Roland Garros, 2012: Two weeks of slogging, rain-soaked, often ugly tennis that made the normally laser-precise Roger Federer look like he was hitting through molasses. Balls so heavy that even the mighty David Ferrer, slamming his entire body weight into a shot with a deafening grunt of effort, only caused the ball to land mid-court. Courts so glacial that the King of Slo-Mo Clay actually acknowledged, after fighting off a comeback from Djokovic in the final, that he needed “faster courts” to beat his feisty competitor.
Considering the trends of the tour lately, we’re guessing that Roland Garros’ next step, after adding slower balls this year, is to make next year’s courts…even slower. Here are a few of the latest ideas to grind the game down even more:
1. A velvet ball on a Velcro court.
2. Peanut butter courts and a giant walnut ball.
3. Flypaper court with red 10-and-Under 10s balls.
4. Anti-gravity court.
5. A quicksand court.
6. A metal court, with some magnets inserted into the tennis balls.
7. A giant beach ball in a court full of soap bubbles.
8. A hot tar court with a ball of feathers.
PHOTOS: Photo of Rafa Nadal asking for new balls, Cincinnati Open, c2011 Valerie David. Screencaps of Roland Garros 2012 matches and other tennis tourneys, featuring Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Gael Monfils; TennisTV, EuroSport, ESPN, Tennis Channel, NBC. Fair use.