The game is slower because of the balls, but not only – Eye of the Coach #23
- 29 September 2020 à 17H17
It's not all about the ballHaving previously used Babolat balls, the French Open switched to Wilson this year. Players have indicated that the Wilson balls are much slower and heavier, making it difficult to hit them through the court. Dan Evans said following his first-round loss to Kei Nishikori that it was "tough to get that ball to go anywhere." Evans said a lot more than that, too! But the balls are not the only factor for the unique conditions.
"The balls are slower," Mouratoglou noted, "but I don't know how much it is because of the ball and how much it is because of the conditions. You can't compare the conditions this year to what we're used to having at Roland-Garros. The temperature is something like 10 degrees lower, which is a lot. You have some matches played at night; it's never happened at Roland-Garros. We know that at night the game is slower. So, slower because it's night; slower because it's much colder; and slower because the balls are slower."
Who is best suited to adapt?Although a lot of players are upset about the ball change, conditions cannot be worse for everyone. It is true that traditional clay-courters who put tons of spin on the ball and spend most of their time on court many meters behind the baseline may not have as much success at this year's French Open. More powerful players who hit the ball flatter may be the only ones who are capable of hitting this ball through the court and generating winners.
"If you hit a kick serve, you realize that the ball is at a very comfortable height for the one who is returning. So, some different types of players will have advantages -- usually it's the typical clay-court players because of the quality of their topspin; this year it's going to be the players who are able take the ball early and are very powerful, because it's much more difficult to hit winners because the game is so much slower."
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