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Old 03-18-2012, 12:19 AM   #16
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

Everyone's got this deluded idea that back in the day the courts were so fast that you couldn't return serve at all. Sure, there were players with great serves like Sampras and Ivanisevic that were holding serve pretty easily most of the time, but that doesn't mean that everyone else was doing the same. A fast court can't hide a shit serve.

One aspect that has changed over years in my eyes is clay. Today people hold serve much easier on clay than before, and this supports the point I was making in a similar thread: the average quality of serving has improved greatly over the years.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

when stats are able to quantify style call me
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

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Originally Posted by Li Ching Yuen View Post
Everyone's got this deluded idea that back in the day the courts were so fast that you couldn't return serve at all. Sure, there were players with great serves like Sampras and Ivanisevic that were holding serve pretty easily most of the time, but that doesn't mean that everyone else was doing the same. A fast court can't hide a shit serve.

One aspect that has changed over years in my eyes is clay. Today people hold serve much easier on clay than before, and this supports the point I was making in a similar thread: the average quality of serving has improved greatly over the years.
Players are taller in this generation, I remember Sampras seemed to be so tall in the 90s and he was the same height as Federer/Nadal who seems just avarage height and smaller than Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro, Berdych, Soderling, Tsonga, Roddick and other top players.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

Plus the slowness of a court affects most of all the rallies, not necessarily serve. It's ok if it's not 2 aces per game, but it's downright awful when people are retrieving Inside Out forehands like it's part of a drill especially with the kind of groundstrokes players can produce these days.

And because of the grittyness of the court, an approach shot is very much like a marriage: a very likely possibility to lose half of your shit.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:29 AM   #20
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

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Players are taller in this generation, I remember Sampras seemed to be so tall in the 90s and he was the same height as Federer/Nadal who seems just avarage height and smaller than Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro, Berdych, Soderling, Tsonga, Roddick and other top players.
I don't have the link to that blog, that was posted here, but what you are saying is also a myth. Maybe some of the posters that saved it can help with a link.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:40 AM   #21
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

The racquets(specifically string technology) and the balls are just as big a factor as court speed/bounce.

Isner and Karlovic would not be serving 50 aces a match with faster/lower bouncing courts and old strings. They would have to take pace off the ball to serve at a decent percentage, and they'd have to develop their net game further because they wouldn't be able to hang from the baseline. The serves would still be incredibly effective, but not tennis armageddon like some seem to think.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:09 AM   #22
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

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The racquets(specifically string technology) and the balls are just as big a factor as court speed/bounce.

Isner and Karlovic would not be serving 50 aces a match with faster/lower bouncing courts and old strings. They would have to take pace off the ball to serve at a decent percentage, and they'd have to develop their net game further because they wouldn't be able to hang from the baseline. The serves would still be incredibly effective, but not tennis armageddon like some seem to think.

No old strings. Modern racquets on old surfaces- if they didn´t slowed down surfaces. I think you meant my coment one of those.

With faster surfaces, like old grass, indoor carpet and faster outdoor HC, Isner, Raonic or Karlovic-2007 would have more aces- don´t know how many more, but more, but other things will be more too - like service winners, unreturnable serves and easy points like 1 groundstroke, volley to win point after big serve. Because of lower bounce or faster court, there would be less reaction time on return. I don´t know how about rallies, simply there won´t be this super long rallies lke Rafa-Nole, but 1st serves and service games hold i am sure that decent servers would have big server´s stats and big servers would have better stats like nowadays.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:11 AM   #23
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

balls and string advancement, and then the ball reaction to hard court surfaces are the factor - largely the increase in surface area of the ball after a few games...

racquet technology peaked around 92-93
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:37 AM   #24
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

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Today, we are actually witnessing serve and volley. FROM THE BASELINE.
Such as this:

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #25
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Default Re: ATP data analysis and the myth of slow courts

So, what most likely happened is that there are better servers now than before. The courts have been slowed down but still not enough to prevent a rise in serve statistics.

It is still interesting though because I had a feeling that in the 90ies the game was serve-dominated and now it is return-dominated. Of course, there is a bias here since we see mostly top players. So watching Sampras and Becker in 1994-1996 and watching Nadal and Djokovic now would give you the feeling that it was easier to hold serve in 1990ies. But overall for the men's game now the serve wins you more points and the return wins you less. That was surprising to me, but as some of you wrote this has little to do with the court speed probably but just with players being taller and more powerful.
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