Originally Posted by TimothyO
I don't understand this nostalgia for super fast balls and super fast courts which were themselves a result of technology change.
As far as I can tell when the racquets moved from wood to other materials the ball and courts were still in the wood era. Thus you had a period during which the sport devolved into serving contests of just a couple of shots per serve. THAT wasn't tennis compared to the wood frame era. It was boring serve contests with the winner being the guy with a uni-dimensional game. Just serve bigger and better.
Today the ball and courts are getting back in sync with the frame technology resulting in more balance. Big servers still have opportunities to serve their way out of trouble or win sets/matches in tie breakers. But they can't JUST rely on serves to win consistently. They need to build points and exploit opportunities instead of just smashing aces down the T.
Longer/more complex points, more diverse skills, greater demands for physical and mental endurance/conditioning...that's far more interesting than tie break serve contests.
With all respect, I couldn't disagree with you more. In the past players PLAYED, they had footwork, placed their shots from all areas of the court.
I was shocked at the state of Tennis upon my return. They teach kids to be baseliners, they use these giant 110 sq inch heads and are taught basically to just get the ball over the net and hope the other guy makes a mistake, they don't teach shot making.
The baseliners just sit back, hit it as hard as they can, and aren't that concerned about actually placing a shot or stategy. I started teaching my son 3-4 months ago and started him with a 75 square inch wood racquet, it FORCES you to be good, it strengthens the arm, you have to earn your spin and learn to place shots. He now has a PS BLX 90 and just beat another 11 year old who's been playing for 4 years, and who just won a USTA tournament. My son had hide tied up in knots, the kid didn't know what to do.
Look at Djokovich, when he lost to Federer at Wimbledon, the announcer actually said of the then number 1, "He doesn't play well at the net"!
It's time we return our training and playing to stategy, shot making, and all court playing, if we do that we'll get better and do better.