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Achernar
Nov 29th, 2012, 01:46 AM
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.

JarkaFish
Nov 29th, 2012, 01:58 AM
Yes, plenty of women have done amazing things on tennis courts.

Cajka
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:04 AM
the size of the courts is not a problem, but the courts are definitely too slow for women's game.

Achernar
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:07 AM
Yes, plenty of women have done amazing things on tennis courts.

Why did you edit your post about Henin :lol: You were right about her. She was amazing. But she was also a prodigy. I am more concerned by the average player.

duhcity
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:27 AM
the size of the courts is not a problem, but the courts are definitely too slow for women's game.

Agreed. Speeding up Hard Courts would do wonders for the quality of Women's tennis

ozza
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:40 AM
Yer, it's the speed of the courts that overall hurts the womens game. The problem is the speed of courts is going to be dictated to by the men thus is not likely to change anytime soon. If a lot of the men are struggling to hit through the courts, it's obvious the women are going to struggle.

There is no real outstanding defender in womens tennis though. You have people who get a lot of balls back, but unlike ATP you don't have anyone who is able to consistently turn defence into attack on a dime.

Wiggly
Nov 29th, 2012, 03:26 AM
The size isn't a problem at all.

WTA only tournaments should speed up the courts.
The rallies would only get better and players would arrive in better conditions for the Slams.

When you have a Berdych who can't hit through some courts, there's no way in hell a WTA player will be able achieve that.

ozza
Nov 29th, 2012, 03:46 AM
The size isn't a problem at all.

WTA only tournaments should speed up the courts.
The rallies would only get better and players would arrive in better conditions for the Slams.

When you have a Berdych who can't hit through some courts, there's no way in hell a WTA player will be able achieve that.

How are you going to go about this though. Majority of big events are joint events? The slams have slowed down too. So players are going to want surfaces that are similar to them in the build up. There is just no viable way for the WTA to actually go about speeding up the courts sadly.

edificio
Nov 29th, 2012, 06:00 AM
Nothing wrong with the size of the court. Just need a faster surface for more entertainment value.

JarkaFish
Nov 29th, 2012, 06:05 AM
I don't watch the tournament but the courts at the Dubai Open are blazing fast, how are the matches there?

Royals.
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:30 AM
Nothing wrong with the court size, it just needs to be faster. :)

dragonflies
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:43 AM
Women are generally shorter, weaker and slower than men due to the differences in the gender biology. As a result, it's a tougher task for them to cover the court or having an advantage on serve comparing to the men.



However, this aspect results in longer, more dramatic shot rallies and getting broken more often when on serve all of which contribute to the appeal of the women game. So the recent courts are just fine for the women. They just play a different ball game on those courts.



Plus having different courts is just too complicated, too expensive and too inconvenience, therefore unnecessary.

Arthur.
Nov 29th, 2012, 08:19 AM
Women are generally shorter, weaker and slower than men due to the differences in the gender biology. As a result, it's a tougher task for them to cover the court or having an advantage on serve comparing to the men.



However, this aspect results in longer, more dramatic shot rallies and getting broken more often when on serve all of which contribute to the appeal of the women game. So the recent courts are just fine for the women. They just play a different ball game on those courts.



Plus having different courts is just too complicated, too expensive and too inconvenience, therefore unnecessary.

I could have not said that better!

Beat
Nov 29th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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.

WTF :lol: you make it sound like gajdosova should be proud of what she usually does.

Dodge
Nov 29th, 2012, 10:48 AM
None of the men who played Wimbledon in 1877 would get a game of today's top women players. Players (and their equipment) have adapted to the size of the courts. As others have mentioned it's the speed of the courts that could be tinkered with, though with more tournaments becoming mixed opportunities to do that are reduced.

Chrissie-fan
Nov 29th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Women are generally shorter, weaker and slower than men due to the differences in the gender biology. As a result, it's a tougher task for them to cover the court or having an advantage on serve comparing to the men.

However, this aspect results in longer, more dramatic shot rallies and getting broken more often when on serve all of which contribute to the appeal of the women game. So the recent courts are just fine for the women. They just play a different ball game on those courts.

Plus having different courts is just too complicated, too expensive and too inconvenience, therefore unnecessary.
Good post. Personally I don't see anything wrong with courts as they are now, but if it was up to me I would like to see more of a mix of court speeds (some faster, some slower and some the same as they are now) because it would give every player equal opportunity to shine even though their particular set of skills may be very different from one another. It would for example during certain parts of the season make it possible to serve and volley again while the tactic has as good as dissappeared now because it would be suicide to do it, except as a surprise tactic every now and then.

There are also some big disadvantages to making the courts faster though. During the Sampras/Krajicek/Ivanisevic era everyone complained that tennis had become pingpong without a table and that all they got to see were aces and unreturnables. And claycourt tennis was so slow that when a point got started and you went to the loo and to the shop around the corner to buy a pack of cigarettes after that they were only halfway through the point by the time you got back.

Patrick345
Nov 29th, 2012, 12:14 PM
They are generally not suitable. These courts were designed for people that on average were like 5´6 and 5´1. Now they are 5´10 and 5´6 or something. All the adjustments made are to fit the men´s game into the changing conditions (height, fitness, technology) and the women have to live with it.

Achernar
Nov 29th, 2012, 12:46 PM
Women are generally shorter, weaker and slower than men due to the differences in the gender biology. As a result, it's a tougher task for them to cover the court or having an advantage on serve comparing to the men.

However, this aspect results in longer, more dramatic shot rallies and getting broken more often when on serve all of which contribute to the appeal of the women game. So the recent courts are just fine for the women. They just play a different ball game on those courts.

Good post. However, as much as I appreciate women's tennis, I wonder if they could produce a better quality if the courts were more suitable for them.


WTF :lol: you make it sound like gajdosova should be proud of what she usually does.

:lol:

Yeah, but I also wrote "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".

That's my concern. Many women can hit with a lot of power, but I think that there is a price to pay for it: loss of control and injuries.

None of the men who played Wimbledon in 1877 would get a game of today's top women players. Players (and their equipment) have adapted to the size of the courts. As others have mentioned it's the speed of the courts that could be tinkered with, though with more tournaments becoming mixed opportunities to do that are reduced.

You have a good point about the technology.

They are generally not suitable. These courts were designed for people that on average were like 5´6 and 5´1. Now they are 5´10 and 5´6 or something. All the adjustments made are to fit the men´s game into the changing conditions (height, fitness, technology) and the women have to live with it.

Yes, as always womens are playing by men's rules. And they live with it. It doesn't mean that its suitable for them, though. Or that they could not produce a better quality of tennis with courts and equipment adapted to their physical abilities. I bet they also play with tennis' balls of the same weight as men, whereas they are less powerful and have a lesser bone density. What's the impact of this on their bodies?

Jajaloo
Nov 29th, 2012, 01:57 PM
Size? Well if the courts were wider and longer then JJ would have 50% less unforced errors :lol:

denny5576
Nov 29th, 2012, 02:57 PM
The problem is men play on women's courts. The courts for the men must be longer, wider, with higher net and shorter distance between the service line and the net. Now the men have a very big advantage

$uricate
Nov 29th, 2012, 07:42 PM
I really want a rhombus-shaped court.

Dominic
Nov 29th, 2012, 08:53 PM
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.

Wozniacki and Zheng tend to hit shorter (I don't agree about Zheng) because it's their style of play. Both have the ability to hit hard and hit the ball across the whole lenght of the court very easily.

If the courts were smaller, the quality would go down a lot and you would see soooo many more unforced errors.
And the there is hardly any difference between the speed of the fastest groundstrokes in the men's game and in the women's game.

Achernar
Nov 29th, 2012, 11:28 PM
Wozniacki and Zheng tend to hit shorter (I don't agree about Zheng) because it's their style of play. Both have the ability to hit hard and hit the ball across the whole lenght of the court very easily.

I have to disagree with you about their style of play. No player deliberately plays short balls when she can do otherwise, unless she plays a volley or a dropshot. When Wozniacki plays continuously short it means that she plays poorly and she places herself in trouble. Normally, she tries to hit with some depth. Something she's unable to do with her forehand but I agree that she can generate power with her backhand. However, most players aren't hitting the whole lenght of the court "very easily" as you said. Their balls often land several feet before the line.

If the courts were smaller, the quality would go down a lot and you would see soooo many more unforced errors.

You might have a point here. It's hard to say since we have never experienced it. Who knows if they would not adapt their playing style accordingly?

And the there is hardly any difference between the speed of the fastest groundstrokes in the men's game and in the women's game.

I could not say since the groundstrokes speed vary a lot from shot to shot (from 50 to 100+ MPH). It seems that Sharapova hits from 60 to 80 MPH, while Djokovic can hit at more than 100 MPH. But there is a blatant lack of data about it. OTHO, we all know that women hit mostly flat while male's players are adding a lot of spin, allowing them much more control over their shots. If the courts were smaller, women's players could possibly hit the ball with more control, since they wouldn't have to generate as much power. This is obviously just a hypothesis.

Chrissie-fan
Nov 30th, 2012, 12:45 AM
I have to disagree with you about their style of play. No player deliberately plays short balls when she can do otherwise, unless she plays a volley or a dropshot. When Wozniacki plays continuously short it means that she plays poorly and she places herself in trouble. Normally, she tries to hit with some depth. Something she's unable to do with her forehand but I agree that she can generate power with her backhand. However, most players aren't hitting the whole lenght of the court "very easily" as you said. Their balls often land several feet before the line.

Girls in the days when they played with wooden racquets that have nowhere near the trampoline effect that todays racquets have and were much heavier at that effortlessly hit the ball deep and most of them didn't have the physique of Wozniacki or most other current players. So the fact that Caroline's shots on the forehand often land short is either a matter of a faulty technique, a tactical choice, or a fear for making errors on that wing - I very much doubt that it has anything to do with the size of the court. She does hit it deep whenever she hits through the ball which unfortunately more often than not she doesn't do..

Achernar
Nov 30th, 2012, 01:38 AM
Girls in the days when they played with wooden racquets that have nowhere near the trampoline effect that todays racquets have and were much heavier at that effortlessly hit the ball deep and most of them didn't have the physique of Wozniacki or most other current players.

I'll have to take your words about the wooden rackets since it dates from a period too far away for me :lol:

However, in the '80s, most shots were landing several feet before the lines. Contrary to the modern players, who are covering most of the court several times every match, at that time they were using maybe 80% of the court, with the exeption of a few shots.

So the fact that Caroline's shots on the forehand often land short is either a matter of a faulty technique, a tactical choice, or a fear for making errors on that wing - I very much doubt that it has anything to do with the size of the court. She does hit it deep whenever she hits through the ball which unfortunately more often than not she doesn't do..

In Caroline's case, its clearly a faulty technique. Obviously it's not due to the dimensions of the court - something I have never suggested. I have explained the reasons for which I think the players would benefit from a reduced court in the open post. It could allow for a better coverage of the court, a better positioning and the possibility to play within their limits in terms of power - whereas I have the impression that several players are currently overplaying. Mind you, I might be alone on it, as the poll is clearly showing.

Start da Game
Nov 30th, 2012, 07:33 AM
which other sport maintains different court dimensions for women?

tammywilson52
Mar 15th, 2013, 12:48 PM
Achernar, thank you for this thread. A really, really interesting argument that I never thought about until now. To me, its very similar to the ladies' tees in golf. Now, the real question is, do you think we'd see better competition amongst the ladies if they played on a smaller tennis court (http://www.decoturf.com/)?

Sam L
Mar 15th, 2013, 01:30 PM
How about this hour-glass tennis court?

http://www.croquetworld.com/images/origins1.jpg

Cosmic Voices
Mar 15th, 2013, 02:28 PM
Create a tennis ball shaped court I say :cheer:

Wiggly
Mar 15th, 2013, 04:02 PM
The currents courts are custom made for the grinders of the ATP.
When Nadal and Djokovic retires, we may have faster courts.

NashaMasha
Mar 15th, 2013, 04:04 PM
They are making slow surfaces slower just to prevent their ATP stars from flopping vs servebots . in WTA nobody is serving constantly 135+ mph , so joint events are completely spoiled by these extraslow surfaces , on which you need to hit 4-5 times touching the lines to score winner.

But at least in this case it's understandable, but who can expalain why WTA in it's own tournaments is using this plexicushion rubbish, slowing down it gradually until balls will be dying on the court's surface not even bouncing

When Nadal and Djokovic retires, we may have faster courts.

ATP will always have new Mugrays

As for court size, it's lame, because Olivier Rochus won't agree with it as well as David Ferrer. And i'm sure Wozniacki is faster than Isner , Errani more fit than Davydenko has ever been and Serena, Sharapova can hit harder than Ferrer

Volcana
Mar 15th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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.
It's not the size of the women that's the problem, it's the size of the men.

The women are around the heights men were in the 60's. They suit the court just fine. But a 6'8" man with today's racquet technology .... the court can't really contain that. As a result, they slow the courts and slow the courts and slow the courts, which doesn't suit a weak hitting woman at all.

Wozniacki can hit winners on grass. And we have what, a whole four tournaments on that surface. And even the grass is slower than it was 30 years ago.

My solution is make the men play with wooden racquets, and speed the courts back up.

Vincey!
Mar 15th, 2013, 07:25 PM
That'd just be stupid to have a difference in courts between men and women :shrug:. The only annoying thing is that the tournaments seem to have slowed their courts to favour longer points on the men side which makes it tougher for women. That being said having different court for men than women would be terrible for the WTA.

Raiden
Mar 15th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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.:spit:

Are you kidding? Don't you know that tennis was invented a century before Steffi Graf brought in baseline power game? So if a woman is incapable of hitting a decent shot from the back of the court, then maybe it's time to play a different game - come to the net or something :shrug:

iWill
Mar 15th, 2013, 07:44 PM
This thread and some of these responses :facepalm:

http://i.imgur.com/NxMau.gif

Temporary0369
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:15 PM
OMG finaaaally someone gets it! YES! We need special women's courts; they should be outfitted with ovens and maybe even a midwife so that the ladies can play points in between cooking and pregnancies.

:rolleyes:

Achernar
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:20 PM
OMG finaaaally someone gets it! YES! We need special women's courts; they should be outfitted with ovens and maybe even a midwife so that the ladies can play points in between cooking and pregnancies.

:rolleyes:

You totally missed the point of this thread, but thanks for your "insight". Try again when you'll be old enough.

Achernar
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:31 PM
:spit:

Are you kidding? Don't you know that tennis was invented a century before Steffi Graf brought in baseline power game? So if a woman is incapable of hitting a decent shot from the back of the court, then maybe it's time to play a different game - come to the net or something :shrug:

I am well aware of it, thank you. And at that time, as well as nowadays, most women can't make good use of the whole court, as the male's players do. Others are powerful enough, but they struggle to keep the ball in court, since they can't control the balls with spin and they have to hit flat, which doesn't allow them to control the power of their shots. Smaller courts could allow them to play within the limits of their strength and speed. This is the idea behind this thread.

I might be wrong, but I have trouble believing that women benefit to play according by rules set for men.

Achernar
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:38 PM
It's not the size of the women that's the problem, it's the size of the men.

The women are around the heights men were in the 60's. They suit the court just fine. But a 6'8" man with today's racquet technology .... the court can't really contain that. As a result, they slow the courts and slow the courts and slow the courts, which doesn't suit a weak hitting woman at all.

Wozniacki can hit winners on grass. And we have what, a whole four tournaments on that surface. And even the grass is slower than it was 30 years ago.

My solution is make the men play with wooden racquets, and speed the courts back up.

I thank you for this thoughtful answer. There is not so many in this thread. I'll take it you're just kidding for the wooden racquets though :lol:

fufuqifuqishahah
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:40 PM
women, like men, adjust to the dimensions provided

Temporary0369
Mar 15th, 2013, 08:49 PM
You totally missed the point of this thread, but thanks for your "insight". Try again when you'll be old enough.

No, I did not miss the point of this thread; I merely noted the sexist subtext. The courts, as have been mentioned, were designed for a man who would have been, on average, 5'8" in the UK or US. For comparison, look at the top 20: exactly seven of the players are shorter than 5'8." Of those seven, four are 5'7 3/4"; 1 is 5'7". The rest of the top 20 ranges from 5'8" to over 6' with the majority being at or above 5'10".

What's further, if you want to compare 'strength' look at Serena, Stosur, Sharapova, Errani (need I continue?) and compare them physically to a man playing in the 60s. Oh and don't forget the incredible developments in racquet technology that have now allowed women and men to hit harder than any generation ever before.

Thanks so much though for your response.

Oh, and PS, in response to the other comment you posted: just because so few people agree with you doesn't mean that there are so few thoughtful responses.

NashaMasha
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:03 PM
actually if size of the court is increased to the doubles lines, the likes of Serena, Sharapova will be streamrolling through the rest of player with 6-0, 6-0 score , because any of their returns will be unreachable , it will be almost impossible to defend against their 3-shots game and angles which they can produce.

If courts are made narrower , it will also help the likes of Sharapova, who will be standing in the middle , one step left and one step right will cover the whole court .... When such players are set up for shots they are not missing and will easily outhit opponents

current courts are pretty balanced in size, but they are too slow for women, actually even slow for men, because Murray-Djokovic at USO was pure perversion of tennis... When points are being finished by top players predominantly by UE or forced errors it's not normal and shouldn't be normal ever in tennis.

Achernar
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:08 PM
No, I did not miss the point of this thread; I merely noted the sexist subtext. The courts, as have been mentioned, were designed for a man who would have been, on average, 5'8" in the UK or US. For comparison, look at the top 20: exactly seven of the players are shorter than 5'8." Of those seven, four are 5'7 3/4"; 1 is 5'7". The rest of the top 20 ranges from 5'8" to over 6' with the majority being at or above 5'10".

What's further, if you want to compare 'strength' look at Serena, Stosur, Sharapova, Errani (need I continue?) and compare them physically to a man playing in the 60s. Oh and don't forget the incredible developments in racquet technology that have now allowed women and men to hit harder than any generation ever before.

Thanks so much though for your response.

Oh, and PS, in response to the other comment you posted: just because so few people agree with you doesn't mean that there are so few thoughtful responses.

Ok for the quality of the answers, I reread the older ones and most of them were serious. My bad. It's not really important for me whether people are agreeing with my opinions, my goal is to create serious and interesting discussions.

And this thread is certainly not sexist and was not created for the purpose of discriminating women.

In answer to your arguments, a male of 5'8" would normally be stronger and faster than a woman of the same height. As for the technological innovation, it allows the women players to hit harder however, as a said, they lack the capability to control this power with spin. The 40 + UE that we witness in every match by each player is a testament of it.

NashaMasha
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:45 PM
courts at Flushing Meadows are considered to be medium fast..... What do you think after watching this point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bac4866_UCI#t=567s

Marcoo
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:53 PM
Well If i think about it now, I can see some difficulty in women tennis. The men's one is more spontan, is it actually because of the courts ? I think so :)

Sam L
Mar 15th, 2013, 09:56 PM
I thank you for this thoughtful answer. There is not so many in this thread. I'll take it you're just kidding for the wooden racquets though :lol:

No, he's not. You haven't been here long enough to know Volcana. :lol:

Lucyxx
Mar 16th, 2013, 01:40 AM
You could make the case that a:

1) Slower men's court would even the play

and

2) Faster women's court would even the play