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Top players say surface for Australian Open too slow

Top players say surface for Australian Open too slow

World number three Novak Djokovic and other top players say that the new Plexicushion surface that will be used at next month's Australian Open is slower than they had expected.
After 20 years of using Rebound Ace, Australian Open organizers made the change, they said, in an effort to make all the courts at the grand-slam event more consistent in terms of speed and bounce.
Australian number one Lleyton Hewitt, runner-up at the Australian Open in 2005 and still the home nation's best hope for a men's champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976, has endorsed the surface.
However, on the opening day of the Hopman Cup in Perth, where the same surface is being used, the players' reaction has been far from positive.
"I thought it was going to be faster but it seems to be a lot slower," Jelena Jankovic, who is representing Serbia with Djokovic in the eight-nation mixed-team event, said.
"It seems quite (a lot) slower than the Rebound Ace that I played on last year in Sydney and Melbourne. The balls get really fluffy. Here it's indoors, so maybe it's a bit of a different story. I don't know how it will play outside."
Djokovic agreed with his team mate but said it could yet improve.
"We'll see how it works because it's a pretty new surface," he said.
"When the surface is new, it gets rough and it's pretty slow, but after a couple of days or a week, it can get faster. We'll see in a couple of days how it goes, but for now, it's pretty slow."


Updated : 2021-04-20 07:06 GMT+08:00