Courts will be up to speed - US Open officials
Date published :
31 Aug 2011 - 21:30:23
Stung by some grumbling that the Flushing Meadows courts were playing slower than usual, US Open officials say they expect the courts to play faster as the tournament goes on.
Five-time champion Roger Federer was the most outspoken in regretting what he felt was a significantly slower speed than the New York hardcourts had offered in the past.
"It's definitely slower," Federer said after his first-round victory over Colombian Santiago Giraldo on Monday night on Arthur Ashe stadium. "It takes some getting used to. You're not getting as many free points maybe with your serve.
"The issue for me is maybe did they make a mistake," Federer said. "Maybe they did paint the court a bit too rough.
"It's just unfortunate I think that maybe all the Slams are too equal. I think this should feel very different to the Australian Open, and now I don't feel it really does."
The US Tennis Association, in a statement made available on Wednesday, said the actual surface hadn't changed. But rainy weather conditions since their annual resurfacing in August meant the courts have been used and power washed less often.
"Both of these factors have resulted in the courts playing a little slower than usual," the USTA said in a statement.
"We expect the court surface to speed up as the courts get more play throughout the tournament as they traditionally have."
Mardy Fish, the top-ranked American in the men's field, said before the tournament he had noticed a difference, but he thought some of that might be due to high humidity.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal said he didn't feel much difference after a tough 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 7-5 first-round victory over Andrey Golubev. He suggested that a player's impression of how fast the courts are is, at least in part, subjective.
"I see the court very similar than last year," he said. "That's my feeling. But everybody has a different feeling. When you arrive at one tournament, for one court the court is very fast, for another court the court is not that fast.
"It depends how you're playing and your feelings. And your feelings are not the same every year. So your opinion on how you see the court depends how you're moving, how you're playing."