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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Slower Ball in Clay Season

In Monte-Carlo, Rome, and Madrid I heard they changed the balls to a slower ball. Just compare how much longer the points seemed to be compared to years past. I think Nadal and Federer were hurt by this. Djokovic is like a wall with these kind of balls. Murray also benefitted from the heavier balls imo. Nadal's backhand seems to break down. Federer doesn't seem too comfortable with it either with the exception of Madrid. Barcelona was the only clay tournament where Nadal looked like Nadal of the past. I think the 500 events use different balls and Barcelona used a quicker ball. I think the quicker balls grab spin better as well. Anyways, it will be interesting what RG balls will be playing like. If the ball isn't flying, we could see Djokovic winning it imo.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:01 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

It's pretty clear then: Berdych for the calendar slam in the next years.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:06 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

Balls at RG are said to be light and quick paced.

Slower balls/surface does help Djokovic, because obviously, it makes him even more able to outlast anyone in a rally. Quicker balls help guys who put pace on their shots, ball flies through the air more and it doesn't sit as much when it hits the court. It helps Rafa because it gives his shots more juice, and it will help guys like Soderling and Berdych, and serving in general.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:09 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

Where do you guys hear about the tennis balls?

I never get any information about it, often conflicting rumors about change of balls.

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:14 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

I thought I saw they were playing with Dunlops in Rome. That ball used to be pretty hard and light. But I played with some yesterday for the first time in a long time and it was mushy as hell. I thought it may have been a bad can. IF they're all like that now they should not be used on clay. I can't remember what they use at RG but they usually seem pretty lively. RG is predominately conditions driven as far as surface and ball speed.

Sexybeast, I try to watch closely at ball changes. You can usually get a glimpse of the can.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:23 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

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Originally Posted by Topspin Forehand View Post
In Monte-Carlo, Rome, and Madrid I heard they changed the balls to a slower ball.
Same ball as last year: Dunlop Fort Clay court, which they changed to last year (to copy Roland Garros). Most of the other smaller European clay events have also moved to Dunlop, the only exceptions are Belgrade, Gstaad, Umug and Bastad.

Ironically, after everything went to copy it, Roland Garros itself has now moved to Babolat for this year's event.

Last edited by philosophicalarf; 05-17-2011 at 06:31 PM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

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Same ball as last year: Dunlop Fort Clay court, which they changed to last year (to copy Roland Garros). Most of the other smaller European clay events have also moved to Dunlop, the only exceptions are Belgrade, Gstaad, Umug and Bastad.

Ironically, after everything went to copy it, Roland Garros itself has now moved to Babolat for this year's event.
Might be the same brand but maybe they made the balls more mushy now like someone mentioned. It will be interesting how Babolat balls will be playing like. Anything different would probably be best for Rafa.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 07:19 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

The excuses are coming in thick and fast.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 07:31 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

The babolat balls I've played with before were like bullets. faster than dunlops anyway. little bit heavier than wilsons but pretty much just as fast.

but then I am a mug player so my recollections don't mean very much.

how are they generally regarded?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:01 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

Contradictory theories. Rafa always said the lighter, smaller balls at the USO were the main reason he struggled (relatively speaking) there.

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Originally Posted by .-Federers_Mate-. View Post
Federer is a tennis god. Big john (Isner) was lucky to be a witness to what was on show today. Tough match vs Seppi next round
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The foaming-at-the-mouth blind fanboyism and double standards of these posts (F. mates) is so overwhelming that it strikes me as a self-parody.

"Tough match?" World #3 Federer's ("greatest player to have ever played the game," you just said before rushing off the bathroom to change your underwear) H2H against World #58 Seppi is 6-0.

If it wasn't tough, Federer's victory would not be as glorious and godlike! Naturally, if Seppi and Isner were in Nadal's side of the draw, any victory that he managed to scrape out against these Tough Titans of Tennis would be pure luck!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

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Contradictory theories. Rafa always said the lighter, smaller balls at the USO were the main reason he struggled (relatively speaking) there.
Well it looked like Rafa was really comfortable with the US Open balls last year. He mentioned something about the RG balls being slightly heavier last year and not liking it as much. Anyways I guess weight isn't the only factor. Size and firmness matter as well.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:36 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

Wow... Since when slower conditions favor Djokovic???
Djokovic played like sh1t during entire USO2010 tournament. Troicki destroyed him in couple of sets and almost actually won had he played better in the 4th.
Federer almost beat him too.

This Djokovic now would humiliate Rafa on fast surface. I am saying at least 1 bagel or breadstick.

I don't like Nadal.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

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Wow... Since when slower conditions favor Djokovic???
Djokovic played like sh1t during entire USO2010 tournament. Troicki destroyed him in couple of sets and almost actually won had he played better in the 4th.
Federer almost beat him too.

This Djokovic now would humiliate Rafa on fast surface. I am saying at least 1 bagel or breadstick.
Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Nadal prefers the slower (high bouncing) surfaces combined with the faster balls. This combination is deadly as Nadal can get max topspin with his shots and get some pace on the ball as well. With the slower balls, Nadal is forced to play a lot more defense as his shots tend to sit up rather than kick up allowing Djokovic to take over the point. Djokovic hits flatter and therefore can hit through the court a little easier. The heavier balls don't bother him as much. In Barcelona, Nadal was playing great tennis. His shots were penetrating and kicking up. It was like that the whole tournament. He hasn't been getting that kind of action on his shots consistently the rest of the clay court season. I blame the balls and partially the schedule he set up for himself.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 10:09 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

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Originally Posted by Topspin Forehand View Post
In Barcelona, Nadal was playing great tennis. His shots were penetrating and kicking up. It was like that the whole tournament. He hasn't been getting that kind of action on his shots consistently the rest of the clay court season. I blame the balls and partially the schedule he set up for himself.
Barcelona uses exactly the same balls as all the clay masters.

Differences are more about conditions than anything. If it's damp, the ball picks up moisture and clay, and becomes heavy - for example, in the Rome final.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 10:14 PM
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Re: Slower Ball in Clay Season

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Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski View Post
The babolat balls I've played with before were like bullets. faster than dunlops anyway. little bit heavier than wilsons but pretty much just as fast.
Babolat Team? That's what Brazil uses.

The Roland Garros balls are a new line named for Roland Garros, but it may be nothing more than a renaming (which is what Dunlop did). Chances are they'll want a degree of continuity with previous years.
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