Badal asked in SportsTennis · 6 months ago

Why did they slow down all the surfaces. The us open was so slow it was ridiculus. Hard to belive its the same surface sampras played on?

5 Answers

  • 5 months ago

    They want the points to last longer.

  • Chuck
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I would like to see Wimbledon make the grass slightly faster than it is, now.   Maybe not as fast as is was before 2001.  Now, it's so very, very slow, that the baseline rallies are kind of dull, especially if you're old enough to remember what serve-and-volley tennis was like.  Grass court tennis, in my opinion, *ought* to be a lot faster than clay, or even hard courts.

  • Bob
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    As other here have said, they did it to neutralize the advantage that big servers and "power" players had.The good news is that it made it possible for players like Nadal to win Wimbledon twice ,the bad news is that now three of the  four Grand slam tournaments now play close to the same- withe the exception being the French open, that is played on clay.This is part of the reason why I don't enjoy Men's tennis as much as I used to.

  • 6 months ago

    I don't know about the US Open but certainly at Wimbledon around about 2002 they made a conscious decision to slow the conditions because it was felt that by the 90s power and big servers were dominating too much on the grass. The example often cited was the 94 men's final between Sampras and Ivanisevic, probably the 2 best servers of the 90s, which many thought was boring because it was just so dominated by big serving. So they started using a thicker, coarser grass and also slightly lighter balls. The net result being that the ball bounced higher and a bit slower. So now Wimbledon plays a bit more like a hard court tournament. So that was the reason, to stop big servers dominating so much on fast surfaces like grass and indoors as well of course. Because back in Samprases day indoor tournaments were played on fast carpet, now all indoor tourneys are on medium paced hard courts. But I don't know why they should have slowed down the US Open, because baseliners used to do well at the Open just as much as serve volleyers. Think of Lendl, Wilander or Agassi.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 6 months ago

    Tennis has been "tweaking" surfaces for years, largely in response to the increase in the "power" game thanks to the evolution of players and equipment alike.

    The reason?  Oddly enough, you mentioned one of them: Pete Sampras. His power game made him dominant and his big serves drew "oohs and aahs" from the crowd, but ultimately they made for bad TV. His power game was often called "boring" and he is even unfairly blamed for killing interest in men's tennis until the emergence of Federer/Nadal...

    Slower surfaces favor spin and tactical play along the baselines.  That in turn favors longer exchanges that often end with exciting "kill" shots.  TV audiences love that and so do those who make money off marketing the sport.

    Golf underwent a similar problem in the 1990s with the emergence of big hitters like Tiger Woods.  With 300+ yard drives becoming common, organizers felt the game might look "too easy" on TV.  Knowing that TV audiences like to see skilled shots, courses that could expand lengthened their holes....those that couldn't tinkered with their surfaces and configurations to reduce the advantage of the power strikers.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.