Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Do all players find this, that if they do well at Roland Garros they will do well at Wimbledon? Seemed to work for Agassi and Nadal. 99 Agassi won Roland Garros and then looked brilliant at Wimbledon. Nadal, same thing for 3 years in a row.

Also, I heard Hingis and Agassi both say that the longer they played on grass the worse their groundstrokes became.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:11 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Far from it. The footwork is a lot different on the surfaces, look at Davydenko and del Potro both play well enough on clay, but are grass gimps.

For all the surface homogenisation some things between clay and grass can't be engineered by outside forces.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

^^ Yeah obviously the 2 surfaces are nothing like each other, and claycourters usually suck on grass (and several Spanish players have skipped Wimbledon). And Del Potro is not a grasscourt player at all. But of course I'm talking about the players who have the game for both surfaces, do they usually play better at Wimbledon after a good Roland Garros or do they suck at Roland Garros and then dominate Wimbledon anyway?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:17 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

How many players have done the double Borg, Nadal, Federer, Laver and Budge. It's not like it's an easy thing to do.

No, you asked about all players, some do well and others don't.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

I mean 'all players' as in the ones who do well on both. Do all players with versatile games do better at Wimbledon after a successful Roland Garros more so than after a poor Roland Garros? I didn't think you'd believe I mean spanish claycourters since we know they don't do well on grass regardless.

I've never seen Agassi hit the ball sharper at Wimbledon than after winning Roland Garros. And Hingis too in 1997.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:20 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Nadal is Spanish, plays well on clay and has done well at Wimbledon. What is doing well mean? Isn't that relative?

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

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Nadal is Spanish, plays well on clay and has done well at Wimbledon. What is doing well mean? Isn't that relative?
Nadal isn't the point of this question, it concerns the overall influence clay has on a (versatile) player's grasscourt game. It helped Agassi and Hingis, and they both skipped Wimbledon leadup events purposely to avoid too much grasscourt play. So of the other players capable of RG and Wimbledon success (by their standards) it would be interesting to see which of those players only did well (by their standards) at Wimbledon after doing well (by their standards) at Roland Garros.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 03:33 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

What would be the basis for clay matches benefiting more for a grass slam than grass matches? It makes no sense whatsoever. In cases where players did well in both slams, isn't it more likely it's due to fact they were in excellent form, rather than the fact they played on clay before Wimbledon. In other words, if USO were to be played shortly after RG, would you be asking the same question for double RG/USO champions or is there actually something concrete you're referring to. In what sense would clay make groudnstrokes sharper?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 05:38 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Clay can be seen as the key surface to develop things like defense in your game, but that's when you're learning, those who learn on clay are usually more complete players than the ones that develop in other surfaces BUT it doesn't mean that people who can play on clay are going to be good in grass, it's a matter of how a particular player and his style fits a certain surface or not

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 06:08 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

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Originally Posted by LBJfinalsMVP View Post
Do all players find this, that if they do well at Roland Garros they will do well at Wimbledon? Seemed to work for Agassi and Nadal. 99 Agassi won Roland Garros and then looked brilliant at Wimbledon. Nadal, same thing for 3 years in a row.

Also, I heard Hingis and Agassi both say that the longer they played on grass the worse their groundstrokes became.
look at Mauresmo and Henin.Yes Mauresmo might have never won Roland Garros due to choking but she was a fine clay court player having won Rome in 2005;2004 and was a finalist there in 2003;2001;2000.Won Berlin in 2004;2001 and 2000 and was a finalist in 1998 and won Warsaw;Nice;Amelia Island amongst other clay court tournaments beating the likes of Williams;Capriati etcLshrug: she might not have done well in Paris but she always did well at Wimbledon by making 3 semis before winning it in 2006

Henin made it to 2 finals and 3 semis so I agree that clay makes you a finer grass court player but Del Potro and Davydenko are worthless on grass and maybe it's not fair to compare the WTA and ATP

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 07:14 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

on grass, moving forward is easier compared to moving sidewards where people could lose their footing and control on the shot sometimes......for that reason, many players today don't have the footwork for grass because serve and volley is renounced by the ATP professionals and no one moves forward much.......

hence we don't see too many players doing well on grass after the clay season.......not that they cannot ballbash on this surface.......it's just the same kind of tennis everywhere........problem is, they are not 100% confident all the time of their footing on grass moving corner to coorner on the baseline and fail to make those quick adjustments.......

there's also a notion that it's easy to deal with inconsistent bounce on grass when you play on clay and then make the switch to grass.......i heard that agassi used to practice on clay for wimbledon just to deal with inconsistent bounces.......

even historically, switch from clay to grass proved easy in the case of quite a few players.......
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 07:22 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

After the clay season, Borg would skip the grass tune-up tournaments before Wimbledon in order to get as much practice as he could on grass. They're completely different surfaces.

wat.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 07:24 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Ferrero has his best runs at Wimbledon after his worst Roland Garros results. Although that's largely because his style has progressed and he's more motivated for grass than clay nowadays.

In Nadal's case, confidence and match-play are everything he needs. He usually has those in abundance coming into Wimbledon.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 07:32 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBJfinalsMVP View Post

I've never seen Agassi hit the ball sharper at Wimbledon than after winning Roland Garros. And Hingis too in 1997.
Don't you think that might be because they were on very good form?

The answer is no, playing a lot on clay does not make you better for grass.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 09:38 PM
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Re: Does playing on clay make your groundstrokes sharper for grass?

Overall disagree for several reasons.

Movement into the hitting position on clay is different on clay and grass. Sliding into position is common on clay while movement into position on grass involves footsteps.

The bounce on grass is lower than clay which means clay prepares a player for hitting groundstrokes at a higher hitting point.

The ball travels through the surface faster on grass so have less time to hit the groundstroke on grass. Clay encourages longer swings on groundstrokes which do not work on grass.
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