Roland Garros has always been one of the slowest clay court events on Tour, and this year it got even slower.
According to most players, the balls are significantly slower at this year's event, and it has pleased some players more than others.
"The balls are different than last year, slower," Roger Federer said simply, before adding that the courts overall are relatively quick,
Novak Djokovic, whose defensive style of play relishes slower conditions, did not seem at all displeased with the fact that the balls aren't playing as fast as in years past.
"Last year, the balls were fast and difficult to controll," he said after his first round match. "This year they are heavier and easier to control."
The professional tennis bodies have made a concerted effort over the past few years to slow down the speed of balls and surfaces, much to the delight of some and disgust of others.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.