If you are a tennis fan and actually play yourself, you may well have experienced a game on a clay court. This is the very old, red surface that has been used in countries like France and Spain since the game originated.
This is a unique surface and makes the style of play completely different from other surfaces. To actually play on clay is an exhilarating experience.
If you have never had the pleasure of playing on red clay, and would like to know a little more about it, here’s a few interesting facts.
This surface lends itself more to those that play from the baseline, as opposed to those who serve and volley. A great clay court player must have impeccable ground strokes.
If you do ever see a player approach the net while playing on clay, it is a very rare thing indeed. Those who rely on their booming serve will also find that it hasn’t the effect on this surface as it does on others.
So why is the strategy for this game so different? Well, it is very simple, the clay is a thick and heavy surface which sticks to the ball and therefore slows it Down considerably.
You won’t see the ball speeding up after it has hit the clay, as you would on a hard court. The thick clay will have the opposite effect.
As the ball has been slowed down; it will bounce a lot higher than on other surfaces, so the players have more time to get to the ball and return it. It is due to this that clay can claim to have some of tennis’ longest matches played on it.
The rallies are obviously longer and shots easier to reach than they would be on the fast courts. A sure fire winner on grass is probably reachable on clay.
Those who are quicker around the court will always have the edge over their opponents.