Anyone expecting lightning-fast Australian Open courts will be disappointed, according to tournament director Craig Tiley, who has denied that a quicker version of Plexicushion has been ordered - or delivered - for next week's grand slam.
Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Marin Cilic, as well as Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter, are among the players at this week's Brisbane International to testify that the speed of the Queensland Tennis Centre courts has risen significantly this year. Cilic, indeed, said they were the slickest he had experienced anywhere in more than 12 months.
But, if so, that is Brisbane, said Tiley, who insisted nothing has altered at Melbourne Park. A modified Wilson ball was introduced last year with a tighter weave to improve longevity, but any major change in court speed is, apparently, unlikely.
''We've repeated what we did in 2013,'' said Tiley, pointing to the heatwave conditions and covered court in Brisbane, as well as the extended time given to the courts to ''plateau'' after their annual resurface, as contributing factors there. ''We didn't get that feedback at Hopman Cup, which is also the exact same surface.''
Defending champion Novak Djokovic on Saturday became the first player to hit this season on Rod Laver Arena.
Tiley said the world No.2 had not commented on the speed of the court, pace has been a recurring discussion point elsewhere in the past week.
The story Court speed at Australian Open tennis unchanged, says tournament director Craig Tiley first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.