PARIS (Reuters) - Tennis needs faster courts because the slower surfaces are helping baseliners and killing off serve and volleying, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick said at the Paris Masters on Wednesday.
The early rounds here have seen Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray struggle early on as they try to get to grips with a court that has had a complete overhaul since 2009.
“It’s very fast ... a lot different from last year (which) was quite slow,” defending champion Djokovic told reporters after reaching the third round with a 6-4 6-3 win over Argentine Juan Monaco.
“It’s good to have a faster court so you can make the players go to the net a little bit more.”
The Serb said most courts nowadays were slow, whether indoor or outdoor.
“The players that are on top of men’s tennis these days are baseline players,” said Djokovic. “You don’t see a lot of serve and volleying because everybody’s returning so well.”
Roddick breezed past Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-1 6-4 with a mix of booming serves and subtle volleys, something the eighth-seeded American feels is missing from the game.
“It’s a different type of tennis ... you get rewarded for chipping balls around,” he said.
“I believe it’s become so monotonous ... it feels like there is a slow court available nine months of the year.”
World number one Rafael Nadal has been one of the biggest beneficiaries, winning Wimbledon twice in three years as the grass courts have slowed down.
“It’s not surprising,” said Roddick. “Now even Roger (Federer) says he stays back a lot more than he used to.”