Grass season duration was always this? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Grass season duration was always this?

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 11:45 AM
Not a moan thread, just curious about how long it was in the 70's 80's and the 90's, or it has always been so short since the new surfaces exist?

I guess it's hard to stretch the session when you can't move the day it starts (when RG ends) or the day it ends (when Wimby ends). Moving the dates of slams would be real difficult, at least for the current calendar organizators, who can't manage to fit 14 top events in 52 weeks without having two in a row.

Also I guess grass is not suitable for play in all seasons or latitudes.

scoobs
06-24-2008, 11:46 AM
Until 1976 three of the four slams were played on grass so a fair proportion of the warmup events were also grass, I think.

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 11:52 AM
Until 1976 three of the four slams were played on grass so a fair proportion of the warmup events were also grass, I think.


I know that, but in the Borg, Mac, Lendl era it was a month of grass too?

scoobs
06-24-2008, 11:58 AM
Yes I think so because Borg never played a warmup between RG and Wimbledon - he just used to practise a bit to make the transition.

Wojtek
06-24-2008, 11:59 AM
yes in the 70s and 80s it was two week like now

scoobs
06-24-2008, 11:59 AM
If you go back as far as 1968, RG started on 27th May and Wimbledon started on 24th June so it goes back some way.

groundstroke
06-24-2008, 12:07 PM
Indeed, it has always seemed so short.. Only Halle/Queens then Wimbledon then some little tournaments for people ranked 40-300.

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 12:17 PM
A pity, I enjoy the variety of this surface.

Sunset of Age
06-24-2008, 12:23 PM
A pity, I enjoy the variety of this surface.

Yes, I think a lot of fans do - but from what I've read, I conclude that grass is very expensive to maintain, and that that is the foremost reason why there are so little grass tournaments left. A shame, but that's how it is - the money rules... :sad:

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 12:30 PM
Yes, I think a lot of fans do - but from what I've read, I conclude that grass is very expensive to maintain, and that that is the foremost reason why there are so little grass tournaments left. A shame, but that's how it is - the money rules... :sad:

Well, soccer is played on grass all year round, true that it's a "bigger" sport, but Spain has at least 20 stadiums in first division alone which are much bigger than a tennis court, so I guess you really can have grass if you want it.

Also, there's the artificial grass, but I don't know how it works for tennis. There's a court not far from home, I may try it.

Sunset of Age
06-24-2008, 12:39 PM
Well, soccer is played on grass all year round, true that it's a "bigger" sport, but Spain has at least 20 stadiums in first division alone which are much bigger than a tennis court, so I guess you really can have grass if you want it.

Well, according to most people, the costs that come with maintaining a grass court have been the main reason to abandon the grass. If anything, both clay and HC are a lot easier and cheaper to maintain. :shrug:
(not that I'm not a fan of grass, quite the contrary - if I were leading the ATP, I'd do everything to have at least ONE Master's played on grass!)

I don't think the comparison with football should be made. The games are entirely different. Football players sometimes complain about the grass, and in really terrible circumstances the game is postponed, but usually that means there's some 30 cm of rain or snow on them - very very different from tennis, where the slightest drop of rain already causes delay, for various reasons, one of them being the risk of injuries to the players.
I guess tennis players may indeed be a bit whimpy compared to football players (if you count out the massive amount of Comedia del'Arte which football players always seem to display ;)), but there's of course this huge difference of tennis being an individual sport, while football is a team asset - an injury sucks of course, but usually there's another ten players on the bench to take the place of the injured player. Ergo - completely uncomparable sports & situations.

Also, there's the artificial grass, but I don't know how it works for tennis. There's a court not far from home, I may try it.

Well... there have been experiments with football matches played on artificial grass, but from what I've read, players who enjoyed it were very hard to find... might be an interesting experiment, though. I'd like to hear how you like it!

MacTheKnife
06-24-2008, 12:53 PM
I know that, but in the Borg, Mac, Lendl era it was a month of grass too?

Conners was the only man to win the US Open on all three surfaces, grass, clay, and hard. So it was in the early 70s when the switch was made. US Open went to clay while they were building the national tennis center.

My thought always was to have 4 Majors, all played on different surfaces. One clay, 1 HC, 1 Grass, and 1 indoor carpet. Have each major on or at the end of every quarter of the year (determined by weather). Then have each of those seasons for approx 3 months leading up to that particular surface's major. Just a dream I had, know they'd never do it, and I know that would never work due to indoor facility problems.. just always thought it would be the fair, ultimate test for players of all skills.

The above poster is right though, even when I first started watching tennis in the 60s, 3 of the four were played on grass. It was 1924 when the FO went from grass to the red stuff. Can't remember when the AO switched, but USO was in the mid/early 70s..
That's one reason it's tough to compare Laver's slams to anyone else's of more recent eras. Three where on grass in his day. Can you imagine what Samparas and Federer would have done with 3 grass majors..

HNCS
06-24-2008, 01:17 PM
i think soccer grass and tennis grass is very different. The grass on a tennis court directly affects the spin of the ball, it's very sensitive. A soccer field, much much less, hence easier to maintain.

FiBeR
06-24-2008, 01:26 PM
Until 1976 three of the four slams were played on grass so a fair proportion of the warmup events were also grass, I think.

wasnt the us open on clay ? :scratch:

scoobs
06-24-2008, 01:33 PM
In 1976 - 1978 I think it was on clay, but before then it was on grass.

CmonAussie
06-24-2008, 02:47 PM
Not a moan thread, just curious about how long it was in the 70's 80's and the 90's, or it has always been so short since the new surfaces exist?

I guess it's hard to stretch the session when you can't move the day it starts (when RG ends) or the day it ends (when Wimby ends). Moving the dates of slams would be real difficult, at least for the current calendar organizators, who can't manage to fit 14 top events in 52 weeks without having two in a row.

Also I guess grass is not suitable for play in all seasons or latitudes.


:wavey:
*@@*
i attended the last AO played on grass @ the old Kooyong stadium (Melbourne) in 1987. Up to the mid-1980s the Australian grass court season was significantly longer than the British one. The grass court season in AUS went from November to January: Brisbane, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland all had warm up events on grass leading into the AO... but those tourneys began to die around 1985 & finally became extinct @ the 1987 AO:sad:

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 02:57 PM
:wavey:
*@@*
i attended the last AO played on grass @ the old Kooyong stadium (Melbourne) in 1987. Up to the mid-1980s the Australian grass court season was significantly longer than the British one. The grass court season in AUS went from November to January: Brisbane, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland all had warm up events on grass leading into the AO... but those tourneys began to die around 1985 & finally became extinct @ the 1987 AO:sad:

Thanks for the first hand info!

So up to 1987 50% of slams were grass... interesting. I thought AO had been HC since a decade before that.

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 03:06 PM
So here lies a chronology of Slam surfaces in the Open Era

1968 - 1974 AO: grass, RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: grass

1975 - 1977 AO: grass, RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: clay

1978 - 1987 AO: grass, RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: hard

1988 - 2008 AO: hard , RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: hard

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 03:10 PM
I don't think the comparison with football should be made. The games are entirely different.

I of course see what you mean, still I really can't believe the cost of mantaining grass on a court are really so high compared to the whole cost of organizing a tournament. See how all those grass australian tournaments were working, and our current grass tournaments look like pretty modest to me (Hertz. and Nottingam) yet they can afford the cost. I think it has more to do with the perception of grass not being liked by the public.


Well... there have been experiments with football matches played on artificial grass, but from what I've read, players who enjoyed it were very hard to find... might be an interesting experiment, though. I'd like to hear how you like it!

I will, but as I have never played on real grass, my opinion about artificial one won't help much, will it?

CmonAussie
06-24-2008, 03:16 PM
So here lies a chronology of Slam surfaces in the Open Era

1968 - 1974 AO: grass, RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: grass

1975 - 1977 AO: grass, RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: clay

1978 - 1987 AO: grass, RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: hard

1988 - 2008 AO: hard , RG: clay, Wimbledon: grass, USO: hard


:wavey:
good work Bazooka:cool:

CyBorg
06-24-2008, 03:23 PM
Until 1976 three of the four slams were played on grass so a fair proportion of the warmup events were also grass, I think.

No - 1974 was the final year of three of the four majors being on grass. Forest Hills went to clay in 1975.

Some highlights of the last grasscourt Forest Hills final: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uh76_gnh5sA

In 1978 the US Open switched again - this time to hardcourts. Connors beat Borg in the final.

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 03:26 PM
No - 1974 was the final year of three of the four majors being on grass. Forest Hills went to clay in 1975.

Some highlights of the last grasscourt Forest Hills final: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uh76_gnh5sA

In 1978 the US Open switched again - this time to hardcourts. Connors beat Borg in the final.

yeah, see my table, it is correct as long as wikipedia is.

Sunset of Age
06-24-2008, 03:27 PM
I think it has more to do with the perception of grass not being liked by the public.

That's absolutely not true. Just check the relevant threads over here at MTF (not the troll ones :p) and you'll find out that loads of people love the grass tennis. There was indeed a time when the grass tennis became a mite boring because of all the hard-hitting big servers (call it the Krajicek-era), but the grass has been slowed down thereafter and it generally playes like a mid-paced surface now.
Just to add that there are good reasons why Wimbledon is generally regarded as the most prestigious GS. One of them might well be that it is still played on the 'classic' Lawn Tennis surface: grass. :D

I will, but as I have never played on real grass, my opinion about artificial one won't help much, will it?

Eh, no. :lol:

CyBorg
06-24-2008, 03:30 PM
yeah, see my table, it is correct as long as wikipedia is.

It's sort of right. You may want to be more specific to indicate that the clay used at Forest Hills '75-'77 was Har-tru, which was very different from red clay.

CyBorg
06-24-2008, 03:32 PM
Har-tru:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVDmtk7WrXQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NuNJWDPFNM

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 03:33 PM
It's sort of right. You may want to be more specific to indicate that the clay used at Forest Hills '75-'77 was Har-tru, which was very different from red clay.

Yeah, thought about including that, but then I should also specify about rebound Ace, etc. and the thread was about grass anyway.

My conclusion: bring some grass back! it rocks, I want to see more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

CyBorg
06-24-2008, 03:37 PM
Yeah, thought about including that, but then I should also specify about rebound Ace, etc. and the thread was about grass anyway.

I was commenting on the reddish-brownish font, which is not a big deal but it may suggest that the clay is red.

Tankman
06-24-2008, 03:41 PM
Well, soccer is played on grass all year round, true that it's a "bigger" sport, but Spain has at least 20 stadiums in first division alone which are much bigger than a tennis court, so I guess you really can have grass if you want it.

Also, there's the artificial grass, but I don't know how it works for tennis. There's a court not far from home, I may try it.

Awful.

It's basically the only surface we have down under as good hardcourts are hard to find :o

I'm thinking its basically what they substituted all the existing proper grass courts with once they started becoming lazy about maintenance... and it shows in the quality of the court....

CyBorg
06-24-2008, 03:41 PM
My conclusion: bring some grass back! it rocks, I want to see more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

That's good tennis, although I find it a touch too mechanical from point-to-point. Both guys essentially setting up the point the same way. We complain about two baseliners bashing from all the way back... well, this is the same thing, except that we have two s/v'ers employing the same tactics.

The best grass tennis to me has always been so due to variety within the field, particularly when we have a match between two players of contrasting styles. For example, a baseliner (or all-court player) against a server and volleyer.

This tends to produce great matches. Like Agassi/Rafter or Borg/McEnroe.

Bazooka
06-24-2008, 03:49 PM
That's good tennis, although I find it a touch too mechanical from point-to-point. Both guys essentially setting up the point the same way. We complain about two baseliners bashing from all the way back... well, this is the same thing, except that we have two s/v'ers employing the same tactics.

The best grass tennis to me has always been so due to variety within the field, particularly when we have a match between two players of contrasting styles. For example, a baseliner (or all-court player) against a server and volleyer.

This tends to produce great matches. Like Agassi/Rafter or Borg/McEnroe.


I enjoy the variety of clashes between styles, and agree that grinder vs SV is the classical tennis confrontation. But 2 players with the same style can also be very fun to watch, and Roche's BH volley was :worship:

CyBorg
06-24-2008, 04:40 PM
I enjoy the variety of clashes between styles, and agree that grinder vs SV is the classical tennis confrontation. But 2 players with the same style can also be very fun to watch, and Roche's BH volley was :worship:

They can be, but if one focuses on the structure of those rallies they are somewhat predictable at times.

Jimnik
06-24-2008, 05:02 PM
Interesting thread.

I agree that the issue of cost for maintaining grass courts is exaggerated. It's mostly laziness and the belief that hard courts give a "fairer" bounce that have lead to this revolution. It's always considered unrealistic to set-up new grass events because of the cost of laying and maintaining them. They're worried that players will complain that they're not spick-and-span up and up to perfect condition.

But then again it isn't necessary for every tournament to have the same quality of grass as Wimbledon. In the same way that not every clay court is up to the standard of Roland Garros. If the poor Indian and Pakistani tennis federations can lay grass courts for all of their Davis Cup ties it really shouldn't be a problem for any ATP tour event. Hell, even my high school were able to lay and maintain their own grass courts. It's really not that difficult or expensive.