Major surface speeds

Pantera

Professional
#1
A while back I saw a table for Masters 1000 events showing surface speeds for each event

Ive never seen one for the Majors, would be great if someone could post such a verifiable data perhaps showing the difference between 2018 and say 1995. Not sure if possible.
 
#2
At the last ITF event we had at our local facility they did an update on the courts for measurements and did surface testing too. I was talking to the folks doing it all and they gave me some of the ITF pages to check out. I just pulled up the one on court speed measuring to post and also found a link to the 2018 court speeds for Masters.

ITF Court Speed Testing
2018 Masters Surface Speeds
 
#5
Honestly, I don't think they want it out there. They want you to think grass is really fast, hard courts are fast, and clay is slow. But in reality we know they are all getting closer in speed.
 
#6
New York Times had a study last Monday on the strokes per rally at Roland Garros, for men and women. Surprisingly, in both categories, RG had more one to three strokes rallies than the USO at Flushing over the last few years. Seems that RG plays faster than Flushing. This is corresponding with the fact, that with Khachanov, Zverev, Wawrinka many hard hitters reached last 8 at RG this year, alongside people with big forehands like Thiem, Nadal or Federer, who are certainly no grinders.
 
#8
Court speed discussion are a joke really, especially when they claim it was to enhance or detract form any particular player.

Fact is, the ITF started to try and compensate for player and equipment development back in the 90's with ball changes to counteract surfaces. String/racquet imrpovements started bearing ridiuclous, never before seen speeds and spin. A study from 90-2000 showed serve speed and aces exponentially increased and double faults minimized massively. They realize there, there is a point where high service speeds will far surpass reaction time for return of serve and EVERYONE will become a serve bot. The guiding powers realize for a long time there is a fair balance where servebotting or 2 stroke points will bore everyone, and continuous long rallies will anooy advertisers with long matches that don't fit schedules. SOMETHING has to be done to negotiate everything to make a competitive sport that is exciting to watch. I think the differences in courts and variety of speeds are pretty dialed in right now.

As for Wimbledon, the biggest change in this century wasn't for court speed, but underlying surface effecting bounce. Where balls used to skid through the court, the more companct base (done for ridigity and durability into later rounds) allows the ball to bounce, giving more access to the ball.

Also interesting in the conversation, is Fed painted as the last S&V savior. Funny to watch the Wimby 2001 against Pete. Fed was essentially seen as a baseline basher compared to Pete, and really Fed set the mould for today's play where most only S&V in particular situations. It cracks me up when people call baseline play with some S&V one dimensional, where Pete doing S&V with some baseline rallies isn't.


Anywho...that court speed tho...
 
#9
The US Open is hands down the worst in terms of court speed. In the mid 2000’s it was actually pretty fast but somewhere along the line they turned it into a moonballers paradise. If you rematch the Fed Agassi 05 final the court was very quick with winners flying everywhere.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#11
So many people don't understand tennis and just think that slow = good for Rafa and fast = good for Rojer when there are many more factors and court conditions that come into play for both.
 
#15
AO this year was back to the old slow, that's why we had a Novak vs Rafa final and Fed lost to a next gen.

Hope they at least double the speed of US open this year, cause last year was slower than RG.
No, AO was the fastest its played as every player said so.
 
#16
New York Times had a study last Monday on the strokes per rally at Roland Garros, for men and women. Surprisingly, in both categories, RG had more one to three strokes rallies than the USO at Flushing over the last few years. Seems that RG plays faster than Flushing. This is corresponding with the fact, that with Khachanov, Zverev, Wawrinka many hard hitters reached last 8 at RG this year, alongside people with big forehands like Thiem, Nadal or Federer, who are certainly no grinders.
Something seems to be missing though. It it's only about supposed speed and height of bounce, why can't Nadal dominate every year at the USO? I can't expect that it's only about sliding on clay. Does this match what you saw? Why aren't players at RG holding as easily then? Why aren't people at the USO breaking serve as often? Or are they? I don't have serve/return numbers for the majors, only for surfaces in seasons. I know for a fact that Nadal wins no where near the number of games in other majors compared to RG...
 
#17
I think, that somehow Nadal can attack better on clay than on the USO hard court. Maybe it is the bounce and the afterspin of the topspin, but he can bring his pounding and swirling forehand better in on RG clay than on hard court. Over the last 3 years at RG, he learned to shorten the points in rallies. He no longer depends on grinding out his opponents. Of course, when necessary he can go the longer route in duration rallies. But overall, he had much shorter matches, and gave in only 3 sets over 3 years. To the contrary, last year at USO he had way too long durations battles along the way, which wore out and eventually took him out in the semis. In the last AO, i noticed a change in tactics, too, now also on hard courts he was able, to make a point with his second stroke and shorten the points and the matches. I think, he lost no sets, until he got this negative attitude against Djoker in the final.
 
#18
I honestly think they don't want super fast surfaces because someone like Nadal would get exposed so much if he had an avalanche of aces and winners hit him in the face.

And nobody wants to see Anderson-Isner finals.
 
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