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Beneath the surface

How does a tournament director slow down the game? Simple: Add sand.

Updated: February 23, 2011, 6:09 PM ET
By Lindsay Berra | ESPN The Magazine

This story appears in the March 7 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

Grass is slick, clay is slow and hardcourt is hardcourt, right? Wrong. Not all hardcourts are created equal, and the surface speed varies from court to court, often for strategic reasons.

At last November's Paris Masters, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray agreed the court was faster than any they'd played in ages. That's because the French laid an ultraquick surface to favor countrymen Michael ...

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