Are The Wimbledon Courts Slower Now Than Before? Head Groundskeeper Says No
by Staff | June 20th, 2012, 11:26 am
  • 108 Comments

In an interview with the tennisspace, Wimbledon head groundskeeper Eddie Seaward thinks that the grass courts haven’t slowed down as many believe.

“I don’t think the grass has slowed down,” Seaward told the site. “The ball still comes off the grass at the same speed. But, as the courts are a bit harder, the ball bounces a bit higher. The courts are a bit harder because of the grasses we use, and also because we prepare them that way. We wanted the hardness because we wanted the courts to be in just as good shape on day 13 as one day one, and that’s what we’ve got. If the ball comes at you at knee height at 140mph, you’ve got no chance or returning it. If it comes at you at chest height, you’ve got much more chance of getting the ball back into play. That’s why we’re getting the rallies.”

Whether the courts have slowed or the balls made heavier continues to be a hot debate in the tennis community. Here are a collection of player quotes from Wimbledon on the controversial topic:

Martina Navratilova on Wimbledon court changes (2011):
It bounces higher and bounces slower. Higher bounce always slows the court down because you have more time to get to it. It’s not skidding through as much.
The slice now, because you can put so much more spin on the ball, the slice stays low. It’s easy to hit a really good slice because of the strings. The ball stays pretty low on the slice. But the serve is not coming through nearly as much.
Yeah, I think they need to speed it up. I think they need to speed up the courts, generally speaking, or lighten up the balls. How good was the French Open with those light balls? It’s fantastic tennis. Then the talent comes really through. You can be touchy-feely with a light ball. Good touch pays off. When you have a heavy ball, I can’t volley a heavy ball. If you punch it, it doesn’t go anywhere.
This light ball, poom, now you can come to the net. Number one thing I would put a lighter ball. Hitting the ball so hard, the heavy ball, it’s going to take a toll on the arms. Speeding up the court, you can come to the net and be aggressive.
Nowadays, I couldn’t serve and volley. I would have to pick my spots. For me, if I can’t serve and volley, something’s wrong with it, something is wrong with the game. You’re not going to get any variety. If I can’t do that now playing the way I played then, you need to even it up somewhere.

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.

Roger Federer on the court speeds (2010):
Well, the thing here, there’s no bad bounces. You can just stick at the baseline, half volley, not panic when a guy moves in. You can always flick it at the end. Obviously they’re not the fastest courts anymore. Depends obviously how you play, as well.
If you’ve got a massive serve and you can just outright overpower a guy, then obviously it’s fast. But a guy who is that agile at the baseline like Falla makes it very difficult to play against, because he can neutralize you, plays a flat ball, doesn’t miss much. You’ve got to take chances. Today the chances I took were not working.

Roger Federer on Wimbledon court speeds (2010):
Well, I still think, you know, it’s a touch too slow. Indoors I think our game has slowed down drastically. But I definitely think the bounces are nice and high here at Wimbledon. I think the bounces were lower. If the bounces are lower, it makes it much faster to play on.
But, you know, it’s the way it is. Today I think it’s particularly quick. I felt it also on my serve and on Bozoljac’s serve. If you do hit your spots, the ball travels through the air very quickly. Once you try to find the right spots, you don’t have to take the chances anymore like in the beginning.
You have the opponent guessing, your first-serve percentage goes up. Next thing you know you’re serving at 70%, not as high a risk, because the air is doing the work for you. The court was fast, too, because it’s hard and quick today.
But it’s not always like that. I still wish it was faster, but I’m not complaining. I’ve played fantastic here over the years obviously in these conditions.

Michael Llodra on Wimbledon Center court speed (2010):
No, it’s slow. It’s not quick like usual. But, you know, it’s not the question today, you know, if it’s fast or slow.
I mean, couple years ago it was faster for sure.

Novak Djokovic comparing Wimbledon court speeds (2010):
Well, it’s difficult from my side to say and compare to the tennis that was 15 years ago because I’m really young and I haven’t played. I haven’t played Wimbledon for many years. I’ve played only five, six times.
From the first time I stepped on the Wimbledon grass, it is the fastest surface in the world in tennis. But from all the opinions and by watching as well on the TV, my opinion is that it got slower. It got much slower than, let’s say, 15 years ago.

Mardy Fish (2009):
Yeah, I mean, you do. You know, like I said a couple days ago, you know, it still takes the serve a little bit, you know, and you’re able to — you’re able to get some free points on your serve, you know, ’cause it stays low and sort of skids if you hit the right serve.
I think the balls have a huge thing to do with it. They’re so heavy. I mean, you know, I’m usually right around the 128, 132-ish area on my first serve for the most part. I think I probably hit one serve 130 today, you know.
So the balls are really heavy. You know, I think those guys that like to stay back, they just feel like they can kind of take a cut at the ball and it’s not really gonna fly too much, you know, ’cause the balls are pretty heavy.
You know, the grass is so good, you know, it just bounces up there just like a hard court. If you don’t hit the approach, you know, years past you could kind of come to the net and maybe get away with a slice or a bad slice or a bad approach or just, you know, approach in general, and you just can’t do that anymore against good players here.

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.

Roger Federer on Wimbledon speed (2008):
Well, I don’t think it’s that much of a difference since I played Pete here in 2001 really. So, I mean, it’s not that extreme, you know, to the point where I need to thank anybody, I think, you know.
I think it’s just also the way how players are playing today: more from the baseline, not as much serve and volley, chip and charge. That sort of gives you the feeling that it’s slowed down, as well, you know.
Because 95% of the guys play from the baseline today, whereas before it was maybe 50/50. That is a big change, I think, and that’s happened in the last, let’s say, 10, 15 years.

Mikhail Youzhny on Wimbledon and ATP surfaces (2008):
Yeah, now it’s all courts slower than it was before. We don’t have now fast surface, only one tournament what I know, one tournament on the grass where it was fast. Now the tournament is surface slower and slower. That’s why it is too many Latino guys and Spanish guys start to play good on hard, on grass. Before it was much easier to play against these guys on grass and hard court. Now it’s not a big difference between surface.

Rafael Nadal on the court speed at Wimbledon (2007):
I saw, I don’t know where, that the court was so much slower than last years. The true is not. For me the court is the same. I was here the last maybe four years. I lost one time for injury. But for the last four, five years I was here. Every day I feel the same feeling. Every time I feel the same feeling in the court. The court is not coming slower than last years.

Martina Navratilova on the slower surfaces in tennis and Wimbledon (2006):
(center court): It doesn’t feel that slow. I feel like the slice bites. The slice stays low. But the topspin doesn’t. Yeah, it’s slower. I think it is slower.

(other events): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everything’s slower. All the courts are slower. I mean, Indian Wells, forget about it. You hit a great volley and, you know, the person’s got five minutes to run it down and hit it by you.
So it’s frustrating, yeah. You can’t play a normal game. It should be equal. A great serve and volleyer – of the same ability – should play against a great baseliner and it’s like half and half. Half the time this one, and half the time that one. So on this court, this one’s slightly favored; on this court, that one’s slightly favored.
Now the ball has gone completely in favor of the baseliner. It’s a shame.

Thomas Johansson (2005):
It’s pretty slow, I would say. You could easily stay back, which I do pretty much all the time. But you can also play serve and volley, of course. But I think it’s a lot slower this year than it was maybe five years ago. I don’t know if it’s the court or if it’s the balls. For the moment, I’m not complaining.

Lleyton Hewit on speed of Wimbledon grass (2005):
All grass is different. But today it was pretty slow, very slow. It felt very soft out there today. I’ve got no doubt, though, it’s going to quicken up over the next two weeks, you know, the more play it gets on it, I think because the show courts just don’t have any play at all. So, you know, today they’re very green out there. Both of us playing from the back of the court, where both of us were serving, we were leaving imprints into the court it was that soft. You know, I’ve never seen that before.


Also Check Out:
Andy Murray: The Courts At Indian Wells Are Very Slow, They’re Also Very Slow Here In Miami
Some Players Support The Blue Clay Tennis Courts In Madrid
Roger Federer: The Margins Are Smaller On A Quicker Court
Andy Murray Says Roger Federer Could Return To No. 1 If The Courts Were Faster
Rafael Nadal Has Now Beaten Roger Federer More Times Than He Has Any Other Player [Chart]

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108 Comments for Are The Wimbledon Courts Slower Now Than Before? Head Groundskeeper Says No

skeezer Says:

Posted this on the other thread, belongs here….

Ok, everytime Wimby comes up someone finds something about Seaward…geez the guys has been trying ro explain his “no change” for ten years….

“Seaward on the speed of the court: “I don’t think the grass has slowed down………..”

Then he rants on about how it HAS changed and what they did it and why the ball bounces higher (change!).( read the linked interview )

NK, they slowed the balls down way back in ‘95…..It didn’t have the impact that the surface change had.!!

I am sure Dave will chime in on this I don’t have the fortitude text all over again, ugh.


Brando Says:

this turning into a boring old story now.

We ALL KNOW now that:

1- the balls changed in the 90s, and have remained the same since (at least i think so).

2- the courts changed in 2002 or 2003, and have remained the same since.

Now i apologise if the dates are wrong (Dave could get those i reckon) but it’s pretty much along those lines anyway.

IMO, the conditions have pretty much remained the same since 2003- so its just the same old arguement getting recycled year in year out.

Most players would only complain when they are not having the success they would like anyway, so its pointless most of the time.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Skeezer Says : NK, they slowed the balls down way back in ‘95…..It didn’t have the impact that the surface change had.!!

You can read Martina’s comments above (Martina Navratilova on Wimbledon court changes (2011):) regarding the balls, and how it changes the dynamics of tennis. Martina also made comment last year Wimbledon that they have made the balls heavier compared to previous years.


skeezer Says:

Brando,

Yeah I was responding to some post on the other thread…

I have to say in defense of the change the court surface is more durable and stays green longer ;)…

Did you hear about someone who thought when they changed the balls from white to yellow they thought the balls would turn blue from the staining? ( Yellow-Green = Blue? ) …hehe


skeezer Says:

NK,

Just because she was quoted in 2011 doesn’t mean she thinks the balls got heavier in 2011…..for what year is she referring too? ..It’s a fact they went to a slower ball in 95…THAT is when the original change of ball happened to “slower” balls. The big change happened approx 01/02..on the tearing up and replacing the foundation (soil, etc) AND grass.


Brando Says:

@skeezer:

LMAO, i did not know that – some concern, lol!

I have been watching ALOT of wimby highlights from the 1970s/ 1980s recently, and YES conditions are alot slower now than before.

But as far as the last 10 years go, i’d have to agree with the groundsman- pretty much the same imo.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Martina’s comment was specific to ball change in 2011. When everyone were hyping Roger to win Wimbledon after his success at FO, she pointed to the change of balls at Wimbledon and how it’s difficult for Roger to hit through with the new heavy balls.

Though the balls were changed from lighter balls, the heaviness has been increased gradually. They don’t use the same heavy balls which were used 15 years back.


Vvx Says:

Roger Federer on Wimbledon speed (2008):
Well, I don’t think it’s that much of a difference since I played Pete here in 2001 really. So, I mean, it’s not that extreme, you know, to the point where I need to thank anybody, I think, you know.
I think it’s just also the way how players are playing today: more from the baseline, not as much serve and volley, chip and charge. That sort of gives you the feeling that it’s slowed down, as well, you know.
Because 95% of the guys play from the baseline today, whereas before it was maybe 50/50. That is a big change, I think, and that’s happened in the last, let’s say, 10, 15 years.

What he said.


Dave Says:

Slazenger has supplied tennis balls to Wimbledon since 1902. Both Wimbledon and Slazenger claim the ball specifications have been unchanged since 1995 — that year there was a small change made in compression — and the same balls have been used ever since. Slazenger boasts its company experts work with “top sports scientists at Loughborough University to guarantee The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s high standards are adhered to”. Slazenger supplies 52,000 balls to the 2012 Wimbledon championships. Slazenger claims each ball is tested for “weight, bounce and compression” but the specs are wide (ball weight between 56.7g to 58.7g, ball bounce between 134.62cm to 147.32cm when dropped from a height of 254cm onto a rigid surface, ball deformation in play less than 5.97cm). Those are wide specs. However, modern manufacturing can be more precise than those specs, so we really don’t know whether Wimbledon has asked for minor changes to the ball within these specifications. Just a minor change can make a difference to how the ball plays. As a private club, Wimbledon does not reveal much, not even its revenue.

After 2000 Wimbledon finished, the courts were stripped of their grass and re-seeded 100% with a particular strain of rye grass, changing the grass composition and how the ground was prepared. So 2001 Wimbledon was the first year with the new grass courts. But in 2001 the soil was still relatively loose and it also rained a lot, so apparently the courts still felt fast and lower bouncing. In 2002, however, the effects of the slower courts in drier weather were seen in two baseliners Hewitt and Nalbandian competing in the final. Though the big change to the courts was made in 2001, it seems the courts have progressively gotten slower with the soil becoming harder as it settles and is rolled/compacted with each passing year — though weather conditions at each Wimbledon (even day to day) have the effect of speeding up or slowing down the courts).

*****

I never trust what Tennis Space editor Mark Hodgkinson writes because I once found, when he wrote for the London’s Daily Telegraph, that he cherry picked his quotes and significantly changed what the person said to fit Hodgkinson’s story theme. Such ‘journalists” rely on lazy readers who do not check what he writes.

Eddie Seaward: “I don’t think the grass has slowed down. The ball still comes off the grass at the same speed. But, as the courts are a bit harder, the ball bounces a bit higher. The courts are a bit harder because of the grasses we use, and also because we prepare them that way.”

Seaward has been repeating this for years, very careful to say the same thing over and over again. He opines that the “grass” has not slowed down, but has never said whether he electronically measured the court speed.

But it’s the grass and soil of the court — not just the grass — that accounts for the court speed and bounce. When he says the courts are a bit harder because of the grasses they use, it’s because the particular strain of rye grass used allows better air movement within the grass, thus drying the soil faster and therefore making it slightly harder. As well, the rolling of the courts over the years compacts the soil. Thus the soil became harder and denser due to the soil settling and (except during rainy periods) drying over time.

In any case, Seaward’s claim that the ball still comes off the grass at the same speed has been contradicted by Jason Goodall’s WSJ article “Scratching the Surfaces”. Hawkeye technology has proved that Federer’s 126-mph first serves hit in 2003 Wimbledon and in 2008 Wimbledon — after bouncing on the firmer grass courts — are reaching the returner at slower speeds in 2008 Wimbledon than in 2003 (see link). This indicates that recent Wimbledons won by Nadal and Djokovic have been played on slower and slower courts. Independent tests/comparisons need to be done comparing the court speeds in different years in the context of weather and other conditions.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704103904575336920883530594.html


Dave Says:

Eddie Seaward: “We haven’t had a complaint about any of the courts in the last eight years.”

Yeah, because all serve-and-volleyers died by then, lol. I know several players who voiced their complaints about the Wimbledon courts in the news media within the last eight years (just a small sample below). For example, it’s likely Tim Henman kept complaining to Wimbledon officials about the courts until his retirement in September 2007.

BBC, June 2005: “The grass is always slower

Tim Henman has complained that slower playing surfaces at Wimbledon are responsible for drawing the sting from his game. The British number one bemoaned the grass was becoming “increasingly slow, heavy and high bouncing”, after his arduous five-set victory against Jarkko Nieminen.

It is not the first time Henman or his fellow players have raised the issue. Greg Rusedski claimed Wimbledon purposely slowed the courts in 2001 and this year American Taylor Dent agreed they have been getting slower each time he plays here.

Organisers started to use 100% perennial ryegrass seed in 2001 to provide a stronger grass more able to take the wear-and-tear of two weeks of continual usage.

“What Tim is saying is absolutely true,” agrees John Lloyd, BBC Sport commentator and two-time Wimbledon mixed doubles champion. “The courts have become slower and they are bouncing higher than they used to. “When I was contesting Wimbledon 25 years ago, playing on grass was more like Russian roulette. “You got a lot of bad bounces, quick-shot rallies and a lot of serve-and-volley. Even playing in the senior doubles now, I can tell it’s changed, you have much longer to return the ball now. “But I don’t think it’s a sinister reason. Wimbledon just changed the texture of the grass to make the courts more durable and that makes them slower because the grass is spongier… If the conditions were as they were 20 years ago, then Tim (Henman) would have a better chance at Wimbledon,” agreed Lloyd. “His type of game benefits from the surface that existed back then – the spins, the slice approaches, the volleys would all work, it would even help his serve. “Slower courts now mean he loses a slight advantage that he would have on quicker grass courts…

Those that rise to the top in the new-age at Wimbledon are baseliners…”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/4121364.stm

Time Magazine, June 2008: “But not everyone was happy with the new surface… Tim Henman, a serve-and-volley player, made four Wimbledon semifinals, but says the new grass forced him to alter his natural game midcareer. “I remember sitting at a change-over 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.’ ” Veteran tour pro and former Wimbledon doubles champion Jonas Bjorkman says the slower grass courts have homogenized the professional game. “There is a danger that we will have only one type of player soon because everyone is growing up on courts that are roughly the same speed,” he says. To underline the point: Federer’s great rival, Rafael Nadal, is widely considered a clay-court specialist, but has still made the final at Wimbledon the last two years. “There was a time when clay-court [specialists] wouldn’t even make the trip [to England],” Bjorkman said after losing to Nadal at the Artois Championships, a warm-up event for Wimbledon. “Now they hardly even need to adjust their game.” [from Time Magazine: "At Wimbledon, It's the Grass Stupid" ]

****

When Federer said the courts haven’t changed since 2001, we should understand the context — Federer was responding to a complaint made by Marat Safin that the courts were too slow. Federer tends to defend the All England Lawn Tennis Club (Wimbledon), of which he is a member, so I don’t feel that was a comprehensive comment from Federer. And when Federer played Sampras in 2001, the grass was already changed, though it apparently got progressively slower over the years. Note that Federer did not say that there was no change, just that the change was not extreme.

Q. Marat Safin, after his win a couple days ago, thanked the club for slowing down the courts. How have you seen the courts change here over the years, and how does the change affect your chances?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don’t think it’s that much of a difference since I played Pete here in 2001 really. So, I mean, it’s not that extreme, you know, to the point where I need to thank anybody, I think, you know.

I think it’s just also the way how players are playing today: more from the baseline, not as much serve and volley, chip and charge. That sort of gives you the feeling that it’s slowed down, as well, you know.

Because 95% of the guys play from the baseline today, whereas before it was maybe 50/50. That is a big change, I think, and that’s happened in the last, let’s say, 10, 15 years.


Stella Says:

So mr Seaward thinks the ball comes off the grass at the same speed…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soJ_FVnijAw


skeezer Says:

Dave,

Thanks for chiming in. Am tired of defending the slow down of Wimby already..ugh.

Stella,

Nice vusual for the readng for the research and reading impaired.


Raj Says:

It’s very simple to answer. If Nadal wins, its slower else its faster.


Dave Says:

Stella, excellent clip — this is the English version of your clip, with Jason Goodall commentating during the 2008 Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owzTwjC5kMk

Federer’s 2003 flat serve is the blue ball, while Federer’s 2008 flat serve is the yellow ball. What’s incredible is that even though Federer’s 2003 serve (blue) was hit at a sharper downward trajectory, it bounced off the grass at a lower angle… than Federer’s 2008 serve (yellow), which was hit at a more gradual angle but bounced higher.

As well, even though both Federer serves were originally hit at the same 126 mph speed, once it bounced it became 17% slower (9 miles slower) in 2008 than the 2003 serve, giving the receiver a fraction of a second more to react — the 2008 serve is still several feet slower than the lower bouncing 2003 serve.

Eddie Seaward isn’t fooling anybody. Seaward himself admitted that Wimbledon made the grass courts slower and more consistent to attract claycourters like Nadal: “You have to look at the overall picture as far as I’m concerned… 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… We hope that with time it may encourage more of the clay court players to come… We want to help them get over the mind barrier (against grass). It would be good for the tournament and good for the game.” [USA Today: "Wimbledon's 'grass whisperer' keeps courts fit to play" ]


nadalista Says:

Don’t worry Fedfans……………if Fed does not win Wimby and the Olympics (which is very, very likely) we’ll all know wot done it………the court speed!!


skeezer Says:

nadalista,

Wtf? If he can’t win anymore titles it will be more due to being older, time doesn’t wait. And Rafa and Nole are in there prime. Why does a court surface aways turn into a battle with you types? Insecurity issues.

If you Rafa fans are chimig because think this is all about Fed, it isn’t. Fed won 6 Wimbys AFTER they slowed down. This topic is(was) about the grass court surface change and Seabird.


Brando Says:

@skeezer:

ignore the trolls mate- there not worth it.

As far as grass is concerned- true fed won 6 wimbys AFTER it slowed down- NEITHER rafa nor novak will match total. So there isn’t any comparison really.

ONLY pistol pete can say he’s better than fed on the green stuff- no one else comes close.

IF fed doesn’t win wimby or olympics this year, like you said it shall be a combination of rafa/ novak being at their prime and fed being older.

Ability, court speed’s got nothing to do with it. Fed’s already proved himself in that regard.


nadalista Says:

Yes @brando……..you are the acceptable face of Rafa fandom on tennis-x blog.

No prizes for guessing why…………..


nadalista Says:

@skeezer……….

Insecurity……..me? Yawn…………


Rsutherland Says:

Does anyone on here seriously deny the plethora of prior posts going on and on about how courts are faster…in defense of Federer not winning?
The age-rational is absolutely plausible (although only a fool would be surprised if Federer pulls out another major on any surface at any speed) but please, don’t act all affronted when some Nadal fan ‘goes there’.
…but yes nadalista, there are Nadal fans who are tennis-x sycophants; letting the snarkiest (enter Szeezer) attacks on Nadal fly with no retort.


Brando Says:

@nadalista:

‘you are the acceptable face of Rafa fandom on tennis-x blog’.

LMAO, why thank you- i never thought that you would see me in such standing! really, you do think to highly of me, lol!

But just for the record, taking potshots at fed regarding the grass season has to be one of the most silliest things any troll could do!


skeezer Says:

Brando

;).

BTW, your just not accepted, You’ve earned the respect. You post for Tennis and your fav, passionately and fairly, not for these types just go all crazy with a crush on Rafa, or obsession, or more likely, an infatuation of “wish he was my boyfriend” love that has nothing to do with tennis. Notice how the conversation talking about surface and then the Rafa vs. Fed posts bombed in. Who started that? Nothing else to say here….but typical TT. Always a team effort with Rafa “sycophants”.


metan Says:

@ skeezer, who start first?????


conty Says:

hey nadalista:

are you joining Kimberly’s atp bracket challenge for Wimbledon? or are you already on there by chance? eh? alejandrobello? or superlamb maybe? if you are one of those usernames, that would be impressive.


conty Says:

Interesting to get so many opinions on the grass conditions. Have to trust Navratilova, Youzhny, Safin, Lleyton Hewitt, Johanssen, Mika Llodra; the ones who have history there that overlaps with the recent years. They say it’s slower and the serve is nullified, the bounce is higher. But Fed’s always going to be pc on such subjects; neutral swiss, even about Madrid blue clay. Couldn’t undestand what Fish or Nadal were saying. (‘course Nadal won’t complain.) Djokovic was consistent and made sense.

I can’t tell what Mardy was saying, lol and Nadal


harry Says:

thanks Dave and tennis-x for putting together a bunch of wimby court speed related snippets!


Steve 27 Says:

Roddick sucks on clay, but on Wimbledon he has three final and another semifinal, so SW19 is not so slow like the French Open like the proclaims of some fed fans, right?


Dave Says:

skeezer, harry: you’re welcome. Azrael on the other blog deserves thanks for pointing it out.


madmax Says:

Conty,

Nadalista is nadline from TT. It was posted here by another person informing us of her boredom over there now that she has to come here.

Brando, you are correct. But she comes out to annoy everyone around wimbledon time. All she does is talk about Federer.


Dave Says:

Rain showers are forecasted to hold up play at Wimbledon next week. The unsettled conditions of the past week are expected to persist until the end of June.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9345443/Rain-showers-to-blight-Wimbledon.html


conty Says:

madmax, I know who she is, lol…

actually i’ve seen her put up a couple decent posts; yes, there’s the anti-fed fan snarky stuff but she’s not as big a anti-Fed troll as her minions that follow her over here who have new pseudos…but you just know they are so and so. ha!

actually, I was being sincere, I’m encouraging all who are inclined to join Kimberly’s tennis-x bracket!

Are you in, my friend? :)


conty Says:

Just introduce yourselves please, in the Tennis-x pool, will you please. By that I mean, if you join with a different pseudo and you have a tennis-x one, tell us who you are, okay? that way we know who to congratulate when you win and give you all kinds of kudos as you rank rises or commiserations as your rank falls ;)

It’s all in fun and we play nice there. No trolling is necessary, the game itself will do that for you as you rise and fall! and you can say stuff like- “ha ha ha, your pick stinks”, all in good humor, naturally. No axes to grind in the Tennis-x bracket challenge.

superlamb, i’m looking at you! and alejandrobello. those were some good anonymous brackets. But anons in the pool are not safe from speculative comments :D


azrael Says:

the talk about court speed makes me smile…it’s not as if the players have a say in it…it’s the tournament organisers that call the shots in this department…they do what they feel is the best for their tournaments…the game has changed and the spectators want more rallies…hence the courts have slightly changed…it ultimately makes the game more popular and that’s the great positive.


Anthony Edwards Says:

raf@tards attacking the more intelligent rafa fans? LOL!

i once had a friend whose dog went mad and started barking @ its owners! was kind of reminded of that!

you just got to pity them and pray for their well-being.


Anthony Edwards Says:

as for the slowing down of the surface/balls, the AELTC is paying heavily for it with murray being eliminated 3 times in a row by nadal. i am sure a faster court would definitely have benefited murray.

murray might actually be under less pressure this year as no one is giving him any chance at winning wimbledon/olympics. he actually has a very good chance at olympics because of the 2/3 format!


Brando Says:

skeez and madmax:

thanks :-)

i don’t like these trolls- but what can we do?

what i hope is that they don’t drive away the good, fair posters who ‘add’ to the conversation as opposed to bringing the ‘vile’ element as trolls do.

speaking of fair posters- do hope alison and ajet return for the wimby period.


conty Says:

Yeah, me too Brando. Talking about on both sides, really. miss alison and ajet.


Mark Says:

A E. …he actually has a very good chance at olympics because of the 2/3 format”. Yes, but what happens if he reaches the final and has to play a 3/5 format??


Skeezer Says:

conty,

Does kimberly have a link yet?


Anthony Edwards Says:

@mark,

he has to choose the lesser of two poisons! maybe he will get a walkover in the final, like he has been getting this year!

jokes apart, murray has a better chance at wimledon than england has at euro.


conty Says:

well, skeezer, I really should be out the door to get something done, but my 1st appt. isn’t until 11 am my time. And now boodles Murray- Djokovic match is on, on some pristine looking grass too.

http://theboodles.com/

they have their own video live stream. just click on it. Delpo v Dolgo after Nole and Andy and then Simon and Stanley.

Kimberly has not posted the ATP link but the bracket game opens at 9:am Eastern, so 6 am for you and 7 am for me.

I just go in and fill out the main pool bracket, then transfer it into Kimberly’s tennis-x pool. But she posted a pre-register link for WTA pool; so I imagine when she gets a chance she’ll post the ATP pool link ;)


jane Says:

Hi guys: yes, Kimberly did post the links –

here’s the ATP one:

http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketWimbledonATP/tennisxfans1/default.aspx


conty Says:

Andy is running in with the torch? i thought i heard on boodles; and carrying the flag too? wow, thought maybe they’d give one of those honors to Mark Cavendish. Also, of course Nole will carry the Serbian flag …Olympics news.


conty Says:

Oh thanks, jane. I missed it.


jane Says:

No worries conty. Too bad they have to stop play again at the boodles. :/ I am hoping to see some of Dolgo/Delpo match too. Sometimes exos are fun to watch, as the players are looser.


jane Says:

Nole is chatting with the little ball girls and helping dry the court with the leaf blower. All in good fun. Murray with a little smirk. :)


conty Says:

You watching, jane? Nole was out on the grass helping dry it with a towel while the air blowers were working on it, always entertaining, Nole. :D


jane Says:

Yes, watching and enjoying conty: watched the Boodles stream yesterday too – saw Cilic/Isner second set and Nico/Nalby first set. Lovely venue and atmosphere.


conty Says:

andy trips over his racket. careful muzz. Nole in exho mode with a tweener. this is fun. hit and giggle.


jane Says:

Yes, I like the laid-back vibe. And yet the two are pulling out some fun shots.


conty Says:

andy : ( he isn’t quite as relaxed as nole.


jane Says:

True. ^ More pressure for him in this neck of the woods, though.


Brando Says:

that DF was wild by andy


Brando Says:

agree with commentator- they seem to be rushing things abit here


Brando Says:

some nice delicate shots there by both


Brando Says:

DTL FH from murray- how often do we see that?


conty Says:

ah, I have to stop. have fun jane and Brando. bye.


jane Says:

See you conty – too bad you won’t see Dolgo/Delpo.


Brando Says:

@conty:

will do- look forward to the brackets:-)


Brando Says:

CC FH from andy now- exhibition stuff


Brando Says:

andy’s finally showing his class


Brando Says:

well done muzza- got the break


Brando Says:

nole’s returns look good, 0-40


jane Says:

Nole breaks back; or Andy handed it back. Both are pretty casual. Not too concerned about errors and such.


Brando Says:

DF by novak on MP, ala RG final


jane Says:

Fun first set from both; the second set was a little more error strewn.


Brando Says:

‘I have heard you are abit of a joker novak’ LMAO


jane Says:

Commentator making fun of Nole’s “manly” white poodle. LOL. Nole says “it’s a boy poodle, first of all”. :D


Brando Says:

LMAO- novak with the pose, love the guy hes got personality!


Brando Says:

JMDP W/O the tape on his knee- good to see :-)


jane Says:

Looking forward to Dolgo/Delpo too Brando.


Brando Says:

Same here jane.

what did you make of nolandy?

thought novak looked comfortable, whilst andy seemed good on the FH side when he went for it.

good play by both for a exho.


Brando Says:

nice pass by dolgo


jane Says:

Yeah, I saw flashes of brilliance from both Nole and Muzz, but love them both so tend to look for the good. First set was most enjoyable, a bit of everything, including trick shots by both, lobs, net play etc. Second set was a little more low-key with more errors. But they’d been waiting around to get on the court for an exo so they probably wanted off.

Nole’s movement looked good, and both serve/return as well. No real complaints.

Andy’s forehand looked powerful indeed at times. His first serve too looked good, but he will need to get in more firsts at Wimbie, esp versus a good returner. He moved well too but seemed less inclined, esp in set 2, to run.

Andy’s played a few more matches on grass, though: Mahut, Tipsy and now Nole, while this was Nole’s first match on grass, so maybe he was a little more inclined to chase.

Dolgo up a break early on Delpo.


Brando Says:

pretty much thought the same.

It was novak’s 1st match on grass- so maybe he was inclined to try abit more than andy.

andy 1st serve did look good when he got it in- although even then nole hit some awesome returns.

fun to watch.


jane Says:

Delpo looks a little flat? Down 1-5 to Dolgo. The pogo serve is puzzling him. Dolgo looking in great form I have to say. Hard to know with exos though.


Brando Says:

i think with it being an exho it allows a temperemental personality like dolgo to relax, be at ease with himself and play.

the match situation doesn’t come into, so he can swing with ease.

looks very good when it works!


jane Says:

Right Brando; makes sense. I can’t believe how empty the stands are for this: would LOVE to be there.


Kimberly Says:

what happened with dolgo-delpo just got back and couldnt get a stream. Dont forget everyone the bracket comes out tomorrow, hottest contest in town. Right now I have no idea who to pick to do what!


Bobby Says:

Roddick played in 3 Wimbledon finals during 2004-2009,at the same time he was no where to be seen on clay.Definitely,grass helps Roddick,where as clay hinders him.this proves that grass is grass and clay is clay.


Steve 27 Says:

Yes Bobby, Imagine Ferrer reaching the semifinals of Wimbledon. Sounds impossible, right?


Anthony Edwards Says:

ferrer hadn’t reached the semis @ RG till 2012, too. so, if he reaches wimbledon 2012 semis, are we all on board that it is green clay?

i dont think anyone would say grass is clay, but as the groundsman himself admitted, the bounce is higher, which makes a world of difference. when the bounce is variable and with the speed that grass-courts offer, staying back is not an option anymore. unfortunately, as djokovic commented in those comments – it does help baseliners more than it used to.

so, the comparison is between 90s grass and 2000s. not 2000s grass and clay. by the way, roddick won houston, a tournament on green clay quite a few times and made the finals a few more times too. i think even sampras won that green clay tournament.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/06/book-club-the-greatests.html

Nice read.

It’s a fair assessment that Roger’s FH would be the best in the history. I don’t think there would have been a single shot as effective on any surface than Roger’s FH.


harry Says:

murray fans —

this is not the right place to post this. but…

some level headed comments by murray:
http://tinyurl.com/7kglrap

it is true that nalby was wrong in kicking the umpire; and it was right that cilic was awarded the match; but was sue barker right in seeking sensationalism by interviewing nalby live when he was still disturbed by it?


harry Says:

fed fans –

given the weather situation at wimby that Dave posted earlier, henman thinks an indoor slam might suit le-fed just fine.

http://tinyurl.com/7njlbfu


Anthony Edwards Says:

that forehand of fed’s is a real money shot!

speaking of money. mr. fed is no.5 on forbes’ highest earning athletes.

nadal @16. unfortunately, federer with his flair will always trump win-at-all-costs-by-hook-or-crook style that rafa plays!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

nadal @16. unfortunately, federer with his flair will always trump win-at-all-costs-hook-or-crook style that rafa plays!

Anthony, it’s not a fair comparison to make. Roger is an elder statesman in tennis and had a much longer career than Nadal. We need to wait where Nadal will end at when he is 30 yrs.

Once Roger had a big lead over Nadal in Facebook, but not it has narrowed down.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

harry, some nice comments from Tim, though most of which have been said by him before, but this one statment which he made is what I have been stating in this forum for long time.

“We’re very good in focusing — certainly in this country — on what we haven’t got. With someone like Federer, goodness, let’s try and keep him around for as long as possible. He’s the best player that’s ever lived, so let’s enjoy him while he’s here.”

Roger should be left free in the discussion of competing for Top prize. Just enjoy him with less expectation. He is infact delivering more that what he should be at this tage.


van orten Says:

fed with nole in the same half hahahaha as always…now get that number one ranking roger!!!!


Anthony Edwards Says:

NK:

facebook is only one way of measuring popularity.

forbes’ lists, atp fan favorite awards, sportsmanship awards (voted by peers), endorsements, fed has been the winner.


Anthony Edwards Says:

did i hear it right? haas/kohlschreibber to play nadal in 3rd round?

quarters : nadal-tsonga, novak-berdych, murray-ferrer and fed-tipsarevic!

so far draw looks decent for fed ;)


Dave Says:

Well, here is Murray’s World path for Andy Murray (will have to do until the full draw comes out)
R1: Davydenko
R2: Karlovic
R3: Anderson
R4: Cilic or Raonic
QF: Ferrer Del Potro
SF: Nadal
F: Djokovic


Dave Says:

harry, that was an excellent read, thanks.


jane Says:

That’s a tough draw for Andy M. :/ The big servers are almost all in his section. Not to mention Dimitrov, Baggy, Roddick, Ferrer and Delpo. Actually Delpo has a tricky opener versus Hasse, but JMDP should be able to handle it.


jane Says:

Isner and Mahut are in the same section AGAIN, for the third year in a row. They could meet second round. Isner has to beat Falla, though, and Mahut, Lorenzi.


Anthony Edwards Says:

fed’s chances @ number 1 looking brighter with the draw. it wouldn’t be a surprise if both djokovic and rafa are eliminated before the semis!

i am thinking one of them will lose before the semis. most likely nadal.


dari Says:

How did Murray get delpo AND raonic? Guy cant catch a break. Rafa usually avoids these big guys, whether in the draw itself or if the danger men lose before they get to him.


dari Says:

Let me narrow that down to rafa avoids Raonic lately it seems. There’s been actually a good few of the delpo- rafa matches.


jane Says:

I think Murray has the toughest draw, Rafa and Nole are probably about equal, and Fed’s draw looks the kindest. Fed could face Simon in the R16, who has troubled Fed on hard court, but this is grass so I don’t think there are any stumbling blocks for Fed to reach the semis. His “seeded” QF opponent is Tipsy (unless Isner or Nalby surprise). Other QFs: Nole has Berd; Rafa has Tsonga; Murray has Delpo or Ferrer.


skeezer Says:

harry,
Thanks for that link ;)

“We’re very good in focusing — certainly in this country — on what we haven’t got. With someone like Federer, goodness, let’s try and keep him around for as long as possible. He’s the best player that’s ever lived, so let’s enjoy him while he’s here.”


skeezer Says:

Fed has some “issues” in his qtr as well. He could face Simon and Isner, both whom have won some battles with Fed.


metan Says:

So now, No choice, must remember mr. RF by the way his playing instead of his number, all just bonus, soon or later some one will surpass it,,,,, OLD SONG but wait the minute who is that some one???????


harry Says:

thanks Daave, NK and skeezer :)


Steve 27 Says:

Nadal and Federer again, four years later. The number 1 in the world is decided in the Cathedral of London.


jane Says:

^ Just like last year Steve 27. Except if Nole makes the semis, and Rafa beats Fed in the final, then Nole holds onto number 1, I think?


Steve 27 Says:

Yes Jane, but do you prefer most? To be the number 1 or be the biggest prize winner of the sport?. In fact, winning this tournament, you’d be closer to 1 to end of the season


George Says:

Ah god! Just like everytime Nadal gets lucky again!! Compare his draw against Federer’s. Lol Fed once again has the monsters like Djokovic, Simon, Berdych. I mean, come on. Is this just bad luck or these tournamanent commitee’s deliberately make easier draw for Nadal every single year. Some thing is definitely fishy!

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