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You're not paying attention if you don't see where the game is headed...and it *will* surprise you!

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Babblelot:
Something happened in Houston that went under everyone's radar. Houston was the latest tournament to say, "Basta! Enough with the mindless rallies! Somebody make a move already!" This year Houston played with women's tennis balls:


--- Quote ---"The mens tennis balls are substantially heavier and slower.

Per USTA Website: "The women use regular duty felt balls while the men play with extra-duty felt during the US Open. This selection was designed to increase the ball speed in women's game and to slow down the velocity of the balls in the men's game."

For those who thought the comparisons of Serena's big serve to the men was a bit suspect now know why. Many wondered whether they measuing the speed earlier in the ball flight or perhaps Serena (and other female players) were using juiced strings not allowed on the men's tour.

The reality is that an extra duty felt ball is noticeably heavier and slower. Try this at home - find a well worn ball with virtually no felt but still decent bounce. Crack a serve and you'll blast it like Roddick! Now try the same with a heavy duty ball right out of the can and it'll float like a second serve from Kournikova."
--- End quote ---


Someone around here should write an article on a subject finally worth writing about: the tennis overlords really aren't as enamored with the state of today's game as the ESPN boys will lead you to believe. It takes +5 hours to complete a tennis match? Really? Rest assured, those days are numbered.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Lugburz:
Thx for this Babbs, I did miss it. Super busy these days........

Those are some great news for a change, indeed!

Swish:
Good read Babb's!!! I missed this one.

The next logical question is, who will benefit the most?

Isner comes to mind, he can blast the serve with boulders now. Players would have to wear body gear.

Stan would have more pace than he has already as would the ball bashers in general.

Fed may play another five years.  :king:


Babblelot:
Actually, no one caught this. I don't think Jimmy Arias had even put 1 and 1 together when he said something that sounded like, "Oh by the way, they're using women's balls. Yeah, it should give these guys a chance to shorten the rallies." They had similar ideas in Melbourne and that, too, was kind of under the radar. Blue Madrid was so lightning fast that Nadal and Djokovic threatened to boycott. But Roger said, "Hey, these courts are really fast! I have to S&V and C&C." Did anyone notice his fans complain that he was playing much more aggressive tennis? I was at Blue Madrid, so I can't answer that question. So as far as this discussion goes, Nadal is the ATP tour resident barometer. How often has he complained about courts being too fast...  :rofl_2:  OK, in the past 18 months, in particular? Even RG introduced the Babolat ball and that freaked Rafa out! Too fast!

As for Isner, completely unpredictable. We think he should be better on grass, but he's actually better suited for clay. He reached the final of Houston the past two years and was the defending champ. But this year, with the new balls, he lost his first match to Dustin Brown, a very aggressive, attacking player. I never fuss over big servers because there's not a single one of them that doesn't have gaping holes in their game. Their serve only takes them so far, then the top players look at those holes and drive trucks through them.

Each tournament will have to tinker with court speed and balls to get the desired results. Fortunately, all the hard court tournaments resurface their courts each year. And different tournaments use different balls. The Aussie Open switched to the lighter Wilson ball and sped the courts...for obvious reasons.

Yeah, Federer should definitely stick around. No doubt he's had trouble with the guys who can afford to give up court position because they're fast and athletic enough to retrieve a relatively slow ball on a slow court. Like Houston, give a guy a little more zip on his ground strokes and he's going to take his chances because he'll be able to hit past these guys.

Babblelot:
I'm still editing   :))

Edit: Done editing  :)~

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