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Marcell
Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:25 PM
THE Australian Open court surface will be as fast for the duration of the 2007 tournament as it was for the second week of this year's event, and quicker Rebound Ace should mean a happier Lleyton Hewitt, who can claim a small but not insignificant victory.

Hewitt was around only for the opening days of the 2006 Open, losing in the second round to Juan Ignacio Chela before departing with his now-annual complaints about the pace of the rubberised hardcourt he maintains has done the Australian players no favours in recent years.

Since then, long-time chief executive and Hewitt adversary Paul McNamee has resigned, leaving new tournament director Craig Tiley to confirm at yesterday's Open launch that the main aim was to provide "uniformity and consistency" when the stadium's match and practice courts were resurfaced next month.

Yet as much as Tiley was at pains to stress the international nature of the event, the integrity of which must be upheld, the courts will be faster at least in the first week of the 2007 tournament, and that will suit Hewitt, the sole Australian man ranked in the top 100 and the beaten finalist in 2005.

Tiley said the Australian Open had been categorised as a "medium to medium-fast court" by the International Tennis Federation, and confirmed Tennis Australia's commitment to providing a surface that fitted that category on all courts for all 14 days of the grand slam tournament, which next year will offer a $20 million prizemoney purse for the first time — up 5 per cent, while ticket prices have risen by an average of 7.8 per cent.

"Where we ended up at the tournament last year, probably the last week is ideally where we want to have the entire tournament this year," Tiley said. "The courts will be the same as they were in the last week and they'll be in the category of medium to medium-fast.

"I think the perception was certainly that the first week was slower than the second week," he conceded, after much probing, while adding that player feedback about the court surface generally had been positive, with many of the top seeds reaching at least the semi-final stage.

Tiley said there had been "ongoing discussions" with Hewitt's management on various issues, including next year's opening Davis Cup tie against Belgium, but insisted international players would be kept equally well informed of court speed developments.

"We're talking to Lleyton's management on a variety of subjects but with this particular one, we've indicated to Lleyton's management team that this is our objective," Tiley said. "The general feedback we've got is, I would say (that he's) pleased with the fact that we are paying attention to this."

tenn_ace
Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:28 PM
all that work and for what? Hewitt chances will still be next to nothing. As GS winner he's done.

LH2HBH
Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:42 PM
I've always thought it was more fair to have the surface slower, since we already have two slams on "fast" surfaces.

The Daviator
Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:44 PM
Hewitt :weirdo:

He expects them to alter the surface to help him win aka cheat, why doesn't he ask to be allowed play with the doubles alleys also, or have a few byes :rolleyes:

Nicolás89
Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:54 PM
poor marti... and all the slower-court players.

WhatTheDeuce
Oct 3rd, 2006, 08:03 PM
I'm sure it'll still be slower than say a US Open hardcourt. :shrug:

alfonsojose
Oct 3rd, 2006, 08:38 PM
Lindsay :D

ASP0315
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:15 PM
Thanks Lleyton. :yeah:

It will help big hitting and big serving players(who don't get a chance to win matches on Clay.) So i agree with the changes.

Lindsayfan32
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:25 PM
I read this and thought this will help Lindsay. The last time the court were sped up was in 2000 and guess who won it. I'm not saying she will win it next year but it won't harm her chances either.

supergrunt
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:29 PM
Thanks Lleyton. :yeah:

It will help big hitting and big serving players(who don't get a chance to win matches on Clay.) So i agree with the changes.

It isn't on clay anyway :) !

Anyways this is stupid. Players who like faster courts have done well on this surface anyways!

Serena- 2-time champ ('03,'05)
Lindsay- 2000 champion
Pete Sampras- 2-time champ ('94,'97)

Maria and Andy are better fast court players and both have been to the semis twice. ANd Vee made the finals once (03) !
Lleyton claims to be a fast court player but so do these players and they and no problem witht he surface!

He just sucks :p !

mike/topgun
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:30 PM
Actually 2000, or 2001 was the last time that AO was quite fast...
I don't mind it faster in 2007 again:p

OZTENNIS
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:30 PM
watching tv last night and they Craig Tilley (Tournament dIRECTOR) said that the courts would be medium to medium-fast. Winner of mens and womens singles gets $A1 281 000.

morningglory
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:38 PM
great! :D
it had always been like clay for the past years... maybe it'll resemble more of an HC now... and don't worry... I'm sure it'll still be leagues slower than USO

ASP0315
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:53 PM
It isn't on clay anyway :) !

Anyways this is stupid. Players who like faster courts have done well on this surface anyways!

Serena- 2-time champ ('03,'05)
Lindsay- 2000 champion
Pete Sampras- 2-time champ ('94,'97)

Maria and Andy are better fast court players and both have been to the semis twice. ANd Vee made the finals once (03) !
Lleyton claims to be a fast court player but so do these players and they and no problem witht he surface!
He just sucks :p !

I know it is not on clay but you feel like playing on clay because winning free points on your serve will be difficult and also the bounce will be similar clay.