Changes to 2007 Australian Open. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Changes to 2007 Australian Open.

Jaffas85
10-03-2006, 09:40 AM
I live in Melbourne, Australia and on the News tonight it was talked about how the new CEO of Tennis Australia wants to make the Rebound Ace surface of the Australian Open slightly faster in the face of much criticism from players *notably Lleyton Hewitt* about the court.

The Australian Open is also going to be the second Grand Slam tournament to officially use the Hawk Eye technology which will be installed on Rod Laver Arena.

I think the fact that the court speed may be a little faster favours Federer to defend his title and weakens Nadal's lock on the 2007 Australian Open.

Ferrero Forever
10-03-2006, 09:46 AM
I love the hawkeye prospect, and also the prize money in total has be raised to $20 000 000. But why the hell are they mucking around with the court speed. Screw Lleyton Hewitt, tennis doesn't revolve around him.

au_sports_opinion
10-03-2006, 09:58 AM
Hmmm Australia's traditional surface is grass.

I think the court should be faster, I think they tried too much to accomodate everybody else and not Australian players like the other countries do their home players no?

stebs
10-03-2006, 10:01 AM
Maybe it will be done for Hewitt but surely the outcome of changing court speed will end up making a big difference for Roger and Rafa.

Action Jackson
10-03-2006, 10:03 AM
Hewitt's bitching has got somewhere.

Funniest is when he made the final, it was allegedly at its slowest. Just hope it's a cool summer and then Hewitt will whine about the balls.

Deathless Mortal
10-03-2006, 10:21 AM
Faster surface in Australia? That's good for Croats!

Via
10-03-2006, 12:02 PM
news release on website here: http://www.australianopen.com/pages/article.aspx?id=15&articleid=ArticleID200610216528&pageId=140&HandlerId=1

no mention of changing court speed on record, of course

Castafiore
10-03-2006, 12:16 PM
I think that some of the journalists haven't listened to the tournament director well enough. :scratch:

On the one hand, you have:
Hewitt scores an early win at Australian Open

Andrew Ramsey
October 03, 2006
LLEYTON Hewitt has scored an early victory in his attempt to win his first Australian Open title next January.

Organisers of the grand slam event today conceded that the court speed in the opening week of last year's tournament was slower than desired, and that steps would be taken to ensure that was rectified next year.

Hewitt has been an outspoken critic of the slow court speed and the 'tacky' playing surface at Melbourne Park in recent years.

The former Wimbledon and US Open winner has made the final of his home grand slam just once, in 2005 when he was beaten in four sets by Russia's Marat Safin.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said yesterday that he was committed to ensuring all courts played at a uniform speed throughout the two-week tournament that starts on January 16.

But he was at pains to point out that the complaints from Hewitt and his entourage about the sluggish pace had not influenced the decision to resurface all of Melbourne Park's courts next month.

"The perception was certainly that during the first week (last year) courts were slower than the second week,'' Tiley said yesterday. "Our objective, from day one, is to have uniformity and consistency throughout the tournament."

Total prize-money for the event has increased five per cent to $20 million, with the singles winners each to pocket $1.28 million.
Source: The Australian

But on the other hand, new tournament director G. Tiley seemed to have said that there will be no change of speed. They are just trying to work on consistency and such things.

Record prize pool for 2007 Aussie Openby Miles Evans
The Age

...
He (Tiley) said there would be no change to the speed of the courts despite criticism from home hope Lleyton Hewitt before the 2006 tournament that the slower pace of the surface did not suit his game.

"We've had ongoing discussions with Lleyton Hewitt's management team on a variety of different subjects but again the event we are delivering is an international event, and we will uphold that integrity," Tiley said.

"According to the International Tennis Federation, we fit into the category of a medium to a medium-fast court," he said.

"Our objective from day one is to have uniformity and consistency throughout the tournament," said Tiley, adding that all outside courts would be resurfaced in November.
...
http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=6&click_id=30&art_id=qw1159860780421S163


The Australian Open is an international event, like Tiley says. As much as I like Hewitt, it's a bit much to urge them to change the speed to help the home players.

Kristen
10-03-2006, 12:19 PM
Hawk-eye only on RLA? I have long been a fan of 'all or nothing'... :tape:

I only caught the last few seconds of the Aus Open 2007 info on Toyota World Sports. Did they mention that new rule they're implementing where they are only allowing Australian citizens to enter?
Other requirements include:
-Must not be the nations hero.
-Must have at least one parent attending each match.
-Must have a limited catch-cry.
-Modest support group, with uniforms, to detract from allegedly large package.
Or...did I spill the beans? Oops. That press release must be for tomorrow.

All smartass remarks aside, I doubt the changes or 'improvements' would be purely for Hewitt, and I pity Tiley if it was. Personally, should my Closet-Hewitt-Love be peaking in January 2007, I will most definitely enjoy seeing him crash and burn on a more ideal surface. [Probably after beating half of the people I support?!]

refero*fervens
10-03-2006, 12:26 PM
Yeah, some of the media has been confusing. But I think what they are trying to say is that during the first week of the AO the courts were slower than during the second week, and they will change it to the somewhat faster second week speed.

nobama
10-03-2006, 12:41 PM
Yeah, some of the media has been confusing. But I think what they are trying to say is that during the first week of the AO the courts were slower than during the second week, and they will change it to the somewhat faster second week speed.:confused: What caused it to be slower one week from the next that they could actually control/change?

nobama
10-03-2006, 12:45 PM
I think that some of the journalists haven't listened to the tournament director well enough. :scratch:

On the one hand, you have:

Source: The Australian

But on the other hand, new tournament director G. Tiley seemed to have said that there will be no change of speed. They are just trying to work on consistency and such things.


http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=6&click_id=30&art_id=qw1159860780421S163


The Australian Open is an international event, like Tiley says. As much as I like Hewitt, it's a bit much to urge them to change the speed to help the home players.Have any other players complained about the surface?

rmb6687
10-03-2006, 12:48 PM
:confused: What caused it to be slower one week from the next that they could actually control/change?

exaclty, sounds like a weather issue, and I'm sure God's busy with other things besides changing the humidity to help out lleyton(unless he's got serious connections). And if all the courts are slower, or faster, everyone is still affected by it.

Ferrero Forever
10-03-2006, 12:53 PM
Hewitt's bitching has got somewhere.

Funniest is when he made the final, it was allegedly at its slowest. Just hope it's a cool summer and then Hewitt will whine about the balls.

Unfortunately they're predicting one of the hottest summers ever here. But Lleyton will still find something to whine about, I'm sure of it.

trixy
10-03-2006, 12:57 PM
I heard they were just focusing on court consistancy, as other people have pointed out. ie some people last yr were saying that RLA was slower then the outside courts (or the other way around).

This years ad is really lame, it makes the US open 'road trip' ads look fabulous.

Via
10-03-2006, 01:21 PM
...
"We've had ongoing discussions with Lleyton Hewitt's management team on a variety of different subjects but again the event we are delivering is an international event, and we will uphold that integrity," Tiley said.
...
The Australian Open is an international event, like Tiley says. As much as I like Hewitt, it's a bit much to urge them to change the speed to help the home players.

i hope he did say that. i hope he means what he said, and will stick to it. the pride of a nation is more than having a national champion.

DrJules
10-03-2006, 01:29 PM
Hmmm Australia's traditional surface is grass.

I think the court should be faster, I think they tried too much to accomodate everybody else and not Australian players like the other countries do their home players no?

Increasing speed of courts will alter the speed balance of the grand slams.

Currently:

French Open (clay) - slow/medium
Australian Open (Rebound Ace) - medium
Wimbledon (grass) - medium/fast
US Open (Decoturf) - fast

which provides a good speed spread.

Otherwise, you have a situation where grand slam events are played on courts clearly faster than the non-grand slam events. Would that really make any sense?

Most French players would certainly prefer faster courts than Roland Garros.

Wimbledon certainly never altered courts to favour Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski who favoured faster conditions at Wimbledon.

Home players do not appear to be favoured at certainly 3 of the 4 grand slams (including Australian Open).

alfonsojose
10-03-2006, 02:27 PM
Increasing speed of courts will alter the speed balance of the grand slams.

Currently:

French Open (clay) - slow/medium
Australian Open (Rebound Ace) - medium
Wimbledon (grass) - medium/fast
US Open (Decoturf) - fast

which provides a good speed spread.

Otherwise, you have a situation where grand slam events are played on courts clearly faster than the non-grand slam events. Would that really make any sense?

Most French players would certainly prefer faster courts than Roland Garros.

Wimbledon certainly never altered courts to favour Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski who favoured faster conditions at Wimbledon.

Home players do not appear to be favoured at certainly 3 of the 4 grand slams (including Australian Open).

US Open faster than Wimby :scratch:

zicofirol
10-03-2006, 02:29 PM
I love the hawkeye prospect, and also the prize money in total has be raised to $20 000 000. But why the hell are they mucking around with the court speed. Screw Lleyton Hewitt, tennis doesn't revolve around him.

:rolleyes: , its a good change, everyon is trying to make courts as slow as clay, finally at leasst one tournament stops this trend.

Castafiore
10-03-2006, 02:47 PM
:rolleyes: , its a good change, everyon is trying to make courts as slow as clay, finally at leasst one tournament stops this trend.
Isnt this an exaggeration?

The US Open is certainly not slow, is it? (just to name 1 major event)

Roger The Great
10-03-2006, 02:58 PM
US Open faster than Wimby :scratch:

It seems to be the "in" thing to say that the US Open is faster than Wimbledon. The speed has decreased a bit due to the heavy balls and different grass, but it's a still a stretch to say decoturf is faster than grass.

scoobs
10-03-2006, 03:33 PM
Wouldn't matter if they did speed up the courts in Australia - it's too late really to help Hewitt win that event now. The days where that's possible are long gone.

Would only help Roger, really - and weaken Nadal's chances of getting his first non-clay slam.

nobama
10-03-2006, 03:57 PM
It seems to be the "in" thing to say that the US Open is faster than Wimbledon. The speed has decreased a bit due to the heavy balls and different grass, but it's a still a stretch to say decoturf is faster than grass.Several players this year including Roddick and Henin-Hardenne said that the Wimbledon courts were playing more like clay courts.

nobama
10-03-2006, 04:03 PM
Wouldn't matter if they did speed up the courts in Australia - it's too late really to help Hewitt win that event now. The days where that's possible are long gone.

Would only help Roger, really - and weaken Nadal's chances of getting his first non-clay slam.Hewitt has done quite well on the surface as it is, making the SF, F. I'm still confused as to how anything but the weather really could change the speed of one court over another at a slam. And since they can't control the weather I'm not sure what they can do to ensure all courts play at the same speed for the entire two weeks. :shrug:

Pfloyd
10-03-2006, 04:37 PM
I really hope they dont change the speed of the AO. I agree they should make Wimbledon faster, but if you messing with the spead of tha AO, your limiting the chance of clay courters winning hard court events. If they make the AO faster that would mean 3 "fast" GS and one Slow one, not fair IMO.

Deboogle!.
10-03-2006, 04:39 PM
I was always under the impression that the problem with Rebound Ace was the fact that the way it's made makes it such that it gets packed in and a little quicker once it gets played on more. So that would be good if they can somehow get it to be the optimal speed before the tourney starts instead of after it's been played on.

Glad to hear they're doing Hawkeye but it really should be on at least Vodafone too.

smucav
10-03-2006, 04:44 PM
http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=16030&bannerregion=
Australian Open To Use Line-Calling Technology In 2007
By Tennis Week
10/03/2006

Hawk-Eye will join the main draw for the first time at the Australian Open in January and the Melbourne major will award a record total prize purse of $20 million Australian dollars (about $14.891 million U.S. dollars), including $1.281 million Australian dollars (about $953,685 U.S. dollars) to both the men's and women's singles champions.

The Australian Open will be contested January 18-28, 2007.

The 2006 Australian Open saw a record 550,550 fans pass through the gates at Melbourne Park during the two weeks of main draw competition — the seventh successive year the tournament broke the magic half million visitors mark.

Tennis Australia announced today the most noticeable among the initiatives for 2007 will be the big screens in Rod Laver Arena to give fans the added excitement of video line calling, which was introduced in Grand Slam competition at the U.S. Open in August.

On stage in Garden Square — in the breaks between the day and night sessions — fans will again be entertained by live performances from some of Australia’s top bands. Getting to and from the tournament will also be easier. Now trams anywhere in Melbourne will be free to all Australian Open ticket holders, which includes the special shuttle service between Melbourne Park and the CBD which operates until one hour after the end of play during night and twilight sessions. The successful American Express Live Sites at the Sydney Opera House and Federation Square in Melbourne are set to return as a way of bringing the carnival atmosphere to more fans around Australia.

Roger Federer defeated Marcos Baghdatis, 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2 to win the 2006 Australian Open men's championship. Amelie Mauresmo won her first major title in Melbourne, holding a 6-1, 2-0 lead over Justine Henin-Hardenne in the women's final when the Belgian retired.

The prime time night final for the men’s singles will return as well as the night feature matches on Margaret Court Arena on the first six evenings.

The Australian Open Junior Championships will now start on the middle Sunday and finish on the final Saturday in a schedule change designed to further showcase the game’s rising stars. Also finishing that Saturday is the Australian Open Wheelchair Championships which is now being staged during the Grand Slam tournament to further profile this important branch of tennis. The Wheelchair Championships will see 40 of the world’s top wheelchair players battle it out for honors over five days during the second week. With the boys’ and girls’ finals in the Juniors, the wheelchair men’s and women’s finals, and the traditional women’s singles and men’s doubles finals all scheduled during the daytime on the final Saturday, the tournament promises to be action packed throughout the fortnight.

"By holding six finals on the same day we hope to make that second Saturday a real celebration day for the sport where people can come along and enjoy several very different experiences," said tournament director Craig Tiley.

Also on court throughout the fortnight will be the 314 Aviva ballkids which this year includes 28 selected from the lead-in tournaments on the Australian Open Series and 28 international ballkids from Korea, China and for the first time Japan. A range of ticketing options have been designed to help fans find the ideal solution to enjoying the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific. For more information, please visit Australian Open.com.

nobama
10-03-2006, 04:58 PM
Well, maybe that's what they're looking into - using a material on the court that isn't as susceptible to temperature/humidity (i.e. weather) changes as what they have currently. :shrug:Hopefully they will do that. From the second article posted it doesn't sound like they're planning to speed up the courts. I'm sure it wouldn't go over to well if they did.

GermanBoy
10-03-2006, 05:09 PM
I think the fact that the court speed may be a little faster favours Federer to defend his title and weakens Nadal's lock on the 2007 Australian Open.

Thank God! About time! I hope that will make Nadal lose early and sooner or later he drops down the rankings... :p

DrJules
10-03-2006, 06:44 PM
It seems to be the "in" thing to say that the US Open is faster than Wimbledon. The speed has decreased a bit due to the heavy balls and different grass, but it's a still a stretch to say decoturf is faster than grass.

What troubles most players on a grass court is the bounce variability and player movement rather than the speed of the court.

Edith09
10-03-2006, 06:46 PM
Well, I love hawk eye, but court speed, what's wrong with it?

DrJules
10-03-2006, 06:53 PM
I really hope they dont change the speed of the AO. I agree they should make Wimbledon faster, but if you messing with the spead of tha AO, your limiting the chance of clay courters winning hard court events. If they make the AO faster that would mean 3 "fast" GS and one Slow one, not fair IMO.

The conditions were slowed at Wimbledon because a number of matches turned into serving contests. The spectators and viewers mostly do not want a return to the matches with so little tennis that a ball could be in play less than 8 minutes in a match.

Not sure any of the grand slams are actually played on "fast" courts as oganisers have moved to medium paced courts to provide a balance between attacking and defensive players which encourages the all court player.

nobama
10-03-2006, 07:04 PM
I think the fact that the court speed may be a little faster favours Federer to defend his title and weakens Nadal's lock on the 2007 Australian Open.Since when was Nadal a lock to win AO next year? :shrug:

ChinoRios4Ever
10-03-2006, 07:21 PM
hawk eye only on rod laver arena???
or in vodafone arena too???

tennisgal_001
10-03-2006, 07:29 PM
I'm for the changes. Speeding up the courts at Oz is something I am indifferent toward, but I'm glad the organizers want to create surface consistency, instead of having different speeds/ball bounce on different parts of the compeition. (i.e. less player moaning, and more tennis action). I think we can fairly say Hawk-eye proved to be a success at the USO, and we all knew Australia would be the second Slam to use the technology, but since both Rod Laver Arena, and Vodafone Arena have a retractable roof, might as well use Hawk-eye on both courts!

mongo
10-03-2006, 08:40 PM
Have any other players complained about the surface?Yes. The first player I recall to urge the organizers to change the surface to suit his game was Patrick Rafter. Rafter, who was an aggressive S&V, won his two slams at the USO, and had his best results on faster sufaces like the USO and Wimby (prior to recent changes made to slow the pace of the game). Additionally, I was just reading that it wasn't just Hewitt who complained last year. Almost the whole ATP and Aussie media were critical last year which resulted the resignation of chief of Aussie tennis.

GlennMirnyi
10-03-2006, 09:10 PM
Finally. It's a crime that the AO is so slow.

Foosimoo
10-03-2006, 09:16 PM
Hawk-eye? Cool! :D

Court speed changing? Is it really necessary? :shrug:

And I've said it once, I'll say it again, as long as the tournaments aren't Round Robin's I'm ok. :lol:

mongo
10-03-2006, 09:47 PM
A closer reading of Castafiore's post suggests that consistency, not speed, is what's behind the change to the surface.


He (new tournament director Craig Tiley) said there would be no change to the speed of the courts despite criticism from home hope Lleyton Hewitt before the 2006 tournament that the slower pace of the surface did not suit his game.

"We've had ongoing discussions with Lleyton Hewitt's management team on a variety of different subjects but again the event we are delivering is an international event, and we will uphold that integrity," Tiley said.

"According to the International Tennis Federation, we fit into the category of a medium to a medium-fast court," he said.

"Our objective from day one is to have uniformity and consistency throughout the tournament," said Tiley, adding that all outside courts would be resurfaced in November.


http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=6&click_id=30&art_id=qw1159860780421S163

Rafa = Fed Killa
10-03-2006, 10:11 PM
Trying to help Federer as much as they can.

Just trying to soften the blow to the Fedtards.

cmurray
10-03-2006, 10:40 PM
It seems to me that I've often heard that the courts were going to be faster and then they never are. We'll see, I suppose.

Neely
10-03-2006, 11:27 PM
Thank God! About time! I hope that will make Nadal lose early and sooner or later he drops down the rankings... :p
Lol, Nadal this year will surely not drop in the rankings because of this alleged court speed change which most likely only means that all the courts play more similarly when compared among one another :lol: (which would be good in general IMO )

The Gucci one
10-03-2006, 11:53 PM
Great decision this year I watched heaps of matches and it was honestly like watching clay court tennis with most of the matches. Lleyton was also not the only one too complain Flip complained as well.

Himura
10-04-2006, 12:14 AM
Trying to help Federer as much as they can.

Just trying to soften the blow to the Fedtards.

Shut up....I`m no Fed or Rafa fan.....but just shut up

nobama
10-04-2006, 12:28 AM
I guess people don't know how to read. It was posted on the first page that they're not changing the court speed. :rolleyes:

Via
10-04-2006, 01:06 AM
another journalist write-up for the same press conference yesterday:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/tennis/advantage-hewitt-for-australian-open/2006/10/03/1159641325041.html

i think this one is quite balanced in its reporting.. though of course it's again the possible effect on hewitt which is emphasised...

in particular,

the main aim was to provide "uniformity and consistency" when the stadium's match and practice courts are resurfaced next month.

Tiley said the Australian Open had been categorised as a "medium to medium-fast court" by the International Tennis Federation, and confirmed Tennis Australia's commitment to providing a surface that fitted that category on all courts for all 14 days of the grand slam tournament

Tiley said there had been "ongoing discussions" with Hewitt's management on various issues, including next year's opening Davis Cup tie against Belgium, but insisted international players would be kept equally well informed of court speed developments.

and
Unlike last year, when McNamee effectively promised a wildcard to Mark Philippoussis, Tiley also said there were no guarantees for any player outside the rankings cut-off, with two of the original eight wildcards in each draw earned by Australian players through performances and three allocated to fellow grand slam federations and Asia.

Fedex
10-04-2006, 01:11 AM
Hewitt is just bitching because, save his 2005 run to the finals, he has never played well at his home Grand Slam. Well it looks like his whining has finally gotten them to change.

Fedex
10-04-2006, 01:14 AM
Since when was Nadal a lock to win AO next year? :shrug:
Well people seem to assume that had Nadal played in Australia last year, he would have won the title easily. So I guess that makes him a lock to win it this year, even though there are plenty of players capable of playing well on this surface.

sammy2
10-04-2006, 01:36 AM
Well, maybe that's what they're looking into - using a material on the court that isn't as susceptible to temperature/humidity (i.e. weather) changes as what they have currently. :shrug:

The chemical mix of Rebound Ace makes it very soft and sticky in hot weather. Melbourne often has temps. over 35degrees (c) in summer, and the hotter it gets the stickier it becomes. We have that surface on local basketball courts where I live and it is always obvious that the hotter it gets the softer the court. Also, the more you play on Rebound Ace the firmer it gets as bits of grit etc mix with the court. Rod Laver Arena doesn't get as much play as the outside courts usually, and very little practice goes on there so in the past it has always played slower than the outside courts.
The last Australian to win the Aussie Open was Mark Edmondson in 1976 and just the other day there was an article in local press about him. This is part of it:-

"He says although it is nice to be the last Australian to win the Australian Open he is disappointed no other Australian has won the crown.

"I gave up the title in 1977 the next year when someone else won it, it's the press which has made such a big deal about me being the last Aussie to win it," he said.

"It's the press that has put me up on that mantle.

"It's become a sort of myth thing.

"We've had our chances, I think we've had four or five finalists since I won the title, but we just haven't been able to crack it for a win.

"Honestly once we went to rebound ace I thought the Australians might struggle.

"Cashie (Pat Cash) went close the first year on rebound ace, but then it was about 10 years before we got another sniff through Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt. "

tangerine_dream
01-09-2007, 11:08 PM
Was it ever confirmed that the AO definitely was not changing the court speed? Because the media is acting like the court change was a definite possibility. :shrug:

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21036236-11088,00.html
Bad news for Hewitt: courts feel same for Federer and Roddick
Bruce Matthews
January 10, 2007

SLOWER than expected courts fast-forwarded Lleyton Hewitt's Australian Open campaign into even deeper trouble yesterday.

If Hewitt didn't have enough troubles already, he certainly won't be heartened by chat among the world's best players hitting at Melbourne Park.

If the Australian had hoped for confirmation of early reports from the likes of Wayne Arthurs and Nadia Petrova that the Rebound Ace is playing faster and bouncing lower than in recent years, there was little encouragement to be gained from either Federer or Andy Roddick, who have both hit regularly on Rod Laver Arena in recent days.

"I find it's pretty much the same," Federer said at yesterday's Kooyong Classic launch.

Defending champion Roger Federer and American challenger Andy Roddick say Hewitt's quest for court speed has fallen on deaf ears.

Neither title contender noticed any discernible difference to the repainted Rebound Ace surface in Rod Laver Arena for the Australian Open, starting next Monday.

"I didn't feel any difference to last year," Federer said after three days hitting in the main stadium.

"I was expecting a big difference because everyone has been talking about it. But I think the bounce is usual.

"It adapts to the heat. When it's hot, it (ball) bounces more, it flies more.

"That's how it has always been here in Australia, so I don't see a change really."

Roddick has hit for two days with the roof rolled back and he agreed with Federer, yet neither discounted Hewitt's title chances.

"I was expecting the same as Roger, but it kind of feels similar to past years," the world No. 6 said.

Russian Marat Safin, who beat Hewitt in the 2005 final, is unperturbed by the idea conditions better suit the European and South American baseliners.

"It doesn't matter because the kick serves and the fast ones, if you change it and mix up your serves, it's working pretty well," Safin said.

The talented trio start the serious Open preparations today with Federer playing Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, Roddick against German Tommy Haas and Safin duelling with fellow heavy hitter David Nalbandian of Argentina in the AAMI Classic at Kooyong.

In a week in which Hewitt has been abandoned by his coach and had his threadbare Australian Open preparation nobbled by injury, Federer and Marat Safin spoke generously of the 2005 finalist as a title contender. The real story, of course, would have been if they had not.

The comments from the past two Open champions were also made on the assumption that Hewitt recovers from the small tear to his right calf, for which he has been receiving treatment. He has still not practised at Melbourne Park, nor made a booking to do so today, and has played only two matches in almost four months.

Jimnik
01-09-2007, 11:50 PM
Good. The surface has always been perfect. :yeah:

robrulz5
01-10-2007, 01:12 AM
As long as they don't bow down to Hewitt then I'm happy.

scoobs
01-10-2007, 01:36 AM
i don't see why it matters to Hewitt anyway - if he can't win on the fast courts at the US Open and Wimbledon anymore, he's got Buckley's of winning in Melbourne whatever the court speed might be.

*Viva Chile*
01-10-2007, 01:54 AM
As I said in a previous thread, Hawk-eye only in RLA really sucks :rolleyes: they need to have it at least in Vodafone Arena too.

R.Federer
01-10-2007, 02:38 AM
I think the fact that the court speed may be a little faster favours Federer to defend his title and weakens Nadal's lock on the 2007 Australian Open.

With all due respect, his best result has been I believe the 4th round, and there are no courts/climate which compare close enough to Melbourne where he has been the leader to make him the lock. That, with his recent injury and with less than usual results after Wimbledon make the lock part quite weird.

guga2120
01-10-2007, 02:49 AM
well it has been said for a while they were going to speed it up for Hewitt, i hope he can do something with it now.

just read what Andy and Roger said, maybe it is the same, if so Hewitt won't do much, i would be suprised if its not somewhat faster, i have heard this for months now.

its.like.that
01-10-2007, 08:07 AM
Hewitt must be an idiot.

Faster court speed = less time he has to run balls down = faster he loses.

So why does he want the court faster? ;)

sykotique
01-10-2007, 02:11 PM
Hewitt must be an idiot.

Faster court speed = less time he has to run balls down = faster he loses.

So why does he want the court faster? ;)

Hewitt may be a pure baseliner, but he depends on the pace from his opponent's shots to keep the rally tight and force errors in them. It doesn't matter that the ball gets to him faster, he has the legs to run it down, which is why he is a former US Open and Wimbledon champion. He's one of the few true baseliners that excels on grass.

R.Federer
01-10-2007, 07:02 PM
Hewitt must be an idiot.

Faster court speed = less time he has to run balls down = faster he loses.

So why does he want the court faster? ;)

Apart from his belief in his llegs and how fast he can run down balls, there is the separate issue of his comparative advantage. A faster court will disadvantage many of the slower/poorer movers with other styles of play much much more than it will disadvantage Lleyton. He has a great record on fast surfaces.