The first Grand Slam
The first Grand Slam event of the year will be starting on Monday and some of the top players expressed their opinion on the courts condition.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, thinks the courts are slower than in previous years and doesn’t understand the change.
“Completely different conditions then I remembered of this tournament. Faster conditions that I ever played here in Australia”.
Nadal said that he really didn’t understand very well why they changed it, because the last couple of years, The Australian Open had amazing matches, long ones, good ones for the crowd. “I don’t know why they decided to make the conditions fast”.
A few days ago, the tournament director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley, declared that nothing has changed. “Court speed is unchanged. We have repeated what we did in 2013”.
Is faster courts better for Nadal, who has being considered the King of Clay for the last few years? Perhaps not, but Nadal has also won many titles in hard court surfaces and grass.
“I think during all my career I was able to play well in any condition: fast, slow, different surfaces. I was able to play well in fast conditions in the past “. It is true that I need to play my best to really have chances to be competitive here against everybody because the conditions are little bit faster than usual.
Not all players shared Nadal’s opinion on the issue. Roger Federer says: “Even in these conditions here, we’ll see long rallies after all. We’re not talking about a lightning speed court”.
“I dont know what the big problem is. Really can still play from the baseline, no problem.You can stay back, return from the back. You can do all that stuff if you want to. It’s not like it’s impossible”.
As for Andy Murray, who will play his first Grand Slam after undergoing back surgery a few months ago, says that Court speed in medium and explained that the balls are bouncing a little higher at Hisense Court.
So, Rafael Nadal will have to adapt to the court condition, and when asked about the court speed affecting his game, he said: “I tell you in a couple of days” (smiling)
Melbourne – Australia