In case you havent noticed, we happen to be in an era with 4 fantastic men players who have dominated the past decade or so, we have been treated to some fantastic tennis. With the speed of courts slowing down and balls being made more fluffy, its no wonder that show piece finals go on past 4 and 5 hours on a regular basis. The ATP want to create a huge spectator sport, a game that is balanced on a knife edge, has changes of momentum, shifts of pace, jaw dropping action and provides most of all value for money. To do that, they have had to make the ball more appealing to the fans and to the television networks alike, they slow the courts down.
In the 90s, courts as a whole were much faster. If we look back at the Wimbledon Champions of the time, all the winners were proficient at serve and volley, points were short and rallys were few. Now the lush green lawns of Wimbledon are slower than before and we are more likely to see clay court style base line rallies with no raiding the net whatsoever. The hard courts of the American and Aussie Swing are much more abrasive than before, they trap the ball, slow it down upon impact and dont bounce as high. All courts now are slower, the ball bounces lower and it favours players like Nadal and Djokovic who can grind to victory rather than the serve and volley skills of a Tim Henman type player.
The courts favour players who can stay in rallies with their groundstrokes. We have lost hugely skillfull players like Fabrice Santoro and now all tournaments regardless of surface favour those who can serve big and bash for the baseline. The tennis purist in me would love to see more guys like Tomic and Dolgopolv and less of the big bashers. Take a look at the video below, I found it incredibly interesting!