TRIPLE champion Serena Williams yesterday urged Australian Open organisers to dump Rebound Ace in favour of hardcourt.
Former world No. 1 Williams welcomed the probable replacement of rubberised Rebound Ace as the Open's surface, a move exclusively reported in the Herald Sun almost two months ago.
Tennis Australia is reviewing all aspects of the 2007 Open, including the performance of the courts.
In use at the Open since it replaced grass in 1988, Rebound Ace has come under heavy criticism because of its heat reflection, variation in pace and tackiness in extreme conditions.
Williams, who surged to her third Melbourne Park triumph with a stunning straight-sets triumph against Maria Sharapova eight weeks ago, was excited at the prospect of a new surface.
"That would be awesome," Williams said after her 6-1 6-4 win against Czech Nicole Vaidisova in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open yesterday.
"I mean, I'm tired of the blisters I get down there (Melbourne). It's just too much. The Rebound Ace kills your feet. My feet are still suffering from that.
"Every year I go there, I get bad blisters and I'm sore.
"And then I tape my ankles because you always twist them because it's like playing on rubber.
"I can't complain because I've done pretty well there, but I do well on hard surfaces.
"I wouldn't be upset at all. It would be a lot easier on everyone, to be honest."
TA chief executive Steve Wood and tournament director Craig Tiley revealed in January Rebound Ace would be part of a comprehensive tournament review.
It is understood several rival court suppliers are now locked in competition to become the Open's new surface.
Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis and Pat Rafter are among Australian players to criticise Rebound Ace during its 20-season tenure.
TA is looking not only at the Open surface issue, but also the matter of finding the best court on which to develop the nation's next champions. Several coaches have called for the removal of Rebound Ace as a teaching surface.
A hardcourt similar to the US Open's Deco Turf II remains the favourite to become the new surface.
Williams will play 14th seed Shahar Peer, of Israel, who booked her place in the final four with a 6-0 6-3 rout of Italy's Tathiana Garbin.
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