Tennis Prose




Jun/22

22

Sandgren Calls For Court Speed Variety

By Scoop Malinowski

There is no doubt or argument against the belief that pro tennis today is too monotonous with the vast majority of players all using baseline grinding styles where almost every point is essentially a repitition over and over of the same kind of rallies, generally cross court.

Doubles actually showcases more variety and different kinds of actions and shots than singles.

A possible, rarely discussed reason for this evolution of tennis was mentioned this week by an American veteran and winner of one ATP singles title.

“Tennis needs different court speeds again so other styles can flourish. Every match is basically the same,” said Tennys Sandgren.

The 30 year old Sandgren would know what tennis needs and lacks, as he has played over 100 ATP matches and two Grand Slam quarterfinals at the Australian Open (2018 and 2020).

Stefan Kozlov told me a few years ago at the Newport Hall of Fame Championships, just after he played the Wimbledon boys junior final vs Noah Rubin, that the Wimbledon grass courts “played like hard courts.”

Surely this phenomenon of mostly all ATP courts playing “basically the same” as Sandgren noted, is not by accident and actually by design. And so it makes you wonder how much more diverse and interesting the ATP and WTA would be if the establishment follows Sandgren’s astute recommendations to change and vary court speeds, so different players and different styles can prosper and thrive.

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1 comment

  • catherine · June 23, 2022 at 5:54 am

    I imagine the change in racquet technology was the major factor in ushering in the age of baseline grinding.

    Mind you, in the days when serve/volley ruled there were plenty of complaints about boring styles and monotonous matches.

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