great article. thanks for post. Now, the question...why (with the exception of WImbledon, which was explained) were these changes implemented? So someone other than Fed would win?
Homogenizing the surfaces means that the same players are likely to show up each and every time. Tournament directors and television programmers are all over that kind of thing because they can command better ratings for Federer-Nadal X in the second week compared to, say, Berdych-Del Potro (see AO 2012). I mean, why even bother getting Olivia Newton John to sing and bringing out the fireworks for Australia Day unless it's Roger and Rafa, right?
To be honest, I find Wimbledon's slowing of surfaces atrocious. Lleyton Hewitt getting dumped out in the first round of Wimbledon by Dr. Ivo when he was defending champ was probably one of the reasons why they slowed it down but I also think the tournament directors were so eager for the second coming of Borg and McEnroe they decided to push for a super slow surface in '08 so they could get their dream final, sell it to the public and make millions out of a "rivalry" that never would have existed if they'd kept the grass the original speed. Safin making the SFs that year revealed what a joke the grass surface was and he was so surprised that he'd even made it there.
I guess baseline wars of attrition are more popular with the viewing public unlike the 90s which was full of big serving.