Time to rename Wimbledon surface

M

Morrissey

Guest
its really annoying that wimbledon has become another CLAY court

its not wimbledon anymore, not when serve and volleyers find it HARDER to play then baseline players

thats the only reason rafa has been to 2 finals so far, and why he sucks so much on hard courts, he's a one surface player (to be fair to him, he is the greatest EVER clay courter)
This has to be the worst post in this thread and that's saying something when you also have ninman posting in here.
 
Like I said, what a fan rant. Nobody in their right mind can call Agassi mediocre, but to each his own.
Read what he said agian. He did not say Agassi was mediocre period. He said: Agassi when stretched is mediocre compared to Nadal. This is definitely true. Nadal is light years quicker in reaching the ball to the extremes of the court, and what he is able to do with the ball stretched out is far superior to Agassi. Of course Agassi was an amazing ball striker from the baseline but when stretched he usually hit this funky looking one handed slice back, especially off the backhand wing, while Nadal can reach so many balls to the extreme and hit an offensive drive stretched out from there with hardly any compromise of technique.
 
M

Morrissey

Guest
Read what he said agian. He did not say Agassi was mediocre period. He said: Agassi when stretched is mediocre compared to Nadal. This is definitely true. Nadal is light years quicker in reaching the ball to the extremes of the court, and what he is able to do with the ball stretched out is far superior to Agassi. Of course Agassi was an amazing ball striker from the baseline but when stretched he usually hit this funky looking one handed slice back, especially off the backhand wing, while Nadal can reach so many balls to the extreme and hit an offensive drive stretched out from there with hardly any compromise of technique.
Well put, I agree. Nadal when stretched out wide is far superior to Agassi who needed to stay in the middle of the court to be most effective. Agassi was not a counterpuncher by any means and he wasn't anywhere near as good as Nadal is on the run. Agassi couldn't hit the shots Nadal hits when on the defensive. However, Agassi took the ball earlier and was a master of controlling points from the middle of the court with time. Sampras knew that in rallies he had to dictate and go for his shot early.
 

edmondsm

Legend
I certainly agree that Nadal is more dangerous then anyone out there, probably anyone ever, when outside the lines. The angles are ridiculous. He's way better then Agassi. Agassi did his best work (in baseline rallies) dictating from the middle of the court. At least that's how I remember it.
 

netman

Hall of Fame
BTW< netman is ninman.
Really? I didn't know that. Who is "ninman"? Thanks Morrisey for giving me some notoriety I haven't really earned.

BTW, I have not once stated that I think Nadal is winning because of the surface change. Nadal fans see conspiracy everywhere. And I thought the Fed fans where bad.

Nadal is winning on grass because he has put in the time and effort to get to the ball even earlier than he normally does, improve the speed and placement of his serve and take his already impressive fitness to a new level. The big benefit for Nadal of the slow down in the courts and the more consistent bounce has been that he doesn't have to radically change his game in the short period between RG and Wimbledon. Instead he can focus on fine tuning his existing game to the GIRT surface.

Personally I think the men's final is a toss up at this point. Could easily go down as one of the all time classics if you love today's baseline oriented game.
 

matchmaker

Hall of Fame
OK. I'll try and nudge this thread back to the main topic. The point is the surface at Wimbledon has changed enough that it no longer represents a radical change from the other slams. Yes it is still a bit different and that difference is now due to mainly to the way its worn out so badly at the baseline while the middle and forecourt remain pretty much intact. So you really do have two distinct surfaces to deal with, but even the grass part now bounces higher and slower than in the past.

To the question of how they prevented wear before, watch an old Wimbledon match and you'll see wear in front of the baseline, down the T and all across the front of the net. Much more even wear across the whole surface. Because of the low and fast bounces, there was a big premium on finishing points as quickly as possible. Baseliners still did well back then (Evert, Connors, Borg, to name a few) but S&V players also had a chance to excel. That was what made Wimbledon so special, the mix of playing styles and the variety of strategies that could win. Watch McEnroe vs. Borg, Connors vs. McEnroe or Navratilova vs. Evert to see what I am talking about.

We have 3 Slams for the fan of the long baseline rally. Shouldn't we have one Slam that forces players out of their comfort zone so we can see who has the skill, determination and dedication required to adjust their game?
I think the surface may have suffered slight changes but IMO the big problem in current tennis is the predominance of hard court and not really the fact that grass would have changed. Hard court takes a higher toll on the body that clay or grass, which are natural surfaces. I'd love to see more grass court tournaments and a longer grass season, so you would actually have specialists concentrating on that surface.
The big question is whether the surface has changed and caused a different playing style on it or whether it is the other way round, i. e. that because players come from RG and have baseline play in their mind they tend to do the same on grass, which becomes worn especially around the baseline, fostering even more a baseline style of play.
However the rest of the court really still plays like grass, which makes me think the latter of the two explanations to be true.
 

cucio

Legend
If S&V won the matches, I am sure we would have 10 awesome S&V-ers at the top of the game. S&V decay has nothing to do with S&V not being taught or being "too difficult" for today's puny top athletes. Who of these superbly gifted guys wouldn't S&V his arse off (or learn whatever other outrageously difficult skill, like hitting winners with the side of the frame) if it indeed brought glory and money?

Racquet technology killed S&V (or seriously injured it), not surface changes. Surface changes came later, when the combination of slick surfaces and power racquets turned formerly S&V favorable conditions in acefest favorable conditions. At least that's how I perceive it, but I was a kid in the McEnroe/Lendl/Borg/Edberg era, so I might have missed something.

Someone used the term "glay" in another post here, I prefer it to girt or crass.
 

ninman

Hall of Fame
I know its not the same, but the surface was not as advanced as it is now. Now the bounces are even, less bad bounces and the ground underneath the grass is much firmer than before. If Nadal didn't do well on grass not one of you would be complaining. But you need excuses to explain his success on grass. I guess the grass at Queens Club isn't grass either. You guys are funny.
It has nothing to do with Nadal. It's the fact that NOBODY serves and volley's anymore. Why? Because you lose doing so, that's why.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Baseliners still did well back then (Evert, Connors, Borg, to name a few)
Who told you Connors was a baseliner? He came to net. Didn't S&V - but came to net on short balls. So did Borg at Wimby. Evert - who cares - women's tennis is irrelevant to this surface conversation due to the lack of depth or specialized play. Top women win everywhere.

According to Sampras the change in grass occured in the 90's.
Can't buy much of what Sampras says - he's trying to frame his legacy - and doesn't want people to think he won mostly with his serve, even though that's what happened. The Brits wanted Henman to win Wimby - NFW they'd slow things down to hurt his chances...


http://www.angrybackhand.com
 

netman

Hall of Fame
Who told you Connors was a baseliner? He came to net.
Oh, just watching him play for years while I was growing up. He definitely was not a S&V player. He looked as awkward as Roddick at the net for years. Two handed BH volleys tend to do that to you. After losing twice at Wimbledon trying to slug it out from the baseline, he surprised everybody, including McEnroe by coming into the net frequently. Big upset. I still watch the tape of it once in awhile. I remember Pat Cash saying if Connors had done that against Borg he would have beaten him at least once at Wimbledon. McEnroe was ready the next time they played and ran him off the court, though I think age had something to do with it as well.

To your point on Borg, yes he did come in. He had too. If the court played as consistently as it does these days, I bet he would have stayed back since that was his strength. His volleys weren't pretty but he had such great footwork he rarely was out of position on them. I bet he probably would have used a game plan similar to the one Nadal is using this year. Capitalize on the extraordinary fitness and deep monster topspin ground strokes to rob time.
 

netman

Hall of Fame
Personally I think the men's final is a toss up at this point. Could easily go down as one of the all time classics if you love today's baseline oriented game.
I stand by my prediction. :) 2 point difference over 4 1/2 hours. It doesn't get any better than that.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Let the fed fans crying begin, the court is to slow, it bounces to high, waw waw waw.
 

AngeloDS

Hall of Fame
I see it as a legitimate argument. Why not?

Not too much a fan of the serve and volley game, but, I feel that a lot of awesome passing shots are really missing or awesome winners. It seems more too much like a grind than anything now; less about constructing points or doing anything too intelligent on court.
 
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coloskier

Legend
I like the name. But don't agree with your assessment. I see guys with 2 handers hitting 1 handed slices and working points. Sure some guys who shouldn't make it deep into a grass court tournament have - but that's the nature of the men's game - there is a lot of depth.

Serve and volleyers haven't been seen much at W for years. And racket and string technology have as much to do with it as the surface.

You might want to put on some flame retardant clothing after those comments...


http://www.angrybackhand.com
Personally, I think that due to tradition, the ONLY people that should have a chance to win Wimbledon are serve and volleyers. The courts should be set up that way. It is what would make winning all 4 grand slams even more impressive. Winning playing multiple styles at different events. It means that you can win a slam playing S&V, win a different slam playing baseline, etc.
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
S/V players don't need to be the only ones with a chance to win it, but it should favor an attacking game far more than rallying.
 
M

Morrissey

Guest
Time for the Fedfans to vent out the excuses. Wasn't there some thread based solely on that somewhere in here?
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
Time for the Fedfans to vent out the excuses. Wasn't there some thread based solely on that somewhere in here?
Rafa fans should enjoy the victory and stop projecting their thoughts on others. The tennis watching world does not consists solely of Fed and Rafa fans, some of us go beyond the duel at the top and are fans of neither of the two. There is a number of other great players in the world, as well as the love for a certain type of game.
 
M

Morrissey

Guest
Rafa fans should enjoy the victory and stop projecting their thoughts on others. The tennis watching world does not consists solely of Fed and Rafa fans, some of us go beyond the duel at the top and are fans of neither of the two. There is a number of other great players in the world, as well as the love for a certain type of game.
I AM enjoying the victory, very much so and I'm also enjoying reminding the haters who said he would lose in 3 sets. I'm enjoying that just as much thank you. :-D
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
I AM enjoying the victory, very much so and I'm also enjoying reminding the haters who said he would lose in 3 sets. I'm enjoying that just as much thank you. :-D
So why not let those of us who want the tennis in Wimbledon look like grasscourt tennis discuss it then without the need for labelling? When I'm enjoying myself, I'm not very interested in throwing tantrums.
 
M

Morrissey

Guest
It's time to rename the Wimbledon as Nadal's new home of dominance.
 
M

Morrissey

Guest
Rafa fans should enjoy the victory and stop projecting their thoughts on others. The tennis watching world does not consists solely of Fed and Rafa fans, some of us go beyond the duel at the top and are fans of neither of the two..
OH really? Like who? Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, Davydenko? Enlighten us.

Who says Nadal fans aren't enjoying the victory? I think we are enjoying it full tilt, but we also don't forget the people who put him down endlessly and we are having a go at them for doubting the Champion. Which is done in every sport mind you. Since when do the Fedfans not project their thoughts on others? That's all they ever do.
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
Since when do the Fedfans not project their thoughts on others? That's all they ever do.
I couldn't care less about either Rafa or Fed fans and their squabbles. This is a thread about whether grasscourt plays as grasscourt. There is plenty of threads for those squabbles, but you just have to throw a tantrum here, even though you're happy with a victory and shouldn't be throwing tantrums anywhere :confused:
 
M

Morrissey

Guest
I couldn't care less about either Rafa or Fed fans and their squabbles. This is a thread about whether grasscourt plays as grasscourt. There is plenty of threads for those squabbles, but you just have to throw a tantrum here, even though you're happy with a victory and shouldn't be throwing tantrums anywhere :confused:
I'm not throwing a tantrum, it just looks to me like you're one of the many Nadal haters or Fedfans who keep using that speed of the grass as as excuse for losing. I'm just calling a spade a spade. Whether or not you're a fan or not a fan of either player is not up for debate. Even though I find that hard to believe.
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
I'm not throwing a tantrum, it just looks to me like you're one of the many Nadal haters or Fedfans who keep using that speed of the grass as as excuse for losing. I'm just calling a spade a spade. Whether or not you're a fan or not a fan of either player is not up for debate. Even though I find that hard to believe.
And based on what do you draw that conclusion? Hard to believe that neither is my favorite, why on earth is that. Not all of us are obsessed with rooting for the Nm 1. Personally, my favorites are chosen according to playstyle, fighting spirit, overall personality and a number of other things, but certainly not on necessarily being the top dog.

If you want to talk sensibly, I'll give you one example for this year's Wimbledon - the Ferrer-Ancic match, that's the kind of tennis I want to see in Wimby and I want the players with the attacking style to actually have an advantage as they used to, as simple as that. If I want to watch long rallies, RG will be my favorite slam. It's not, but I don't expect it to become a heaven for non-baseliners. RG is what it always was, Wimbledon no longer is.
 

netman

Hall of Fame
It really is a tough problem to solve. The very characteristics that make for a great S&V grass court are also the ones that favor the big server. When the big leaps forward in racquet and string enhancements hit in the 90's that is what happened. Even I'll concede that wasn't enjoyable tennis, watching the big servers blast each other off the court.

In the end the All England Club is selling a product. The folks that pay the big dollars required to see the final rounds at Wimbledon don't want to go home after 90 minutes of one shot tennis. They want to see the kind of 4 hour plus matches that we saw between Clement and Schuttler and the final. We use to get those in the old days of S&V when the wood technology and string choices limited the power and control available. Get a tape of Borg-Gerulatis or Borg-McEnroe and see what I am talking about. It is like they are playing a different game from what we see today.

I'm sure after yesterday's epic, there won't be a lot of incentive for the powers that be to make major changes at Wimbledon. All we can do is hope there is a young player coming up that is so athletic, quick and strong they can reclaim the net even given the new GIRT surface.

-k-
 

Benhur

Hall of Fame
The grass was changed in 2001 to make it more durable, and probably to try to counter the huge advantage enjoyed by servers and lengthen the points a bit. It has been the same grass since then. It seems clear there is more grass left on the court by the end of the tournament now than 20 years ago.

http://205.188.238.109/time/nation/article/0,8599,1815724,00.html
***quote***
Head groundsman at the All-England Club, Eddie Seaward, says the new grass was developed because the tournament needed a plant that could withstand the wear of the modern game. Grass surfaces that could put up with lightfooted gents in trousers — like Fred Perry, the Englishman who dominated Wimbledon in the 1930s — couldn't as easily endure the exertions of, say, 6-ft.-6-in. (1.98 m) Max Mirnyi, a.k.a. the Beast from Belarus.

To test the durability of different varieties, technicians at Britain's Sports Turf Research Institute put a tennis shoe on a massive hydraulic ram and then stomped patches of turf intermittently for 13 days, mimicking the conditions of the Wimbledon fortnight. The hammer was calibrated to two different weights: that of the average female and average male pro.

"We needed a grass that could hold up for two weeks and not splinter into patches, which is what causes bad bounces," says Seaward. "That was our goal." Any change in the pattern of play, he insists, "was just a natural byproduct of being able to keep the soil firmer."
***end of quote***

You can argue that there are two factors contributing to the fact that there is more grass left now at the end of the tournament. One is the more resistent grass (100% rye as opposed to 70%). The other is the fact that players spend more time behind the baseline now than when s&v was much more common.

A small factor in this shift toward the baseline game can be attributed to the fact that the courts don't play as fast. But remember that the shift to the baseline game is not unique to the Wimbledon tournament. It has happened on all tournaments and all surfaces, fast and slow, grass or not grass. You don't see more s&v at Queen's -- which supposedly didn't change the grass -- than you see at Wimbledon.

If the shift toward a baseline game is universal, you cannot attribute it to the change of grass in ONE tournament. There have to be other, more important reasons. From what I have seen, s&v is still possible, and both Federer and Nadal followed their serve to the net on a few occasions in this final with success.

I am absolutely certain that if players like Sampras, Rafter, Edberg or Ivanisevic were brought from their prime into today's game, they would still s&v on most surfaces. And they would probably be pretty succesful, especially Sampras.

Then again maybe they wouldn't if they happened to meet someone with good passing shots on a good day. After all, Sampras got passed pretty spectacularly by the likes of Safin and Hewitt at the US Open, without any conspiratorial surface change. And Agassi at Wimbledon managed to beat Becker in the quarters, McEnroe in the semis, and Ivanisevic in the final -- that's three of the best grasscourt players of all time -- to take the title from the baseline on the mythical old grass.

Maybe there is a simple explanation. Maybe players on average have become better baseliners than they used to be, and worse volleyers than they used to be. Did this change take place just because Wimbledon went from 70% rye to 100% rye in 2001? I don't think so. Wimbledon is important, but it doesn't have magical powers. The players playing today were learning the game well before the grass change at Wimbledon. Did they foresee the change when they decided to specialize in aggressive groundstrokes, to the detriment of learning how to volley? I don't think so.

To my knowledge, since the grass change in 2001, nobody said that Ivanisevic, Rafter, Philippoussis, Roddick or Federer made it to the Wimbledon finals or won the title because of the new grass, even though they did so on the new grass. This kind of nonsense began only when Nadal started making it to the finals three years ago, and now it reaches a peak because he won it. Didn't he just beat Roddick on the old grass at Queen's? Nadal had just arrived from the RG clay a few days earlier, while Roddick had been practicing on grass for several weeks. I never heard the likes of Kaptain Karl blabber inanely about the big conspiracy to help "dirtballers" at Queen's. No. That kind of inane blabber is reserved only for Wimbledon.
 

cucio

Legend
Personally, I think that due to tradition, the ONLY people that should have a chance to win Wimbledon are serve and volleyers. The courts should be set up that way. It is what would make winning all 4 grand slams even more impressive. Winning playing multiple styles at different events. It means that you can win a slam playing S&V, win a different slam playing baseline, etc.
I think that changing just the court is not enough to favour S&V. You need to do something with the racquets, too. Otherwise is back to the acefest.
 
They should revert to the old original grass surface that was
in place back in the 70s and 80s. The current surface still does
not play like clay or HC, but it is not what it used to be. It
definitely favors the baseliners.
 

Sampragassi

New User
How about a system where by an electric current is applied to an ever increasing area of the baseline forcing the players to come to the net? Short of that I don't think anything will bring back S&V.
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
How about a system where by an electric current is applied to an ever increasing area of the baseline forcing the players to come to the net? Short of that I don't think anything will bring back S&V.
It's not about strictly S/V, it's about favoring attacking game over rallying.
 

ksbh

Banned
Then sorry to say it but you'll simply have to wait for the next generation of tennis players to arrive because the simple fact is that the top 2 players in the world are both baseliners.

If you want to talk sensibly, I'll give you one example for this year's Wimbledon - the Ferrer-Ancic match, that's the kind of tennis I want to see in Wimby and I want the players with the attacking style to actually have an advantage as they used to, as simple as that. If I want to watch long rallies, RG will be my favorite slam. It's not, but I don't expect it to become a heaven for non-baseliners. RG is what it always was, Wimbledon no longer is.
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
Then sorry to say it but you'll simply have to wait for the next generation of tennis players to arrive because the simple fact is that the top 2 players in the world are both baseliners.
And if nothing changes, we are likely to see ONLY baseliners in the future, not just in the top two, but all around.
 

netman

Hall of Fame
Not sure even the next generation could S&V against Nadal or Federer. The passing shots they both come up with are just insane.

benhur, interesting piece on the turf change. Guess the law of unintended consequences came into play. Tougher turf led to slightly slower play. That accelerated the move to baseline play already underway because of the change in style. But now even the new super turf can't last long on the baseline, since everyone stays back there most of the time. So you end up with the GIRT surface.

I wonder, if long term, the days of the true grass court are numbered? That would be sad, but it may the inevitable consequence of the direction tennis is moving.
 
I find it really surprising hearing over and over how the grass is slower than before and that it looks like playing on clay. They changed the grass in 2002, right ? If you watch matches before you can notice the bounce and the speed is not really different. What is different is that the style of play has evolved a lot over the last few years. And this is because of the racquet players use now and the strings, which enable to make fewer unforced errors and use more spin. They are far more confortable in their shots from the baseline. Also, Navratilova admitted that it's a lot more difficult to serve and volley with these new racquets.
And a perfect example on why clay and current grass are still very different : Venus Williams suck at Rolland Garros (0 titles, hasn't reached the semis since 2002), and every time she plays at Wimbledon, she feels like home and has her confidence back (5 titles).
 

Basicsys

New User
change the grass

During Wimbledon they should change the grass after every 2 days or so of playing. They did it at the Euro 2008 so why can't thy do it at Wimbledon?
But it will probalby take untill 2050 there I guess untill thy realize...
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
It does favor an attacking game. An attacking game at the baseline.
How exactly? Lots of predominantly baseline players have a pretty decent volley. You don't think they'd come to the net more often after a good groundstroke if that were really true? As it is, you have to prepare that point almost as good as in RG if you want to come to the net.
 

The-Champ

Legend
I couldn't care less about either Rafa or Fed fans and their squabbles. This is a thread about whether grasscourt plays as grasscourt. There is plenty of threads for those squabbles, but you just have to throw a tantrum here, even though you're happy with a victory and shouldn't be throwing tantrums anywhere :confused:
bla bla bla, you're suppose to name those clay courters who makes great results at wimbledon, aside from Nadal. How is that research going?
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
bla bla bla, you're suppose to name those clay courters who makes great results at wimbledon, aside from Nadal. How is that research going?
LOL, it's not going as I've forgot about it, but for starters let's just say that on proper grasscourt Ancic would have made short work of Ferrer with the way he was playing , rather than have a close match and conversely, if it were not for Ancic, Ferrer woudl be in QF and probably semi if Federer was not the next to face.
 

ttbrowne

Hall of Fame
It's pitiful that GB/Europe has to play on crap like clay and grass.

It's like having a major auto race with 1934 Chrylser/Desoto Airflow!
 

The-Champ

Legend
LOL, it's not going as I've forgot about it, but for starters let's just say that on proper grasscourt Ancic would have made short work of Ferrer with the way he was playing , rather than have a close match and conversely, if it were not for Ancic, Ferrer woudl be in QF and probably semi if Federer was not the next to face.
So you have no records to show for it but fantasies and assumptions!
let's say...probably...let's say....if it were not for...if he had been..bla bla bla... had every player in Ferrer's half of the draw died, he would have been in the final.

Ancic as a player sucks, so it's actually a surprise for me that he beat a good all around player like Ferrer on a fast surface like grass. Ferrer has impressive result on fast surfaces, compared to Ancic. Last year, he made the semi-finals at the US-open and was the runner-up at the YEC (shanghai). What has Ancic done on other fast surfaces?
 

oranges

Hall of Fame
So you have no records to show for it but fantasies and assumptions!
let's say...probably...let's say....if it were not for...if he had been..bla bla bla... had every player in Ferrer's half of the draw died, he would have been in the final.

Ancic as a player sucks, so it's actually a surprise for me that he beat a good all around player like Ferrer on a fast surface like grass. Ferrer has impressive result on fast surfaces, compared to Ancic. Last year, he made the semi-finals at the US-open and was the runner-up at the YEC (shanghai). What has Ancic done on other fast surfaces?
I guess there is no need for more arguments as you don't particularly care to make any valid ones yourself. (Just as a reminder, a semi at Wimbledon, rings any bells, or you commonly bash players you know absolutely nothing about and don't follow at all?)
 

The-Champ

Legend
I guess there is no need for more arguments as you don't particularly care to make any valid ones yourself. (Just as a reminder, a semi at Wimbledon, rings any bells, or you commonly bash players you know absolutely nothing about and don't follow at all?)

Red Herring....back to the subject....I'll repeat it again, who are those clay courters dominating at wimbledon? If you cannot come up with ONE (Nadal not included), then admit that what you said in page 2 of this thread is nothing but pure bs.
 
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oranges

Hall of Fame
Red Herring....back to the subject....I'll repeat it again, who are those clay courters dominating at wimbledon? If you cannot come up with ONE (Nadal not included), then admit that what you said in page 2 of this thread is nothing but pure bs.
You really expect me to continue a discussion after you spurt utter nonsense. Thanks, but no thanks.
 
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