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Discussion Starter #1
New larger balls will be introduced for sure into the ATP at Wimbledon. I personally believe the ladies also will be given larger balls in an effort to slow down the game. What impact will these balls have on the current rankings? On the games of the Williamses, Davenport, Henin, Clijsters, Seles, Capriati, and Hingis? Although I read these oversize balls were to slow down the men's game, nowhere have I read where the women were excluded.
 

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It'll hurt the weaker players most. You're going to see a lot of matches where one player hits NO winners. Every shot they hit will be easy for even a slow 'power player' to catch up to and hit a short angle winner off. And hitting a winner past Williams or Henin or Clijsters will simply be a thing of the past. Slowing down the ball will increase the influence of athletics. A crisp but slow short angle shot will no longer be a winner, but an excuse for say, Clijsters, to come to net.

Slow everything down and only the fastest and most powerful will be able to hit winners at all. And serving? Forget it. Take 10 mph off Lindsay's serve and it's still 100+ mph. Take 10 mph off Martina's 1st serve and she won't even crack 90 mph. And her 2nd serve ....

I can't even discuss that. I don't see how a player like Hingis has a chance if things slow down. Remember which GS's any finesse player has recently won.

OZ '99 Martina<br />WB '98 Jana

OZ and WB are the fastest surfaces among the GS's. (Though OZ isn't THAT much faster than the US.)

Whereas, on the slowest GS surface, Roland Garros, power players have cleaned up since 1998.

RG 01 Jenn<br />RG 00 Mary<br />RG 99 Steffi

(The retrievers have been shut out since RG '98.)

One last thing. Remember what Martina said when they sped up the court at OZ. It actually HELPED her against power players, becasue the pace differential wasn't as severe.

I hope the WTA does NOT follow the ATP in this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good analysis! These larger balls are supposed to slow the linear velocity approximately 10%. Which means Venus and Serena's 120 mph serves will now be 108 mph. Another point is it may allow the heavy hitters to really swing away with more control. Shots that were just long will now fall in. But it will cause more rallies and point construction. I believe this could help Lindsay's and Monica's game by giving them a bit more time to get there and set up. Also it may enable Martina to stay in the points longer. Slowing down the game in this way could also result in more net play.
 

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And then there'll be the injuries. The power players are injured enough as it is, partly due to the nature of their game; larger (and therefore heavier) balls will exacerbate the problem. Lots. Volcana's right (as ever) about the negative effect it would have on non-power players: in the men's game the power differential isn't as marked, and no-one would be particularly favoured by this, and it might make their grass court matches interesting; but in the WTA, there's simply no way it should be countenanced. I still don't agree with introducing it into the ATP at any point - injury problems mostly - but they're a bit insane and ever since they started that really rather dumb Champions Race thang I've been ignoring whatever foolish rules they come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sartrista7 the new balls are supposedly bigger but not heavier. I was thinking the same thing....tendonitis here we come. But the weight of the new larger ball will remain the same. Increased aerodynamic drag is what will slow down the pace.
 
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