Why hide the info?

MariaRafael

Banned
The speed of surfaces in the Grand SLam tournaments is discussed here on regular basis. I decided to ask ITF about it. Sent such an e-mail:

Dear Sirs,

I am looking for the information about the speed of the surface in various Grand Slam tournaments. I am pretty sure that the surfaces are calibrated on regular basis, but can’t find the information with the actual figures. Is it available somewhere in your site, or is it classified?

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely yours,
Maria


Received such an answer:

Dear Maria,

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded by my colleague.

As you correctly suggest, the information you are looking for is not publicly available so we cannot assist, but thank you nonetheless for your interest in the Grand Slam tournaments.

Regards

Katie

Katie Wright
Grand Slam®Committee
Bank Lane, Roehampton
London SW15 5XZ, UK
Tel: +44(0)208 392 4712
Fax: +44(0)208 392 4675
Mob: +44(0)7771 783 965
Email: katie.wright@grandslamcommittee.com


Any ideas why it should be such a top secret? Why can't they publish the calibration results in their site and stop all the discussions about Wimbledon being too slow and Roland Garros being too fast?
 

roysid

Hall of Fame
They don't want controversy and public scrutiny. In the nineties there was huge outcry over wimbledon being too fast. Now it is the opposite.
 

Semi-Pro

Hall of Fame
She knows you are a ruthless and cunning Nadal fanatic here on TT thus she does not want to disclose any information to you.
 

tusharlovesrafa

Hall of Fame
Maria is a nice poster.You guys are just simply butt hurt.I hope they slow everything down to an extent where federer starts loosing in every 1st round.
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
She thought you are a ruthless and cunning Sharapova fanatic here on TT thus she does not want to disclose any information to you.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
The OP got a polite response to a dumb email. "I am pretty sure they are calibrated on a regular basis" just sounds foolish and the whole thing sounds like a journalism student trying to make a story out of nothing. ITF gave a response most sensible people would give. It's like writing to Toyota and asking how often they test the competence of their factory workers. They'll write back and say they do so with diligence and thank you for your interest.
 

kragster

Hall of Fame
The OP got a polite response to a dumb email. "I am pretty sure they are calibrated on a regular basis" just sounds foolish and the whole thing sounds like a journalism student trying to make a story out of nothing. ITF gave a response most sensible people would give. It's like writing to Toyota and asking how often they test the competence of their factory workers. They'll write back and say they do so with diligence and thank you for your interest.
I don't think you read OP's post very well, the OP asked a very pointed question about knowing the speeds. Her question was not "Do you calibrate", her question was " I can't find the speeds, point me to the speeds".

That would be the equivalent of asking Toyota, "Where can I find the quality test ratings of your cars" to which they would say (if it were public knowledge), please go to XYZ section of the manufacturer website.
 

rommil

Legend
^^^Quality test of Toyota would concern more of consumers, especially if the person asking drives one. The courts calibration are of no possible effect to anybody who doesn't play on it.
 

rommil

Legend
still today they are laughing in the office...
Hey there is no need to make fun of it. That letter is an important document in their London Office. Everytime somebody is having a bad day they just make them read it.


BTW headed to the Frenchie Open this May, and have a stop over in Lisbon. I can personally hand you a copy of the calibrations Katie sent me.
 

Gorecki

G.O.A.T.
Hey there is no need to make fun of it. That letter is an important document in their London Office. Everytime somebody is having a bad day they just make them read it.


BTW headed to the Frenchie Open this May, and have a stop over in Lisbon. I can personally hand you a copy of the calibrations Katie sent me.
Early may, i will be at Lisbon working in my Company's Headquarters on the yearly conference on our ERP new features... if i manage to skip from the works, i might just arranje to meet with you to get that classified information. i wonder what Julien Assange would pay for that info!!!???
 

rommil

Legend
Early may, i will be at Lisbon working in my Company's Headquarters on the yearly conference on our ERP new features... if i manage to skip from the works, i might just arranje to meet with you to get that classified information. i wonder what Julien Assange would pay for that info!!!???
Your company HQ would kill to get a hold of info, even if it doesn't concern their business.
 

Gorecki

G.O.A.T.
Your company HQ would kill to get a hold of info, even if it doesn't concern their business.
we could develop a ERP integrated calibration software to determine what speed the surfaces travel. :) My boss woud give me a big raise by the end of this trimester (about 3 dollars in food coupons) :) ...

ps: this what we are talking about right? the speed at which surfaces travel when thrown at a given force, since it's the only thing that makes sense in OP's idea...
 

rommil

Legend
we could develop a ERP integrated calibration software to determine what speed the surfaces travel. :) My boss woud give me a big raise by the end of this trimester (about 3 dollars in food coupons) :) ...

ps: this what we are talking about right? the speed at which surfaces travel when thrown at a given force, since it's the only thing that makes sense in OP's idea...
Make sure you declare that raise in your tax statement, best to avoid Tio Toni Tax company to do your returns.
 

Gorecki

G.O.A.T.
Make sure you declare that raise in your tax statement, best to avoid Tio Toni Tax company to do your returns.
Rommil. we are ok and what not, but please dont berate the good peope at Don Antonio de Los Nadales, Expertos Contables SARL
 

rommil

Legend
Rommil. we are ok and what not, but please dont berate the good peope at Don Antonio de Los Nadales, Expertos Contables SARL
I know......... I would be leary with the Nadales doing work on paper, I imagine it comes back slightly "smeared". Plus their propensity for taking much time, I am afraid I can't get my returns in time for the 25 second limit.
 

Gorecki

G.O.A.T.
I know......... I would be leary with the Nadales doing work on paper, I imagine it comes back slightly "smeared". Plus their propensity for taking much time, I am afraid I can't get my returns in time for the 25 second limit.


 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
OP, please excuse the idiotic responses to your thread; the responders obviously don't know any better!

I thought it was a very reasonable question, and I for one would like to know the answer.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I know......... I would be leary with the Nadales doing work on paper, I imagine it comes back slightly "smeared". Plus their propensity for taking much time, I am afraid I can't get my returns in time for the 25 second limit.
That holds for your service returns too.
 
I can't think of any organization that makes its internal quality control data available to the public. Will somebody show me a website of any kind that does this? (This of course excludes any government organizations that come under Freedom of Information Act). And if in fact the ITF kept some sort of calibration data on grand slam event courts, it would make no sense to make it public. This would only encourage conspiracy theories and protests if, for example, a player were put on court 7 instead of court 2, and the data showed court 7 to be just a shade slower. Nothing to be gained except problems by making such data available.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
This is one of the funniest threads I have ever seen on TW. The OP posted a serious question but it led to some hilarious exchanges b/w rommil and Gorecki which still makes me LOL when I read it.

I saw this article on court speeds and how it is measured and immediately remembered this thread. Someone finally answered the OP's question though the OP seems to be banned now.


ORDER ON THE COURT 8:26 AM MAY 26, 2014

How Tennis Officials Are Trying to Make the Game Fair

By CARL BIALIK

Tennis pros, and dedicated amateurs, can control just about everything about their rackets. Rackets are measured for weight, stiffness, balance and head size and strung for peak force, deflection and tension loss. Yet the court players run and hit on will always behave unpredictably. Even at most pro tournaments, players don’t know precisely how “fast” or “slow” a given court is playing, an expression of how much speed and height the ball retains after it bounces. Court speed is a fixture of questions at press conferences during the first few days of Grand Slam tournaments such as the French Open, now unfolding in Paris.

“It wasn’t bouncing as much as it had actually the last days on the outside courts,” Milos Raonic after winning his match on Sunday.

One reason court speed is such a mystery is that it’s been so cumbersome to measure. The International Tennis Federation has helped develop and test machines that do the job, but the best ones are expensive, bulky and difficult to operate. (The equipment is so hard to transport that many court-surface manufacturers ship samples of their product, in half-meter (1.64-foot) squares of paint and sand, to the ITF’s testing laboratory in London.) For the most prominent ITF-organized events — the Davis Cup and Fed Cup — federation employees must fly with their testing devices, or ship them to sites weeks in advance, to keep hosts from giving players too big a home-court advantage.

Now, the ITF is trying to find an easier way to ensure courts are fair. On a recent Thursday at a London tennis court,1 Jamie Capel-Davies, manager of ITF’s science and technical department, was testing a new device that the federation has helped develop. It’s known as SPRite,2 and this test was of model number 007.

The device doesn’t take a vodka martini. Instead, a ball cannon powered by a bicycle pump propels a ball off the court and through the testing chamber. Seconds later, a display shows the court-speed measurement. The measurement device and ball cannon each weigh about 14 pounds and together cost $12,000, compared to the 110-pound, $45,000 behemoth that sets the standard now. The new devices can be carried by hand, and their dimensions fall within most airlines’ carry-on baggage limits. The motivation for the test, Capel-Davies said, was “democratizing court-pace rating.”3

The ITF knows it’s traded some precision for lightness and mobility. The question is, how much? Is SPRite accurate enough to replace its forebears? Capel-Davies and his colleagues were testing it alongside the Sestée, which is the current benchmark. Court-speed rating typically runs between 20 and 70 — and must run between 24 and 50 for Davis Cup matches (a higher number means a faster court).4 The ITF wants SPRite to run within two points of Sestée for the same court.

Court speed matters in tennis. During a typical match, the ball will bounce off the court hundreds of times. If the ball typically retains much of its speed, it will be harder to play. That encourages more aggressive play — players will charge the net more often to avoid skidding balls and tricky bounces. A slower court lets players camp out behind the baseline and chase down most shots.

Court-pace rating takes into account more than speed, though. The ITF tested the court speed perceptions of U.K. players who were good enough to play for their counties5 and found that the height of ball bounce mattered, too. The lower the bounce, the faster the court seemed. That’s why high-bouncing clay courts like the French Open’s seem slower than hard courts with the same coefficient of restitution, or ratio of the ball’s speed after impact to its speed before the bounce.6 And grass courts, with their lower bounce, seem faster to players than similar hard courts. The ITF formula attempts to account for all this.

Once a match is underway, players can’t do anything about the court speed. They play the bounces they get. But players can tailor their training and schedules around which courts best suit their games. For instance, clay makes Rafael Nadal’s heavily topspun forehand shots bounce even higher than on other surfaces. He has taken advantage of this throughout his career by playing more clay tournaments than some of his rivals.

For the ITF team competitions, court speed is a crucial part of home-court advantage: Host countries get to choose the surface, which is why Andy Murray had to play on his least favorite surface — clay — in Great Britain’s two away Davis Cup ties this year. (Murray and his teammates won in the U.S. but lost in Italy.)

With the currently approved devices, the ITF can’t test the courts at every Davis Cup site, especially on busy weekends when dozens of ties are happening around the world. Instead it audits, choosing to test just a few courts. And at tournaments it doesn’t oversee, including the French Open, there’s simply no official court-pace measurement. (Officials at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon said they test their courts for speed, but the results are confidential.)

That makes it tough to assess whether court speeds have changed — one of the goals of Capel-Davies’s department. Tennis players and writers often say — or lament — that pro tournaments are using a narrower range of court speeds than they used to, so there’s less variation among them. Indirect indicators, such as rates of aces or service breaks adjusted for tournament fields, don’t corroborate that impression. The ITF hasn’t tested long enough or often enough to settle the debate. “We don’t have that kind of data,” Capel-Davies said. “I don’t know if anyone does.”

The International Tennis Federation uses a bulky steel crate, top left, to ship heavy measuring devices to tournament sites. The outsized Sestée, top right, is difficult to transport, so manufacturers often send samples of their courts, bottom right, to the ITF. The latest-generation device is the SPRite, operated here by Jamie Capel-Davies, manager of ITF's science and technical department. Its accuracy is still being studied.
Carl BialikThe International Tennis Federation uses a bulky steel crate, top left, to ship heavy measuring devices to tournament sites. The outsized Sestée, top right, is difficult to transport, so manufacturers often send samples of their courts, bottom right, to the ITF. The latest-generation device is the SPRite, operated here by Jamie Capel-Davies, manager of ITF’s science and technical department. Its accuracy is still being studied.
Watching Capel-Davies test SPRite in London, it was easy to see the advantages of the new device. He easily carried it onto and around the court, to different testing spots. He also let me try, and within a few minutes I got each test down to under a minute: Take a ball out of a coat that’s lying next to the unit, put the coat back in place, put the ball into the cannon, give the bicycle pump a few cranks, prime the measurement unit, put my foot7 on it for stability and press the button to fire.

Yes, a coat. Needing something to stop the balls after they had fired from the cannon, bounced off the court and gone through the SPRite, Capel-Davies offered up his jacket to science, taking care to first remove his phone. After each test, the ball nestled in the coat. As we conducted our experiment, Capel-Davies’s colleagues were testing the Sestée on another part of the court. At one point, a Sestée-measured ball got loose and whistled past us.


More here : (too long to post completely)
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-tennis-officials-are-trying-to-make-the-game-fair/
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
The speed of surfaces in the Grand SLam tournaments is discussed here on regular basis. I decided to ask ITF about it. Sent such an e-mail:

Dear Sirs,

I am looking for the information about the speed of the surface in various Grand Slam tournaments. I am pretty sure that the surfaces are calibrated on regular basis, but can’t find the information with the actual figures. Is it available somewhere in your site, or is it classified?

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely yours,
Maria


Received such an answer:

Dear Maria,

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded by my colleague.

As you correctly suggest, the information you are looking for is not publicly available so we cannot assist, but thank you nonetheless for your interest in the Grand Slam tournaments.

Regards

Katie

Katie Wright
Grand Slam®Committee
Bank Lane, Roehampton
London SW15 5XZ, UK
Tel: +44(0)208 392 4712
Fax: +44(0)208 392 4675
Mob: +44(0)7771 783 965
Email: katie.wright@grandslamcommittee.com


Any ideas why it should be such a top secret? Why can't they publish the calibration results in their site and stop all the discussions about Wimbledon being too slow and Roland Garros being too fast?
Hi Maria,

the short answer is that they don't know.

The ITF can measure the court pace rating (http://www.itftennis.com/technical/courts/classified-surfaces/about-court-pace-classification.aspx) but, in terms of pro tennis, pretty much everything is left up to the tournament organizers. They create the conditions (surface, balls etc.).
 

Zoolander

Hall of Fame
I too emailed the Katie Wright chick to ask about court speeds. She was polite enough to reply. She said:

"Dear Toni,

Thank you for your interest in court speed measurement for the Grand Slams. We dont normally give this information out to nobodies, but as you identify yourself as a Nadal family member we can make an exception.

Australian Open official rating: Goddam slow. We slowed this court down many years ago after you complained it was too fast. But after you nephew took 6 hours to get his ass kicked in 2012, we have decided to gradually speed it up for the sake of Mr Djokovic, and the 39 tennis fans who died of starvation trying to watch the 2012 final.

French Open official rating: Goddam slow. We hope you like, no?

Wimbledon official rating: Painfully slow. We changed 130 years of tradition so your nephew could win in 2008 and 2010. Since then he has performed abysmally on the hallowed turf of SW19. We respectfully ask you to please take your business elsewhere.

US Open official rating: Soughta slow-ish. Unfortunately your nephew is well down the pecking order now, and Mr Djokovic has already made inquiries regarding this tournament.

I hope this answers your question Toni. Please refrain from spamming this account with constant requests for courtspeed changes in future.


Regards

Katie

Katie Wright
Grand Slam®Committee
Bank Lane, Roehampton
London SW15 5XZ, UK
Tel: +44(0)208 392 4712
Fax: +44(0)208 392 4675
Mob: +44(0)7771 783 965
Email: katie.wright@grandslamcommittee.com
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
The speed of surfaces in the Grand SLam tournaments is discussed here on regular basis. I decided to ask ITF about it. Sent such an e-mail:

Dear Sirs,

I am looking for the information about the speed of the surface in various Grand Slam tournaments. I am pretty sure that the surfaces are calibrated on regular basis, but can’t find the information with the actual figures. Is it available somewhere in your site, or is it classified?

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely yours,
Maria


Received such an answer:

Dear Maria,

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded by my colleague.

As you correctly suggest, the information you are looking for is not publicly available so we cannot assist, but thank you nonetheless for your interest in the Grand Slam tournaments.

Regards

Katie

Katie Wright
Grand Slam®Committee
Bank Lane, Roehampton
London SW15 5XZ, UK
Tel: +44(0)208 392 4712
Fax: +44(0)208 392 4675
Mob: +44(0)7771 783 965
Email: katie.wright@grandslamcommittee.com


Any ideas why it should be such a top secret? Why can't they publish the calibration results in their site and stop all the discussions about Wimbledon being too slow and Roland Garros being too fast?
I get your point but you do not address people as 'dear sirs'. It's just silly and it's wrong. Sorry.

Shoot, I didn't realize this a very old thread, lol.
 
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