Why Have They Slowed The Grass At Wimbledon?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by RFtennis, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. RFtennis

    RFtennis Guest

    I have always wondered if they have been slowing down the grass at wimbledon year by year.

    I have seen a noticable difference in the speed the ball travels on the grass from when mcenroe and other greats where still playing.

    I dont know they are doing it or its just in my head..

    Can someone please answer this for me??
     
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  2. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    ATP wants to make tennis more interesting. In general (IN GENERAL) people get bored of watching people like Sampras serving aces or finishing at the net in one or two shots. They want to see more competition.

    That's why they slowed down the grass; to cater to the mass audience.
     
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  3. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    People complained a lot when it was so big serve dominated...Sampras, Ivanisevic, Krajicek Etc. Fans like rallies, hence the slower surface now.
     
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  4. paterson

    paterson New User

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    Fans complained that the matches were unwatchable and boring and the ratings declined.

    Since the mid 70s, most of the grass courts around the world were rendered obsolete and only a couple of grass court tournaments have remained on the calendar besides Wimbledon.

    With the added power the modern racquets, the older grass wasn't a surface that produced high quality tennis. It was a very fast surface, where the ball skidded low and fast. The matches at Wimbledon turned into boring serving contests, with the ball moving faster than the players can react. Points in the '90s became 2 or 3 shots and done.


    The players like the slower, higher bouncing grass. It's a better fit for the modern game because the majority of players are now baseliners who compete well on clay and hardcourts. The new grass produces more balanced and exciting matches. It's better entertainment for the majoity of casual tennis fans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
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  5. Josherer

    Josherer Professional

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    I guess it worked... the last 2 Fed-Nadal matches have been epic
     
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  6. Giggs The Red Devil

    Giggs The Red Devil Rookie

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    To please the ignorance and the lack of taste of the masses. :razz:
     
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  7. prosealster

    prosealster Professional

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    coz in the 90s no one wanted to watch wimbledon...was just too boring...i remember someone did a stats on stich vs ivanisevic or someone similar, and the ball was in play for something like 45 seconds per hour of play...
     
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  8. darkestlights

    darkestlights New User

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    45 seconds per hour of play??? Typo?
     
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  9. DennisK

    DennisK Semi-Pro

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    Part of the reason is that with the modern game and the greater fitness of the players, the grass courts were getting cut up too badly.

    So they were forced to change to a type of rye grass which is harder wearing and dries quicker. The rye grass also gives a higher bounce and the ball doesn't skid through as much. The Wimbledon officials wanted to attract more of the clay court players and they got their wish.

    Personally, i think they should have kept the bounce low and fast. What is the point of homogenising all of the different playing surfaces? Part of a true champions make-up is that he should be able to play and win on widely varying surfaces.
     
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  10. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

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    If we have a hot summer - by the time the tournament gets underway there will be no grass on some courts other than the new centre court ( see recordings of some Borg tournaments)
     
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  11. Josherer

    Josherer Professional

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    Really hope they speed it up again. I like having the different surfaces on each GS to actually have varied pace.
     
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  12. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Perfect answer!!
     
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  13. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Wimbledon wanted to make the grass more thrifty, last longer, bounce more consistent. These qualities all made the grass slower and better for all the modern players that play baseline tennis. Maybe now that Murray is a great allcourt player, Wimbledon will consider adding some more grass strains that will speedup the play. This is not rocket science but rather a well perfectly country club management 101.
     
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  14. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    Why Have They Slowed The Grass At Wimbledon?

    To Provide Beetching Material At Internet Forums.
     
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  15. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    It's just in your head.
     
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  16. tvp900

    tvp900 Rookie

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    They also changed the surface because the slower type of grass (whatever that may be) lasts longer and grows faster when it needs to be replaced.
     
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  17. DennisK

    DennisK Semi-Pro

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    Ok, so thats two people so far who have just repeated what I said in my post further up. Anymore?
     
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  18. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    Post of the year!
     
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  19. thejoe

    thejoe Hall of Fame

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    How you can you keep denying they have slowed it? There is being a fan, and then being an idiot in denial. You are blurring the lines...
     
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  20. deltox

    deltox Hall of Fame

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    funny how many are already starting to complain that the longer rallies are boring .


    check the excited for the FO thread .
     
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  21. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Starting to complain???? They have been complaining ever since they changed the grass. And I agree with them. To truly be a champion, you should have to be able to win on ALL surfaces. Personally, I think the Masters Final should be played on the fastest carpet they can find. Wimbledon on the fastest, lowest bouncing grass. FO on the slowest, high bouncing clay. AO, on a slow, high bouncing Hard court, and USO on a fast, skidding hard court. Play today has become too homogenized. Even Fed has become boring, to go along with the Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic snooze fests. The biggest telltale sign of how bad things have gotten is that even Roddick has gone to the "just get everything back and wait for a UE" mode.
     
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  22. deltox

    deltox Hall of Fame

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    i agree with you, i was merely contradicting a post. surfaces should vary
     
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  23. RFtennis

    RFtennis Guest

    Well judging from what people have said i dont think it is.
     
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  24. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    The S&V fest was boring. Like watching paint dry.... :shock:
     
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  25. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    People don't look up stats. It is very hard to break on this grass and the aces are the highest at Wimbledon compared to other slams. I got the stats to prove it. The main difference is that style of tennis has changed.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=207765
     
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  26. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    If the grass at Wimbledon hadn't been slowed down, we wouldn't have got serve-volley tennis there nowadays, we would have got serve-serve tennis. Ace after ace after ace. The surface had to be slowed down, but they've gone too far down that road and it's currently too slow in my opinion. I wish that the Wimbledon grass played the same way as the faster Queen's or S'Hertogenbosch grass does. That would be a happy medium.
     
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  27. thejoe

    thejoe Hall of Fame

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    People don't look up stats because they don't need to in this instant. Just watch a damn match before and after the change, and if you have decent vision, you will see how much slower the grass is.
     
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  28. DavidGarcia

    DavidGarcia Hall of Fame

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    They changed it because people want to watch rallies.....plain and simple.

    Majority of people who go to wilmbledon are not tennis freaks so they wanna see long rallies just like back in the days. Normal people do not like watching matches with 368967 aces, no breaks and 757567467 tie breaks.
     
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  29. ChanceEncounter

    ChanceEncounter Professional

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    Yes, all the changes at Wimbledon have done is move the game back towards the pack. It still leads the pack, but it used to be that every point was pretty much over in 1 to 3 strokes. That's not the case anymore.

    I guess the All England Club wants to secretly create an astroturf tennis court.
     
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  30. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    Nothing wrong with having your opinion I just happen to disagree with it. I for one like the homogenized surfaces as now it is not about the surface but about who is consistant and plays well. Players can craft their game and know that it will be effective in almost all the tournaments with only minor adjustments. Different surfaces cause players to have to make too radical changes in their style of play. Also I am not a fan of S&V tennis on any surface nor am I a fan of a surface that causes the ball to skid. Too me there is nothing more irritating than a shot that skids accross the court with little spin. It's no wonder that S&V was popular with this type of surface as players didn't like the way the ball behaved on skidding courts so it was better to take it in the air. Basically I much prefer a long baseline rally but that is just my opinion.
     
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  31. 2ndserveace

    2ndserveace Semi-Pro

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    Personally, I love the fast surface. I watched a video earlier of Roddick vs Federer Wimbledon 2004 and there were a ton of exciting points. Almost every ball they hit was fast and powerful. The other thing I really like about the fast surface is that it forces the players to move faster. I love watching the players run all around the court and blast the ball. I partially agree with coloskier in that I think the slams should be played on very different surfaces but not to the absolute greatest degree. For example, I mean Wimbledon should be played on fast, skidding grass but not the absolute fastest or lowest bouncing grass.
     
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  32. seffina

    seffina G.O.A.T.

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    Because people's eyes have gotten really bad since they spend all of their time looking at a computer screen.
     
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  33. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Why should it be effective on all surfaces??? The only reason you don't like shots that skid across the court is because you couldn't hit one either. That is what made the best the best. They could hit their shots no matter what the conditions were. Do you think the old pros would have given such a sloppy tennis match like the IW final because of a little wind? They would have adapted their games. And, if you don't know this already, the best type of game to have in a heavy wind is S&V. The last thing you want to have happen in heavy wind is to let the ball bounce.
     
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  34. Staiger

    Staiger Semi-Pro

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    They love Nadal in England , so there you go......
     
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  35. Staiger

    Staiger Semi-Pro

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    I guess Murray will benefit as well
     
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  36. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    The initial objective was to make the grass more durable, which brought side effect of making the balls bounce higher, making it seem like the grass is slower.
     
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  37. sondraj

    sondraj Semi-Pro

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    Why is tennis the only sport where you have to prove yourself playing on every surface there is to play on. Its silly you can play b-ball on ice lets do that and see who the true best b-baller of all time is. Stop it, to be all the way real there should be one surface to rule them all.

    And just because we're tennis fans doesn't mean that the popularity of the sport doesn't matter. It does, if tennis doesn't make money you don't get to watch it on t.v all year round got it...k
     
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  38. sondraj

    sondraj Semi-Pro

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    Yeah but the wind has nothing to do with the surface. It's fine to have outdoor tennis. I don't think it's really necessary to have out door tennis on top of indoor tennis with indoor carpet made of this material that bounces like this and indoor carpet made of that material from outer space that make the ball fly around the arena before dropping on the other side of the court. It's just ridiculous
     
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  39. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    At least paint dries faster than watching grass grow. :)
     
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  40. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    I assume you are a teenager who didn't see tennis in the glory years.
     
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  41. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    i see the clichês are the same independently form what nadal picture is on the avatar!!!
     
    #41
  42. Melissa

    Melissa Rookie

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    Originally Posted by Giggs The Red Devil
    To please the ignorance and the lack of taste of the masses.


    Perfect answer!! by vtmike

    If you weren't one of the masses.
     
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  43. sondraj

    sondraj Semi-Pro

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    When u assume u make an a** out of just you
     
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  44. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I watch a fair amount of classic matches on the Tennis Channel and growing up watching Sampras and Agassi in their primes, I would say that the game right now is far more exciting than it used to be. Watching some of these matches (especially from the 70s) is a borefest. Wooden racquets are boring and so is too much S&V. The players of today have much better shotmaking ability and longer lasting points are more exciting. I don't see how it is more exciting to watch these players from the 70s and 80s with awkward-looking strokes than today's players.
     
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  45. Bitter Hitter

    Bitter Hitter New User

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    Has the grass really been slowed down?

    Federer has played more matches on centre court than just about anyone recently and his timing is absolutely legendary so if anyone should know, surely it is him?

    Q. How have the courts changed here from when you won first in 2003 until today?

    ROGER FEDERER: Nothing. I really don't think so. It's been the same pretty much through. PEOPLE ARE TALKING THIS YEAR IS SLOWER. I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH THAT.

    http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=50601

    Q. Marat Safin, after his win a couple days ago, thanked the club for slowing down the courts. How have you seen the courts change here over the years, and how does the change affect your chances?

    ROGER FEDERER: WELL, I DON’T THINK IT’S THAT MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE SINCE I PLAYED PETE HERE IN 2001 REALLY.

    I think it's just also the way how players are playing today: more from the baseline, not as much serve and volley, chip and charge. That sort of gives you the feeling that it's slowed down, as well, you know. Because 95% of the guys play from the baseline today, whereas before it was maybe 50/50. That is a big change, I think, and that's happened in the last, let's say, 10, 15 years.

    http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=50521

    Q. Could you comment on Spanish players going to the grass finals, Ferrer, Verdasco? What does it mean to you?

    ROGER FEDERER: It's good to see, you know. They're good players. The clay-courters or the Spaniards, you know, they know how to play. It's good to see them finally also making a little bit of a move on grass, because they weren't really that interested in grass till a few years ago still I thought.

    Rafa actually has been able to change mentality around for the Spanish players, because he's showing them that it is possible to play well with an aggressive baseline game. And then now doing the same like what Rafa has been doing, and it's good to see.

    http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=50345


    I'll take Roger's view over a 1000 armchair messageboard warriors any day. Nadal winning Wimbledon in 2008 is no more an indicator that the conditions have slowed than Agassi winning in 1992.
     
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  46. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    The stats back up Federer's view. But yet people will cry conspiracy against Nadal.
     
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  47. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    They are slower and higher boucning. Period.

    "Why did they slow them down???" To appeal to the masses.
     
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  48. vtmike

    vtmike Banned

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    Yup am not...I liked it when it was balanced between slow and fast but tilting more towards fast...Its just too slow now
     
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  49. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    This is an interesting comment since teenagers today are growing up watching tennis in the glory years. To call tennis from the 80's and older the glory years is just silly.
     
    #49
  50. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    You are incorrect in your assumption that just because I don't like skidding balls that I can't hit them. I am perfectly capable of adapting to the kind of shot I need to hit depending on the shot hit to me and the surface.
    Sure IW final was sloppy due to the wind but the players did what they could with the conditions. To say that old school players that S&V would not have had sloppy tennis too is crazy. The wind was high and the conditions were poor. Nothing really any player now or in the past could have done about it.
    In general I absolutely respect your opinion but we are gonna have to agree to disagree as we see things from polar opposite views.
     
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