The Case for a Longer Grass Court Season

by Nick Nemeroff on August 26, 2011 · 0 comments

in Random

Wimbledon is often considered sacred ground from the perspective of a professional tennis player. Victory on these revered lawns presents the ultimate tennis glory. A majority of professional tennis players would sight Wimbledon as the most desirable title in all of tennis. There is a distinct, indescribable eminence that comes with claiming the Wimbledon trophy.

No player better represents not only the brilliance but pure elegance that is characteristic of a Wimbledon champion than Roger Federer. The graceful nature with which Federer plays the game is of no comparison and is truly visible on grass.  It is on this surface that Federer’s fluidity and variety really provide him with the upper hand against virtually every opponent.

Unfortunately, the beauty associated with grass court tennis is only seen for an abbreviated time span. The grass court season begins the Monday following the French Open and ends around a month later. With four warm up tournaments over a span of two weeks, transitioning from the slow, high bouncing clay courts to the fast, low bouncing grass courts presents a formidable challenge. Many players such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have even opted to skip these warm up tournaments and jump into Wimbledon cold.

For the surface on which the most striking and highly technical tennis is played, it would seem a just exploit to the tennis world to extend the season much beyond its current length. The Clay court season, which spans from February to June, is four months of relentless back court grinding that presents an extremely demanding physical challenge.  The Hard court season, which lasts from July to the end of November, arguably takes an even bigger physical toll on players. A prime example of this is Rafael Nadal. Nadal plays the game with a never say die attitude, but unfortunately because of this he has encountered various knee problems throughout his career due the incredible effort and grit he puts into every single point. The toll taken on his knees on grass is not nearly as severe as the aggravation experienced on the hard and clay courts.

With this being said the grass courts are considerably less destructive to the body and allow the players to focus more on what’s being done on the court as opposed to what the court is doing to their body. Despite all of this, I am in full recognition that there are obvious obstacles in the way of extending the grass court season such as a lack of venues and scheduling. If the ATP is in fact able to extend the life of the grass court season, it would not only be a positive improvement for the health of the players but it would also be nothing short of a gift to tennis fans all around the world.


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