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I know as a self proclaimed tennis fan this question may seem a little silly. But im defenetly serious. From what ive heard, clay is suppossed to be the most callenging surface and said to be a slower pace, but I dont really see it. Is there really a difference between surfaces, and what kind of players do those surfaces favor?

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Grass - used to be very fast but has slowed down a hell of a lot.
Clay - different venues have different speeds and bounces but in general it is by far the slowest surface.
Hard - different types of hard court such as the AO and US Open, US plays faster than in Australia. Australia use plexicusion(couple of years ago used rebound ace) and US use decoturf.
 

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Red clay is traditionally the slowest surface, balls bounce high, favours players who use a lot of top spin. Green clay courts are slightly faster than red clay courts.

Grass is supposed to be the fastest outdoor surface (although Wimbledon is much slower cos of the type of grass and balls used), typically the ball skids through and don't bounce high. Tends to favour players who use a lot of slice or hit flat with little spin.

Hard courts are typically medium paced, although the speeds can vary depending on the hard surface. It's supposed to be leveller in that it doesn't matter whether a player hits with a lot of spin or with a lot of slice.

I think that's all right. It's hard to tell with the women cos their styles are similar. I think the court surfaces matter much more in the men's game.
 

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Red clay is traditionally the slowest surface, balls bounce high, favours players who use a lot of top spin. Green clay courts are slightly faster than red clay courts.

Grass is supposed to be the fastest outdoor surface (although Wimbledon is much slower cos of the type of grass and balls used), typically the ball skids through and don't bounce high. Tends to favour players who use a lot of slice or hit flat with little spin.

Hard courts are typically medium paced, although the speeds can vary depending on the hard surface. It's supposed to be leveller in that it doesn't matter whether a player hits with a lot of spin or with a lot of slice.

I think that's all right. It's hard to tell with the women cos their styles are similar. I think the court surfaces matter much more in the men's game.
very true, now all the women play the same way surface only becomes an issue with movement. the men have a set of players who play huge top-spun shots that work great on clay but fail on other surfaces.

clay will always suit fastish players who can slide, hence davenport not even wanting to bother playing on it at the end of her career.
 

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very true, now all the women play the same way surface only becomes an issue with movement. the men have a set of players who play huge top-spun shots that work great on clay but fail on other surfaces.

clay will always suit fastish players who can slide, hence davenport not even wanting to bother playing on it at the end of her career.
Err, she played the Warsaw exho last year, give her some credit :rolleyes:


Yeah I agree the surface changes don't have that much of an effect on the WTA, at least not at the top of the game. In a way it's better than the men's, in a way it's worse. But even on the men's side, with the current "grass courts" at Wimbledon, the surface change is becoming less significant than it used to be.
 

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Err, she played the Warsaw exho last year, give her some credit :rolleyes:


Yeah I agree the surface changes don't have that much of an effect on the WTA, at least not at the top of the game. In a way it's better than the men's, in a way it's worse. But even on the men's side, with the current "grass courts" at Wimbledon, the surface change is becoming less significant than it used to be.
my bad how could i forget her warsaw exho in which she lost to kirilenko IIRC ;)
 

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I never understood how grass could be faster than Clay or even faster than Hardcourt. Usually natural grass isn't very hard, when I try to play tennis on the grass in my garden it is slower than anything else.
 

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I never understood how grass could be faster than Clay or even faster than Hardcourt. Usually natural grass isn't very hard, when I try to play tennis on the grass in my garden it is slower than anything else.
The reason for grass being faster is the fact that the ball doesn't bounce much but skids and remains flat. You will see some players almost kneel when hitting some shots.
 

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Also you can't compare the grass in your garden with the grass at Wimbledon. It has to be incredibly short, otherwise there'd be too much friction...

Indoor Hardcourt (IH) is a little fast than outdoor hardcourt. Carpet used to be really fast but is de facto gone from the tour nowadays.
 

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You will find this discussion on many forums where Mens Tennis is discussed extensively like Tennis Warehouse which I used to be on.

So far this decade surfaces have been slowed to the extent that the mens game is becomming more similar to the woomens game, where the players will virtually play their game (with a few technical alterations) on every surface. So for instance, Nadal has been attempting successfully to play further up the court when he plays on grass whereas on clay he plays a bit further behind the baseline on average - although last year on clay he was playing very aggressively, I was there in Court Centrale in Paris when he thrashed Almagro. I was also there in 2007 when he beat Moya in straight sets but I can safely say in 2008 Nadal was playing much more aggressive.

The 1980s and 1990s saw much more varied surfaces in Tennis. So you will find that not only where there were different types and styles of players, players actually changed their games depending on the surface. You had a lot of carpet courts at the ATP World Championships in Madison Square Garden in New York and then Munich and Hanover. You had rebound ace in Australia which was extremely slow, sticky and high bouncing, grass which was skiddy and fast and Deco Turf II at the US Open which was medium fast (now considered fast since Arthur Ashe stadium court opened in 1997. Then you had tournaments like Miami which always used slow hardcourts, and Cincinatti which always used quick hardcourts similar to the US Open. Then Hamburg has always been considered a slow clay court because of the weather, whereas the clay in Rome is considered faster because of the hot weather - At the French, the hardcourt players generally do better when the weather is hot and the court speeds up. Paris Bercy Masters used to be a fast indoor carpet court up until 2004, it now seems to be a medium paced indoor hardcourt.

And like I said, players used to change their game depending on the surface. Lendl served and volleyed n grass which was against his instincts and he did it reasonably well, Sampras and Becker would stay back on their serve on clay and rally more. On grass Sampras and Becker would serve and volley on both 1st and 2nd serves, on hardcourts and rebound ace, they would serve and volley on 1st serve and stay back on 2nd serve, soometimes staying back on 1st serves too. Ivanesivic always served and volleyed on grass but actually never served and volleyed on hardcourts - so it's quite interesting that the surfaces were so polarised in the 1990s that players were playing different ways depending on the surface - and also back then clay court players like Corretja, Rios, Moya and Albert Costa didn't even bother to turn up to play Wimbledon.

Out of today's players I think Sharapova is a throwback to the past days where she likes grass but doesn't feel comfortable on clay - like Davenport.

The general consensus in forums that discuss mens Tennis seems to be that the surfaces particularly grass has been slowed too much.
 
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