Was this fast surface?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by RF-18, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. RF-18

    RF-18 G.O.A.T.

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    In the beginning, Agassi and Sampras playing in Wimbledon 1993. How fast was that grass compared to the more ''modern'' grass.

    Did the Wimbledon grass really slow down as much as people make it out to be?

     
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  2. Shaolin

    Shaolin Legend

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    2001 the Final was Ivanisevic/Rafter and the very next year it was Hewitt/Nalbandian. That should tell you something about how much they slowed it down in 2002.
     
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  3. mike danny

    mike danny G.O.A.T.

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    I heard that the grass was still slowed down a bit after 1994, but still fast enough though. It was because the 1994 final between Pete and Goran was boring.
     
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  4. SinjinCooper

    SinjinCooper Hall of Fame

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    Yes.

    There's a reason that the only guy on tour who took the majority of his groundies inside the baseline was the only baseliner to win the tournament the entire graphite era, until the great slowdown occurred. Nobody who relied on patient play could survive Big W from the mid-80's till 2002. The power was too high, and the bounces too low. Staying back was as effective as staying home.
     
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  5. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think Hewitt would have won had he made the final in 2001 instead though. He was good at playing on faster grass, it helped his counterpunching game -- and he enjoyed playing S&V players.

    He has beaten Sampras multiple times on faster grass (Queens 2000, 2001) and he's also beaten less-renowned S&V experts Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic (the same year he won Wimbledon).

    I don't know about the current players, but I'd always give Federer and Murray a chance on faster grass.
     
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  6. 125downthemiddle

    125downthemiddle Legend

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    Hewitt was the best counterpuncher I've ever seen. I think the faster the surface, the better it was for him.
     
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  7. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    Exactly. It played into his strengths, which is exactly why he complained about (and did relatively poorly at) the Australian Open as opposed to Wimbledon and the USO.
     
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  8. SinjinCooper

    SinjinCooper Hall of Fame

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    Not sure how Hewitt comes into play, here. He wasn't knocking on the doorstep or anything. He lost to a journeyman serve and volleyer in the 4th. He was complete non-factor at Wimbledon until they slowed it down, then boom, overnight champion.

    Not that he wasn't a good player by then, as his previous year's USO showed, but creeping red fescue Wimbledon was a whole different beast from any hardcourt.
     
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  9. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    Because he was one of the baseliners that made the final the next year..

    If you look into the history between Lleyton Hewitt and Nicolas Escude, you'll find that he had trouble with him (match up problem, perhaps) and was behind in the H2H 2-3, so it isn't really surprising a "journeyman" (which I wouldn't classify Nicholas as by the way) defeated him.

    He wasn't knocking on the doorstep because he was 20 years old in 2001. He still had to mature as a player before he could conquer the almighty Wimbledon; and I don't feel it had anything to do with court speed.
     
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  10. Dope Reign

    Dope Reign Rookie

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    His draw certainly helped. Only 2 top 16 seeds making it to the 4th round. When we say the draw is opening up, and we describe a girl who puts out on any day of the week that ends in a y as easy.

    Well, let us then say that wimbledon 2002 opened its legs wide with an ease that made all easy girls blush in shame.
     
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  11. SinjinCooper

    SinjinCooper Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, yeah, I conflated years. Still, it shows the salient point.
     
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  12. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    We could easily say the same about Wimbledon 2013 & 2016. Andy Murray faced someone ranked outside the top 16 in the SF in 2013 and in 2016 he got Berdych, seeded 10th in the world. Hewitt defeated Henman, who was seeded 5th at the time (and achieved his career high ranking of 4th after Wimbledon).

    Nice to know how desperate you are that you use sexualized analogies to help prove your "point" (or in every case to do with you, a non-point).
     
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  13. Dope Reign

    Dope Reign Rookie

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    in 2016 10 top 16 made it to the 4th round, 6 of 8 in the quarters. in 2013 it was 6 and then 5. So no, we couldn't say the same.
     
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  14. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    But it matters about actual draws. Was Murray's draw really that much harder both times? Not really, so stop interjecting your opinion on the matter when you're bitter there's still a debate about the two players careers (and perhaps there always will be).
     
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  15. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    What point? That they slowed down the courts? Sure they did, but my point was that one of those players would have most likely made the final ANYWAY.

    I don't think it matters that much, I also don't think it's why Pete Sampras started losing early. It was because with age he lost the timing on his shots he had before, and even on a slower Wimbledon surface I believe he'd be successful. It works both ways.
     
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  16. Dope Reign

    Dope Reign Rookie

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    somebody asked about Hewitt winning Wimbledon. I posted a fact about that wimbledon - with some colourful metaphor. You're bringing up murray.

    I actually like Hewitt. There were two 16 seeds in the 4th round. That's just a fact. Posting that fact as a counter to the idea that Hewitt won primarily because of slower conditions, is not some tactic to devalue Hewitt's title. The reason you think I'm doing that is because that's something you would do.

    I don't care if people think Hewitt and Murray are comparable. (unless it's insecure fed fans trying to elevate Hewitt status)
     
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  17. Zara

    Zara Semi-Pro

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    I think the court speed is more evident when Sampras serves. Also, the points feel a bit slower when it's on Agassi serve but the opposite when the game belongs to Sampras. I wish the whole set was there. I don't have this match in my collection.
     
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  18. Sabratha

    Sabratha Talk Tennis Guru

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    Because I know why you're posting in this thread. If you in fact did like Hewitt, why did you post a fact that went against him instead of favoring him? It isn't the best time to play pretend.

    It wasn't countering anything, you were just saying 2002 Wimbledon was weak so I responded in jest by bringing Murray's Wimbledon titles into question. I sincerely believe Murray would have won his 2 titles and Hewitt would have won his 1 no matter the "competition" (although realistically with Pete Sampras or Roger Federer around they both win 0).

    It's incredibly frustrating given Hewitt is devalued a lot around here for taking advantage of a "transitional period" (before I heard this nonsense I never used the term myself, but now it has become an interchangeable part of my vocabulary on this forum) because he was actually a decent player -- a lot of the people I have interactions with didn't watch him until he was a shell of his former self. I am not saying you did not watch him, but that dealing with people like that wears off after a while.
     
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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter G.O.A.T.

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    Wimbledon was slowed a bit, but, it's still grass, still the fastest major, and faster than a hard court with any amount of aggregate in the acrylic paint.
     
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  20. Dope Reign

    Dope Reign Rookie

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    Why did I post the truth instead of posting some shady misleading ********. Difficult for you to comprehend I know, but maybe because I'm not a liar?

    I think Hewitts game was more hurt than helped by slowing conditions. Somebody thought wimbledon being slowed down helped Hewitt win there, I don't so I posted something I think has more relevance.

    I understand that sports fans have a tendency to be bat-****, and this is certainly bat cave central, but sometimes a fact is just a fact.
     
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  21. Luckydog

    Luckydog Professional

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    Nowadays,there's no real fast court.:(
     
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  22. Dolgopolov85

    Dolgopolov85 Hall of Fame

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    You have to remember that being a natural surface, grass is very much at the mercy of the elements and also wear and tear from players running over it. So sometimes what could happen is sometimes the grass would just wear down more than usual by the end of the second week. I was too young in 1993 to be able to recollect whether that was the case that particular year. But I do remember the grass being faster in general in the 90s. Take a look at 1:10 in this video from the 1995 Becker Agassi semi:



    Notice how Becker's serve hurries on to Agassi after bounce. This doesn't happen anymore. And it's not just a function of Becker serving fast. The point is the ball seems to lose more pace after hitting the surface these days and the higher bounce makes it sit up. I know that for HC we say a faster court would also tend to offer more bounce but in grass the speed derives more from how much the ball skids (or doesn't skid) off the surface. If I compare the above 1995 video to Fedole 2015, the main difference is the lack of skid. It's not that it's playing slow per se but because it's getting up higher and not skidding, there's more time for the players to set up their shots and that used to be the hardest part of playing on grass (or 'joint hardest' along with moving on grass, lol). To be fair, some of it is also on account of introducing balls with more felt from the late 90s. And it could be seen already that baseliners were doing better than before at Wimbledon with the introduction of these balls. Kuerten reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1999, perhaps a foretaste of what was to come because nothing in his game was suitable for grass court tennis. Also, the bounce helped Rafter's kick serve and he began to go deep in a tournament where he had previously struggled.
     
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  23. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    It should. But it won't. ;)

    For those who really care, this thread touched on this and remains one of the very few discussions here that I remember through the years.
    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/the-match-that-changed-tennis.518405/
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  24. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover G.O.A.T.

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    To those downplaying Hewitt's abilities on a genuine FAST grass court, which is what Halle still is up to nowadays, just a reminder:



    Mind you, a vid from 2010.
     
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  25. Fedfan34

    Fedfan34 Hall of Fame

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    Pioline made the US and Wimbledon finals in the 90s.
     
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  26. Fedfan34

    Fedfan34 Hall of Fame

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    Sampras called Hewitt a victim of his time. He really respected his game.
     
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  27. helterskelter

    helterskelter Hall of Fame

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    The reason Agassi won is that Sampras wasn't fully matured in 1992 and so sometimes got down on himself when things weren't going his way. Even so, had he beaten Ivanisevic in the semis, he'd likely have beaten Agassi in the final.

    Jim Courier made the Wimbledon final in 1993, and he didn't have anything like Agassi's ability to take the ball early.

    It's a mistake to think that results prove things about surface speed. Yes, a large number of results can be highly suggestive. But individual results less so, because there's always an element of luck involved.


     
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  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Must been the racquet
     
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  29. BeatlesFan

    BeatlesFan Legend

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    Just ask Sampras. When the BBC interviewed him in 2009 when he came to watch the Roddick-Federer final he said:

    What I can't really get are the conditions nowadays. It's changed so much since I played. These guys (Andy and Roger) were basically playing out there on a clay court. It was as slow as green American clay. No serve-volley and net play wasn't really out there today. The grass conditions are slow, I can't believe it. I was talking to Lars (chair umpire) about it after the match and he was like, 'yeah, the grass plays slow, it's just rallies now.' (The Telegraph, July 6, 2009).

    That should answer your question.
     
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  30. Shaolin

    Shaolin Legend

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    And your point is? Pioline was an all courter and comfortable with s&v.
     
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