Tennis: Bigger balls to slow big hitters
Saturday 10 July 1999
A majority voted at the 1999 AGM to use three different types of ball, depending on the surface. A slow-pace ball, eight per cent larger than standard, will be used on fast surfaces such as grass or indoor carpet.
A faster, harder and lower-bouncing ball will be used on slow surfaces such as clay. The existing ball will be used on medium-paced surfaces.
The experimental introduction of the balls will begin in January 2000, last for two years, and be conducted from club level to the lower reaches of the Davis and Fed Cups.
The ITF's head of product development, Andrew Coe, said: "This is a great step forward. The new, larger ball will, we hope, produce longer rallies, which, for the recreational player, will mean more time playing tennis. It will also reduce the dominance of the serve, which will make tennis more attractive to spectators. It will also offer greater visibility for players and television viewers."
Critics claim the 130mph service speeds in the men's game have reduced the sport to a contest of strength, rather than one of skill and artistry.
The eighth seed and 1996 champion, Alberto Costa of Spain, defeated the American Vincent Spadea yesterday in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Open in Gstaad.
Costa made quick work of the 24-year-old, needing just over an hour to despatch Spadea 6-3, 6-2.
"The quarter-final is never easy," said Costa, looking for his 10th career title. "I stayed calm and I was very focused, but for me it was a more difficult match than the score showed."
Spadea, a notorious giant-killer, had been expected to be a tough opponent for Costa. The American, ranked 29th in the world, felled the top seed and world No 5 Gustavo Kuerten on his way to the quarter-finals.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...