The 2008 Australian Open will be played on the new Plexicushion surface, as the old Rebound Ace surface was replaced, but lately there has been a lot of talk about the quality of the new surface. However, the latest news is that the new courts are fast and good enough. What the truth is, we’ll see when the tournament starts.
The new courts were used during the Australian Open wildcard playoffs and it has been speculated that they are actually slower than the old ones (Reminder: Tennis Australia’s decision to change their courts came after players wanted to see a faster surface similar to those played on at the US Open). Other two things that initialized the concerns were the injuries of Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic (although I didn’t notice Dokic found the new surface responsible for her injury), as well as attacks from the supplier of the old courts who said that claims of the Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley that Plexicushion is superior to Rebound Ace in consistency, speed and heat retention are false.
However, Tiley’s claims that tests using multi-position cameras tracking the flight of the ball had shown Plexicushion was a medium to medium-fast surface, based on International Tennis Federation standards.
“We had an exhaustive search for the right surface. We scoured the world for the best options and had two people working on it full-time,” Tiley said. “Hands down in every category, Plexicushion won out … we can show anyone the numbers from our testing and they will see this was the best choice.” (for more details visit my sources: The Sunday Morning Herald and The Australian)