Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Former Pro Player Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37)
-   -   Is the Grand Slam Easier or Harder Now? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=460897)

hoodjem 04-16-2013 02:03 PM

Is the Grand Slam Easier or Harder Now?
 
In the past, I've read a bunch of people saying the Grand Slam is much harder now with the game being more athletic and more grinding, and there being three different surfaces (as opposed to two in 1969).

But more recently, I've read a few posters going in the other direction: saying that it is easier today because of the greater homogenization of the surfaces. These same posters suggested that Laver's GS was more difficult because of the greater disparity of the fast Wimbledon grass versus the slower Roland Garros clay back then.

(Personally, I put a lot of credence in what Laver said about the grass at Wimbledon versus the grass at the USO: he said it was like comparing Twiggy to Racquel Welch.)

What do you think?

DolgoSantoro 04-16-2013 02:14 PM

In theory easier probably, however with a probable Clay GOAT playing today not necessarily in practice. Especially now that Novak is such a beast on slow courts such as the ones in Melbourne on top of that. You have to look at the players as well. I'm extremely skeptical of anyone getting the Grand Slam anytime soon, however it might be possible once those two retire.

kiki 04-16-2013 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoodjem (Post 7347555)
In the past, I've read a bunch of people saying the Grand Slam is much harder now with the game being more athletic and more grinding, and there being three different surfaces (as opposed to two in 1969).

But more recently, I've read a few posters going in the other direction: saying that it is easier today because of the greater homogenization of the surfaces. These same posters suggested that Laver's GS was more difficult because of the greater disparity of the fast Wimbledon grass versus the slower Roland Garros clay back then.

(Personally, I put a lot of credence in what Laver said about the grass at Wimbledon versus the grass at the USO: he said it was like comparing Twiggy to Racquel Welch.)

What do you think?

Yes, clay court at Paris was Brigitte Bardot.

ARFED 04-16-2013 02:29 PM

Probably the most difficult period to do so was in the 90`s. The most polarized period taking into account surfaces and racquet technology. Today it is a bit easier than the 90`s, but about on the same level as the 60`s and early 70`s.

My point is that if the surface speed hadn`t changed in recent years at Wimbledon and USO especially, it would be almost impossible to stop an on fire big server/ball basher like Delpo or Berdych and we would be seeing players like Tsonga develop much better aproach and net games too. Imo Fed would be the only one of the current crop to be able to handle that kind of ball speed and court pressure, (in this sense i find his game much similar to Agassi`s, taking the ball early and taking time away to their opponents combined with sharp laser passing shots and amazing return skills) and even he would struggle a lot. And when we get to the slow clay of RG, and i mean really slow like it was in the 90`s, it would be mission impossible to cope with a heavie top spinner like Nadal.

RF20Lennon 04-16-2013 03:19 PM

IMO. Harder than the 60's but easier than 80's 90's and 00's due to all the surfaces being similar now.

robow7 04-16-2013 07:14 PM

Easier today and not just because the surfaces are so similar but so are the players. Remember when you actually had to battle in Paris through several rounds of clay court specialists (guys that spent 90% of their time on clay) and then you had your small click of grass court guys that could knock anyone out on any given day but only on grass because of their serve and volley. Far too predictable now but I'm not trying to take anything away from today's top 4 who I believe could have been great players at any time in history.

pennc94 04-16-2013 07:21 PM

In addition, the introduction of 32 seeds ensures top players do not necessarily encounter a tough draw early on.

forzamilan90 04-16-2013 07:24 PM

I hear the grass back in the day was "different" across 3 of the slams, but really more different than AO hard court to W grass surface of today?

forzamilan90 04-16-2013 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pennc94 (Post 7348008)
In addition, the introduction of 32 seeds ensures top players do not necessarily encounter a tough draw early on.

But it gives more matches and there is always the chance of an upset...i donnt see this as a negative. If you are a pro, it's evident you can play the game quite well.

Phoenix1983 04-17-2013 01:15 AM

Homogenisation (of surfaces and playing style) means that it is 'easier' than it has been in the past. Mind you, it is still incredibly tough.

Probably the toughest time to do it was from the late 70s to the early 00s. Very different surfaces everywhere, and a lot of greats playing.

Of course the AO did not really count as a major for some of that time, so the 'Grand Slam' could be considered winning the FO/W/USO/Masters. In this respect, I think Borg came very close in 1980, winning 3 of these 4 tournaments and losing narrowly in 5 sets to McEnroe in New York.

NatF 04-17-2013 01:35 AM

It's easier now than it was in the 90's but probably hard in than 1969. We have;

- Super slow hardcourt
- Clay
- Grass
- Fast hardcourt

So there is variety. Grass plays slower in the second week but that can't be helped. It's still pretty fast especially in week one. It's possibly harder than ever now with Nadal at RG.

urban 04-17-2013 07:01 AM

It was always difficult. Otherwise more men would have won it actually. On his way to the GS in 1969, Laver had to deal with at least 11 or 12 players, would would rank in every top 50 among men alltime, and who actually were named in the (infamous) Tennis Channel list. But strength of the field is a matter of opinion.
What we can certainly say, is that before the homogenization of surfaces, the rapid change between slow clay at RG (in the 80s the French did speed up RG in order to help Noah and Leconte) and fast grass at Wim, was tough and crucial. Not only for the adaptation to the surfaces, but also for the modification of playing styles. Djokovic can now virtually play a similar (hard court) game against Nadal at RG and Wim. There are still some differences especially regarding the return of serve and the positioning nearer the baseline. But Djoker can always play a baseline game. Lendl for instance couldn't, when he had to face Wilander at RG and Becker or Edberg at Wim. On the you tube clips one can still see, that is was a complete different ball game. Long, endless rallies with high topspin at RG, serve and volley even on second serves at Wim. Some say, Lendl should have stayed more back at second serve. Could be. But in that case, the netplayers like Becker, Cash or Edberg would crowd him at the net, playing chip and charge, and would put him under immense pressure. The difference in styles among the top players generated the need to be more versatile for every contender, who wanted to have a chance for the GS.

pennc94 04-19-2013 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forzamilan90 (Post 7348015)
But it gives more matches and there is always the chance of an upset...i donnt see this as a negative. If you are a pro, it's evident you can play the game quite well.

I don't think you understand. Having 32 seeds guarantees seeds 1 thru 4 do not encounter #17 thru #32 until the 3rd round of a major. Having just 16 seeds means potentially playing #17 thru #32 in an earlier round (depending on the random draw).
Not easy to win a major, but 32 seed draw is more advantageous to top players.

robow7 04-19-2013 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban (Post 7348804)
It was always difficult. Otherwise more men would have won it actually. .

I agree but to me it's not surprising that there are more and more "career grand slams" being obtained where once this was almost unheard of, for all the reasons previously mentioned.

GoudX 04-19-2013 09:53 AM

Based on evidence: it is harder now than the 60/70s, as none of the great players, who have accumulated other ridiculous records, have managed it since Laver.

The draw is deeper now days as there is a greater tennis playing population, with better training techniques available (sport science wasn't as big in the 60s).

Take for example: Dolgopolov finally gets his head together and makes some big wins. He is now attempting the Grand Slam.

First he has to get through a group of big hitting underachievers like Berdych and Del Potro who can pull off a big upset, before playing the likes of Nole and Murray, who can get anything back then blast you off the court, at the Australian open.

Then you need to beat Nadal at the French open, after having fought your way through the Spanish clay courters who can grind you down with their big bouncing forehands.

Then he has to get through the serving giants like Isner to be allowed to fight the insanely accurate Federer, Nadal and Djokovics of the world, who can easily hit winners from anywhere on the court.

Finally, exhaustedly, he has the US Open, where the hard court experts like Federer, Djokovic and Murray will do more of the above.

This is assuming that a player like Haas or Wawrinka doesn't pull off a lucky early upset in any of the tournaments.


If we lose one or two of the big 4 it might become possible for a talented player who can play on every surface.

urban 04-19-2013 10:22 AM

What evidence?

90's Clay 04-19-2013 04:47 PM

Easy as all hell if you are a top pusher, top grinder ,top notch baseliner under these slow homogenized conditions etc.


It would be like letting Sampras and Becker play on fast grass and indoor carpet year round

Goosehead 04-20-2013 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NatF (Post 7348310)
It's easier now than it was in the 90's but probably hard in than 1969. We have;

- Super slow hardcourt
- Clay
- Grass
- Fast hardcourt

So there is variety. Grass plays slower in the second week but that can't be helped. It's still pretty fast especially in week one. It's possibly harder than ever now with Nadal at RG.

you think the u s open is 'fast hardcourt' hmmm..:confused::shock::???::confused:

hoodjem 04-20-2013 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NatF (Post 7348310)
It's easier now than it was in the 90's but probably hard in than 1969. We have;

- Super slow hardcourt
- Clay
- Grass
- Fast hardcourt

Interesting characterization. How would you rate the speeds of Wimbledon grass versus USO hard-court?

How would you rate the speeds of the "Super slow hard-court" versus RG clay?

borg number one 04-20-2013 07:07 AM

This is helpful information Hoodjem. Here are ITF speed/court pace ratings for the majors. This information seems current (Dec. 2012). Thanks.

Quote:

Australian Open Plexicushion Prestige Category 4 – Medium-Fast

French Open Clay Category 1 – Slow

Wimbledon Grass Category 3 – Medium

US Open Pro Decoturf II Category 5 – Fast
See: http://www.perfect-tennis.co.uk/tenn...-court-speeds/


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse