Tennis Australia could be poised to change the surface of the Australian Open from rubber to hard court, according to media reports.
The Age newspaper claim the switch could be made as early as 2008 in a quest to find a "national surface" for all levels of the game in Australia.
The Rebound Ace surface has been criticised - most outspokenly by Australian former world number one Lleyton Hewitt - for holding heat and being sticky underfoot, and for being slow and producing a high bounce.
The surface has been used at Melbourne Park since the Open moved there from Kooyong's grass in 1988, but has not gained universal acceptance in Australia because of its restrictive costs.
Several rival court suppliers are in competition to become the Open's new surface although a surface similar to the hard court of the United States Open is thought to be favoured.
2007 women's champion Serena Williams said this week she would welcome the change.
"I wouldn't be upset at all," said Williams, who won at Melbourne Park for the third time eight weeks ago after upsetting Maria Sharapova in the final. "It would be a lot easier on everyone, to be honest.
"I'm tired of the blisters I get down there," she said. "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."
dunno if it has been posted before