Tennis: Bigger balls to slow big hitters

THE INTERNATIONAL Tennis Federation has voted to allow larger tennis balls to be introduced as an experiement to slow down the men's game.

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.

Sport
Romelu Lukaku
sportChelsea striker sends second teasing tweet of the day
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Sport
Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura sprays a line after calling for a free kick for Brazil
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Tax Solicitor

£40000 - £70000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Tax Solicitor An excel...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: This is an exce...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz