There have been many debates in the past about the hard courts and grass courts playing slower than previous tournaments. With the slow-moving courts certainly favoring clay-court specialists like Rafael Nadal, many players have lashed out on the directors of various tournaments including the 2018 US Open and 2019 Wimbledon Championships for making the court slower.
The courts getting slower continues at the ongoing Rogers Cup in Montreal. The surface at the ATP Masters 1000 event has slowed down a bit as explained by the tournament director of the Canadian Open. In an interview with the L’Equipe, Eugene Lapierre, the tournament director of the Montreal Open revealed that the courts have made the court slower and higher-bouncing.
Lapierre also suggested that they have made the courts slower for the defending champion and the top-seed, Rafael Nadal as he would love the surface. He said in a statement, “I think Nadal will love the surface. We slowed it down a bit more so the players can be on an equal footing between the big hitters and the good returners, so it should suit him (Nadal) a little better.”
No.2 seed, Dominic Thiem also suggested that he observed during his practice in Montreal that the surface has decelerated. He revealed in an interview that the change is not very drastic but the court has certainly slowed down.
The Austrian said, “There are some small things to adjust. Here, I had my first practice before. I think it’s pretty slow. The change is not that big. But still, of course, most of the time I return in the clay-court season four or five meters from the baseline again.”
Dominic Thiem is known to be a clay-court specialist and he would also love to play on a slower surface. He divulged some changes in his game plan for the slow-moving hard-court.
The 25-year-old further added, “I can use my slice more. The serve is also a big difference. Most of the time I serve kick or three-quarters serves. Now I’m going to go full power flat again. These are three of the most important things.”