Murray says ball change is injury risk

BY foxsports • May 22, 2011

British No. 1 Andy Murray on Sunday criticized the decision to use different balls for this year's French Open, despite believing the change will benefit him.

Dunlop balls have been used at all the major clay-court events leading up to the second grand slam of the year, but Roland Garros has switched to Babolat balls.

Players claim there is a significant difference between the two, with the Babolats being much faster and likely to favor power hitters who prefer hard courts.

Murray says he likes the characteristics of the new ball, but he thinks the change may present an injury risk in the middle of the clay-court season.

"I don't mind the ball but I would just rather we played with the same ball throughout the clay-court stretch and the same throughout the hard-court stretch," Murray said.

"It happens in the States as well. At the US Open they play with Wilson, and at the hard-court events in the build-up they use Penn.

"I just think for the players' joints, your wrist, elbow and shoulder, it makes sense to stick with the same ball."

In-form world No. 2 Novak Djokovic also thinks there is a noticeable difference with the new balls, but does not think they will change the face of the tournament completely.

"The balls are very, very fast, so it's really difficult to control. Maybe it's going to favor the servers and the big hitters.

"But it is still clay and it is still the best of five sets, so you have to rely on your physical ability."

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