LEGENDS WHO ARE playing in the second edition of the Champions Tennis League (CTL) called for faster courts and balls, like the ones in the 90s to speed up the game and provide more competition.
Thomas Muster, a former world no.1, led the charge when he said that the balls have gone softer and fluffier, making it easier for players and giving them more opportunities to reach the ball.
Similarly, Greg Rusdeski, pointed out that even the grass length in Wimbledon has been changed. According to him the courts have gone from medium to slow, while the balls have gone from slow to slower. This has killed competition as now there are just 2 or 3 players who can win Grand Slams.
In the 1990s, both Rusedski and Richard Krajicek were known for their exploits on the faster courts and heavily relied on their serve and volley game. On asked whether both players would continue to bank on their favoured style of play in the CTL, Krajicek said,
“Yes, Greg and I, and a few others did a lot of serve and volleying on the tour and it certainly helped us on the grass courts at Wimbledon. But we would also want to try and rally a few balls from the baseline and see how it goes.”
The Brit, Rusedski added,
“The conditions during our playing days were more favourable for servers and volleyers. Today, because of the change in the balls and the courts becoming a little slower, it’s difficult to rely on this pattern of play at all times. Also, at Wimbledon the organizers have chopped the grass a little, from 8mm to 7mm.”
Sure, the game has evolved. But if you want to see some old-school, picture-perfect volleys, Mumbai’s MSLTA courts is the place to be in.