The US Open has announced some shocking news that certainly shakes things up in the stagnant world of tennis. USTA, the organizing authority, has announced that Laykold will replace the DecoTurf surface in use during the Grand Slam since 2005. Laykold has also been selected as the surface for the USTA Billie Jean King Center.
Why the news is even more shocking is because the US Open has always been proud of the science behind its courts. Indeed, the tournament has in the past claimed the micromanage of small things related to the courts through laboratory tests. This time it was no different since USTA claimed that the decision was made after a rigorous RFP.
Now, the decision asks three basic questions. Why was RFP first and why choose Laykold? Will the current blue color scheme be affected? Finally, will it have any influence on the way the pitch plays?
Why did the US Open choose Laykold?
Danny Zausner, Chief Operating Officer of USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center provided some clarification as to why the RFP took place –
At the conclusion of the complete transformation of the US National Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, we felt it was time to explore all the new approaches and technologies for tackling the surface of the court. “
This is what he had to say about Laykold’s choice –
“During this exploration, Laykold quickly climbed to the top and, working with them, we are confident that we will have the fields with the best and best performances in the world.”
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The new Laykold fields will be produced by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), a member of Sport Group, the largest company in the world dedicated to sports surfaces. Laykold Courts are the only vapor barrier courts designed specifically for the justice system. This greatly increases the consistency of the court’s performance and speed.
APT is the only ISO 14001 certified manufacturer for the environment. Hence, USTA found it committed to its virtues of sustainability.
Laykold has been trusted in the tennis court industry for 75 years and adding the US Open to our list of major events around the world is a key moment for us. “ said Jim Sacco, Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Polymer Technology. “We waited for an opportunity to show our quality at the biggest tennis tournament in the world and we are happy to have been chosen. We are ready for the Grand Slam.”
As of now, there are no updates on the color scheme. We don’t know if the blue classic will have changed. In particular, the Miami Open already uses Laykold courts.
Speaking of speed, the fields are in the middle category when it comes to speed. This makes them slower than the medium-fast courts of the US Open.
Another possible impact will be on the opening tournaments. Since they will warm up the US Open, they will also have to redo their courts. When their possibility is also being discussed right now because of the Coronavirus. This measure definitely emerges as another important reshuffle.