Are actual tennis courts suitable for women's tennis?
Modern tennis is born in 1874 and the All England Club held the first Wimbledon tournament in 1877. The court became rectangular and professionals were allowed in world-class tournaments from 1968 – the Open era. Since then, the dimensions of the court haven't changed, as well as the net height. Dimensions that were determined based on men's physical capabilities. Since the average man is higher than the average woman, stronger and faster, we can reasonably ask whether a court created for men is suitable as well for women's players.
Players like Wozniacki or Zheng (and many others) often struggle to hit the ball across the whole length of the court, because of their lack of power. Meanwhile, male's players can hit the ball over a long distance with a disconcerting ease. And how many ATP's players struggle to hit their service ball over the net because of their small size, as it happens to Zheng? Other women's players show no trouble to hit with depth, but I often have the feeling that they need to overhit in order to generate that power, with the result that they lose in control what they gain in power. If the courts were a little smaller, they might be able to play inside their limits. Many women's players seem out of position when they go to the net, perhaps because they lack the time to position themselves. Unable to accelerate as well as their male's counterpart, they still need to run the same distance on court. Once again, a smaller court could benefit them.
It's obvious that modern players are taller and more powerful than ever and players like Sharapova or Kvitova are not as disadvantaged as Zheng or Kirilenko, but even they haven't the physical abilities of a man in terms of natural power or acceleration. Furthermore, if the players are increasingly tall, it is not because women in general have grown, but rather because the smaller players can't penetrate the Tour. How many skilled players are we losing merely on the basis of their size?
So, do you think that women's tennis would be better if the courts were resized to suit the physical abilities of women players? Discuss.
NB: this discussion has a mere academic purpose, since I perfectly know that the various tournaments will not change their courts in oder to suit women's tennis.