‘Faster than Wimbledon, faster than the French, and a little bit below the US Open’ is how tournament Director describes his Australian Open True Blue Plexicushion surface, the one that replaced in 2008 the much criticized Rebound Ace on Melbourne’s tennis courts. But why Blue?
Plexi-what? Cushion! The surface is composed of different layers (like a pile of cushions), a blend of latex, rubber, and plastic particles.
The Plexicushion Prestige has many advantages: reducing the risk of injury is number one – players used to complain about the former Ace Rebound surface (in green colour), slippery and dangerous under the super-hot Australian sun. The blue court, installed in 2008, is also supposed to absorb body chock and reduce fatigue. Last but not least, the blue color allows players and viewers to better see the yellow tennis ball.
The vibrant blue colour also looks amazing, doesn’t it?
The BBC has investigated, also collecting opinions from tennis champions such as Marat Safin, Jelena Jankovic and Andy Murray:
‘Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says the new courts are quicker, cooler, firmer and more consistent than Rebound Ace.
Tiley said: ‘We didn’t take the decision lightly. We had an extensive review and after much research we decided it was time for a change. Plexicushion is a cushioned acrylic surface that retains less heat and guarantees us a consistent medium to medium-fast pace across all courts at Melbourne Park.
The blue court looks better, it will be easier for everyone to see the ball and the vibrancy of the colour just lifts the entire venue.
The players like the colour because they can actually see the ball. Officials particularly like the colour because they feel they can see the ball better. […]’
Source + read more about Australian Open’s true blue tennis courts, On-court blue for Aussie tennis, by Chris Bevan @BBC News
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