The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > The Game Room

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:29 AM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 22,031
Tennis - The Blue Clay controversy - your thoughts?

At first, I thought Nadal and Djokovic were being whiners about the blue clay in Madrid, but then.....both lost matches they should have won. I mean, Nadal losing on clay is a pretty weird occurence, especially so early on.

Both Nadal and Djoker are pretty much saying they won't play the event next year if the blue clay is back. Their main arguments seem to be that:

- It is super slippery, much more than the regular clay

- It is harder for them to see the ball properly

What do you think?

Meanwhile, Federer slides right into the semifinals.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:45 AM
Astral Rejection Astral Rejection is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Isn't it equally slippery and hard to see for all competitors? They might not like playing on it, but what is the controversy?

Is this similar to the complaints about the new soccer ball they were using in the world cup?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:48 AM
polar bear polar bear is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
The ball thing seems weird. I always heard that the reason they went from white balls to yellow ones, was because it stood out the best against blue hard-court courts. Isn't that also the reason they switched to blue clay in the first place? Because the visibility of the balls is better.

On the other hand: blue clay is just wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:02 AM
abbeytxs abbeytxs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by polar bear View Post
The ball thing seems weird. I always heard that the reason they went from white balls to yellow ones, was because it stood out the best against blue hard-court courts. Isn't that also the reason they switched to blue clay in the first place? Because the visibility of the balls is better.

On the other hand: blue clay is just wrong.
Actually, they switched to yellow balls long before they switched to blue courts, but yes, yellow balls are supposed to be easier to see and yellow against blue is the ideal.

To be fair to the more vocal whiners, most of the players have talked about the overly slippery clay, but Djokovic really made an ass of himself about it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:49 AM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 22,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astral Rejection View Post
Isn't it equally slippery and hard to see for all competitors? They might not like playing on it, but what is the controversy?
They were told it would be the same as the red clay. They are concerned it will cause injuries.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-12-2012, 04:36 PM
markdash markdash is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astral Rejection View Post
Isn't it equally slippery and hard to see for all competitors? They might not like playing on it, but what is the controversy?

Is this similar to the complaints about the new soccer ball they were using in the world cup?
You might think of it as if there were a "lid" on a basketball hoop that would randomly close, blocking the basket. Yes, all players are playing with the same setup, but the change increases randomness. This might be in the same vein; introducing a different color contrast could make seeing the ball harder which could happen intermittently, thus increasing variance. Just a guess.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-12-2012, 04:46 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 77,917
Everybody has to play on the new surface, but the changes may not suit everybody's game equally well. If you changed the composition of clay courts so that they played exactly like a hardcourt, everybody would have to deal with it but it would benefit hardcourt players and hurt guys who were better on the "old" clay courts. (In real life Wimbledon has played a bit more like a grass court since they changed the type of grass.) I don't buy this stuff about not being able to see the ball, but the surface is supposed to be slippery and the players don't like that. They also don't like the fact that the tournament changed its surface (probably just for the publicity) and they had no say even though they're the ones who have to deal with the change.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-12-2012, 07:29 PM
Astral Rejection Astral Rejection is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by markdash View Post
You might think of it as if there were a "lid" on a basketball hoop that would randomly close, blocking the basket. Yes, all players are playing with the same setup, but the change increases randomness. This might be in the same vein; introducing a different color contrast could make seeing the ball harder which could happen intermittently, thus increasing variance. Just a guess.
Maybe this is the part I'm having trouble understanding. How is it random? The court is either "slippery" or it isn't. Each individual shot won't be random from the one before it on the same surface, right?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:38 PM
markdash markdash is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astral Rejection View Post
Maybe this is the part I'm having trouble understanding. How is it random? The court is either "slippery" or it isn't. Each individual shot won't be random from the one before it on the same surface, right?
I'm thinking that "not seeing the ball right" is a random event that happens depending on the type/angle of the shot and your location on the court. Pure speculation on my part.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:43 PM
Astral Rejection Astral Rejection is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
That seems reasonable. We'll have to wait until someone more knowledgable about the issue chimes in.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-13-2012, 06:28 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 22,031
Federer has just replaced Nadal as number 2 in the world.

I bet Nadal is feeling......really blue!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-13-2012, 07:40 PM
Shooby Shooby is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
Federer has just replaced Nadal as number 2 in the world.

I bet Nadal is feeling......really blue!
At this point in their careers, I bet the only number these guys really care about are their Grand Slam totals. Bet Roger would take being out of the top 10 if it meant getting the French this year (completing a double career GS).
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-15-2012, 10:58 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 77,917
Quote:
Originally Posted by markdash View Post
I'm thinking that "not seeing the ball right" is a random event that happens depending on the type/angle of the shot and your location on the court. Pure speculation on my part.
I don't understand how the color could create any problems seeing the ball at particular angles, but I also haven't seen that specific objection. I've just seen complaints about the feel of the surface. It's not as if these guys don't play on blue courts. The hard courts have been blue for years.

Federer's goals this year are the Olympics and the majors. Anything else is much further down the list. I'm sure he would like to get back to #1 and break that record but I think he realized a couple of years ago that it was probably not going to happen.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-28-2012, 06:14 AM
angelabarnes38 angelabarnes38 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
I hate when players complain about things not pertinent to their performance, but in this case, it seems obvious that the tennis surfaces they were playing on were not up to par. I mean, these are two of the game's greatest players both not playing up to their capabilities. There has to be some truth to their argument, no?

Last edited by Marley23; 07-05-2012 at 09:18 AM.. Reason: removed spam link
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-01-2012, 12:45 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 22,031
Maybe. It is banned next year, so back to normal.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.