Players debate court speed at Paris Masters

by: | November 09, 2011

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Players have been debating the court speed at the BNP Paribas Masters Paris/Bercy, which has traditionally had one of the tour’s fastest surfaces.

Andy Murray told reporters the courts are "so slow, so much slower than last year," while Andy Roddick added that it's a lot slower than last year. "It certainly makes for an entertaining first five minutes when you hit," he said.

However, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga disagreed, saying that it’s the balls that are slowing things down. "What I would have liked is other balls that would have been better for my game," he said. "The surface is not that slow. It's because of the balls. The players are saying it's the surface but it's not. I played last week (in Valencia) and I couldn't pass Sam Querrey. He's not the fastest player, and I couldn't overrun him. And last week it was worse than here. It's not a measure of the surface. I try to play with the newest balls—as soon as I have a new ball I play a lot better.”"

Roger Federer does not seem to have a problem with it either. "The surface plays a touch different than Basel: It has more drag on the slice, so I can use that a bit more. Movement-wise it's the same thing, which has been a big goal for me over the years, trying to make it happen so that we don't change from a wooden, painted court to a rubber court and then back to a wooden court or vice versa. From that standpoint, I think we're avoiding bigger injuries. It seems it's pretty quick in some ways, but then if the balls get used, they fluff up a lot due to the rough surface and then it can play slow as well."
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