Risk tennis a lost art form

Earlier this year I wrote an article about the pace of indoor surfaces and the demise of indoor carpet on the ATP and WTA tours. (see article here) Quick indoor carpet has been completely phased out in favour of medium paced indoor hardcourts based on the plexicushion surface. The slowing down in surfaces has led to a convergence in style of play and allowed defensive minded players to get to the very top of the game and stay there.

Recently Roger Federer called for surfaces to speeded up once again “It’s an easy fix. Just make quicker courts, then it’s hard to defend,” Federer said. “Attacking style is more important. It’s only on this type of slow courts that you can defend the way we are all doing right now.”

Roger Federer

When I spoke to the ATP spokesman back in February, he clearly gave the view the surfaces were slowed down and carpet phased out because there were too many complaints that the big serve was dominating tennis. That is a pity because my article clearly dispelled the myth that faster surfaces were only dominated by big servers, I pointed out that many baseliners loved the quicker surfaces.

Players like Ivan Lendl won over 30 tournaments on indoor carpet, much more tournaments on one surface than most players win in an entire career. Lendl won 5 year end Masters titles (ATP World Tour) and played in 8 straight finals between 1982 and 1989. Also Lendl won these titles against the likes of John McEnroe, Boris Becker, and Stefan Edberg.

Monica Seles was another player who excelled on indoor carpet, and yet both she and Lendl won multiple titles at the French Open, the slowest surface on tour. Martina Hingis also excelled on indoor carpet. In the mens game, Andre Agassi, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt and Alex Corretja won the year end championships indoors whilst Jim Courier played in finals in 1991 and 1992 and Michael Chang in 1995.
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2012 has been a tremenduous year for Andy Murray: after making the Wimbledon final and clinching Olympic gold, he captured his elusive first Grand Slam title at the US Open, beating Novak Djokovic in the final.

You can now help him become BBC Sports Personality of the year. The voting for the award is by phone and all the details are on the BBC website.
Other contenders include: Ben Ainslie, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, David Weir, Ellie Simmonds, Jessica Ennis, Katherine Grainger, Mo Farah, Nicola Adams, Rory McIlroy and Sarah Storey.

adidas has launched a campaign featuring Snoop Dogg retelling a modern day version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The cautionary tale of Ebenezer Snoop” features the rapper Snoop Dogg and sport stars including the footballer David Beckham, the basketball player Derrick Rose and the tennis players Stan Smith, Ilie Nastase, Andy Murray and Caroline Wozniacki.

Stadium Court at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, FL. was buzzing on Saturday afternoon, as fans piled-in to witness the highly anticipated headline match on day two of the Miami Tennis Cup.

Andy Murray and Andy Roddick took part in an afternoon 12 and under coaching clinic before returning to the locker room to prepare for the day’s spectacle. Roddick, known for his on-court antics, taunted the crowd before serving the first point, which set the tone for what was to come. “Are you tired yet?” he asked Murray after the first game.

Roddick dominated Murray from the start of the first set, as Murray seemed sluggish around the court, compared to a grunting and aggressive Roddick. Roddick won the majority of his first service points, which gave him a home-court advantage and Murray couldn’t seem to gain any type of lead with breaking Roddick’s serve. Roddick broke two of Murray’s service games in the first set to take a 6-2 lead. Despite Murray’s attempts to out-rally Roddick, the retired American gave fans a taste of his old baseline perseverance as he dug even deeper in to the second set to take it 6-3.

Shortly after the tournament’s headline match, the top-ranked American, John Isner, took to the court against the world’s number 11 Nicolas Almagro in the other semi final. The Spaniard edged past Isner 6-3 6-4 in roughly 90 minutes.

The final of the Miami Tennis Cup will feature Andy Roddick against Nicolas Almagro on Stadium Court starting at 5:00pm.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero, John Isner, Nicolas Almagro and Alejandro Falla are taking part this weekend to the first annual Miami Tennis Cup exhibition.

Here are a few pics (credit: Getty Images) and day 1 results:

Nicolas Almagro def Alejandro Falla 6-4 6-1:

Almagro:

I’m quite happy with how I’m playing at the moment and I’m glad to be in the warmth of Miami for the first year of the Miami Tennis Cup. Hopefully the crowds were treated to an enjoyable game


John Isner def Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 6-3:

Isner:

I’m happy to be competing in the Miami Tennis Cup. It’s a good crowd with some top players competing. I’m looking forward to seeing Andy Roddick play Andy Murray and hope to meet one of them in Sunday’s final.



Day two of the Miami Tennis Cup features the tournament’s headline match between the retired Andy Roddick and the reigning U.S Open and Olympic Champion, Andy Murray, currently ranked number three in the world.