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Old 02-06-2010, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default The differences between the court surfaces

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!
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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!
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

Gosh.

The fact that the surfaces still differ doesn't remove the fact that they differ nowhere near as much as they used to.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

If Wimbledon were green clay, Roddick wouldn't have made the final
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by Nidhogg View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by TennisLurker View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by oranges View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by goat15 View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by DrJules View Post
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
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by Nidhogg View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by JimmyV View Post
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!
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by Nidhogg View Post
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
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by DrJules View Post
Maybe not.

Lendl did not move well on grass.
Someone sees where I'm coming from

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Originally Posted by oranges View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: The differences between the court surfaces

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Originally Posted by Strunz View Post
This.
Quote:
Originally Posted by croat123 View Post
this x 2
As I said earlier, no one is disputing that the surfaces have become more similar.
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