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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With the help of official statistics provided by IBM, Kevin Mitchell gives his insight into the statistics that matter, and what it really takes to win Wimbledon.

Not much going on these days: my trip to London for the Aegon Masters has been cancelled due to snow, and my trip to Antwerp for the Diamond Games has been cancelled due to my job.
I hope to be luckier next year and to be able to watch tons of live tennis!

Last week’s only tennis event was the double charity matches between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. And how surprising, Federer won the match played in Zurich, Nadal the one played in Madrid. More photos and videos on Gototennisblog.

Recently retired Taylor Dent appeared as a guest judge in Bravo TV show Top Chef All Stars.
This week’s Elimination Challenge brings the chefs to the US Open. The chefs played some kind of culinary tennis: the chefs first split into teams yellow and orange. Then each chef has to prepare a dish, and go head to head with a chef from the other team. Whoever wins that head-to-head earns a point for their team. The first team to four points wins.

Top Chef All Stars - US Open

Top Chef All Stars - US Open

Top Chef All Stars - US Open

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