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FairWeatherFan
Jul 8th, 2008, 05:23 AM
In recent years the speed of the grass court surface used at the Wimbledon Championships has been decreased significantly and many tennis fans, like myself, have been displeased by the change. In order for those fans so inclined to advocate an increase in the court speed, I have created an online petition to the All England Club and the LTA to increase the speed of the grass surface.

The petition statement is as follows.


To: The All England Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) and The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

This is a petition from tennis fans for the AELTC/LTA to increase the speed of the grass courts used at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships to a greater level than that used in 2008.

The signatories of this petition disapprove of the significant reduction in court speed that has gradually occurred at the Championships over the past five or so years.

This reduction has primarily had two negative effects. It has firstly led to a decrease in the amount of play that is traditionally associated with the Championships; serve-volleying and net-attacking play is now seen only rarely. Interrelated with this, the style of tennis played at Wimbledon has been brought into greater uniformity with the other grand slams. The signatories of this petition believe that this is pernicious to the sport of a whole, for it is largely the differences between the grand slams that constitute their greatest strength.

There has been much speculation in the media and among tennis fans that the reduction in court speed is to reduce the success of big servers on grass and thus to improve the quality of play. The signatories to an extent sympathise with this objective. However, they hereby argue that the reduction has been excessive and needs to an extent be reversed for the reasons stated above.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned


You can sign the petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/fastgras/petition.html

The LTA/All England Club of course have public contact details and I will submit it to them if it gains a credible amount of signatures. (I will also be publicising this on other tennis discussion groups).

Of course, there would exist justifiable cynicism on the effectivness of online petitions such as this, however I believe if it attains a significant number of signatures it may have some effect.

Thanks for your support.

Apoleb
Jul 8th, 2008, 05:27 AM
Signed.

Vincey!
Jul 8th, 2008, 05:31 AM
Signed! Good idea, does the grass is at least faster than the hardcourts nowadays??

kwilliams
Jul 8th, 2008, 05:33 AM
I'm only the 11th person! Good luck, you have a long way to go.

KoOlMaNsEaN
Jul 8th, 2008, 06:53 AM
Up to 42!

John.
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Signed - 115 now

mckyle.
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:08 PM
*expecting all signatures to be from Fed fans*

TheBoiledEgg
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Michael Stich was calling it "Green Clay" all thru tourn and i agree with him

the way the ball bounced, thats not grass :o

Dav.
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Signed. Thanks, great idea.

QuicKyMonSter
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Signed.

ladydiana
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:55 PM
I've always believed they purposely started slowing down the grass courts when Venus and Serena was winning all of the tournaments in singles and doubles at Wimbledon. This was their way of "leveling the playing field" because the other girls were having a hard time winning.


Also because the players from Spain and Russia (Marat) was complaining about the courts being too fast. So to get them to start playing at the all England Club they made changes in the grass. It's a shame because the fast courts are the best.

Dawson.
Jul 8th, 2008, 12:58 PM
i want nadal to win wimbledon for many years to come, so i will not sign your petition :)

NotTheStereotype
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Signed. Really good idea. We do not need a second Roland Garros..I hate that GS with a passion...clay matches are such a bore to me...

BuTtErFrEnA
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:06 PM
signed ;)

In The Zone
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Signed! The bounce is ridiculously high. The Australian Open and US Open are both faster. :o

sammy01
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:20 PM
no way am i signing, i dont want to go back to 10 years ago where sampras, goran and greg ect had average rallies of 2 shots in a match. also the women need more time usualy to prepare for the groundstrokes as they have big backswings to generate extra power.
people who have signed this probably dont remember the bore tennis was on grass 10 years ago where mens serve was so dominant you could just sit and watch the tie breakers and not the rest of the match.

thrust
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:40 PM
NO THANKS.

I prefer the slower courts.
ME TOO! Especially for the Men.

WF4EVER
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:42 PM
Michael Stich was calling it "Green Clay" all thru tourn and i agree with him

the way the ball bounced, thats not grass :o

Brad Gilbert said it was as slow as red clay, lol.

If it's going to be that slow they may as well change the name to green clay.

I think your petition is justified. There was a time when three of the four slams were played on grass, not so? It is only fair that people should be able to win on all types of surfaces.

You know what's weird? The people who complain about the domination of Pete on grass or Federer on grass do not complain about the domination of Nadal on clay which is way worse because clay is played on almost year round and there is only opportunity to play three weeks on grass between RG and the end of Wimby. That is ridiculously unfair.

I hate the Sampras era because the points were so short but Wimby has gone to the extreme now. Nadal has a lot to thank them for.

bjurra
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:52 PM
I've always believed they purposely started slowing down the grass courts when Venus and Serena was winning all of the tournaments in singles and doubles at Wimbledon. This was their way of "leveling the playing field" because the other girls were having a hard time winning.


Also because the players from Spain and Russia (Marat) was complaining about the courts being too fast. So to get them to start playing at the all England Club they made changes in the grass. It's a shame because the fast courts are the best.

Slowing down the grass had absolutely nothing to do with womens tennis. Nothing.

bjurra
Jul 8th, 2008, 01:57 PM
If the courts were that incredibly slow, why did Nadal and Federer hold serve for 39 straight games?? Someone please explain that!

Edward.
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:00 PM
Signed.

The catastrophe of last Sunday should never happen again.

FairWeatherFan
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Thanks so much for the signatures and positive responses.

To those who have said they like the present speed, you are entitled to your opinion and thank you also for contributing to the debate. But can I just add, to those who say that it would be a mistake to increase the speed of the grass such that there is 'serve-fests': well, if you read the petition statement it does say that slowing down the grass to reduce the effectiveness of big serving was never a totally bad idea. The problem is that it has come too far. We are now at a point where there is no serve-volleying or other 'traditional play' on grass at all, and there's very little difference between Wimbledon and the other slams. I think it would be hard to justify that as being desirable.

~170 signatures in the ~12 hours the petition has been online which is a great response.

RenaSlam.
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:08 PM
Signed.

Best of luck.

Pheobo
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:40 PM
Signed!

LudwigDvorak
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Make it slower, Elena clearly enjoys the slower grass. :hearts:

Lunaris
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:45 PM
for it is largely the differences between the grand slams that constitute their greatest strength.
This is the most important part of the text. Career Grandslam used to be so hard to win mainly because the differences among the surfaces. Nowadays it's still hard, but not as much. On WTA surface is basically a non-factor as it changes the match-up only slightly and doesn't force players to adjust their game.

I understand people who say that they are bored with serve and volley style, but instead you get one-dimensional ballbashers or counterpunchers. Imo when players like Mauresmo or Petrova are on and use serve and volley it's a very pleasant change.

sammy01
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:48 PM
This is the most important part of the text. Career Grandslam used to be so hard to win mainly because the differences among the surfaces. Nowadays it's still hard, but not as much. On WTA surface is basically a non-factor as it changes the match-up only slightly and doesn't force players to adjust their game.

I understand people who say that they are bored with serve and volley style, but instead you get one-dimensional ballbashers or counterpunchers. Imo when players like Mauresmo or Petrova are on and use serve and volley it's a very pleasant change.

lol people have such short memories it wasn't that many years ago 3 of the 4 slams where played on grass, so how was that more difficult having 3 same surfaces than today with 4 different surfaces?

dal
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:50 PM
signed. 183 now

Doc
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:51 PM
The petition is an excellent idea.

At the moment the grass is just like a hard court with bad bounces. Whoever decided to slow it down was an idiot. And whatever grass they now use seems to die off by the third day anyway.

You'll need to clean up the petition before you send it in though.

And send a copy to the Times, Guardian, Express etc, when it is finished. It might make a story.

:devil: Why not send a copy to federer etc?

sammy01
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:55 PM
The petition is an excellent idea.

At the moment the grass is just like a hard court with bad bounces. Whoever decided to slow it down was an idiot. And whatever grass they now use seems to die off by the third day anyway.

You'll need to clean up the petition before you send it in though.

And send a copy to the Times, Guardian, Express etc, when it is finished. It might make a story.

:devil: Why not send a copy to federer etc?

people have such short memories, look back to the 80's and there not a blade of grass left on centre court, the grass last much longer these days, especialy given that most players play on the baseline so that is getting used 95% of the time, whereas even if all players s&v now it would still only be 75% play at the net because you always serve and return on the baseline and returners will generaly play on the baseline even if net players.

Lunaris
Jul 8th, 2008, 02:57 PM
lol people have such short memories it wasn't that many years ago 3 of the 4 slams where played on grass, so how was that more difficult having 3 same surfaces than today with 4 different surfaces?
We are in the Open era. ;)

sammy01
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:01 PM
We are in the Open era. ;)

they were still playing on grass at the oz open untill 87 weren't they that was only 20 years ago!

Craig.
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:05 PM
Signed. Great Idea. Though I doubt this'll really change anything.

Lunaris
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:12 PM
they were still playing on grass at the oz open untill 87 weren't they that was only 20 years ago!
Aussie Open was insignificant at that time. Anyway it was always mainly about Wimbledon and RG. When looking at the best players' careers (Lendl, Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Connors, Wilander etc) they usually miss either Wimbledon or RG in their collection because these two surfaces used to be each other's counterparts with hardcourt somewhere between them, which isn't the case nowadays. Even in times when the AO was not taken seriously and most top players skipped it every year there were three other Slams with absolutely different surfaces, which is still better than what we have now.

sammy01
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:15 PM
Aussie Open was insignificant at that time. Anyway it was always mainly about Wimbledon and RG. When looking at the best players' careers they usually miss either Wimbledon or RG in their collection because these two surfaces used to be each other's counterparts with hardcourt somewhere between them, which isn't the case nowadays. Even in times when the AO was not taken seriously and most top players skipped it every year there were three other Slams with absolutely different surfaces, which is still better than what we have now.

well not realy in the 70's the us open was played on grass and har tru (green clay) so it was very similar to either wimbledon or the french for the best part of a decade!

iPatty
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:19 PM
If it means Federer will stop winning Wimbledon, I am perfectly fine with them slowing down the grass. :devil:

LudwigDvorak
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:20 PM
:yeah:

Good god people have short memories here, although I guess the men were to blame.

Dig yourself out a copy of a men's Wimbledon match from 10 years ago. Don't tell me you won't be crying in your beer after 4 hours of 3 aces every service game, 2-stroke rally's and every set decided on a tie-break. The organisers had to do something to improve the spectacle. Arguably they might have gone too far in slowing down the two main showcourts. I was reminded of this serve-dominated dullness watching the men's doubles final the other day. It is poignant that matches from that era are rarely re-shown during current extended rain-breaks.

Funny you mention that. Tennis Channel in America showed the '78 women's final and there were plenty of decently long rallies, I'd say the longest they ever got were around twelve-to-fourteen, but that's also generally what I saw at Wimbledon this year. I'd see "LONGEST RALLY: 14 STROKES" and it was no different thirty years ago--the grass just had more bad bounces and you'd need to slice more to stay in a rally. Despite saying this, it IS clear the grass is slower now, but for the women, I don't see a big change.

I know the men hit the ball harder and with more topspin, but the tennis, the strokes, bounce, everything seems so different on their side. Puzzling to me.

Lunaris
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:31 PM
well not realy in the 70's the us open was played on grass and har tru (green clay) so it was very similar to either wimbledon or the french for the best part of a decade!
You are right, but I think you got my point
Try to focus on the 2nd paragraph of my initial post instead. I personally consider it more important.

timafi
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:32 PM
if it means that the king of spin(Nadal) won't make a final ever again,I'll gladly sign:yeah::lol::lol:
anyone who heard Amelie's acceptance speach in 2006 said just that so it's nothing new really:shrug: but if it can help:devil:

sweetpeas
Jul 8th, 2008, 04:12 PM
You got it!213 doing good!

sfselesfan
Jul 8th, 2008, 04:14 PM
I have a better petition.

BUY SOME F-KING LIGHTS!!!!

Thanks,

SF

sammy01
Jul 8th, 2008, 04:22 PM
I have a better petition.

BUY SOME F-KING LIGHTS!!!!

Thanks,

SF

what for wimbledon, what would be the point? theres a thing called gutation (dew) which at about 9.30 happens to grass, as the sun sets the stomata start to close and therefore the grass stops transpiring (the plant loses water through photosynthesis as the only way it can absorb canbordioxide is through water) so when the plant (grass) stops photosynthesising the water its collecting from the ground is more than it needs so it has it rid itself of it hence gutation on the tips of grass (dew) which makes the grass slippery. my local club had grass courts untill 2 years agon and at about 9.30 they became very dangerous to play on!

xan
Jul 9th, 2008, 12:20 AM
I will sign. "For sure".

xan
Jul 9th, 2008, 12:22 AM
420 signatures now.

LeonHart
Jul 9th, 2008, 12:23 AM
No! I like the slower Grass :)

Edward.
Jul 9th, 2008, 12:50 AM
No! I like the slower Grass :)

You're a moron, so that comes as no surprise.

Craig.
Jul 9th, 2008, 12:51 AM
You're a moron, so that comes as no surprise.

:lol:

You crack me up. Always.

harloo
Jul 9th, 2008, 01:03 AM
What really surprised me was how high Nadal's balls were bouncing. It was like he was at Roland Garros. Back in the day, balls skidded off the line and high bounces weren't a factor. It was those nuances that made Wimbledon stand out from Roland Garros. I'll be signing because I think whoever changed the surface completely went overboard.

Atrixo
Jul 9th, 2008, 01:09 AM
I think the organizers are smoking crack or something. What's the point in having a grass playing surface if it DOESN'T play like grass at all. :smash:

And I second that call for having some stadium lights. OMG, get with the 21st century. It would be freaking hilarious if they forgot to build lights to go with the movable roofs they're constructing. Though, I wouldn't put it past those morons. :lol:

Robert-KimClijst
Jul 9th, 2008, 01:18 AM
Signed. ;)

Dave.
Jul 9th, 2008, 01:18 AM
Yup. What's the point of having a grass season if it's the same as hardcourt. I like that grass makes (or used to) players change their styles.

VS Fan
Jul 9th, 2008, 02:40 AM
My opinion:
Changing court speeds and the weight of the balls used in order to influence the game is abhorent! It is like cheating to make the lesser skilled players on the surface more competetive.
I think that Pete Samparas success on this surface was the main cause, and of course Venus and Serena Williams. Don't even talk to me about racquet technology. Everyone has access to the same raquets. Increasing ball weights can severely injure players, yet they still do it in the name of more competetive games.
Wimbledon: Please go back to the grass and the ball weights that were used in the 1990's and let the players hone their skills to win.
I think that ball weights should be uniform for ALL tourneys on ALL surfaces. Can you imagine Football or Basketball official size and weight varying from game togame??
My 10 cents: (inflation)

FairWeatherFan
Jul 9th, 2008, 03:35 AM
You'll need to clean up the petition before you send it in though.

I will fix up punctuation errors like that under-capitalisation in the title, but of course I can't change the actual petition statement now that people have signed.

~490 signatures in the first day of the petition's life. Obviously the rate will drop off now that it has initially hit forums, so make sure you tell your friends! :bounce:

DA FOREHAND
Jul 9th, 2008, 04:07 AM
This is the most important part of the text. Career Grandslam used to be so hard to win mainly because the differences among the surfaces. Nowadays it's still hard, but not as much. On WTA surface is basically a non-factor as it changes the match-up only slightly and doesn't force players to adjust their game.

I understand people who say that they are bored with serve and volley style, but instead you get one-dimensional ballbashers or counterpunchers. Imo when players like Mauresmo or Petrova are on and use serve and volley it's a very pleasant change.

I agree, i'm a baseliner, and love to watch great rallies, but I do miss seeing players chipping and charging, or simply attacking the net.


Wimbledon's grass surface sholdn't be the only diff. from the other slams. Speed up the courts and let the players make the adjustments. We will have more well rounded players and the game will be better for all fans.

Shvedbarilescu
Jul 9th, 2008, 07:02 AM
Honestly I don't miss the level of aces and I couldn't give a damn about the big servers. But it is not just the big servers who suffer by the slowing down of the grass. The effect of slice, the most beautiful and traditionally the most effective shot on grass, is very much negated by the higher bounce. Sure, there are a few skilled players who can still hit slices that only bounce four or five inches but 10 years ago these shots would only be bouncing two or three inches. And this difference makes it that much harder to approach the net, whether off the serve, on a groundstroke or even off a return. How i miss the ol' chip and charge tactic. :awww:

Of course I support this petition. I very much agree with folks like Lunaris that the game becomes far greater when we have variety and distinction between the surfaces. I like my grass fast and low bouncing and my clay slow. :rocker2:

Rod the Bama
Jul 9th, 2008, 07:41 AM
I`ve also signed. I like to see a return of fast paced tennis at the All England Club. I don`t know about y`all, but i`ve had enough of bad slowed down tennis at Wimbledon.

madamtennis
Jul 9th, 2008, 07:55 AM
signed;) 539 we have now.let them know that we don't need 2 clay court slams:fiery:

StephenUK
Jul 9th, 2008, 09:43 AM
I've always believed they purposely started slowing down the grass courts when Venus and Serena was winning all of the tournaments in singles and doubles at Wimbledon. This was their way of "leveling the playing field" because the other girls were having a hard time winning.


Also because the players from Spain and Russia (Marat) was complaining about the courts being too fast. So to get them to start playing at the all England Club they made changes in the grass. It's a shame because the fast courts are the best.

Not another Williams conspiracy theory! :help: And of course it's been a big success, hasn't it! :rolleyes:

The reason is that 90s Wimbledon men's tennis was utterly dull with those terminally boring Samprazzzzzzzzzz wins. There were too many matches where there were no rallies and won by big servers who had nothing else to their games. TV viewers were switching off in droves - good for the women's game where you could still see rallies but bad for tennis overall.

I am so pleased that they changed the grass because the tennis has been so much better to watch. The horrible prospect of Andy Roddick having won Wimbledon instead of Federer all these years has been forestalled thank goodness. I would set up a counter petition if I could really be bothered!

lympyisthebest
Jul 9th, 2008, 09:45 AM
Signed #556 ;)