Roger Federer

Tipsarevic Agrees with Federer that the Courts are too Similar

You may remember a while back I posted about tennis court surfaces and how they have been slowed down over the years to create a wider gulf at the top of the game so the money-men get their blockbuster Fedal, Djokovic vs. Murray and Nadal Djokovic finals.

That topic hasn't been brought up in a while but I saw an interesting clip of Janko Tipsarevic on the road filmed by TecnifibreTennis where he mentioned court surfaces and court speed. He like Federer believes they have all been homegonised to the point where there is little difference between any of the surfaces used on the mens tour. Even Devin Britton at a mere 22 years of age has noticed a slow down too which just proves that it's clearly on the ATP agenda to favour the grinders and more physical players a la Murray, Djokovic and Nadal.

Here's the clip:

Devin Britton: How different are the surfaces? Because you guys play on grass, clay and indoors…

Janko Tipsarevic: Honestly? Not that much. You know, they created every surface, I don't want to say the same, but really similar. The surfaces are so much alike that you don't really have to go out of your way to change your game plan in order to adapt to a certain surface. Even if it's indoor, outdoor, clay court or grass court.

So there we have it, another player who agrees that the court surfaces are all too similar and everything has slowed down to the point where there's little difference.

I think it's a sad state of affairs where Tipsarevic says that a player doesn't need to adapt their game to play on different surfaces. Surely that should be a huge part of the sport? Otherwise the future of tennis is just grinding road runners who play like robots. It basically means unless you are under 6ft 4, have super human endurance and play with a 2 handed backhand then you have little to no chance of making it to the top. In a nutshell it removes a huge chank of talent from the sport. Not good!

I almost forgot that even Andy Murray was asked about it in his press conference, he gave his usual neutral dreary response but he did say this:

But, you know, I think there should be a longer grass court season, and I think the more variety in the surfaces the better for the game. And also, you know, the longevity of the players, as well, you know, shorter rallies.

I agree with him on that too and I'll be posting about that in a few days, stay tuned πŸ™‚

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Side note: I've not seen these clips before but I think the video series from TechniFibre is pretty cool. Tipsarevic comes across like a pretty interesting guy actually, he's been slated a lot for some of his comments and is quite outspoken but at least he's honest. A rare quality so I recommend you watch them.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. FIRST TO COMMENT! HAHA, take THAT others!!! This is like my second grand slam of the year, HOT DAMN!!!! And nice post again jonathan. too bad the atp ain’t gonna do shit about the surfaces, not by a long shot!

    1. Boom!

      Cheers, yeah I can’t see it changing unless there’s a mass player exodus. That’s the only way to get change, pull together, boycott the ATP and come play in the peRFect Tennis Masters events! πŸ˜›

      1. peRFect Tennis Masters events huh?…I’m all for it, hopefully we can have a Masters 1000 on a grass surface this time!

      1. Sid’s first comment titles have all come on hard courts though. Let’s see how he does on clay!

        the peRFect Tennis Tour has a Grass 1000 Alvi, no doubt about it.

      2. Hahaha! Clay isn’t my favorite surface so I’m most likely sitting out the entire season. Good luck all you aspiring GOAT’s out there. You know who you are! πŸ™‚

      3. Hey Sid, even Roger equaled Pete at the French. I hope to overtake you during Wimbledon! πŸ˜€

  2. heyy Jonathan..

    From 2015 ATP introducing a new ATP 500 grass court event sponsored by Mercedes. It will take place immediately after French Open. Hallee and Queens will take place in the week after that. Wimbledon has been pushed back by a week. So now Wimbledon instead of starting in last week of June, will instead start in first week of July.

    1. Hey Sahil,

      Yeah I just saw man, Stuttgart changing from Clay to Grass. But it’s only an ATP 250? Seems a little pointless, why not promote Halle or something so it’s a 1000? Half measures from the ATP.


      1. I mean, whatever those guys were saying about courts with variety. I agree with all that. It’s a topic I can comment on forever but I won’t.

        The “That’s all I got to say about that” is a reference from the movie Forrest Gump. It’s more like, that’s all I have to say about that πŸ™‚

  3. Just have one not so important comment…… I love just love Tipsy. Can’t wait to watch Tipsy Time during RG.
    He is nice, extremely funny, honest and a good player.

    1. Think you’re in the minority, Tipsy gets a lot of stick for his comments about WTA, Mauresmo etc etc.

      I don’t mind him because at least he’s honest which is rare these days. Although not fun to watch in the slightest.

      1. Tipsy is a witty person but he has a problem with running his mouth too much at times. He plays darn good for someone who is 5 feet 11 inches and has to survive under the shadows of the Djoker.

        Yeah, I’m not sure why he made those comments about Mauresmo. But I completely agree with him about the prize money thing. I mean, this is not about “pay equality”. This is about the WTA bitching so much that tournaments had to give in. Sorry, I have nothing against women but the current WTA lot has some of the biggest egos ever.

      2. Yeah he can be funny. I don’t have too big a problem with him although he does withdraw from a lot of matches.

        I agree with him on prize money too though. You shouldn’t get paid the same for doing less.

  4. They should have a tournament that changes surfaces for every round. Clay for the quarters , Slow hardcourt for the Semi’s and grass for the Finals. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Just a thought.

    1. Hi Dave…. That sounds quite cool !! It reminds me of Fed v Nadal at the exibition of battle of the surfaces, where one side of the the tennis court was grass and the other clay.But i suppose the tourny people wont do that bcos it wil cost too much money to change the courts. But it would be good if they could.

      1. As a one off tournament? It’d be pretty fun. Don’t think I’d enjoy it seeing it regularly though.

        Would be interesting though.

        Battle of the surfaces sounded like a good concept but it was pretty rubbish to watch.

  5. He is right. The similar surfaces and courts is one of the main reasons why it’s become so hard for young guys to break through and why the top 5 are consistently going deep in tournaments – because they have the most stable games and they have the best fitness and endurance on tour.

    1. Good comment, echoed by Simon Reed on Eurosport after the Miami final which illustrated graphically just how slowed own surfaces create a “last man standing” modern game. Murray v Ferrer was pretty poor tennis, very little shot making, full of tired errors and double faults, even Murray reverted to pushing the ball just to conserve energy. No wonder the American networks are cutting away( although not having any top 10 players affects their viewing figures too). And Simon Reed is a big Murray fan! People worry about returning to 1/2 shot serve volley rallies but you don’t need to speed them all up! Grass is fine. Clay is fine, just mix up the hard courts more, otherwise the US swing will lose popularity and consequently sponsors! That wld make them wake up! A total review of the Masters series is needed. Downgrade Miami, create a 1000 South American one( not just a 250!!) , make Halle or Queens 1000. Downgrade Madrid or MC. Come on ATP! Be bold!

      1. Hey Susie,

        I haven’t seen Reeds comments. He usually chats rubbish but I agree with him on this one. Miami final was a joke match. Usually when a match goes the distance its dramatic but this one still managed to be boring.

        Like you say, gotta mix up the Masters a bit and add in some variety. Cincy is best hardcourt 1000 by a mile.

        Halle would be a good 1000. Queens can’t handle the crowds.


      2. You’re right. This will seriously turn Americans away from the sport. Tennis players here (I’m not talking about club level where most are “pushers”) are not grinders. They rely on quick points. I’m surprised Miami is the way it is.

        [Downgrade Madrid or MC]
        Does Nadal know that’s what you’re thinking? πŸ™‚

        To play that serve and volley game requires a LOT of skill and courage.

      3. American tennis is in a pretty poor state really isn’t it? Too many college type players coming through that aren’t good enough. Can’t see Ryan Harrison doing much.

  6. Hi Jonathan,
    Tipsarvic usually blurs the line between ‘frank’ and ‘rude’ but makes sense this time πŸ™‚
    Most players are of the same opinion; some are just more outspoken than others. The fact remains though, are they being heard by those that matter? How much importance is given to a players views as opposed to other factors that eventually makes things more lucrative? Did it make a difference to the tournament directors when the king of clay vehemently opposed the idea of blue clay from the moment it was suggested? It is definitely important, of course, that Federer and the others voice their opinion, but will it make a difference?

    1. Hey Vandana,

      Yeah that’s a good description of Tipsy!

      I guess really the players have very little say in matters, and it’s only when they threaten action like boycotting tournaments like they did in Madrid last year that the ATP stand up and take notice.

      They are just pawns really I guess, but they get paid quite well πŸ™‚

      I think probably not enough players are bothered the game is homogenising as they prefer slower courts. Most grow up on clay…


  7. Hey Jonathan!
    Interesting point you raise here. I’ve heard Roger talk about the homogenization of courts a few times. Paul Annacone too said something related to the topic recently. I definitely would like to see more variety! I have read a lot about this topic on different forums and blogs (including a couple of yours that you posted links to above) and I think the general perspective is that variety is needed. Well, of course Nadal fans seem to disagree since their man would want the whole tour to be on clay.
    I am really curious to know what all can Roger have a say in as the President of the Players’ Council. Because I recently read an article which mentioned Roger’s role in getting the prize money increased at the USO. I thought the surfaces’ detailing is done by the tournament organizers and the ATP had to approve it. If players have a problem with the surfaces, they can surely raise the issue at a Players’ Council meeting and it can subsequently be forwarded to concerning people at the ATP? Or am I missing something? Maybe NO-CHANGE-AT-ALl-IT-WILL-HURT-OUR-BASELINE-MONOTONE-GRINDERS is the ATP motto. At least Madrid’s fate says so.

    1. Hey FedFan,

      Yeah Fed has talked about it multiple times. It just seems these calls for more variety fall on deaf ears.

      I think the ATP’s motto is make as much money as possible the guys in the boardroom and ensure the game generates it’s maximum possible revenue at the expense of young players and entertainment for purist tennis fans.

      Slower courts – longer matches, better players all adds up to more $$$


  8. Nice article Mr. Jonathan. Although there’s a difference really between clay and hard surface.
    Eventhough then, Nadal won on Indian Wells and thats the BOTTOM LINE… VAAMMOOSSS!!!

    1. Hey Robin,

      Well I disagree, the difference between hard courts and clay courts isn’t all that great these days, especially not the likes of Indian Wells & Miami that play exceptionally slow and are heavily gritted so a lot of spin can be imparted on the ball.


      1. Guy disappears for six months. Comes back to win two out of three clay court tournaments then all of a sudden wins a hard court 1000 Masters event. Yeah, the surfaces must be so very different to adapt πŸ™‚

  9. Ferrer had a chance of winning but blew it. πŸ™ The tourny people got what they wanted. Murray at no.2 now, hopefully Fed will get motivated to kick butt again and show people what a great champion he is. Long live Federer GOAT !!! πŸ™‚

      1. I like that, they should use that on the new swiss currency aswell :-D. By the way hope everybody is enjoying and having a happy Easter:-D ps. I am still waiting to see a good Easter film like Ten Commandments or Ben Hur or The Greatest Story Ever Told. Please dont grill me for liking Epic films!!! Thanks all.

      2. If Roger wins another slam, I’ll lobby for that with the Swiss πŸ™‚

        There’s nothing wrong with being a fan of something epic now is there? Roger is epic too!

      3. Haha cool idea!

        Yeah Ferrer had a lot of chances. Although I suppose Murray should have served it out first time of asking. But to stop play on match point? Suicidal!

  10. Not surprised that Murray is now number #2. Miami is an embarrassment of a tournament, much of that is accredited to the slow surface. Once again another top player confirming what we all know. No variety whatsoever.

    The Ferrer/Murray match was painful for my eyes, UFE after UFE. Roddick said it best when he tweeted:

    “Conditions too slow…Guys dying playing 3 sets. So slow. Makes it impossible to hit winners which results in messed up winners/errors ratio”


    Anyway, regarding the ranking, I don’t think it matters if Roger is 2 or 3 if Nadal is at 5. Because we all know that Fed is going to get Rafa regardless. If Nadal does make it back to 4 well then Roger’s ranking at 3 is more likely to get him Djokovic than Nadal. Interesting to note that this is the first time since 2003 that neither Rafa or Federer is in the top two. Have a feeling that Murray slips down towards the end of the season. We’ll see.

    1. Hi Alysha, I commented in a previous post:

      Draw for Roger at RG: atleast Delpo and Novak, definitely Rafa (without a doubt).
      Draw for Roger at Wimby: atleast Berdych and Novak, definitely Rafa.
      No matter what the ranking. Had anyone see it coming that Roger would have such a difficult draw (the most difficult) at AO?

      1. Agreed. They will try to milk out as many Roger-Nadal games as possible till they can milk no more. Personally, I don’t think it’s the greatest rivalry in sport.

      2. Hey Alysha,

        Yeah Slowami was a joke final. No enjoyment what so ever. I switched off half way through. Just caught some highlights of the breaker. Miami is a weak event now, lucky they have the location otherwise it’d be a nothing tournament.


    2. I watched the Miami Final. 2 hours 45 minutes. That is almost an hour per set.
      Just like the Shanghai Final and AO Final last year !!!
      Does that not get boring after a while?

      1. Skyfall, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, all were under 2 hours 45 minutes. And all way better than watching the ball going north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south to north to south…

        Phew! I’m tired just typing.

      2. Wish those top professionals didn’t possess that technology either πŸ™‚

      3. Sid, dude, you are so funny, to be honest, I always look forward to both your funny and serious comments !!!

    3. Maybe he really was plotting to get to No.3? πŸ™‚

      What Roddick says is true but it won’t have the same impact coming from him as compared to someone like Murray or others from the top 10. I think everyone in the top 10 except that cocky “you know who” wants variety.

      1. True Sid but Federer and Murray have already spoken out. What higher players do they want? Nadal said he wanted less HC (he never said more clay) so technically that includes grass too, the quickest surface. Doesn’t look like they will change court speeds any time soon, the top players being in the $$$. Apparently that’s all that matters.

        Regarding the ranking, Murray is not even ahead of Roger by 100 points so there’s a good chance Federer could make it back to 2 by FO. However, it doesn’t really matter because Rafa looks like he will be staying at 5 for a little while once again as Ferrer has a good lead over him now and Nadal can only make up at Madrid. Unless Ferrer slips up (he probably won’t since it’s clay season now) Roger is 98% guaranteed to be in Nadal’s half for FO despite being 2/3. Joy.

      2. Nadal saying “less hard courts” exactly means “more clay”. No more, no less.

        I think Roger should sit out the clay season unless he is seriously considering a gold medal in Rio.

        Maybe Ferrer has been sipping the same magic potion Nadal has been all these years.

      3. I agreee with Sid, less HC means more clay in Nadal’s mind. No way he wants more grass or indoors.

        I think Fed should play clay season, gotta keep in the competitive mindset. Always has a chance in Madrid I feel.

      4. Hey Alysha, don’t think fed can make it back to second before uso: Murray has virtually nothing to defend on clay, since he was injured a good deal lat year. fed has a masters 1000 to defend, a semi, and a GS semi before wimbledon. Then final in halle and winning wimby, if he plays toronto he could gain a little but murray didn’t do all that good there, and then Rog’ has to defend cincy. So doesn’t look like it to me that Fed can get back to second before uso…. What do you guys think?

      5. @Sid: Nah not playing season would be suicidal for his ranking. Can’t afford to get crappy draws as he gets older (however, looks like it is that way right now huh?)

        @Simon: Yeah Murray has nothing to defend except US Open now but he will lose all his olympic points as well (so does Fed). Tough for Fed but I’ll believe it’s possible. Murray isn’t the most consistent guy out there so that’s why I think he won’t be able to be in the top two for too long. I think Nadal will overtake him later in the season.

  11. God ows Roger a win over Rafa at the RG Final !!!
    The Almighty really ows that to Roger before his retirement.
    Especially after what Rafa put Roger through at RG.
    Maybe this year it will happen?

      1. The Almighty’s retirement or Rafa’s retirement?
        You do know they are NOT the same person, wright??

        Silly, I meant Roger’s retirement.

        I cannot do that smileyface !!!

      2. No, I mean who’s retirement: Roger or God (just kidding!)

        As far as Nadal is concerned, once he feels scared and sh******, he retires for a few months and comes back rather than standing up like a man and facing everyone else. What a wuss!

    1. Fed only has himself to blame for clowning up against Dull at Roland Garros back in his prime. Should have bagged one of those French Opens but played too stubbornly.

      1. Jonathan, don’t be too hard on Roger. Like Tipsy said, playing against Rafa on clay is like Mission Impossible.
        And you can also look at it this way, if Rafa was in all those finals, he was always against Roger !!! Is that not a thumbs up for Roger??

      2. I wasn’t been hard on him, just calling it as it is. No beating around the bush he should have beaten Nadal in one of the FO finals. Just played too stubborn. Then once Nadal had the upper hand he never took his foot off the gas or Roger’s neck on clay.

      3. Hahaha! I can almost hear the Mission: Impossible theme being played once Nadal’s opponent steps on to the court at RG. They should make it a tradition.

      4. It is a thumbs up for Roger indeed that he reached nearly 14 finals or semi finals on Clay versus Nadal. Of course, he lost most of them (Duh!). But some stupid, pea brained Nadal fans hold it against Roger citing his head to head πŸ™‚

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