2018 US Open Court Slowing Likely Permanent

Meles

Bionic Poster
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
 

PeteD

Legend
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
Why are the tennis monetizers in a hurry to get rid of Federer?
 
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
They could relay them with an asphalt base, though, at some point. Also, if cement is harder, it's likely not only slower but also harder on the body, isn't it? This seems like a bad idea in many ways.

Also, could they add rubber to the top to make the court a bit softer and springier? Or is it too late for that now?
 
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
Also, what's this nonsense about the court speed creeping up in previous years? Even before 2018, the common wisdom was that it had got substantially slower around 2011 and that even in the previous few years it was significantly slower than in the early years of the Ashe stadium.
 

hipolymer

Professional
Why are the tennis monetizers in a hurry to get rid of Federer?
Because slower courts actually benefit Fedalovic in slam semis and finals. Sucks, but it's true. As a player ages, his reflexes suffer the most. On a fast surface Fedalovic are most prone to upsets by players like Kyrgios (Acapulco vs Djokovic), Querrey (Acapulco vs. Nadal), Zverev, etc
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
I much preferred USO back when it was an ice rink.

It's a shame that the court speed has slowed for the longterm, but its still one of my favourite majors.

Thiem / Nadal / Tsitsipas / Djokovic / GOATkori / Zverev / Shapovalov / Wawrinka qtr finals incoming. Should be good.
 
Last edited:

hipolymer

Professional
The poster you quoted is a Nadal fan, so of course this is good from his perspective

Thiem reached his first ever USO QF last year, and that was no coincidence
If Rafa gets a good draw then he is definitely second favorite. If Djoker has to go through Thiem and Kyrgios to win, advantage Rafa.
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
Because slower courts actually benefit Fedalovic in slam semis and finals. Sucks, but it's true. As a player ages, his reflexes suffer the most. On a fast surface Fedalovic are most prone to upsets by players like Kyrgios (Acapulco vs Djokovic), Querrey (Acapulco vs. Nadal), Zverev, etc
Who was the last big hitter that beat fed? He usually does well vs the servebots. Djok not so much.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
They could relay them with an asphalt base, though, at some point. Also, if cement is harder, it's likely not only slower but also harder on the body, isn't it? This seems like a bad idea in many ways.

Also, could they add rubber to the top to make the court a bit softer and springier? Or is it too late for that now?
Cement is made to last a long, long time. They could absolutely rip it all out, but doubt they will given the expense.
 

hipolymer

Professional
Who was the last big hitter that beat fed? He usually does well vs the servebots. Djok not so much.
In his prime, yes. Even though fast court tournaments are few and far between, he lost to Zverev at the WTF in straight sets last year, and three straight sets to Querrey at Wimby last year. Millman outgunned him at the USO last year.

Lost three straight to Tsitsipas at the AO this year

In 2017, lost to Haas at Stuttgart, Zverev at Montreal, Del Potro at USO

So yeah, he loses far more often on faster events than he ever did in his prime, and so the best bet for USO is to slow down the courts to help Fed reach final weekend. Problem is, this also helps Rafa overcome Fed's slam tally.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Also, what's this nonsense about the court speed creeping up in previous years? Even before 2018, the common wisdom was that it had got substantially slower around 2011 and that even in the previous few years it was significantly slower than in the early years of the Ashe stadium.
It is hard to get particulars. Frankly I was researching this subject to see if the other US Open Series would be matching these conditions and I'd say no way given the expense. They might change eventually when a new substrate was required.

Frankly I'm not 100% sure of the ESPN information. I just know the whole story is not just grit level, but overall hardness. You are right that some future surface might develop that they would put over the cement bass. Auz Open plexicushion is inherently low bouncing, but just a change in grit level to prop up Federer and the like was easy enough to do because the low bounce helps make a surface fast.

I'm sure as a court ages without resurfacing of the top it does get slightly faster as the grit wears a bit so the courts naturally getting faster with age likely. Resurfacing just the top layer of course changes everything. But that cement base will be hard to overcome short of a radical change like plexicushion.

Wimbledon was tremendous this year overall with the slower courts due to firm bounce. US Open had its moments last year. I'm all for anything that hurts the servebots. Go take a look at the Newport draws which is played on classic bad bounce Museum Slam grass like before Wimbledon went to rye. No way do I want the whole tour like that.:mad:
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
In his prime, yes. Even though fast court tournaments are few and far between, he lost to Zverev at the WTF in straight sets last year, and three straight sets to Querrey at Wimby last year. Millman outgunned him at the USO last year.

Lost three straight to Tsitsipas at the AO this year

In 2017, lost to Haas at Stuttgart, Zverev at Montreal, Del Potro at USO

So yeah, he loses far more often on faster events than he ever did in his prime, and so the best bet for USO is to slow down the courts to help Fed reach final weekend. Problem is, this also helps Rafa overcome Fed's slam tally.
Fed just made RG SF so he is becoming quite amenable to slow courts. You're right and last year Fed had some niggling hand injury giving him the heebie-jeebies returning 2nd serve for the last half of the year. We won't know until actual US Open, but I think Fed is a strong contender.

I'm not so sure Nadal likes it completely based on 2018 US Open which ended his season.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
They resurface the courts every August. The speed of the court has yet to be determined. I sorry but I Don’t understand how a harder cement base would play slower than softer asphalt one - I hope I’m right. In any case here’s a nice clip of when they played pretty fast.

What made Wimbledon slow this year was dry conditions making the base firmer. Cement base to the courts may have been the big thing last year and not the alleged grit level. They can tweak grit levels all they want, but greater deflection of the ball upwards means it gets through the court less quickly. I once played at a farm in Australia with a full cement court. It was a really bad idea as the bounce was just crazy high. A little more firmness due to the cement base won't be like that, but the sheer physics of hardness won't go away with just some changes in grit level. US Open courts are changed for good and will never be what they were in the past.
 

hipolymer

Professional
Fed just made RG SF so he is becoming quite amenable to slow courts. You're right and last year Fed had some niggling hand injury giving him the heebie-jeebies returning 2nd serve for the last half of the year. We won't know until actual US Open, but I think Fed is a strong contender.

I'm not so sure Nadal likes it completely based on 2018 US Open which ended his season.
Fitness isn't as much of an issue for Fedalovic as people believe it is. Sure, in the latter stages of a tournament it is important. But the top players always have ways to shorten points and construct periods of play for less intensive exertion.

But being forced to react to 90mph forehands is never fun for Fedalovic these days. Which is why slow courts help them more than anything. Also, the longer a point goes on, the more mental domination becomes a factor. Players get doubts in their minds the more Fedalovic return their shots in a point.

Who dominated Federer in his peak years? The hard-hitting Safin and Del Potro. Who dominated Rafa? Hard-hitting Gonzalez at AO 2007, Soderling at RG 2009, Del Potro at USO 2009.
 
Last edited:

Meles

Bionic Poster
Fitness isn't as much of an issue for Fedalovic as people believe it is. Sure, in the latter stages of a tournament it is important. But the top players always have ways to shorten points and construct periods of play for less intensive exertion.

But being forced to react to 90mph forehands is never fun for Fedalovic these days. Which is why slow courts help them more than anything. Also, the longer a point goes on, the more mental domination becomes a factor. Players get doubts in their minds the more Fedalovic return their shots in a point.
I just go with the results and it feels like to me that Nadal and Djoko would like faster courts still, but for Federer the 2018 US Open has to be thrown out as bad data. It would be hilarious if Fed won US Open on slow courts as I get sick of hearing about fast courts on TTW.:sneaky:
 

hipolymer

Professional
I just go with the results and it feels like to me that Nadal and Djoko would like faster courts still, but for Federer the 2018 US Open has to be thrown out as bad data. It would be hilarious if Fed won US Open on slow courts as I get sick of hearing about fast courts on TTW.:sneaky:
Medium and low-bouncing is best for Fed these days, but problem is that it's best for Djoker as well. Medium and high-bouncing = advantage Rafa
I predict a 5 setter between Nole and Rafa at the USO, and Fed may benefit
 

OhYes

Legend
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
Is there any article which explains how cement base is slower than asphalt base ? I mean, are these just your own assumptions ?
Anyway, in this one which you quoted, there is a talk about making conditions that will suit more American players, not to hinder anyone specifically.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
I think we should be careful about the word "slower". If the court is smoother, the balls can shoot through faster in terms of speed, but the higher bounce gives the players more time. The more time factor is what gives players like Rafa a huge advantage, which should by the way also advantage guys like Thiem. Higher bounce is much better for players with longer take-backs.

There has always been a huge confusion between the speed the ball is moving and how high it in the air.
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
Is there any article which explains how cement base is slower than asphalt base ? I mean, are these just your own assumptions ?
Anyway, in this one which you quoted, there is a talk about making conditions that will suit more American players, not to hinder anyone specifically.
Think of a harder surface as being more reflective to impact, less resistance.

Its hard to explain, but the balls circular shape, held with air pressure, makes its actions more reactive to what it hits and its trajectory.

Im sure there is a forumla that explains this
 

Born_to_slice

Semi-Pro
Outside courts are playing faster. Main courts are playing slow because of roof constructions and even more so in the humid evening conditions. Cement is harder than asphalt so it should actually play faster.
 

OhYes

Legend
Think of a harder surface as being more reflective to impact, less resistance.

Its hard to explain, but the balls circular shape, held with air pressure, makes its actions more reactive to what it hits and its trajectory.

Im sure there is a forumla that explains this
Well I am not into this field, so I would like to see some data. Why wouldn't top layer be the only thing which is responsible for ball speed ? If we should disect every layer below... I mean how far should we go ?
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
Well I am not into this field, so I would like to see some data. Why wouldn't top layer be the only thing which is responsible for ball speed ? If we should disect every layer below... I mean how far should we go ?
The same reason you dont build a house on 2*4's. Remember, clay is also hard on top but plays much different due to impact resistance.

Its hard to explain, but if you play on a concrete court vs asphalt, they are different. I prefer asphalt but the pros should be able to run faster than me :)
 

beard

Professional
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24591149/us-open-tournament-director-says-courts-were-slowed-year

"The amount of sand or other granular items in the surface's top layer can be adjusted to make a court faster, which is what's responsible for the change, according to Brewer (US Open Tournament Director), rather than the recent switch from asphalt to cement underneath each court at Flushing Meadows."

Well despite Brewer's failure in tennis physics. The cement base will be much harder (higher bouncing) than an asphalt base which is likely at all the US Open Series events. No matter the tweaking of grit level, higher bouncing means balls go through the court more slowly as more of their energy is directed upwards. That concrete base is going to be in place for decades which means the US Open surface has changed permanently and its going to be slowerer.
When ttw poster knows better about tournament surface than tournament director... :oops:

And when fed fans think everyone should like fast surfaces because they like fast surfaces, and think that they knows better what is good for the spprt than tournament directors....

And whe Fed fans think slower surfaces don't benefit their man who is slower him self at this age...
 
Top