Court Speed

#6
I watched the Baghdatis qualifying match a couple of nights ago and to me they looked suuuuuuper slow. I don’t know if that just has something to do with them playing on the outer courts or neither player hitting heavy balls compared to the big hitters. Was just my take in watching that particular match.
 
#8
I watched four days of the qualifying, and the "conditions" are quick.

By conditions I mean a potent mix of the surface playing fast, but also these new Dunlop balls coming off the deck like cricket balls.

The tournament is really geared to the servebots again.

Depending on how the event plays out, the Dunlop decision may end up being a serious talking point for up-highs during and after the tournament.

We can understand what the AO has been trying to do in terms of condition management the last few years but this really seems like overkill.
 
#9
I watched four days of the qualifying, and the "conditions" are quick.

By conditions I mean a potent mix of the surface playing fast, but also these new Dunlop balls coming off the deck like cricket balls.

The tournament is really geared to the servebots again.

Depending on how the event plays out, the Dunlop decision may end up being a serious talking point for up-highs during and after the tournament.

We can understand what the AO has been trying to do in terms of condition management the last few years but this really seems like overkill.
This is a ridiculous statement. In 2017 the only servebot even making Round 4 was Raonic, and he lost in straights in the QF. In 2018, we had 1,5 - Fucsovics (the 0,5) and Kyrgios, both losing the 4th round as well.

We had Isner, Anderson and Raonic losing 1st round, Querrey round 2, and Karlovic with a super easy draw round 3. The servebots sure had a ball since Melbourne sped up the surface...
 
#10
This is a ridiculous statement. In 2017 the only servebot even making Round 4 was Raonic, and he lost in straights in the QF. In 2018, we had 1,5 - Fucsovics (the 0,5) and Kyrgios, both losing the 4th round as well.

We had Isner, Anderson and Raonic losing 1st round, Querrey round 2, and Karlovic with a super easy draw round 3. The servebots sure had a ball since Melbourne sped up the surface...
You forgot about the servebot who won the tournament.
:cool:
 
#12
This is a ridiculous statement. In 2017 the only servebot even making Round 4 was Raonic, and he lost in straights in the QF. In 2018, we had 1,5 - Fucsovics (the 0,5) and Kyrgios, both losing the 4th round as well.

We had Isner, Anderson and Raonic losing 1st round, Querrey round 2, and Karlovic with a super easy draw round 3. The servebots sure had a ball since Melbourne sped up the surface...
What you are saying is that many servebots have done poorly in recent years.

This could be for a multitude of reasons (big men struggling in the hot weather for example) and does not address the fact that the surface (in recent years) and the balls (this year) are geared for the servebots. The fact that they haven't capitalised is immaterial.

If you have been down at the tournament this week and have something more substantial to contribute based on actual observation of the conditions and the impact of the change to Dunlop balls, I welcome your remarks. But please avoid useless stats-pulling, particularly if you haven't been monitoring the conditions.
 
Last edited:
#13
What you are saying is that many servebots have done poorly in recent years.

This could be for a multitude of reasons (big men struggling in the hot weather for example) and does not address the fact that the surface (in recent years) and the balls (this year) are geared for the servebots. The fact that they haven't capitalised is immaterial.

If you have been down at the tournament this week and have something more substantial to contribute based on actual observation of the conditions and the impact of the change to Dunlop balls, I welcome your remarks. But please avoid useless stats-pulling, particularly if you haven't been monitoring the conditions.
I am in no way saying servebots haven’t done well recently - Raonic, Anderson, Isner and Querrey are having the time of their lives these past 3 years. Just not in Melbourne.

I am very sorry that my facts (not stats) are tearing apart your transparent agenda. Thanks for the free “friendly advice”, though ;)
 
Last edited:
#15
I watched four days of the qualifying, and the "conditions" are quick.

By conditions I mean a potent mix of the surface playing fast, but also these new Dunlop balls coming off the deck like cricket balls.

The tournament is really geared to the servebots again.

Depending on how the event plays out, the Dunlop decision may end up being a serious talking point for up-highs during and after the tournament.

We can understand what the AO has been trying to do in terms of condition management the last few years but this really seems like overkill.
Couldn’t disagree more. Every Grand Slam allows players to play the exact same way - Wimbledon is slow and players don’t even need to come to net to win it. Rafa and Djokovic would never have won it if it was the fast grass unless they serve and volleyed like Borg did. The surfaces have been homogenized which keeps players from having to adapt to fast services and learn new skills. It also makes the game so much more physical and adds to all of the injuries we have been seeing. And, it’s boring watching similar points on all surfaces - it lacks variety.
 
#17
I am in no way saying servebots haven’t done well recently - Raonic, Anderson, Isner and Querrey are having the time of their lives these past 3 years. Just not in Melbourne.

I am very sorry that my facts (not stats) are tearing apart your transparent agenda. Thanks for the free “friendly advice”, though ;)
That's correct, you were mentioning the servebots haven't done well 2017 and 2018 at AO, as an indication that the court didn't suit servebots. Is that not correct? My follow-up comment was that, yes, the servebots have not done well at the AO (agree there), but this is in spite of the surface (and this year, balls as well) being very suited to that style of tennis. The fact that they failed to capitalise is not an indication of the surface not suiting them. It is merely an indication that they didn't capitalise.

Again, this is not attacking them - there are still adversarial elements at the AO beyond the director's control that can still hamper servebots (extreme hot weather conditions can be toughest on big men etc etc). But they are certainly doing all they can with the balls and courts. The air conditions have also been very fast the last few days, with similar atmosphere predicted for day 1. It's no ones "fault" but the tourney is a huge opportunity for the bots again this year.

I still haven't heard you mention what your observation has been of the courts from going down and watching some of the matches in qualifying this year. What are your thoughts?

Couldn’t disagree more. Every Grand Slam allows players to play the exact same way - Wimbledon is slow and players don’t even need to come to net to win it. Rafa and Djokovic would never have won it if it was the fast grass unless they serve and volleyed like Borg did. The surfaces have been homogenized which keeps players from having to adapt to fast services and learn new skills. It also makes the game so much more physical and adds to all of the injuries we have been seeing. And, it’s boring watching similar points on all surfaces - it lacks variety.
I would argue that there is still a slow, medium, medium-fast and fast, but that the degrees of difference between those rating have thinned substantially. Doing something like the channel slam in Borg's day involved far more stylistic and movement adaptability than it does now. With that said, I would still contend that the playing conditions still change significantly between the majors. I think you are right, we are losing the surface specialists that used to enrich the game and offer more diversity, because people will generally try and apply a single playing style to all surfaces (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). Players have been skilful in figuring out creative ways to "apply" their game in ways that seem to defy physics of the conditions. Clay court sliding is now de riguer on hardcourt, and probably passed to young viewers but the novelty of this stylistic innovation is not lost on players and tennis fans who saw it evolve.
 
Last edited:
#19
I watched four days of the qualifying, and the "conditions" are quick.

By conditions I mean a potent mix of the surface playing fast, but also these new Dunlop balls coming off the deck like cricket balls.

The tournament is really geared to the servebots again.

Depending on how the event plays out, the Dunlop decision may end up being a serious talking point for up-highs during and after the tournament.

We can understand what the AO has been trying to do in terms of condition management the last few years but this really seems like overkill.
So do you think the conditions are about the same as last year or faster because of the new balls? I remember when RG first switched to Dunlop and the balls were lightning fast. Quite a few players were not happy.
 
#20
So do you think the conditions are about the same as last year or faster because of the new balls? I remember when RG first switched to Dunlop and the balls were lightning fast. Quite a few players were not happy.
It's essentially the same situation as what happened at RG. For someone like Novak, I'm not sure it is going to matter either way tbh. But it's certainly added to the conditions that were established in 2017.
 
#24
OK... we have official word on the court speed from someone who should know: Federer. He said today:

"I know what Denis [Istomin] did to Novak... I've had some tough ones against him in the past. He can play well in fast courts , and that's what it's going to be a little bit here."

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=TOIDesktop
Agree. Disregard the trolls. It's quick. Anyone with a pair of eyes and some experience playing and watching tennis will notice it at court level. Made even faster with the ball change.
 
#25
So Dunlop balls are faster or slower than Wilson?
Lighter and harder which equals faster. The surface will be the same surface that it was in 2017/2018, but the Dunlop balls will make it feel even quicker to the players and look quicker to the viewer. The player that wins this tournament will be the player willing to step in and play aggressive tennis. If you try to defend and get behind the baseline on this court with these ball than you are in trouble. I really believe it's going to be the two greatest players in AO history battling it out to be the sole record holder of seven titles in Melbourne.

Semifinals:
Djokovic defeats Zverev (5 sets)
Federer defeats Anderson (3 sets)
Final:
Federer defeats Djokovic (5 sets)

Federer wins three AO's in a row at ages 35, 36 and 37. In the process he will own the record for most titles down under at the AO, and he will also be the oldest slam champion in the open era.
 
#26
Lighter and harder which equals faster. The surface will be the same surface that it was in 2017/2018, but the Dunlop balls will make it feel even quicker to the players and look quicker to the viewer. The player that wins this tournament will be the player willing to step in and play aggressive tennis. If you try to defend and get behind the baseline on this court with these ball than you are in trouble. I really believe it's going to be the two greatest players in AO history battling it out to be the sole record holder of seven titles in Melbourne.

Semifinals:
Djokovic defeats Zverev (5 sets)
Federer defeats Anderson (3 sets)
Final:
Federer defeats Djokovic (5 sets)

Federer wins three AO's in a row at ages 35, 36 and 37. In the process he will own the record for most titles down under at the AO, and he will also be the oldest slam champion in the open era.
but imagine if Federer doesn't win, then he'll probably go slamless this year because of how tough Djokovic is at Wimbledon:)
 
#27
but imagine if Federer doesn't win, then he'll probably go slamless this year because of how tough Djokovic is at Wimbledon:)
You never know, but it's a definite possibility. At Roger's age there is definitely a higher probability that he won't win a slam as to him actually winning a slam. Now having said that I still believe he wins at least one slam this year.
 
#28
You never know, but it's a definite possibility. At Roger's age there is definitely a higher probability that he won't win a slam as to him actually winning a slam. Now having said that I still believe he wins at least one slam this year.
i hope Federer wins another slam, because if he stays on 20 i think Rafael will cruise past that with RG alone, so to keep it interesting Federer would need 21 or 22:)
 
#29
OK... we have official word on the court speed from someone who should know: Federer. He said today:

"I know what Denis [Istomin] did to Novak... I've had some tough ones against him in the past. He can play well in fast courts , and that's what it's going to be a little bit here."

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=TOIDesktop
We also need to take what Fed says with a grain of salt. Before the US Open he said “I like playing here. I think the court speed’s good for me." He's been very consistent over the years of always saying "everything's good" before a tournament, regardless of the situation. He finds a way to spin things and make them seem positive so it doesn't sound like he's making excuses.
 
#32
We also need to take what Fed says with a grain of salt. Before the US Open he said “I like playing here. I think the court speed’s good for me." He's been very consistent over the years of always saying "everything's good" before a tournament, regardless of the situation. He finds a way to spin things and make them seem positive so it doesn't sound like he's making excuses.
sometimes i think federer lives in lala land. i do realize that federer never wants to give up a competitive edge but dude won his french open more recently than he did teh USO. I know it must be weird for him given that at one point it was his second most successful slam and he has good memories but i mean c'mon
 
#33
Lighter and harder which equals faster. The surface will be the same surface that it was in 2017/2018, but the Dunlop balls will make it feel even quicker to the players and look quicker to the viewer. The player that wins this tournament will be the player willing to step in and play aggressive tennis. If you try to defend and get behind the baseline on this court with these ball than you are in trouble. I really believe it's going to be the two greatest players in AO history battling it out to be the sole record holder of seven titles in Melbourne.

Semifinals:
Djokovic defeats Zverev (5 sets)
Federer defeats Anderson (3 sets)
Final:
Federer defeats Djokovic (5 sets)

Federer wins three AO's in a row at ages 35, 36 and 37. In the process he will own the record for most titles down under at the AO, and he will also be the oldest slam champion in the open era.
and then you woke up right?? if its going to 5 sets, novak is the one who will be outlasting federer imo
 
#34
people really throw the word serve bot around like anything don't they, having a good serve does not equal servebot but okay.
It’s quite clear what that guy posting “the courts are once again geared towards servebots” actually meant. That’s why he got his panties in a twist once I established real servebots are actually doing extremely poor in Melbourne lately. Very sad indeed. And I also agree this servebot crap is way out of order - they see 1-2 in a couple of finals and all of a sudden they’re a problem. It seems players should only be allowes to hit under-serves and not develop the only shot your opponent has no influence on.
 
#35
It’s quite clear what that guy posting “the courts are once again geared towards servebots” actually meant. That’s why he got his panties in a twist once I established real servebots are actually doing extremely poor in Melbourne lately. Very sad indeed. And I also agree this servebot crap is way out of order - they see 1-2 in a couple of finals and all of a sudden they’re a problem. It seems players should only be allowes to hit under-serves and not develop the only shot your opponent has no influence on.
pretty much, its very obvious what people mean when they whine about serve bots, they clearly have been jaded by this current gen/era where anything more than a few serves is a serve bot. people are dense as hell
 
#36
What you are saying is that many servebots have done poorly in recent years.

This could be for a multitude of reasons (big men struggling in the hot weather for example) and does not address the fact that the surface (in recent years) and the balls (this year) are geared for the servebots. The fact that they haven't capitalised is immaterial.

If you have been down at the tournament this week and have something more substantial to contribute based on actual observation of the conditions and the impact of the change to Dunlop balls, I welcome your remarks. But please avoid useless stats-pulling, particularly if you haven't been monitoring the conditions.
I think the best surface for servebots is Clay. The fact that they never win on clay has nothing to do with it. It's just because they are always out of shape during RG. ;)
 
#37
Martina N reporting in the ST that some of the men are complaining that the new Dunlop ball feeling a bit dead and difficult to generate pace off of it, which could mean extended rallies. However, she caveats by saying she hasn’t played with them yet.

We will see.
 
#38
This is a ridiculous statement. In 2017 the only servebot even making Round 4 was Raonic, and he lost in straights in the QF. In 2018, we had 1,5 - Fucsovics (the 0,5) and Kyrgios, both losing the 4th round as well.

We had Isner, Anderson and Raonic losing 1st round, Querrey round 2, and Karlovic with a super easy draw round 3. The servebots sure had a ball since Melbourne sped up the surface...
Last year the servers Federer and Cilic reached the final. The conditions help servers.
 
#44
We also need to take what Fed says with a grain of salt. Before the US Open he said “I like playing here. I think the court speed’s good for me." He's been very consistent over the years of always saying "everything's good" before a tournament, regardless of the situation. He finds a way to spin things and make them seem positive so it doesn't sound like he's making excuses.
Gilbert confirmed court speed as medium fast, Boris said on Eurosport that “court is playing like last year.”
 
#46
So Dunlop balls are faster or slower than Wilson?
In my experience, they play a LOT faster. It's like serving with a superball. But manufacturers have many different balls in production, so it depends. Wilson US Open are different from their regular balls which were different from their Ti offerings. Penn's regular, ATP, and Coach balls are also very different (first is what I'm used to and is what's used for USTA, second is bigger and slightly heavier, third is in between).
 
#48
Martina N reporting in the ST that some of the men are complaining that the new Dunlop ball feeling a bit dead and difficult to generate pace off of it, which could mean extended rallies. However, she caveats by saying she hasn’t played with them yet.
Well by all means let's wait till she's grabbed hold of them. :rolleyes:
 
#50
It always seems like professional experts are commenting on here with all the discussions of the surface, balls used etc. on how the courts are playing speed wise. But then again, two commenters will use the exact same evidence to point to their conclusions where one claims its quick and the other claims its slower than clay.
 
Top