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-   -   "Speed up the courts and general court speed Thread" (

KrisJB 03-29-2010 08:27 AM

"Speed up the courts and general court speed Thread"
A few weeks ago I watched some old matches of James Blake including encounters against Kiefer (Vienna 2002), Agassi (Washington 2002), Safin (Hopman Cup 2004) and Moya (Indian Wells 2003) and it is quite obvious that today's game is far slower than it was then. James was able to generate direct winners off the forehand wing, whereas currently he has to fire his forehand at least two or three times to end the point. I just wonder whether his shots are less powerful now but looking at the shot and serve speeds it is probably not the reason. He uses the same frame as back then in 2002 or 2003, therefore it shouldn't be blamed on the technology of rackets. So what's the main reason - the balls or changes in surface? Or maybe James game is simply slower?

Roddickominator 03-29-2010 08:29 AM

Re: Speed of current game
The string technology is a more significant change than the actual racket frame technology. But probably all of the above.

Everko 03-29-2010 03:07 PM

Re: Speed of current game
Players move better now. Takes more to win a point

brent-o 03-29-2010 03:22 PM

Re: Speed of current game
I've noticed that, too. I think at least part of the explanation is that Blake doesn't seem to be hitting his forehand as hard as he used to.

Certinfy 03-29-2010 03:55 PM

Re: Speed of current game
Actually a good point about Blake, not really sure what to think to be honest here...

Everko 03-29-2010 03:58 PM

Re: Speed of current game
Just make this thread about Blake. He does not represent the whole tour.

fsoica 03-29-2010 04:02 PM

Re: Speed of current game
game changed in order to permit the spanish bull to rage continuously on court...

Chiakifug 03-29-2010 04:03 PM

Re: Speed of current game
Maybe hes just getting older.

madmax 03-29-2010 04:19 PM

Re: Speed of current game
it's obvious that majority of the courts are slowed down in order to promote "pusher" style tennis.

Jomp1 03-29-2010 04:34 PM

Re: Speed of current game
While the surfaces and playing styles differ, I'm pretty sure it's because players are physically better trained than ever, and faster to run to the ball.

kindling 03-29-2010 09:08 PM

Re: Speed of current game
Almost everyone is playing slower these days. I'd still say that Blake's service game moves faster than most players now even if it has slowed down. That's why I like Fish, Querry, and Blake matches, there's not a ton of stalling.

MisterQ 03-29-2010 09:08 PM

Re: Speed of current game
Blake likes to take the ball early and hit fairly flat. Agassi and Safin were real masters at this. When these players played each other, the pace was extremely fast. The players tended to be positioned aggressively, at the baseline, or even inside it.

In the current pro game, it seems to pay dividends to take a step back and hit with more topspin and margin for error. The new strings facilitate this. The improved physicality of the players allows them to cover more ground behind the baseline, and it makes it harder to hit winners with ball-striking ability alone.

The above comments are only part of the equation... surely the surfaces themselves have changed.

Haelfix 03-29-2010 09:16 PM

Re: Speed of current game
The game was definitely faster. It started slowing down a bit in 06 for whatever reason and imo hit its slowest in late 07 and through 08. 09 picked up a little bit, b/c a lot of big hitters were getting through, but it seems horribly slow atm.

Yea watch some old Blake-Federer matches, where both guys literally blast winners by huge margins (and these are two of the fastest players in the game at their movement peak).

So while the courts have slowed, I also think some of the tactics have changed a little bit, b/c of the success of spinning shots in and playing more consistent tennis. I kind of got that same sensation in 02-03 where the speed of the game kind of slowed down a bit b/c of the success of some of the more spinny, consistent baseline type players (the spanish contigent, Hewitt, etc)

Nidhogg 03-29-2010 09:16 PM

Re: Speed of current game
The balls in use are bigger and heavier, while surfaces have gotten more coarse and sticky rather than slick. These change of conditions (along with the string technology helping out when players make gets at full stretch etc) call for players to rely more on movement as points last longer.

Mike473 01-22-2011 08:00 PM

Speed up the Courts
I am just turning 38 years old and watched and played tennis consistently since I was about 12-13 years old. I remember during the 1990's, many folks complained that the courts were too fast. We had some great serve and volley tennis players. Some players, like Sampras, Krajicek etc.. could get hot on serve and basically be unbreakable.

It appears to me that they started to slow the courts down about 10 years ago or so, and may have pushed it too far the other way. For example, my favorite player these days is Nadal. Nadal plays an excited brand of tennis. But, if he were to play on faster grass and hardcourts, I think he would be a lot more vulnerable to big servers than he is today.

Does anyone else think they moved to far the other way on court speeds? Especially on Grass?

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