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String technologies had great impact at game's speed. And accuracy! That's where we could see an end to S&V era, in Agassi. Returns with bigger head and better strings were LOWER, sharper and more accurate. Tough for volleying. But in the same time it become totally unwatchable, like that 2001. Ivanisevic - Rafter final. Because of those damn racquets game become so fast and quick, that something had to be done.
 

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Djokovic is so successful at Wimbledon nowadays, but it's not primarily due to his defensive traits. It's because he currently has the best combination of serve/return in tennis, which is actually crucial on grass. His serve is effective and reliable enough that he can get a lot of free points and count on not being broken very often, while his return allows him to get a break against even the toughest servers. This combination makes him very effective on grass where getting a single break in a set is especially important. Few players have both a high quality serve and return, it's usually one or the other (mostly serve).

This also explains why Nadal has arguably struggled the most at Wimbledon out of the Big 4. His serve is good, but he doesn't get as many free points as Federer, Djokovic, or Murray. And while his return is also good, it seems that on grass he's more vulnerable to big servers putting in a peak performance (e.g. Kyrgios, Rosol, Brown, Muller).

Federer of course has one of the best serves ever, but his return is also deceptively good. He's particularly adept at getting big serves back, even if it's not necessarily an aggressive shot. This lets him work the point with his superior groundstrokes and tactics, giving him the edge. His potent combination of serve, return, and all-court play makes him the most successful Wimbledon champion of all time.

Murray can also hold his own with the Big 3 on grass. His first serve gets him a lot of free points, and although his second serve can sometimes be a liability, it's not as significant on grass courts. His return is world-class as we know, and he also possesses a good slice and net skills. He's a bit of a foil to Djokovic in a way, since he can match him on serve/return but also has a bit more variety with which he can frustrate the Serb.

Tl;dr - Having a good combination of serve/return is important for being successful on grass courts.
 

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Djoker is very well developed as a grass court player, especially his serve improvements made under Becker.
His net game and volleys are serviceable, if not sensational. (looking back at 2011 highlights, he still made great volleys)
And he has the stamina to go the distance on grass, and still come out on top.
Wimbledon has been a revelation for Nole, often occurring just after another bitter disappointment at RG, where Nole has shown his mettle and class.
 

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Imagine how many grass slams Big Novak would have if he didn't slip over on the surface every 2 seconds.
 

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Wimbledon made the decision to change the grass and it thusly favored certain game styles. Wimbledon wanted to have a better grass that can withstand the grind of The Championships. In so doing, they changed the grass game

The best adapt. The rest make excuses.
 

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i wouldnt say djokovic changed the grass game he's just benefited from the changes wimbledon made that the post above mentions. if the grass was still playing the way it used to djokovic wouldnt even have 1
 

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Let's go get grass back to 90's standard and we'll talk. He has proven nothing with the changes Wimbledon made with seeding type. I'd love for the Wimbledon to get back to 70/30 ratio of seeding. Make it fast and wear out grass faster after one week. If you see the grass still being green during the championship match, you know that it's slow and they hang in the baseline where you see the dust bowl at the baseline area.
 

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Wimbledon made the decision to change the grass and it thusly favored certain game styles. Wimbledon wanted to have a better grass that can withstand the grind of The Championships. In so doing, they changed the grass game

The best adapt. The rest make excuses.
They wanted to make the grass more durable, BUT wanted to ALSO attract more baseliners and make the rallies longer. It used to be that some good baseliners chose to skip Wimbledon entirely; some multiple times. E.g. Bruguera, Muster (never got past 1st round in 4 tries), Corretja. Agassi perhaps the exception to the norm back then.

[...]

Now into his third decade as Wimbledon's wizard of the grass, London resident Eddie Seaward has been grooming the magic carpets of the All England Lawn Tennis Club since the heydays of Steffi Graf and Pete Sampras. To the naked eye, his influence is difficult to detect; to the finely-tuned eyes of a touring tennis pro, the subtleties are immense.
Casual observers might think that Seaward is little more than a man with a shed full of Toro lawn mowers and some fertilizer at his disposal, but in addition to overseeing the upkeep and health of 19 grass courts for tournament play (and another 22 for practice), the seventh Head Groundsman in Wimbledon's history has facilitated changes that have influenced the way that the Wimbledon grass plays, and the types of players that can have success on the surface.
"Everybody was saying grass courts are dead because they're too fast and it just favors the player who's got a hard serve," Seaward says. "I spoke to the coaches at the time and said, 'Well, OK, what do you want?' And so they told me."

He listened.
The results have been favorable for the majority of the players. "Hopefully we've achieved that because we're getting greater rallies now just by slowing the courts down a little bit," Seaward says confidently. "Most players are liking the courts the way they are."

[...]
The bounce has changed

Seaward's meticulous research has helped usher in a form of grass-court tennis that meshes very well with the game of the modern baseline player
. Due to the 100% perennial ryegrass seed that has been in use at Wimbledon since 2001, the soil is drier, thus harder beneath the feet. This makes balls bounce higher, and the perceived speed of the court slower.
It's a winning equation in Seaward's opinion.

"If you've got a ball coming at you at 120 miles an hour, say, that's around your ankles, then you've got no time to return it," he says. "But if you've got a ball that's coming in at that sort of speed around your chest, with the players of today their reaction is so quick, they've got all the time in the world to play it back again."
[...]

"You have to look at the overall picture as far as I'm concerned," said Seaward, in a phone interview from his office on the Wimbledon grounds. "If we can get the right sort of players, the clay-court players, the Agassis and the Nadals to come here, then that's going to be better for tennis and much better for the spectators, because they're seeing all the stars."
[...]

The previous mix (70% rye and 30% creeping red fescue) had become vulnerable to wear, and the switch was made by Seaward and his crew in order to ensure the playing surface could withstand the increased foot traffic of the modern game without splintering into patches that would cause unplayable bounces.
"The grass itself is slightly better wearing than a lot of the fescues were, so you get a little better grass coverage on the court at the end of the day," Seaward says. "It also creates a slightly thinner soil, so there's a little bit air movement between the leaf, which then dries the soil and makes it harder."

"The hardness rating that we used to achieve on Day 13, we're now seeing on Day 1," Seaward says. "And that gives the players a split second more to play the ball."
[...]

But Seaward doesn't think it's the slower surface that is forcing the players to avoid serving and volleying like the plague. "The players play that way because they play baseline tennis all the year round," he adds.
[...]

Was Seaward surprised by the persistent clamor from the media with regard to the slowness of the grass, and its effect on the game? "I was surprised at the time," he says, "but hopefully that's gone now and people will accept the courts as they are."
Seaward's on point in saying it's not only the grass/surface. He doesn't specifically mention what has made players play more at the baseline, but it's the new racquet/string tech that may have given the biggest blow to S&V.

---

Lleyton Hewitt's profile on Wikipedia:
2002: Wimbledon victory and maintaining the No. 1 spot

The year 2002 was once again a solid year for Hewitt, winning three titles in San Jose, Indian Wells and London (Queen's Club).[18] He followed his 2001 US Open win by capturing the Wimbledon singles title. He defeated Jonas Björkman, Grégory Carraz, Julian Knowle, Mikhail Youzhny, Sjeng Schalken and home favourite Tim Henman before dominating first-time finalist David Nalbandian in straight sets; Hewitt lost only two sets (both to Schalken) throughout the championship.[19]
His victory reinforced the idea that, although the tournament had tended to be dominated by serve-and-volleyers, a baseliner could still triumph on grass (Hewitt was the first 'baseliner' to win the tournament since Agassi in 1992).
Almost no S&V players in the Wimbledon final since 2001 (Ivanisevic vs. Rafter), perhaps apart from Philippoussis in 2003. 2002 (Hewitt W), first year with 100% perennial ryegrass.

In 2008, Tim Henman, the once great British hope of a Grand Slam win, told Time magazine that new grass may have even changed his playing style completely: “I remember sitting at a changeover in 2002 in utter frustration and thinking ‘What on earth is going on here? I’m on a grass court and it’s the slowest court I’ve played on this year’."
Henman’s protest is not without substance. In 2001, the final was a blazing-fast serve-and-volley match between Goran Ivanisevic and Patrick Rafter. In the 2002 final between Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, there wasn’t a single serve-and-volley point scored all match.
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Also, from Djokovic himself (and others; Björkman points to players putting on more muscle compared to the past, which has impacted the game):
Novak Djokovic on playing on grass (2011):
It is a specific surface that we don’t really get to play on that much throughout the year. It’s only I guess couple of weeks of the year that we get to play on the surface that this sport began, so it is a bit exciting for all of us to perform on grass courts.
But, you know, I guess you can always put Federer and Nadal in front of everybody else to win Wimbledon because they have been so successful on the grass courts in past couple of years and they’ve been winning the Wimbledons, the last five, six Wimbledons.

It is the fastest surface that we have in the sport, but it is definitely slower than it used to be and the ball bounces higher, which I think is more suitable to my style of the game, to the baseliners, and it’s why we see more rallies more often on the grass courts nowadays.
Jonas Bjorkman on changes in the game and at Wimbledon (2008):
It’s so different. Everything is so different: strings, the material of the racquets, the speed of the courts, how a tennis player is built these days.
When I came up, there was not too many who was going into the gym, and these days you see them like this (packed). It’s much more physically. Everyone is working harder. They’ve been taking it to a different – what do you say – improving it even more from the past than I started.
Marat Safin on the Wimbledon courts (2008):
I played well because I think the courts, they has been getting slower and slower throughout the years. So it’s not any more like they used to be like eight years ago. It was really fast, and now you can play from the baseline and nobody even getting close to the net.
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This one's also interesting, pictures of the wear pattern throughout the decades (some pictures under spoiler; a few more in the article):
 
"1970 (Margaret Court defeated Billie Jean King) — There is almost no pattern as wear can be seen everywhere and the players utilized the entire court."

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"1980 (Björn Borg defeated John McEnroe) — The wear pattern is still widespread, but in the area between the baseline and the net, the dead spots are more centered as players typically rushed the net up the middle before moving side to side."

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"1995 (Steffi Graf defeated Arantxa Sánchez Vicario) — By the mid-1990s we can start to see more concentrated dead spots along the baseline although the evidence of the serve-and-volley style can still be seen."

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"2000 (Pete Sampras defeated Pat Rafter) — By the early 2000s, approaching the net was no longer a primary strategy, but was still often used by players as a change of pace or as a surprise. As a result, the bounces on shots from the baseline were more predictable."

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"2005 (Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick) — While we still see some wear near the net, the big change in the mid-2000s is how much deeper the dead grass is at the baseline. Instead of dead grass on both sides of the line, it is almost entirely behind it."

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"2015 (Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer) — Interestingly, even though players were covering less area, at the same time, as players became stronger, they started playing deeper and the size of the court effectively increased."

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"2018 (Novak Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson) — In 2018, we saw a bit more wear near the net as players were charging more often. While we are still far from the days of the serve-and-volley strategy, it has seen a bit of a renaissance in recent years."

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Novak Djokovic Beats Roger Federer in 5-Set Thriller to Win 2019 ...


When you think about Grass ATG , you might think or Rocket Rod Laver , Borg surrounded by his entourage of fans , or Sampras / Becker/McEnroe hitting a dive volley to win the match or Federer hitting a squash shot / dropshot winner.

Then we can see the picture above, a man probably hitting a winner 5 ft behind the baseline , completely stretched out.

Djokovic on paper is not necessarily an all court player in the traditional grass sense. Grass supports slices, net play , good serving , and typically favors short points over long ones. Djokovic has an Ok slice, is average at net , has a good serve and typically prefers a longer point.

At the same time Djokovic has a whopping 5 Wimbledon trophies and has more Wimbledon trophies than some of the all time great grass court players. You could make excuses about competition , etc. but whatever. Point being is he still has 5 Wimbledons.

So has Djokovic effectively changed the grass game? S+V players are basically extinct and Djokovic has shown that being an offensive , calculated baseline player , can make you win Wimbledon. Federer got really close... but even when attempting a "grass strategy" by rushing the net , he got passed by a blistering baseline shot.

What do you think about Next Gen and Wimbledon , will they follow the new wave of grass tennis?
LOL, best dig on Federer I have seen
 

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What point is OP even trying to make... we all know Wimb has slowed down a lot and that is why Nadovic can win it. Back in the 90s they would have been blown off the court, but Federer could win it in any era. GOAT.
 

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We unbiased and objective fans of the game know that Djokovic is easily the undisputed grass and W GOAT and BOAT. He proved his natural talent against the toughest competition ever, and his tactics and the level of play is simply unmatched - he is effortless, natural, and most importantly - he is effective, he is the winner - he is simply the best. New generations should study his game, not the long time ago outdated but still overrated net-rushing and slice-botting.
Spot on. In fact, I'll go one better and say that Djokovic is the archetype tennis player for our modern-day high-tech world... a freakin’ robot.
 

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After reading the excerpts from the USAToday article on maintaining the grounds (or should say lawns) of WB, i get exactly why some changes were needed & made. Now if I could only figure out why they’ve been doing what they have been to a HC like USO until finally changing their surface this year.
 

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These days there is a lack of studying of the game itself. Without the boring fan-base disputes.

There are two kinds of offensive: 1) ultra aggressive aka aces and direct winners - win or lose situations; 2) medium offense - with progressive creation of offense till the opponent's defense is broken - this is Dkjokovic's game - it is shown in the statistics with the forced errors - his opponents make more forced errors and are running more than him because he makes them run with his all-court complex game. This game sends them from one corner to the other constantly and then draws them back and forth with constant changing of the pace with depth. All these is highly difficult and evidence of phenomenal talent of the player. Yes, Djokovic has incredible defense especially on fast surfaces where his style of sliding and hitting offensive direct shot from defense position is unmatched. But this is also thanks to his natural talent of changing direction on any position with his incredibly flexible wrists. His game is better on fast surfaces - why - his serve is getting better and better, his returns are design to hurt directly the opponent - they are directly offensive which on grass is fatal for the server because the speed is twice the serve. When it is on the line before their legs - there is no time for reaction. The faster the surface the better Djokovic will be as his shots are more sharp and damaging while on slower surfaces players can react. That is why Novak is better on the faster Australian open and worse on the slower IW and Miami these days - he is older. And on grass his game is incredible - because of this one shot return game and better serve. In fact in 2019 when the grass was slower Djokovic was the one who was suffering more and not Federer - there was time for old Federer to react. And again Djokovic made him run as much as himself. Djokovic is moving so lightly on the grass that it seems his feet don't touch it most of the time.
Federer is also natural on grass - but his style is just different. There is no rule that if you play on grass you should play serve-and-volley constantly. The surface itself no matter how fast has characteristics that shape the game differently. In the last 10 years the best players on it are Djokovic and Federer - they make the most beautiful and diverse matches of all that I have watched. It is a pleasure to watch them on the grass no matter the winner.
So Djokovic is right there with Federer, Sampras, Borg and others on the grass - he is that good with his own style of play.
Nadal, for example, is phenomenal on clay - different mover, different qualities, different surface. Not that he is not as high on other surfaces as others but on clay his game is the most complete, beautiful and unbeatable just as Federer on hard courts and grass and Djokovic in Australia and other surfaces.
 

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Good points & in addition to his flexible legs r those wrists enabling those impeccable misdirection & transition from def. to off. strokes. Yes, AO19 on Plexicushion was a prime example of his abilities on quicker surfaces since WB is sort of neutraI these days esp. going into the second week.
 

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Probably hitting a winner? What?

I don‘t even understand the purpose of this thread dawg.

He is appreciated just fine. He plays differently than surface greats before.

Not much else to it. Just usual over romance ala Kowchi.
 
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