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the science of grass at Wimbledon

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the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by Tenez on Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:43 pm

I am impressed by the extend those guys make sure we have the best grass over the 15 day tournament.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03zb75h

Tp me it is clear that grass is not any slower than before. the courts are however harder as almost 100% clay (if not baked clay nowadays) and the bounce is therefore probably higher. than in used to be.

The main change happened in 2002 with bigger balls. That is what makes wimbledon closer to Roland Garros. More so in the second week when the grass is gone.

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:54 pm

Thanks, T, interesting clip - Wimbledon grass nerd. wizard

So much knowledge and passion...he talks of it as "a living thing" 

I love Wimbledon's tradition of honouring its reigning champion with the privilege of being the first to play on that perfect grass.

It's such a lovely gesture.

With this deteriorarion he is talking about...he seems to suggest how they control the level of damage, but surely nothing can be done about worn baseline.

I have seen the curled dead grass in week two even though it still looks green.

The bounce in the last few days of the tournament must be same as clay especially in BH corners.

And the speed and spin with which virtually everyone is hitting the ball now...poor grass!

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:36 pm

Well...Thinking of perfect grass you can't avoid mentioning the peRFect grass player...and the horror of when that one-off beauty or grace goes.

I even rememberd Wordsworth's verses...not very scientific, though...

“Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.” 

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by Tenez on Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:12 pm

Nice peom!

The court is still fast the second week but the balls are so big and fluffy that it really make it slow.

I invite everybody to watch the 2001 wimbledon and see how much faster it was then.....especially after the bounce.


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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:34 pm

Wow...what a serve Goran had...how big was his frame?

I know a Croatian guy who still has Goran's racquet...it can't be bigger than 85".

Yes, it does look so much faster, even with Roddick's massive FH swing.

Goran was such a cool player...

Strings have killed tennis. I mean the spin. 

The size and weight of the balls surely just are crying for muscle and steroids.

Men should play with women's balls! Cool

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by Tenez on Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:28 am

Yes a big fan of Goran too.

So annoyed he did not win more Wimbledon finals v Pete!

He was actually a better player than Pete on the day....but overall much less consistent.

Their first encounter at Wimbledon Goran beat Pete convincingly.....but then went on to lose to Agassi....because of emotion again.

He shoudl have beaten Becker there as well when he was just 19. A dead easy volley to lead 2 sets to love......That point broke his mental and career!

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by noleisthebest on Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:20 am

Tenez wrote:Yes a big fan of Goran too.

So annoyed he did not win more Wimbledon finals v Pete!

He was actually a better player than Pete on the day....but overall much less consistent.

Their first encounter at Wimbledon Goran beat Pete convincingly.....but then went on to lose to Agassi....because of emotion again.

He shoudl have beaten Becker there as well when he was just 19. A dead easy volley to lead 2 sets to love......That point broke his mental and career!

Still, a great player, so natural...even the way he played...he just let if flow.
I love how he explained his serve technique once: one, two!

And wore his heart on his sleeve.

That WC Wimbledon on Monday was a triumph of tennis poetry!

Imagine if it didn't happpen.

But it did and he wakes up every day asking himself if it was only a dream.

To win Wimbledon like that is just wonderful: one-two! 100% heart.

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by Veejay on Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:58 pm

thats pretty interesting information,as i have always been led to believe that the grass has been slowed down over the years
i remember tim henman's outrage when the club decided plant the usual grass with some type of rye grass which would make grass court tennis less of the serving fest it was becoming (correct me if i am wrong)
the impact led to serve and volley tennis becomming almost extinct

ok,so here is the billion dollar question
is this tennis' golden era?
4 of the top players of this fading generation has more or less consistently bee at the business end of all 4 majors
all 4 of them have made the finals  of all 4 majors
3 of them have won all 4 majors,2 of them came close to holding all 4 majors and 1 of them actually managed to win all 4 majors in the spance of 12 months
these kinds of achievements were pretty much unheard of back in the 80's ans 90's where  natural clay court players really struggled on grass and vice versa
so whats the reason behind this eras success in comparison to 15+ years ago?
is it because the players today are far more versatile,able to adapt to different conditions  easier or have the conditions chnaged so much that there isnt a big a difference between te surfaces as there was  in previous eras
i personally question if nadal would actually have ever won wimbledon if he played back in the 80''s or 90's or if murray would ever have made a final at rolanf garros back in the 80's or 90's

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by Tenez on Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:25 pm

Veejay wrote:thats pretty interesting information,as i have always been led to believe that the grass has been slowed down over the years
i remember tim henman's outrage when the club decided plant the usual grass with some type of rye grass which would make grass court tennis less of the serving fest it was becoming (correct me if i am wrong)
the impact led to serve and volley tennis becomming almost extinct

ok,so here is the billion dollar question
is this tennis' golden era?
4 of the top players of this fading generation has more or less consistently bee at the business end of all 4 majors
all 4 of them have made the finals  of all 4 majors
3 of them have won all 4 majors,2 of them came close to holding all 4 majors and 1 of them actually managed to win all 4 majors in the spance of 12 months
these kinds of achievements were pretty much unheard of back in the 80's ans 90's where  natural clay court players really struggled on grass and vice versa
so whats the reason behind this eras success in comparison to 15+ years ago?
is it because the players today are far more versatile,able to adapt to different conditions  easier or have the conditions chnaged so much that there isnt a big a difference between te surfaces as there was  in previous eras
i personally question if nadal would actually have ever won wimbledon if he played back in the 80''s or 90's or if murray would ever have made a final at rolanf garros back in the 80's or 90's

What is really bizarre is that in 2001 they adopt 100% rye grass but not a single a player notice it. The courts were as fast as ever and Goran the big server wins it all.

In 2002 same grass just drier conditions....BUT bigger balls and the courts are dead slow witha Hewitt/Nalby final. However all players complain about the courts being slow but none bar Woodford notice it is down to the ball getting bigger. I can spot a very slight change in ball size but those pros did not...unless their sponsors prevented them from mentioning the balls.

The main factor slowing down besides the ball size is actually not the grass but the loam. It is now nearly 100% clay which means when it dries up becomes very hard, hence a higher bounce. It also starves the grass which becomes dry and therefore more grippy. Hence the big difference between first week and second week..noted by all players.

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by luvsports! on Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:43 pm

Great post.
I always thought they brought in Rye in 02 but I googled it and you're right, it came in in 2001.

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by noleisthebest on Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:21 pm

I didn't know men and women played with different balls until Murray complained in one of his matches.

Surely, smaller, lighter balls would not ruin tennis.
Wimbledon was never won by serving trees, anyway.

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Re: the science of grass at Wimbledon

Post by Tenez on Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:38 am

noleisthebest wrote:I didn't know men and women played with different balls until Murray complained in one of his matches.

Surely, smaller, lighter balls would not ruin tennis.
Wimbledon was never won by serving trees, anyway.
In teh US....not at Wimbledon or FO......and in teh US it goes back to help Nadal. Not before.


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