Originally Posted by Skyward
That's what Cliff Drysdale said yesterday. He also said that the tennis balls for the men are slower and the tennis balls for the women are faster. I wonder why they want to slow everything down?
Cliff said that Mary Joe (who had been on the court at the U.S. Open earlier in the week) told him the courts at the U.S. Open were slower than in previous years. PMac said he would be surprised if that were the case & he would ask Mary Joe to explain her comment later. (I've been out today so I don't know if it was discussed today.)
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal last year before the U.S. Open about the balls. The U.S. Open uses different balls for men and women to speed up the women's games & slow down the men's games (supposedly due to complaints from fans that women's games were too slow & men's games were too fast to hold their interest). There were quotes from USTA officials confirming this policy & there was data comparing the average service speeds for women versus men at the four grand slams over the last five or ten years. The differential between women & men at the U.S. Open was much smaller than at the other three slams due to the balls (according to those quoted in the article). [Accordingly the women's average service speed was higher and the men's average service speed was lower at the U.S. Open than at the other slams.] A couple of days later though, Andy Roddick served 152 mph & 150 mph in his first service game (about 10 mph faster than the previous U.S. Open service speed record) putting some doubt on how effective the balls were in slowing down the game. (One could argue though that Roddick is an outlier & if he was removed from the data set, the 2004 mean wouldn't be significantly different from the preceding years.)