Quotable Quotes: Thoughts On Grass
Published June 27, 2012 02:25
LONDON, England - Once upon a time, grass court tennis dominated the WTA calendar. Until 1974, three of the four Grand Slams were played on the surface and the tour was ruled by those well-versed in the noble art of serving and volleying.
How the landscape has changed. The net-rushing of decades past has been replaced by the all-court game of the 21st century's tennis superstars and Wimbledon is now the sole remaining major to have stuck with the lawns on which the game originated over a century ago.
However, while the grass court season may now be squeezed into a one-month window, its importance remains undiminished.
Wtatennis.com caught up with a few players in the build up to Wimbledon to get their take on the green stuff.
Do you remember the first time?
"I've liked grass since the first time I played on it. I've got a lot of good memories too: I won the junior Wimbledon title back in 2005, then reached my first Grand Slam quarterfinal on it and also won in Eastbourne."
Agnieszka Radwanska, 2008 Eastbourne champion
"Initially, when I first tried to play on grass, I was terrified and in the first few years I didn't have very good results. Now, though, I feel really good; the pace and the speed really suit my game and the results show that!"
Tsvetana Pironkova, 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist
The Switch From Clay To Grass
"It's always a bit strange because the surfaces are so different, but I've been doing it for many years already so you're prepared for the different bounces and movement. Mentally you have to be ready also because it's a totally different type of tennis game, especially after clay. You go from having all these long rallies to now having very short points, so it takes some getting used to."
Elena Vesnina, 2010 Wimbledon doubles runner-up
"I have a game suited to playing on a very fast surface, so I love grass! You need to focus a lot on your serve and hit it with both power and variety. Also, it's important to find your rhythm early as on grass everything is going very fast and the match can be over quickly if you don't get into it early."
Virginie Razzano, 2009 Eastbourne runner-up
"I think on a grass court you need to have a lot of qualities regarding your timing, and I think that's probably my best quality. You have to play flat obviously and really play inside the baseline or close to the baseline. I have a short back swing too and that helps a lot with the timing and getting close to the baseline."
Marion Bartoli, 2007 Wimbledon runner-up
The Magic Of Wimbledon
"Wimbledon is just special and I think this is the same for all the players. It is all about tradition: the white clothing; 'Ladies' and 'Gentlemen' not 'Men' and 'Women'; there are no commercials. All these things are unique. This is where tennis started and it's there is some magic when you step out onto Centre Court that you get nowhere else in the world."
Katarina Srebotnik, 2011 Wimbledon doubles champion