, Nadal was vulnerable to an upset on Wimbledon grass.
    In 2007, he was pushed to 5 sets by Soderling and had to come from 2 sets to 0 down against Youzhny.
    In 2006, he had to come from 2 sets to 0 down against Robert Kendrick.

    It is much easier to be upset in a best of 3 format. If Wimbledon had been best of three, Nadal would've made a 2nd round exit in 2006 and a 4th round exit in 2007.
     
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  36. Spider

    Spider Hall of Fame

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    They have slowed down this surface for many years now, and Fed was lucky and benefited the most out of it. A player like Sampras (in his prime) would beat Federer hands down on fast grass. :)
     
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  37. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Fed won Wimbledon in 2003 and the grass was still relatively fast..he beat Pete Sampras on wimby 2001 on fast grass. He used to S+V Fed would not drop he would have won more wimbys probably his game is better suited to fast grass especially against the field and Roddick would have made more Wimby finals I say. The grass was slowed down not on purpose they needed to make it more maintainable though I partially don't believe it cause it keeps slowing down each year. It also has to do with the modern game and the changes they want to make grass suited for the field.
     
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  38. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Aesthetics.

    The old school grass court game requires chip-n-charge, subtlety, hitting the ball around your ankles, lobs, half-volleys, etc. The kind of stuff that is low on power in every way, that's right, except for the serve.

    There were two objectives, I think:

    - to lengthen the rallies, by making the service more returnable

    - to emphasize the robust passive shot skills of today's stars by getting the ball to bounce more, such that guys can hit it right at the sweet spot

    The effects are that guys are staying back, because of the truer bounce on the surface. There is also an impression that everyone is hitting the ball better, due to the way it bounces.

    There's a marketing strategy here, a belief that this kind of aesthetic would bring in more fans. Did it succeed? I don't know.
     
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  39. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    He beat Roddick straights, 7-5, 6-4 with Roddick coming off a rotator cuff injury, which visibly bothered him throughout the match. That shows that he's not that great on fast grass. Nadal was lucky against both Djokovic and Karlovic. He could have easily lost those matches had 2-3 points gone differently.


    Again, you seem to love to leave out very important details.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
    #39
  40. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Oh come on Nadal dominated Roddick in that match and Roddick never looked like winning.
     
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  41. nalbyvsfed

    nalbyvsfed Rookie

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    im wondering why you cant serve and volley: alright the grass is slower. many players can serve harder than 10 years ago because of the racket technology. so i think grass still favours serve and volley game. the reason why nobody is doing it often, is because they're not good at it. my opinion, you can still serve + volley on every accurate first serve.
     
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  42. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    it's really hard to do S&V today when there are so many good returners in game...
     
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  43. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Yeah I don't understand this lucky business. Making excuses for Nadal winning Queens. Nadal should've been too tired to win that but defies the odds because he is good on grass. The key to Nadal's success on grass is how well he holds on to his serve. He gets broken many more times on hardcourts. Like I said earier. His lefty slice serve is most effective on grass. It stays low and slides away from the opponent. Also the fact Nadal has improved his serve a ton since 2005 really helped. Roddick even mentioned that exactly after his match with Nadal at Queens.
     
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  44. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Total truth. Even one of the Macs admitted that. They said Roddick didn't have any belief he could win that match, and he didn't. Luck had nothing to do with it!
     
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  45. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    The claycourters boycotted Wimbledon not because they didn't have a chance to win it, but because Wimbledon uses a different ranking system than other grand slams.

    So if a claycourter was ranked #2, Wimbledon didn't rank them #2 but according to their past results. This put them at an unfair advantage as their real seeds were lowered making them vulnerable to the draw.

    If one wants to be informed and not swayed by the spin google Spanish boycott Wimbledon.

    The truth is there if one is really interested.

    There was also the question of maintainence for the old grass, and the advent of today's baseliners that influenced the decision.

    What is not true is that the system somehow was put in to aide Rafa, since the grass was installed in 2001 when Rafa was about 13 years old, a sole clay courter, and had not yet risen to prominence.

    Many of the reasons given are nothing more than sour grapes.
     
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  46. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Great post. I'm sick of all the sour grapes from Fed fans trying to discredit Nadal's achievements. How pathetic is that?
     
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  47. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    The only reason why there are good returners is because they've slowed down the game and made the balls bounce higher. Take away the slow balls and the high bounce and serve returns become a lot less accurate.
     
    #47
  48. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Oh, I don't disagree with your top statement. That is true. But come on, you are tennis players. To win you have to beat everyone, no matter where you meet them in the draw.
     
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  49. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes,Queens is fast and low bouncing and Nadal won there fair and square.I think a big part of Nadal's success on grass is his movement regardless of the speed of the surface.
     
    #49
  50. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    All Wimbly has to do is..............

    We all know that they slowed the grass down by going to all rye (a crab grass), which is drier and tougher to stand up to the wear and tear. We all know that they now pound the courts instead of rolling like they used to to get a truer bounce. All good ideas to make the game fair forthe CCS players. However, my only gripe about Wimbly is that they open the balls a week before the tourny to slow the game down even more. I do not think that is necessary.

    Open the ball fresh like they do at all of the other tournys and watch what will happen. The game would speed up significantly and the bounce would return to the old low bounce that skids through the court. TS would have little effect like the days of old and S&V would return. Then even with the new grass and surface Wimbly would be faster than the USO; watch the CCS players drop like flies. We would have some resemblance of the Wimbly of old, but with some ground play. But of course we know that will never happen

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
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