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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the benefit of Federer and Hewitt, yet Hewitt will still bitch about something. Funny how they try and use scientific facts, have they catered to humidity, colder weather which will impact on the court.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tenni...-is-speeding-up/2007/11/19/1195321694990.html

Australian Open Court Surface is speeding up

TENNIS Australia officials believe the new surface for the Australian Open is set to provide a faster, more attractive tournament in January.

The tournament will be played on new blue plexicushion courts, which have replaced the green Rebound Ace courts that were criticised by Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, who argued for a faster and more consistent surface.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said Tennis Australia tests have shown that the courts already were faster than the old Rebound Ace courts.

Tiley said the courts would get even faster by January 14, although they would still be slower than Wimbledon and the US Open.

"Our plan has been to be in the medium to medium-fast pace range. On the ITF (International Tennis Federation) scale, that's about 34 to 38, and we're very pleased to be able to tell everyone that scientific testing has got us right smack bang in the middle of that, which is where we want to be," Tiley said.

"It's going to get quite a bit of playing time and environment over a period of time, so we expect them to increase in speed by a couple of points.

"So from a scientific point of view, it has worked out great, and so far the player perception has been great but not everyone has hit on them. So once you've got 500 players hit on them, there'll probably be a range of perceptions, but we know scientifically now that at least we can back ourselves up with these tests."

He said the new surface would be more durable under heat stress than Rebound Ace. The remaining few courts at Melbourne Park will be completed by mid-December.
 

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For the benefit of Federer and Hewitt, yet Hewitt will still bitch about something. Funny how they try and use scientific facts, have they catered to humidity, colder weather which will impact on the court.

Humidity? Colder weather?

Today and yesterday in Melbourne were about 30% humidity and 98F (36/37C). It's going to get worse come AO. The change of surface was warranted even if the speeding up of it wasn't.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Humidity? Colder weather?

Today and yesterday in Melbourne were about 30% humidity and 98F (36/37C). It's going to get worse come AO. The change of surface was warranted even if the speeding up of it wasn't.
There is a reason they say Melbourne has 4 seasons in one day. The middle Saturday it was like a swimming pool. Then there are days when it's very high humidity and that makes it slower.

Then there are days when most people wear jackets during the day, yes it's hot a lot of the time, but there is very changeable weather and seen everything there except snow.
 

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this is the same news that always appears at this time of the year :lol:

Maybe this time will have some credibility and not only be a change of the surface's color.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They will do it this time, they'd lose credibility, if they didn't.
 

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So what are the slower slams now? I guess there only is one, which is very fair considering the majority of the tour were raised on European red clay. ;)
 

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The old one was good, but I'm happy they're not slowing it down. I also hope it won't have influence on Wimbledon's officials and they won't speed up their grass because of it
 

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Faster courts make tennis boring to watch. What a stupid decision. No one wants to see short points, dominated by ball bashers with no skill.
 

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I hope it will indeed be faster :) But well I also hope Wimbledon will be faster, too. This year it was way too slow.
 

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blue colour, quicker surface, lower bounce = sounds good to me :yeah:

http://www.tennis.com.au/pages/News.aspx?id=4&pageId=11499&HandlerId=2&archive=false&newsid=3601

New courts provide solid foundation

A lot has been said and written about the new court surface at Melbourne Park and not all of it about the change in colour from green to blue.

At Australian Open 2008, the slightly quicker Plexicushion surface will replace the much maligned rebound ace, the surface so famously criticised for being too slow by Australian No.1 Lleyton Hewitt.

The Australian environment was a big factor in the decision-making process. “One of the advantages of changing the court surface is that we can replicate the surface across Australia as it has proven to withstand some of the harsh environmental conditions with which we are faced,” said Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley.

“We are excited about the result and confident that the players will enjoy the new surface when they arrive to compete for the Australian Open in January,” he said.

One player who is excited about competing on the new surface is defending champion Roger Federer, who said this week, “I am looking forward to the new surface and especially playing in front of the Australian fans”.

Court speed and the environment aren’t the only reasons for undertaking the biggest renovation to the courts at Melbourne Park since they were first laid for Australian Open 1988. Switching to Plexicushion will result in more even bounce and less heat retention – benefits all players will welcome.

To ensure the courts’ pace and bounce is within the desired range they are rigorously tested by staff at Tennis Australia.

Using a ‘lobster’ ball machine, balls are fired at the court and their pace and bounce measured. This is filmed and the footage is analysed frame by frame using sophisticated software developed in Australia.

Steve Lock works in research and major projects at Tennis Australia and is in charge of testing the new courts.

“Previously we had quite a difference in pace from court to court, so we had a large range over the whole site, whereas here our initial testing is showing us that our range is quite narrow, so all of the courts will be very similar,” says Lock.

Tiley is similarly pleased with the results to date. “Our plan has been to be in the medium to medium–fast pace range on the ITF scale, that’s about 34 to 38, and we’re very pleased to be able to tell everyone that scientific testing has got us right smack bang in the middle of that, which is where we want to be.”

To put this in perspective, courts at the US Open are in the upper 30s to lower 40s, while the French Open is quite a bit slower, usually in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Testing has also shown that the bounce is at the desired level. “Bounce is coming in lower than in the past, which is what we expected and consistent from court to court,” explains Lock.

Along with the pace, bounce and the ability to replicate the surface, the other major reason for switching surfaces is to decrease court heat retention. In the past this has been a problem.

This is another issue that Lock believes the new Plexicushion courts will remedy. According to Lock, during recent tests in 35 degree heat the Plexicushion courts didn’t feel like they were radiating as much heat as previous courts had. Another benefit is the lighter outside colour, which should help keep heat retention to a minimum.

“We’ve done an initial testing showing the heat is not being retained, or not reflecting out of the surface as much as it used to,” says Lock. “That’s simply because we have less of an insulator on top of the surface.”

At the time of writing, 12 of Melbourne Park’s 31 courts are in use; 21 will be available by the end of next week with the remainder of the courts to be completed by mid December.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Love the bullshit scale they are using.
 
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