- The Wall Street Journal and the Times had the headline “Wimbledon Roof Slows Balls Down”
- The Daily Mail had “How Centre Court’s new roof puts a dampener on Andy Murray’s serve”
- One comment suggested that "due to the increase in humidity when the roof is closed, balls are heavier and travel slightly slower through the air".
|Steve Haake: ball expert|
Yup, got it. All very straight forward.
But one word of warning: Don't be fooled by his easy & conversational manner of writing. Before I knew it, I was reading this:
"...since the atomic weight of water vapour is 18 g compared to 29 g for air and there is now less water vapour around, click here for a detailed explanation...".
Under no circumstances should you click on the 'click here'. I did, and my tiny, non-scientific head exploded. That aside, the article explains why playing under the closed roof may (or may not) slow down (or speed up) the balls. But he comes to the (scientific) conclusion that the most likely reason that Things May Be Different under the closed roof is, quite simply, fluff.
He says: "...the effect is to increase the wetting of the felt and enhance the fluffing up of the ball. A simple solution could be to change the balls when the roof closes..." That makes sense. I understand that.
He ends with this simple suggestion:
"Watch the players next time the roof closes at Wimbledon – if the players start inspecting the felt and throwing balls away, then they are likely to be choosing the least fuzzy ones."
It felt like he wrote that bit especially for me to understand.
Read the full article.