By Livia Febe. Tennis. Published at Thursday, March 15th, 2018 - 02:53:32 AM.
Once I got to the courts 4S was about what I expected from a geometric poly—spin potential was above average and feel was solid though not as crisp as I typically like. The flipside is that 4S felt very soft and was one of the most comfortable polys I've used in quite a while. Fortunately the soft feel didn't come at the expense of durability. I played past the 12-hour mark with my set and didn't break it though they definitely felt a little dead towards the end. As I've noted in the past I find that most polyester strings go dead and lose tension well before they snap though I'd expect that heavy string breakers may break Black Code 4S before it goes dead or gets mushy.
Arguably the biggest and most exciting change to the sport will not actually take place for another season but it will likely be well worth the wait. The majors have been seeding thirty-two players since 2001 but they will be reverting back to seeding just sixteen come 2019. One of the biggest complaints about the slams is that in most cases the top players predominantly waltz through the opening rounds. Often it feels like the majors do not really get going until the middle weekend as that is when the better matches start to take shape. While seeding only sixteen means that the seeds will collide even later it also increases the odds of more intriguing matches and upsets occurring throughout the whole event rather than primarily the back half of it. Often the proverbial cream will still rise to the top but it should be more entertaining watching it all unfold.
Crush Zone is an innovative grommet system that compresses at impact and increases ball dwell time on the strings. The benefit of this technology is better feel and more potential energy that drives explosive power.
Overall this would seem to be a great plan but it is not without its drawbacks. The biggest of those drawbacks is that with the event only being staged over one week at a single venue it eliminates the advantage and atmosphere of the home ties. Squads will no longer have the advantage of selecting a surface that favors them over their opponents. Furthermore the rowdy raucous and festive home atmosphere which is so hard to replicate throughout the rest of the season will likely be missing to some degree in this new format.
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