The differences between the court surfaces [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

The differences between the court surfaces

goat15
02-06-2010, 02:24 PM
Yes, measures have been taken to homogenise the surfaces - grass has been slowed down, and clay (or at least the balls used for some clay tournaments) has/have been sped up. Not to mention the changes made to most of the hardcourts, and lack of carpet today.

But, I can't help but think that some people on this forum are underestimating the differences that prevail. Reading past threads on this topic, you'd think that the surfaces were identical, with only the colours changing from blue to red and to green! The footwork required to play at a competent level (let alone a world-class level) on each surface is very different. I appreciate that maybe this is hard to grasp watching on tv, but anyone who's attempted to play on different surfaces will surely testify to this!

Of course, the speeds of the surfaces and footwork are closely linked. But to say that these days anyone can play on any surface, as they're all the same, is ridiculous! If that were the case, we'd be talking about Murray as a favourite for the French, and Del Potro for Wimbledon!

philosophicalarf
02-06-2010, 03:06 PM
It's exaggerated. Davydenko should provide nice proof of this over the next 6 months. Indian Wells is slow as ****, and yet he'll do atrociously there because the ball bounces too high for him. The he'll go to Wimbledon, and do atrociously because it's grass. Then he'll go to Cincinatti, and do garbage again, because fastish balls+fastish court + 250m altitude means lots of players can hit through him, and the ball goes through the court too quick for his early ball striking.

Inbetween, the same guy will look great on most indoors tracks, on slow Miami, mid to mid/fast US Open and Canada..... and of course on all clay from mudpit slow Umag to Madrid or RG. Very conceivably he could make 4th in the rankings at some point this year (Nadal defends 2566345645points, and he's only 1100 behind DelPot atm). This is a high quality, multi-surface capable player, yet there are several combinations of surface texture, bounce height and court speed he just cannot handle. If things were truly homogenised, he wouldn't have such dramatic differences.

goat15
02-06-2010, 05:05 PM
Excellent example - Davydenko's tight footwork and early ball striking make him particularly susceptible to these subtleties.

For me, the surface aspect is what elevates tennis above other sports. It's a special part of tennis, so it's a bit of shame when people don't seem to realise what's going on!

Thanks for your response!

Nidhogg
02-06-2010, 08:02 PM
Gosh.

The fact that the surfaces still differ doesn't remove the fact that they differ nowhere near as much as they used to.

TennisLurker
02-06-2010, 08:14 PM
If Wimbledon were green clay, Roddick wouldn't have made the final

goat15
02-06-2010, 08:23 PM
Gosh.

The fact that the surfaces still differ doesn't remove the fact that they differ nowhere near as much as they used to.

Of course not. That is not being disputed. The issue I take is with people who claim that the surfaces are 'similar' these days. Yes, they are 'more similar', but they're not similar.

oranges
02-06-2010, 08:29 PM
If Wimbledon were green clay, Roddick wouldn't have made the final

If Wimbledon played back then like it does today, Lendl would have quite a few in his collection. We can play these one liners all day without saying much really. The surfaces have been homogenized enough to make "one style rules them all" approach the best option and most go for it and will continue to do so as long as that is the case.

DrJules
02-06-2010, 08:48 PM
If Wimbledon played back then like it does today, Lendl would have quite a few in his collection. We can play these one liners all day without saying much really. The surfaces have been homogenized enough to make "one style rules them all" approach the best option and most go for it and will continue to do so as long as that is the case.

Maybe not.

Lendl did not move well on grass.

JimmyV
02-06-2010, 09:00 PM
Yes, measures have been taken to homogenise the surfaces - grass has been slowed down, and clay (or at least the balls used for some clay tournaments) has/have been sped up. Not to mention the changes made to most of the hardcourts, and lack of carpet today.

But, I can't help but think that some people on this forum are underestimating the differences that prevail. Reading past threads on this topic, you'd think that the surfaces were identical, with only the colours changing from blue to red and to green! The footwork required to play at a competent level (let alone a world-class level) on each surface is very different. I appreciate that maybe this is hard to grasp watching on tv, but anyone who's attempted to play on different surfaces will surely testify to this!

Of course, the speeds of the surfaces and footwork are closely linked. But to say that these days anyone can play on any surface, as they're all the same, is ridiculous! If that were the case, we'd be talking about Murray as a favourite for the French, and Del Potro for Wimbledon!

Do you realize the retardation on display in this forum? Do you really think anyone here plays tennis in real life? Maybe 1 out of every 50, and those are generous odds.

I've never seen a single collection of people more clueless/out of touch/ignorant about a sport than posters here claim to be. Sometimes you read comments here and you laugh and think, wow that was a good joke, and then it dawns on you that the poster was actually serious.

oranges
02-06-2010, 09:00 PM
Maybe not.

Lendl did not move well on grass.

Compared to whom? Strange thing to say about 2 time finalist and God knows how many semis. He just wasn't good enough on it overall. Slowed down and the way it takes the spin now, it could very well be a completely different story. But that wasn't my main point anyway ;)

Har-Tru
02-06-2010, 09:04 PM
Gosh.

The fact that the surfaces still differ doesn't remove the fact that they differ nowhere near as much as they used to.

This.

goat15
02-06-2010, 09:17 PM
Do you realize the retardation on display in this forum? Do you really think anyone here plays tennis in real life? Maybe 1 out of every 50, and those are generous odds.

I've never seen a single collection of people more clueless/out of touch/ignorant about a sport than posters here claim to be. Sometimes you read comments here and you laugh and think, wow that was a good joke, and then it dawns on you that the poster was actually serious.

Haha ok fair enough! Thanks for letting me know!

croat123
02-06-2010, 09:24 PM
Gosh.

The fact that the surfaces still differ doesn't remove the fact that they differ nowhere near as much as they used to.
this x 2

goat15
02-06-2010, 09:25 PM
Maybe not.

Lendl did not move well on grass.

Someone sees where I'm coming from :)

Compared to whom? Strange thing to say about 2 time finalist and God knows how many semis. He just wasn't good enough on it overall. Slowed down and the way it takes the spin now, it could very well be a completely different story. But that wasn't my main point anyway ;)

Compared to Mcenroe, Connors, Becker, Cash and Edberg (the players who beat him relatively convincingly in all of those semis/finals). In fact, I think Becker beat him three times in the latter stages of Wimbledon? He was a natural grasscourter. Lendl worked incredibly hard at his grasscourt game, but always came up short (usually going out in straight sets or four - I think he went out in five once?)

I'm not so sure he would have won Wimbledon under the current conditions either, as great as he was.

goat15
02-06-2010, 09:27 PM
This.

this x 2

As I said earlier, no one is disputing that the surfaces have become more similar. ;)

Shirogane
02-06-2010, 09:33 PM
Lendl would have definitely stood a better chance with the slowed down grass.

goat15
02-06-2010, 09:39 PM
Lendl would have definitely stood a better chance with the slow-downed grass.

A better chance, yes. But people talk like he would have been a nailed-on double Wimbledon champion! My point is simply that this view doesn't take into account all the aspects of grasscourt play.

oranges
02-06-2010, 09:41 PM
As I said earlier, no one is disputing that the surfaces have become more similar. ;)

So what is your point?

goat15
02-06-2010, 09:45 PM
So what is your point?

They may have become more similar, but they are not similar.

Shirogane
02-06-2010, 09:45 PM
A better chance, yes. But people talk like he would have been a nailed-on double Wimbledon champion! My point is simply that this view doesn't take into account all the aspects of grasscourt play.Two-time finalist on fast grass, good enough for me.

goat15
02-06-2010, 09:47 PM
Two-time finalist on fast grass, good enough for me.

Good enough for me also! Lendl was a valiant player - one of my all-time favourites!

Action Jackson
02-06-2010, 10:02 PM
So what is your point?

Hahaha, there isn't one.

The odd foible stands out like PMK and del Potro on grass.

goat15
02-06-2010, 10:03 PM
Hahaha, there isn't one.

The odd foible stands out like PMK and del Potro on grass.

I appreciate it's subtle, but there is a difference between more similar and similar. Think about it.

Action Jackson
02-06-2010, 10:06 PM
I appreciate it's subtle, but there is a difference between more similar and similar. Think about it.

How you going ruanz? Nidhogg has already explained it in detail. Think about it, you are just being pedantic and this is coming from someone who is a pedantic clown.

goat15
02-06-2010, 10:12 PM
How you going ruanz? Nidhogg has already explained it in detail. Think about it, you are just being pedantic and this is coming from someone who is a pedantic clown.

Haha ok. Just thought I'd start a thread on something that maybe wasn't so obvious. Tennis is a subtle sport, and I thought I could share my passion for it with like-minded people who appreciated its complexity. Forgive me. Let's resume the usual...

"All the surfaces are the same these days, mugs like Cilic are going to win the Calendar Slam for years to come! Tennis is dire these days!"

Consider the thread closed ;)

Action Jackson
02-06-2010, 10:18 PM
Haha ok. Just thought I'd start a thread on something that maybe wasn't so obvious. Tennis is a subtle sport, and I thought I could share my passion for it with like-minded people who appreciated its complexity. Forgive me. Let's resume the usual...

"All the surfaces are the same these days, mugs like Cilic are going to win the Calendar Slam for years to come! Tennis is dire these days!"

Consider the thread closed ;)

I mean lets be honest, not all surfaces are the same, even the people who dislike the lack of variety between the surfaces know this. The fact that the challenges to adjust between the different surfaces aren't as great as before due to a lot of factors. Therefore it's a lot easier to play the hardcourt style of game on all surfaces these days, this is obvious, yes taking into account the foibles that Davydenko and del Potro have on grass.

Yes, Gimeno-Traver should be beating Dent on a grass court.

The last thing is called bandwagoning.

goat15
02-06-2010, 10:20 PM
I mean lets be honest, not all surfaces are the same, even the people who dislike the lack of variety between the surfaces know this. The fact that the challenges to adjust between the different surfaces aren't as great as before due to a lot of factors. Therefore it's a lot easier to play the hardcourt style of game on all surfaces these days, this is obvious, yes taking into account the foibles that Davydenko and del Potro have on grass.

Yes, Gimeno-Traver should be beating Dent on a grass court.

The last thing is called bandwagoning.

I take your point, it's a good one. However, if they were mere foibles, the majority of players would have similar success on all surfaces. Off the top of my head I can't think of any player that doesn't have a favourite.

I guess this is all down to interpretation in the end. When I watch clay court tennis, I feel I'm watching almost a different sport to grass court tennis, even today. Maybe that's just me!

oranges
02-06-2010, 10:38 PM
They may have become more similar, but they are not similar.

What a nice piece of semantic mumble jumble. Once again, they've become similar enough to foster one particular play style all across the board, which is kind of the main main point of objections.

goat15
02-06-2010, 10:46 PM
What a nice piece of semantic mumble jumble. Once again, they've become similar enough to foster one particular play style all across the board, which is kind of the main main point of objections.

I have pretty much realised that no more discussion will lead to an understanding, but one last try...

The Federer Haas matches at the French Open and Wimbledon last year were played in very different 'styles'. The two players were moving completely differently during points for starters. Re-watch them!

oranges
02-06-2010, 10:54 PM
I have pretty much realised that no more discussion will lead to an understanding, but one last try...

The Federer Haas matches at the French Open and Wimbledon last year were played in very different 'styles'. The two players were moving completely differently during points for starters. Re-watch them!

Now, you're going to use the player who grew up before the change to make your point :haha: Yes, we want more Tommys in the future, among other things. Thank you for making MY point.

goat15
02-06-2010, 10:55 PM
I think we're talking at cross purposes actually. I'm aware that the baseline game can be played on all surfaces these days, I was just saying that there seems to be a lack of appreciation for the other differences in play (such as different footwork etc.) Maybe these other differences aren't worth talking about? If that's your opinion, fair enough :)

goat15
02-06-2010, 10:58 PM
Now, you're going to use the player who grew up before the change to make your point :haha: Yes, we want more Tommys in the future, among other things. Thank you for making MY point.

I can see why you say that. I thought I'd use an example of two players who have the range of abilities, and can exhibit the different techniques that high-quality play on the different surfaces demand.

I could equally give examples of players who don't have this range of abilities (Del Potro and Davydenko on grass, as mentioned above).

rocketassist
02-06-2010, 11:03 PM
I can see why you say that. I thought I'd use an example of two players who have the range of abilities, and can exhibit the different techniques that high-quality play on the different surfaces demand.

I could equally give examples of players who don't have this range of abilities (Del Potro and Davydenko on grass, as mentioned above).

Those two players' issue with current grass is movement, not game style.

goat15
02-06-2010, 11:05 PM
Those two players' issue with current grass is movement, not game style.

Yes! Exactly! Movement is never talked about here, the focus is always 'game style' - that's my point. I thought we could talk about the former for a change.

oranges
02-06-2010, 11:09 PM
I can see why you say that. I thought I'd use an example of two players who have the range of abilities, and can exhibit the different techniques that high-quality play on the different surfaces demand.

I could equally give examples of players who don't have this range of abilities (Del Potro and Davydenko on grass, as mentioned above).

But for mysterious reasons you obviously don't think the fact that very few of the new generation exhibit such an array of abilities has anything to do with the way the surfaces play :lol: It's all down to the fact that not all are able to move equally well on all surfaces ;)

goat15
02-06-2010, 11:20 PM
But for mysterious reasons you obviously don't think the fact that very few of the new generation exhibit such an array of abilities has anything to do with the way the surfaces play :lol: It's all down to the fact that not all are able to move equally well on all surfaces ;)

Of course it's linked to how the surfaces play. I'm not doubting that the current crop is less well-rounded. I'm simply saying that there are players who play with specialised movement these days, and they're not appreciated. Which is a shame.

abraxas21
02-07-2010, 12:56 AM
sensible thread.

I have a question: do the differences in speed of surfaces suppose the need for a different type of footwork? for example, did players used a different type of footwork in, say, Wimby with fast grass in comparison to Wimby today?
It's obvious that the game plan and the techniques were different, though.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 01:59 AM
sensible thread.

I have a question: do the differences in speed of surfaces suppose the need for a different type of footwork? for example, did players used a different type of footwork in, say, Wimby with fast grass in comparison to Wimby today?
It's obvious that the game plan and the techniques were different, though.

Think about this? The clay game has changed, but they still slide now as they did then.

mandeep
02-07-2010, 04:04 AM
I think everyone will be content if we go back to the serve fest at Wimbledon...

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 04:13 AM
I think everyone will be content if we go back to the serve fest at Wimbledon...

Actually not.

kengyin
02-07-2010, 04:14 AM
it would be interesting

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 04:16 AM
Getting the balance is the problem, it was too bad before and now it has swung so much the other way.

paseo
02-07-2010, 04:53 AM
What about the shoes? They wear different type of shoes for different surfaces.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 05:01 AM
The grass shoes used to have better traction on clay, but RG got shitty and now those types of shoes with the dimples are banned.

goat15
02-07-2010, 08:54 AM
sensible thread.

I have a question: do the differences in speed of surfaces suppose the need for a different type of footwork? for example, did players used a different type of footwork in, say, Wimby with fast grass in comparison to Wimby today?
It's obvious that the game plan and the techniques were different, though.

Grass still feels like grass underfoot, and unless one day they change it to synthetic grass (God help us), it will always require a similar set of movement patterns.

But, the speed of the surface has a knock on effect on timing, which affects footwork, and therefore affects game plan etc. These things are all linked. I thought I'd focus on the other side of footwork here, though.

Think about this? The clay game has changed, but they still slide now as they did then.

True, and this my favourite aspect of playing on clay - give me sliding rather than diving any day!

goat15
02-07-2010, 08:57 AM
Getting the balance is the problem, it was too bad before and now it has swung so much the other way.

Agreed. Especially the slowing of the indoor courts at the end of the year. I don't really understand why they did that... well I do... to avoid embarrassments like Berasategui getting carved up at the Masters Cup :p

wally1
02-07-2010, 09:13 AM
Yes, measures have been taken to homogenise the surfaces - grass has been slowed down, and clay (or at least the balls used for some clay tournaments) has/have been sped up. Not to mention the changes made to most of the hardcourts, and lack of carpet today.

But, I can't help but think that some people on this forum are underestimating the differences that prevail. Reading past threads on this topic, you'd think that the surfaces were identical, with only the colours changing from blue to red and to green! The footwork required to play at a competent level (let alone a world-class level) on each surface is very different. I appreciate that maybe this is hard to grasp watching on tv, but anyone who's attempted to play on different surfaces will surely testify to this!

Of course, the speeds of the surfaces and footwork are closely linked. But to say that these days anyone can play on any surface, as they're all the same, is ridiculous! If that were the case, we'd be talking about Murray as a favourite for the French, and Del Potro for Wimbledon!You make good points. I wonder how many people here have actually been to RG and watched play on the outside courts, and then done the same at Wimbledon a couple of weeks later? I have, and the difference in the bounce and speed of the courts is still vast.

The reason everyone plays the same way is not that particular surfaces have slowed down or sped up, it's that only two surfaces dominate 95% of the tour (on both of which the easiest way to play is hitting lots of topspin from the baseline). Who's going to learn to play S&V when there's only a handfull of grass tournaments (let's not forget that even into the late 80's two GS's and their warmups were on grass), and all the super-fast indoor carpet tournaments have disappeared?

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 09:14 AM
Agreed. Especially the slowing of the indoor courts at the end of the year. I don't really understand why they did that... well I do... to avoid embarrassments like Berasategui getting carved up at the Masters Cup :p

I mean you have the concept and understanding of how it was before. Some of the grass and indoor matches had an average of 2 shots per point and it turned people off.

They probably could allow for some greater difference now between the particular speeds. Those fast carpet courts part of the game that is gone now, then again personally I don't like indoor or grass tennis, but seeing players having issues on the surface is quite fun.

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:20 AM
You make good points. I wonder how many people here have actually been to RG and watched play on the outside courts, and then done the same at Wimbledon a couple of weeks later? I have, and the difference in the bounce and speed of the courts is still vast.

The reason everyone plays the same way is not that particular surfaces have slowed down or sped up, it's that only two surfaces dominate 95% of the tour (on both of which the easiest way to play is hitting lots of topspin from the baseline). Who's going to learn to play S&V when there's only a handfull of grass tournaments (let's not forget that even into the late 80's two GS's and their warmups were on grass), and all the super-fast indoor carpet tournaments have disappeared?

Ahh the outer courts at Roland Garros, what a wonderful place to be!

You make a good point, and Federer himself agrees with you. He has said that the changes between the surfaces that remain have been exaggerated, and that it is merely the popular playing style of the day (baseline play) that makes them seem more homogenous that they really are. It was an interview during Wimbledon last year I think, I'll try to find it at some point.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 09:25 AM
Ahh the outer courts at Roland Garros, what a wonderful place to be!

You make a good point, and Federer himself agrees with you. He has said that the changes between the surfaces that remain have been exaggerated, and that it is merely the popular playing style of the day (baseline play) that makes them seem more homogenous that they really are. It was an interview during Wimbledon last year I think, I'll try to find it at some point.

Then there was Safin who thanked Wimbledon for slowing down the courts as well, so is he talking shit?

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:27 AM
I mean you have the concept and understanding of how it was before. Some of the grass and indoor matches had an average of 2 shots per point and it turned people off.

They probably could allow for some greater difference now between the particular speeds. Those fast carpet courts part of the game that is gone now, then again personally I don't like indoor or grass tennis, but seeing players having issues on the surface is quite fun.

Totally true. I think people have short memories - do they not remember the outcry after that Sampras Ivanisevic Wimbledon final? The one that Sampras won in straights with a couple of tiebreaks. Everyone hated that!

That said, diversity without completely alienating certain players is what should be aimed for. They've gone too far the other way now, no doubt. Not by a great amount, but too far all the same. It's a money thing of course. But I can't be bothered to type why, I'm sure everyone already knows.

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:28 AM
Then there was Safin who thanked Wimbledon for slowing down the courts as well, so is he talking shit?

Haha he wasn't talking shit. But they could have slowed it down to walking pace, and he still would never have won on grass - those funny bounces did not sit well with someone of his disposition!

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 09:33 AM
Haha he wasn't talking shit. But they could have slowed it down to walking pace, and he still would never have won on grass - those funny bounces did not sit well with someone of his disposition!

He made the semis at Wimbledon, so for him that is a win. LaLo is another one who the grass change hasn't favoured either.

What led to the virtual one style suits all surfaces coming around. That's not really hard to understand. The ones at the top have the special stuff that separates them from the rest, just like they would in era, but there is a lack of variety in playing styles.

DrJules
02-07-2010, 09:36 AM
Compared to whom? Strange thing to say about 2 time finalist and God knows how many semis. He just wasn't good enough on it overall. Slowed down and the way it takes the spin now, it could very well be a completely different story. But that wasn't my main point anyway ;)

Becker and Edberg moved better than Lendl on a grass court.

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:39 AM
He made the semis at Wimbledon, so for him that is a win. LaLo is another one who the grass change hasn't favoured either.

What led to the virtual one style suits all surfaces coming around. That's not really hard to understand. The ones at the top have the special stuff that separates them from the rest, just like they would in era, but there is a lack of variety in playing styles.

It was indeed a win for him, that's true. I should point out, though, that Lopez's best result at Wimbledon was in the same year as Safin's best result (2008), so I'm not sure how you can argue that the grass change has been bad for him? (at least in terms of results, fair enough in terms of how much he enjoys the game, he's a serve and volleyer after all)

On another point, I've been lucky enough to see Federer and Haas both play on three different surfaces (not against each other - I wish!) and the ease with which they adapt their footwork is something special. It's such a shame that there won't be any new players like them for a while.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 09:39 AM
Becker and Edberg were just better all round on grass than big Ivan, no matter how hard Lendl tried.

oranges
02-07-2010, 09:48 AM
Not by a great amount? :haha: One surface is gone altogether and the rest homogenized by a combination of surface and ball changes. How much further could it possibly go, save for literally putting the same surface everywhere and leave it to weather conditions alone to make some differences? How is it a given that homogenization path was the right one for the intended purpose to begin with? Rhetorical question, you obviously just like to babble.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 09:50 AM
It was indeed a win for him, that's true. I should point out, though, that Lopez's best result at Wimbledon was in the same year as Safin's best result (2008), so I'm not sure how you can argue that the grass change has been bad for him? (at least in terms of results, fair enough in terms of how much he enjoys the game, he's a serve and volleyer after all)

On another point, I've been lucky enough to see Federer and Haas both play on three different surfaces (not against each other - I wish!) and the ease with which they adapt their footwork is something special. It's such a shame that there won't be any new players like them for a while.

LaLo said that himself that he preferred the grass to be quicker, like it was when he started on the tour than what it is now. If you can use Federer as an example, then there are others who think the opposite.

You still didn't answer the previous question though

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:51 AM
Not by a great amount? :haha: One surface is gone altogether and the rest homogenized by a combination of surface and ball changes. How much further could it possibly go, save for literally putting the same surface everywhere and leave it to weather conditions alone to make some differences? How is it a given that homogenization path was the right one for the intended purpose to begin with? Rhetorical question, you obliviously just like to babble.

This is personal preference (and incidentally not what the thread was about to begin with) - I happen to like the state of the surfaces today. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that when I watch claycourt tennis and grasscourt tennis, they still look very different to me. I can why they would look the same, though.

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:53 AM
LaLo said that himself that he preferred the grass to be quicker, like it was when he started on the tour than what it is now. If you can use Federer as an example, then there are others who think the opposite.

You still didn't answer the previous question though

Fair enough about Lopez. I didn't say anything else because I can't see the question...

He made the semis at Wimbledon, so for him that is a win. LaLo is another one who the grass change hasn't favoured either.

What led to the virtual one style suits all surfaces coming around. That's not really hard to understand. The ones at the top have the special stuff that separates them from the rest, just like they would in era, but there is a lack of variety in playing styles.

???

oranges
02-07-2010, 09:53 AM
Really, enlighten me with the differences in Federer's game, for instance, on hard, grass and clay?

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:55 AM
Oh right, just re-read it again, and realised that you meant the sentence starting with 'what'?

If that was the question, then it's a good one. What came first, the trend for baseline play, or the change of surfaces? It's the chicken and the egg syndrome.

goat15
02-07-2010, 09:57 AM
Really, enlighten me with the differences in Federer's game, for instance, on hard, grass and clay?

Haha this isn't something that's easy to explain with words. If you can't see the difference then this is a lost cause! Watch his feet.

Out of interest, do you play tennis? And if so, have you played on hard, grass and clay?

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 10:04 AM
Oh right, just re-read it again, and realised that you meant the sentence starting with 'what'?

If that was the question, then it's a good one. What came first, the trend for baseline play, or the change of surfaces? It's the chicken and the egg syndrome.

It's not the chicken or the egg thing in this case at all.

Yes, I have played tennis on all surfaces.

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:06 AM
It's not the chicken or the egg thing in this case at all.

Yes, I have played tennis on all surfaces, so you can't try the organ

Lol I wasn't asking you if you'd played on all surfaces! If I had been I would have quoted you.

Interesting. Well in that case I'd be interested in your view, which came first?

oranges
02-07-2010, 10:07 AM
Haha this isn't something that's easy to explain with words. If you can't see the difference then this is a lost cause! Watch his feet.

Out of interest, do you play tennis? And if so, have you played on hard, grass and clay?

Watch his feet is the best you can do? :rolls: He plays the same game everywhere and you're back to initial babbling that pretty much sums up to "if they slide on clay and not on grass, they play a different game on different surfaces". Footwork has become play style :lol:

I'll leave you to it

DrJules
02-07-2010, 10:08 AM
Then there was Safin who thanked Wimbledon for slowing down the courts as well, so is he talking shit?

The surface may have slowed a little, but some numbers do provide interesting reading. Federer served more aces in a match in the 2009 final than Ivanisevic ever did and there is also the following:

More aces per 10 points and fewer serve breaks in mid 00's than mid 90's (Lowest set of figures in table below). The middle of the 00's was very serve dominated:

I was looking for a way to check the popular and ongoing assumption that grass was slowed down. Since we have hardly (or no at all) statistics about the speed of the ball before and after the bounce of 199x and 200x, I was looking for some possible indicators from the match stats which are available on atptennis.com for most main tour matches since 1991.

I ended up with 5 measueres:
aces per 10 points
% of 1st serve points won
break points per game
breaks per game
% of saved break points



The first picture shows these five above-mentioned measures for the tournaments (rows) over the years (columns), calculated on the basis of all matches in the course of the tournament.

http://img2.menstennisforums.com/727/Grass_Stats1.jpg

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=125674&highlight=serve+return+stats

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 10:10 AM
Lol I wasn't asking you if you'd played on all surfaces! If I had been I would have quoted you.

Interesting. Well in that case I'd be interested in your view, which came first?

Just to make sure you weren't going to try that line on me.

I asked you the question, so you were the one who didn't answer it initially. Hence I want to know with reasons as to what happened.

Considering there have been distinctive trends all through the game and will be continue as long as there is life on the planet. So it's not like year 0 or BC.

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:12 AM
Watch his feet is the best you can do? :rolls: He plays the same game everywhere and you're back to initial babbling that pretty much sums up to "if they slide on clay and not on grass, they play a different game on different surfaces". Footwork has become play style :lol:

I'll leave you to it

For me, that simplistic, but fair enough. No surprise that you didn't answer my question about which surfaces you play on. Oh well, we have differing opinions, that's fine. :)

oranges
02-07-2010, 10:18 AM
For me, that simplistic, but fair enough. No surprise that you didn't answer my question about which surfaces you play on. Oh well, we have differing opinions, that's fine. :)

No surprise :haha: It is a pointless question, whose only purposes is to divert because you have no arguments. Like I said, you just like to hear, or in this case, read yourself talk so go on, you don't really need a response, other than to keep the thread going.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 10:19 AM
The surface may have slowed a little, but some numbers do provide interesting reading. Federer served more aces in a match in the 2009 final than Ivanisevic ever did and there is also the following:

More aces per 10 points and fewer serve breaks in mid 00's than mid 90's (Lowest set of figures in table below). The middle of the 00's was very serve dominated:

Numbers are nice and all, but got to look at the particular match ups, what the conditions were at the time. The classic thing that stats don't measure. I mean you get people who without watching tennis believed Monte Carlo was slower than Hamburg because of a break percentage. In other words stats are very useful, but have to be used in the right way.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1815724,00.html
The new grass was 100% perennial rye; the old courts had been a mix of 70% rye and 30% creeping red fescue. The new lawn was more durable, and allowed Wimbledon's groundsmen to keep the soil underneath drier and firmer. A firmer surface causes the ball to bounce higher. A high bounce is anathema to the serve-and-volley player, who relies on approach shots skidding low through the court. What's more, rye, unlike fescue, grows in tufts that stand straight up; these tufts slow a tennis ball down as it lands.

wally1
02-07-2010, 10:21 AM
Oh right, just re-read it again, and realised that you meant the sentence starting with 'what'?

If that was the question, then it's a good one. What came first, the trend for baseline play, or the change of surfaces? It's the chicken and the egg syndrome.I'll give my view on this one. The trend for baseline play came first, driven by changes in rackets and strings. It made approaching the net a far more dangerous proposition, as players could hit passing shots they'd never have dreamed of in the past. The trend then got exacerbated by the death of grass and carpet, the rise of tennis academies etc.

Like most people here, I'd like to see more variety in playing styles. But saying "Wimbledon needs to speed up" or "RG needs to be slowed down" would make bog all difference. You'd need either a dramatic change to the calendar to create a major number of grass court and carpet tournaments, or a major turning back of the clock in racket technology. In fact you'd probably need both.

To take another example - go and watch Wimby qualifying at Roehampton (great entertainment and it's free by the way!) Courts there are very quick with a low and erratic bounce, perfect for S&V you'd think. Yet everyone plays from the baseline. No-one's going to play or learn a different style for a couple of weeks a year.

One more point - it's always been possible to play from the baseline at Wimbledon. Or did I imagine Agassi and Courier making the final there in the 90's?

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:22 AM
Just to make sure you weren't going to try that line on me.

I asked you the question, so you were the one who didn't answer it initially. Hence I want to know with reasons as to what happened.

Considering there have been distinctive trends all through the game and will be continue as long as there is life on the planet. So it's not like year 0 or BC.

Don't worry, I've been reading these forums for a while, so I know who to 'try lines on' ;)

Well, there are two sides to the argument. Did the surfaces change first, thus causing a baseline style of play? This makes sense intuitively, as you'd generally expect players to adapt to conditions rather than the other way around.

But then there's another way of looking at it - the baseline game is predominant in many parts of the world e.g. south america. Maybe, the ATP (as a money-driven organisation) wanted to tap markets like these by bringing their players into the mainstream? Besides, the great serve and volleyers (Sampras, Rafter, Ivanisevic etc.) all retired around the same time, so maybe the ATP thought they'd take the opportunity to change direction?

I don't know.

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:24 AM
No surprise :haha: It is a pointless question, whose only purposes is to divert because you have no arguments. Like I said, you just like to hear, or in this case, read yourself talk so go on, you don't really need a response, other than to keep the thread going.

I don't really understand why your responses are laced with malice. Can't we just have a nice discussion? My arguments are based on playing and watching. I'm trying to understand your point of view, so I guessed that maybe you watch and don't play?

And I don't see what all these laughing animations add to the debate!

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:25 AM
Numbers are nice and all, but got to look at the particular match ups, what the conditions were at the time. The classic thing that stats don't measure. I mean you get people who without watching tennis believed Monte Carlo was slower than Hamburg because of a break percentage. In other words stats are very useful, but have to be used in the right way.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1815724,00.html
The new grass was 100% perennial rye; the old courts had been a mix of 70% rye and 30% creeping red fescue. The new lawn was more durable, and allowed Wimbledon's groundsmen to keep the soil underneath drier and firmer. A firmer surface causes the ball to bounce higher. A high bounce is anathema to the serve-and-volley player, who relies on approach shots skidding low through the court. What's more, rye, unlike fescue, grows in tufts that stand straight up; these tufts slow a tennis ball down as it lands.

Interesting. So you think the surfaces changed and then the styles changed? Why do you think they did that?

oranges
02-07-2010, 10:27 AM
It's not a debate and sorry, but I just have to laugh again that you take yourself seriously :lol: A debate presupposes exchanging arguments, you're just jumping from one claim to another as you see fit

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:27 AM
I'll give my view on this one. The trend for baseline play came first, driven by changes in rackets and strings. It made approaching the net a far more dangerous proposition, as players could hit passing shots they'd never have dreamed of in the past. The trend then got exacerbated by the death of grass and carpet, the rise of tennis academies etc.

Like most people here, I'd like to see more variety in playing styles. But saying "Wimbledon needs to speed up" or "RG needs to be slowed down" would make bog all difference. You'd need either a dramatic change to the calendar to create a major number of grass court and carpet tournaments, or a major turning back of the clock in racket technology. In fact you'd probably need both.

To take another example - go and watch Wimby qualifying at Roehampton (great entertainment and it's free by the way!) Courts there are very quick with a low and erratic bounce, perfect for S&V you'd think. Yet everyone plays from the baseline. No-one's going to play or learn a different style for a couple of weeks a year.

One more point - it's always been possible to play from the baseline at Wimbledon. Or did I imagine Agassi and Courier making the final there in the 90's?

The racquet technology point is spot on. And I agree with the rest of this - it's actually my view on the matter. And yes, I myself have played baseline tennis on 'lightening fast' courts - so I know exactly what you're talking about. Great post.

DrJules
02-07-2010, 10:29 AM
Numbers are nice and all, but got to look at the particular match ups, what the conditions were at the time. The classic thing that stats don't measure. I mean you get people who without watching tennis believed Monte Carlo was slower than Hamburg because of a break percentage. In other words stats are very useful, but have to be used in the right way.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1815724,00.html
The new grass was 100% perennial rye; the old courts had been a mix of 70% rye and 30% creeping red fescue. The new lawn was more durable, and allowed Wimbledon's groundsmen to keep the soil underneath drier and firmer. A firmer surface causes the ball to bounce higher. A high bounce is anathema to the serve-and-volley player, who relies on approach shots skidding low through the court. What's more, rye, unlike fescue, grows in tufts that stand straight up; these tufts slow a tennis ball down as it lands.

However, you would not expect that change in condition to increase the ace count and reduce the number of service breaks. Players being bigger, stronger and fitter than ever before probably has compensated for reduction in the speed.

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:31 AM
It's not a debate and sorry, but I just have to laugh again that you take yourself seriously :lol: A debate presupposes exchanging arguments, you're just jumping from one claim to another as you see fit

Ok. Even though we drifted far away from the topic of this thread because of your input. I wanted to talk about footwork, and you've insisted on talking about game styles throughout. Rather than 'jumping' from claim to claim, I've since left the original debate, and am now enjoying a discussion on other aspects of the surfaces.

I just like tennis and want to talk about it, I don't see why that warrants laughing animations...

oranges
02-07-2010, 10:33 AM
You wanted to debate that different footwork is needed on clay, grass and hard? Such a controversial issue, no consensus will ever be reached :lol:

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 10:34 AM
Don't worry, I've been reading these forums for a while, so I know who to 'try lines on' ;)

Well, there are two sides to the argument. Did the surfaces change first, thus causing a baseline style of play? This makes sense intuitively, as you'd generally expect players to adapt to conditions rather than the other way around.

But then there's another way of looking at it - the baseline game is predominant in many parts of the world e.g. south america. Maybe, the ATP (as a money-driven organisation) wanted to tap markets like these by bringing their players into the mainstream? Besides, the great serve and volleyers (Sampras, Rafter, Ivanisevic etc.) all retired around the same time, so maybe the ATP thought they'd take the opportunity to change direction?

I don't know.

Thanks for the response, but still didn't give a definite answer to it. For the status quo to change, there has to be circumstances in place for that to happen. Once the decision has been made, then the results of a policy change are going to be reflected eventually, it's just the time that differs.

The ATP doesn't give a shit about clay or South American players.

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:35 AM
You wanted to debate that different footwork is needed on clay, grass and hard? Such a controversial issue, no consensus will ever be reached :lol:

I didn't want to debate it, I wanted to mention it, as I've never seen a post about it. To the contrary, the way people talk sometimes, it seems like people don't realise it.

Just wanted to make the point, nothing more, nothing less. Maybe it didn't warrant a thread? Fair enough.

goat15
02-07-2010, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the response, but still didn't give a definite answer to it. For the status quo to change, there has to be circumstances in place for that to happen. Once the decision has been made, then the results of a policy change are going to be reflected eventually, it's just the time that differs.

The ATP doesn't give a shit about clay or South American players.

Yeah, I guess I don't have a definite answer to it.

And I thought that when I was writing - they probably don't care too much about those players, I was just speculating.

Action Jackson
02-07-2010, 10:39 AM
However, you would not expect that change in condition to increase the ace count and reduce the number of service breaks. Players being bigger, stronger and fitter than ever before probably has compensated for reduction in the speed.

The surface is slower and has been changed that is the actual point, not the technological, player and scientific evolution.

Har-Tru
02-07-2010, 12:09 PM
One more point - it's always been possible to play from the baseline at Wimbledon. Or did I imagine Agassi and Courier making the final there in the 90's?

Only starting in the mid 80's. Before that, it was suicidal.

Har-Tru
02-07-2010, 12:13 PM
However, you would not expect that change in condition to increase the ace count and reduce the number of service breaks. Players being bigger, stronger and fitter than ever before probably has compensated for reduction in the speed.

This is a good point. It is also why play on clay has become less classic and much more agressive: players are now able to hit winner on dirt in situations where they weren't in the past.

philosophicalarf
02-07-2010, 12:58 PM
Federer served more aces in a match in the 2009 final than Ivanisevic ever did.....

To be fair, Roddick has always given up aces at a rate Oli Rochus would be embarrassed about (and it's getting worse as he gets older).

More importantly, the ace count was huge principally because the match was so long - 77 games! Opponents average around 0.8ish aces per game against Roddick (ie 30-35 in 77 would be normal), so on grass vs Federer serving that well 50 aces doesn't look too strange.

Serenidad
02-08-2010, 08:17 AM
Yes we all know Roddick can even be aced by Top 200 WTA players.