When Henri Cochet, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendi, Mats Wilander & Gustavo Kuerten were winning successive titles on clay court and earned the title of “successful player” irrespective of different eras they played gave numerous excitement to tennis fans.
Most tennis lovers wouldn’t imagine in the wildest of their dreams that there will be an arrival of one player who will not only become the Greatest Player of all time but will earn the title of “Best Players ever to grace the clay court” that name is “Rafael Nadal” who needs no introduction.
Nadal has won 21 grand slam in his career and still going strong where he has managed to win most (13) French Open titles in his career and looking all set to win 14th one and all eyes will be set on him once he will lock horns against Zverev today for the semifinal round.
The question arises what makes him such a special player on Clay Court. Let address each pointers in detail.
Clay Courts where French Open tournament is played are a slow court surface as compared to hard court surface. When the ball bounces on the clay courts it tends to bounce higher which eventually gives more time for players like Nadal to think and react responsibly.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 2, 2022
Nadal has unique ability as a player to play forehand shots which facilitates topspin while playing a forehand shot, he goes from low to high.
This enables ball to travel at higher distance and when the same ball reaches at opponent’s court it reaches at higher angle.
Nadal possess a significant amount of patience on the court while playing long rallies he waits for his opponent to commit mistake he is a calm headed player and never loss focus in phase of frustration.
He is known for his excellent speed and court coverage and when it comes to clay court his foot movement is faster as compare to other players on ATP circuit.
Nothing to take away from Nadal’s skills as player but weather does play an important role when it comes to his performance on clay court as most Spaniard unlike him love the sun and French Open is mostly conducted under sunny weather conditions.
Due to sun clay surfaces gets harder and ball bounces higher as compare to other courts which completely suits Nadal playing style.