According to Hawkeye data, the playing surface on Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open this year was quicker than that of Wimbledon last year, and much more faster than the Australian Open in 2014.
Jim Courier, who’s much better at tennis than math (not “tenths” but “hundredths”), broke the court speed data down on Channel 7 during the event, saying his “head almost flew off” when he saw the numbers.
Federer, who won the event beating Rafael Nadal in the final, says faster courts helps the older players.
“I think with faster conditions, the older generation, I’m saying like anything before 2005, they are used to faster courts,” Federer said following his win over Mischa Zverev. “From that moment on, it was a switch. Maybe it was shortly before that. I’m not sure. But we had to grow up in faster conditions.
“I think if you look at also Venus, she loves the fast courts. She always has. I think it just is natural for her to play well on this surface because maybe there’s less thinking going on, you just play with instinct. That’s maybe what older guys can do very well because they don’t get frustrated in faster conditions.
“It’s also an art to learn that. You see with Zverev, who was able to attack the net all the time, not getting frustrated. Sometimes it very tricky against that kind of player because we just don’t see it so often.
“But I generally enjoy it because I like when he puts in a nice volley past me. I just think it’s a nice play. I think there’s nothing you can do about it. Then you kind of move on. That’s why maybe I stayed as calm as I did today. Maybe it has helped me, too, in my comeback, no doubt about it.”
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