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January 17, 2007



Isn't this yet another valid reason to delay the Australian Open to a little later in the year?


Or how about getting rid of Rebound Ace? I can't think of too many players who would pick that as their surface of choice during the zenith of the Aussie summer. There would be no shame in the AO switching to Deco-Turf or something similar to the U.S. Open. Why not have the first and last Grand Slams of the season contested on a fairly neutral, reliable surface, with the specialty surface Slams in the middle?


I agree that they should push the AO further into the season. Have it in February. The weather might be a little more tolerable and plus it could be kind of a lead-in to the two big Masters Series hard court tournaments in the U.S. in March.

Another big factor is it would give the players a little longer offseason. After the grind of playing through the whole year they would have more time to recharge the battery and they'd have more time to get to Australia and prepare for the AO


I think getting rid of Rebound Ace would be a great start. Not sure if we should be changing it to US Open's hard courts, cause those are too pretty injury-prone compared to grass/clay. But at this point it would be an improvement.


I agree with all of you and think that pushing the AO back would be a good idea. But, it's not going to happen, I'm afraid. "Australian universities usually have 2 semesters with one starting around February/March and the second starting around July/August". I understand the school-year also follows suit, more or less. And yes, the youth are the biggest consumers of Aussie sports marketing.


Exactly, Peacemaster, it's just not going to happen so I'm not even bothering to consider it. Surface change seems like something that can be done. Will it be done in the next few years? I doubt that, unless global warming hits like crazy. ATP(?) already put out a line about how "players are their foremost concern" which I think is where it stops.


ps. I loved how Agassi played that answer in the interview, making it about "the fans". He knows they won't change it just for the players, but if enough fans complain they got sick and dehydrated, they might.


Remember at the end of January the kids in Australia go back to school, therefore they would be losing some attendance to fans who will buy a ground pass and watch the action on the big screen TV to kill a day during break.


Well no-one's addressing Hawkeye so I will. I could not agree more with Roger. It should go - it's just introducing errors of a mechanical nature instead of a human one and players try to get an overrule just because they can - and he's right, the umpires should be doing that job.

and I love that he is also not happy with the dreaded round robin format that is coming to many tourneys this year and which I hate even more than Hawkeye. Tennis has always been an individual, single elimination game and these two things are really damaging that.

If only they would listen to Roger, I guess they think he doesn't know anything....

BTW regarding the surface, I was just thinking tonight how much I miss seeing the old grass courts at Melbourne..


Darren Cahill brought up a good point about changing surfaces during Hewitt's second-round match.

I guess all the courts that the juniors come up playing on are all Rebound Ace. Rebound Ace is everywhere in the country. With it being the surface at the AO, the Australian Tennis Association adopted it as the country's surface of choice.

If the AO was to tear out the Rebound Ace and put in more of a hard court surface, then what's the good of having all those Rebound Ace courts. Cahill said it'd be a huge financial undertaking to start over with a different surface and probably won't happen.


This sounded more to me like baseless whining from the world no. 1. Must be his no. 1 ego getting bruised when he "gets embarassed" by Hawk-eye. I mean how does he know the umpires are now hide behind the new technology let the players do the work?


Erm, how do you know they don't?


What does hawkeye have to do with getting rid of Rebound Ace!, and who would pick any court in the Zenith of Australian summer. (Grass or Clay Maybe??) Well they did change to US Open hard courts.. or almost the same (See a technical article from their website. Incidentally Rebound Ace Pro seems to be in the same list as both Decoturf, and Plexicushion. (Does that mean we ditched an Austalian alternative for an American product? Wow!)

Any tennis court radiates heat from the surface when in the sun all day, and unless they allow better ventilation (one of the major problems for heat in the first place) It will probably still be the same cooker as it has always been. Either that or close the roof! Lately everyone seems to bag Rebound Ace, well It was a great surface as far as most players were concerned up until the last few years, with some particularly vocal concerns starting when Tennis Australia slowed down the speed of courts. (Funny it wasn't so much the heat that sparked its demise)

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