Andy and Americans on European clay court [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Andy and Americans on European clay court

Nishy
05-09-2004, 12:03 AM
I am recently concerned about Andy's poor European clay court result and also other young Americans.

About Andy, I think If he doesn't figure out to play well on clay, it might be difficult to stay No.1 or 2 unless he wins big tournament like GS consistently. There are tons of Latino players especially Argentina who is catching up how to play well on hard court. I think they are enough to be threat for not only Americans but another countries players.
I have been following men's tennis for 3 years so I don't know exactly how was Agassi's generation but I heard Agassi, Courier, Chang (sorry if these spell is not correct) did well on clay and they all won RG.

I would like to hear your opinion how can Andy and also other young americans improve on European clay because I am very interesting in this and I really hope they are getting better near in the future on European clay.

Sorry for the new thread and English is not my first language, so if you are not clear about my question, please ask me and I will try to describe another explanation.

Carito_90
05-09-2004, 12:17 AM
We're talking about this here: http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=10438&page=5 :)

but dont worry.. u may have not realized cuz that's not the main topic lol

Umm well, Agassi was a good player on clay, but he never felt comfortable in Europe. I think the same's happening to Andy.

About Andy, I think If he doesn't figure out to play well on clay, it might be difficult to stay No.1 or 2 unless he wins big tournament like GS consistently.

Yeah but remember the clay season's pretty short while the hard court season's much longer. (taking on count that u have 2 hard court seasons, spring and summer but there's only one clay season even though there r a few tourneys in the middle of the summer hard court season, but not very important) So he has time to recover from the clay season and the points he may have lost there.
On the other hand, as you'll probably read in the threat that i've just told u about, claycourt players are improving A LOT on hard courts. So if he doesn't improve on clay, it'll be tough for him keep up with the others.

So whatever.. that's my lil conclution from all i've read and well.. seen lol

Deboogle!.
05-09-2004, 02:07 AM
About Andy, I think If he doesn't figure out to play well on clay, it might be difficult to stay No.1 or 2 unless he wins big tournament like GS consistently. There are tons of Latino players especially Argentina who is catching up how to play well on hard court. I think they are enough to be threat for not only Americans but another countries players.

First of all, Nishy your English is fine and I understood everything you said! :)

Now, what I quoted above, I totally agree. I said this in the other thread where we're discussing this. You have the top "claycourters" like Coria and Ferrero and Moya who all play well on hardcourts now, so Andy will HAVE to catch up on clay.

To answer your question about what they can do to improve. I think just keep working and practicing. Getting hurt (Mardy and James), choking matches (Robby), and skipping tournaments and playing as little as possible (all of them) is really hurting all of them on clay. They should play tournaments like Estoril or Valencia instead of Houston. They should really try to play all three TMS tourneys and maybe even one of the ones like Barcelona where all the good clay-courters play. Even if they lose their matches, they and their coaches can watch what happens and say "ok this guy is a great clay player and he did this this and this to beat you" but if they continue to avoid it as much as possible, they can't really improve. It's quite disappointing, as someone who is a fan of most of them.

tangerine_dream
05-09-2004, 02:16 AM
What she said.

andyroxmysox12191
05-09-2004, 02:25 AM
what they all said..

Nishy
05-09-2004, 02:46 AM
Carito,
Thank you for linking the threads. I read some.

bunk18bsb,
>they and their coaches can watch what happens

I agree with you.
They need to practice in there and need to get used to european clay envirornment.

I might be wrong, but I heard Courier's(sorry if spell not correct) play style is little similar to Andy's like power hitter. Courier won some RG before and hope Andy and others can get some advice from him and that helps.

Carito_90
05-09-2004, 02:50 AM
Carito,
Thank you for linking the threads. I read some.

You're welcome :)

star
05-09-2004, 03:16 AM
Courier was a ferocious baseline player who was tremendously fit and was coached by Higueras who was a good clay court player himself.

Havok
05-09-2004, 03:22 AM
Well first and foremost, they need to change their bullshit attitude about them playing on clay. If they keep on having a crap ass mind set while playing on the dirt, they won't get any better:(

star
05-09-2004, 03:23 AM
Andy will have to be a lot more fit to play on clay successfully. He's going to have to practice on his footwork too.

tangerine_dream
05-09-2004, 03:35 AM
I have been following men's tennis for 3 years so I don't know exactly how was Agassi's generation but I heard Agassi, Courier, Chang (sorry if these spell is not correct) did well on clay and they all won RG.

I am the same age as Agassi's group and yes, they were all very good on clay (sans Sampras :) ). This is the first generation we've had in a while where our European clay results are less-than-spectacular.

But I really think it's still too early to tell how the young Americans will do ("they" being Fish, Roddick, Blake, Ginepri). I don't know what's happened in the last few years that Andy's clay performance suddenly turned so poor. People blame Brad Gilbert but I don't think that's it because his results were just as bad when he was with Tarik Benhabiles. He did great at his first French Open appearance in 2001 but it's been downhill ever since.

Perhaps it has something to do with comfort zone. Andy's not in his comfort zone when he's in Europe and, for this year at least, he simply was not ready and prepared to go to Rome. He was still coming down from the high of the Davis Cup win, and he barely looked like he even wanted to be at the Houston Clay Championships, let alone get on a plane and shift gears onto the euro clay. Too much on his plate.

The way I see it: there were two big things that affected his mentality going into Rome: Davis Cup and the hotel fire. If he didn't have to contend with either, I think he would've been much more prepared for Rome. :)

That's why I'm feeling better about his chances at RG this year. He will have had the extra week to nurse his knee and prepare his mind and body for the clay. Providing there are no more freak accidents and fires to contend with, he should do OK in France (where he's quite popular, so the crowd won't be terribly hostile, either).

btw, Nishy, your English is perfectly good! :yeah:

Nishy
05-09-2004, 03:42 AM
Courier was a ferocious baseline player who was tremendously fit and was coached by Higueras who was a good clay court player himself.

Star,
Thank you for this information. I can imagine why Courier did well on clay.
Where Higueras come from? I am just curious.
I think Brad still can control Andy's head(mind) so I don't think Andy has to change the coach soon but he needs the advisor who knows and teach well everything about clay game style.
Agassi never felt comfortable to play on clay but he won some of clay court tournaments and won RG when he was with Brad who never won in clay. Even thoug his play style is not same as Andy's, but I am very curious how Agassi managed to win on clay. Does anyone know?

Sorry if you feel I ask many question to you.

tangerine_dream
05-09-2004, 03:47 AM
Agassi never felt comfortable to play on clay but he won some of clay court tournaments and won RG when he was with Brad who never won in clay. Even thoug his play style is not same as Andy's, but I am very curious how Agassi managed to win on clay. Does anyone know?

Agassi was blessed/cursed with a tennis-obsessed stage father who made Andre and his siblings practice tennis on every kind of court surface he could find.

star
05-09-2004, 03:50 AM
I think Americans historically haven't been good on clay.

Before Courier and Chang, Tony Trabert was the last American to have won Roland Garros. Connors never won it despite his baseline poweress. McEnroe never won it, and his loss there to Lendl really took the heart out of him.

Agassi was tremendously uncomfortable on clay for a long time. Funny to think now that Agassi won Wimbledon before he won Roland Garros. It wasn't until he got very fit that he won Roland Garros.

Chang... :rolleyes: One has to think that was the flukiest slam win of all time. I don't think he even reached the final of a major after that.

Deboogle!.
05-09-2004, 03:50 AM
I agree with most of what you guys have said :)

tangy that is funny that his best RG performance (3rd round when he had to retire against Hewitt, but played so great against Chang) was his first time playing, and his best performance at ALL THREE of the TMS clay tourneys was the first time he played those in 2002 (3rd round, SF, and 3rd round at MC, Rome, and Hamburg respectively). It's confuzzling :scratch:

star
05-09-2004, 03:51 AM
I must have slipped in one nannosecond in front of you, Deb.

Deboogle!.
05-09-2004, 03:54 AM
:) yep... luckily we said different things ;)

star
05-09-2004, 04:07 AM
Jose Higueras is Spanish. He now lives in California. He's 51 years old.

He got to the final of Roland Garros in 77 but lost to Vilas. He was in the semis there a couple of times too. His biggest championship was Hamburg on 1982 where he beat Wilander on his way to the championship. His last full year on the tour was 1985.

It cracks me up to see that the U.S. Clay Court Championships used to be held in August.

Nishy
05-09-2004, 04:18 AM
Star,
Thank you for the detail about Higueras.

MisterQ
05-09-2004, 04:32 AM
Agassi was tremendously uncomfortable on clay for a long time. Funny to think now that Agassi won Wimbledon before he won Roland Garros. It wasn't until he got very fit that he won Roland Garros.

Chang... :rolleyes: One has to think that was the flukiest slam win of all time. I don't think he even reached the final of a major after that.

I'm not sure I agree about Andre on clay. Early on it looked like it might actually be a good surface for him. He reached the final of Rome in 1989 and actually had a championship point against Alberto Mancini before losing in 5. He made the semis of RG in 1988 when he was only 18, losing to Wilander in 5 sets. And then he made the final in both 1990 and 1991. So he basically did everything BUT win those big tournaments.

I agree Michael's 1989 RG was a little flukey, but he certainly fought his heart out for that one! (i'm not a fan of his, but that was a remarkable effort).

Chang did reach 3 other GS finals: RG1995, AO1996, USO1996. :)

Deboogle!.
05-09-2004, 04:37 AM
So Q, what do you think it was that caused him to drop off so much after the decent results (kinda similar to what seems to have happened to Andy)?

MisterQ
05-09-2004, 04:43 AM
I think there are two factors:

1. fitness issues, motivation issues, bad attitude issues

2. some really great clay court players emerged after 1991 or so. Muster, Bruguera, et al.

Action Jackson
05-09-2004, 04:48 AM
I think there are two factors:

1. fitness issues, motivation issues, bad attitude issues

2. some really great clay court players emerged after 1991 or so. Muster, Bruguera, et al.

Very true Q, that's why I said before Courier and Agassi took advantage from 1989-93, when the next generation of claycourt players were coming through, they were still developing then. From what I remember there wasn't much rain around the time, which made the courts a bit quicker and that helped him.

The irony was Agassi lost RG, when he should have won it against Gomez and Courier, then he won it, when he probably shouldn't have.

star
05-09-2004, 04:57 AM
Chang did reach 3 other GS finals: RG1995, AO1996, USO1996. :)

lol........ funny that I didn't remember those. Must have blocked them. :)

Deboogle!.
05-09-2004, 04:57 AM
Interesting, makes sense Q..... ok then, so what explains Andy having his best season the first full clay season he played? Luck? LOL... he had some decent wins back in 2002, then diddly. I wonder what happened.

Action Jackson
05-09-2004, 05:11 AM
Bunk, Andy was new on the tour at the time, so he had no fear at all, nobody knew who he was, so he just went out and played the game as he saw it at the time irrespective of the surface.

Actually his win against Chang, while important for him and well-deserved, is slightly hyped as Chang was well past his best at the time. That Hewitt match was a pain though, as I was sure that was going 5 sets.

Action Jackson
05-09-2004, 05:16 AM
His best wins on the surface have been against Gonzo ( Monte Carlo) and Pavel (Rome). The match against Coria he was just coming back from the ban and was ranked 109 at the time, but if he manged to win enough matches and play him at a later stage of the tournament, you never know.

As for Robredo, Malisse and Koubek he can beat them any day of the week, anywhere on any surface.

Nishy
05-09-2004, 05:42 AM
Bunk, Andy was new on the tour at the time, so he had no fear at all, nobody knew who he was, so he just went out and played the game as he saw it at the time irrespective of the surface.

I think so too, GeorgeWHitler.
His first year as pro, he was very excited, innocent, no fear, nothing to lose, no pressure and huge emotion(heart) made him play good compare to recent year, 2003/2004. Even though he is the person who can manage super huge pressure from everyone like he is the only one hope of American tennis etc, pressure is still on his shoulder that seems to make him struggle.

As some people said his mind is kind of the key to do well on clay I think. I hope Brad can get rid of bad prejudice bug from Andy's head and can reset Andy's mind just like we reset the computer. :D All I can say right now is always remember his original intention and carry out this.

Action Jackson
05-09-2004, 05:53 AM
Well Gilbert wasn't someone who was very apt at playing on clay, and he hated the surface as well, so that being the case it might be harder for Andy to shake off the negative vibes and also the more he doesn't play in Europe on clay, the more it hurts him in the long run.

This has been said before but I am not really sure how much Roddick really wants to do well on clay. Before some people have a go at me here, there isn't the pressure for Americans to succeed on clay. They do have enough big money tournaments at home on the hardcourts for them to do well, and have a good ranking without worrying too much about the clay season.

Personally I think that just as it is important for players that are better on clay, that they improve on the faster surfaces, and many of them have, the same goes for the American players when it comes to clay, Spadea is an exception to this rule.

heya
05-09-2004, 06:33 AM
Would he want to be a Sampras-grass/hardcourt style player who paces himself well to win the slams or a Courier, a more hardcourt/clay style player who'll wear out in his mid-20's?
In the next decade, I doubt most clay-dominant players will have as much success as Andy on grass, hardcourt & carpet.
Major problems with him are boredom, poor advice & bad fitness.
I don't care about macho 150 mph serves or muscle building.
I want to see him play sharply & with more enthusiasm.

A lot of people have confidence, but they don't win many titles.
He doesn't know an expert who was a good clay player & there's no practice partner who'll raise his level. It's not because he's terrible. Sometimes, he wants to be a clown...not be #1.

Most likely, he'll improve steadily & win slams & Masters titles.
Tennis is more competitive overall than 15 years ago.
It's impossible to reach quarterfinals all the time even though I don't mind!
Imo, unless the #1 player holds a huge lead, the ranking system doesn't
prove who's the best because some players can gain points from playing more & getting better draws.

Nishy
05-09-2004, 06:44 AM
Well Gilbert wasn't someone who was very apt at playing on clay, and he hated the surface as well, so that being the case it might be harder for Andy to shake off the negative vibes and also the more he doesn't play in Europe on clay, the more it hurts him in the long run.
Why does Brad hate clay? I am just curious.
As I wrote before, How about Andy has someone like advisor who knows how to play well on clay? Even if it seems to be difficult for Brad to manage Andy's mind, having claycourt specialist advisor might little help him I guess.


This has been said before but I am not really sure how much Roddick really wants to do well on clay. Before some people have a go at me here, there isn't the pressure for Americans to succeed on clay. They do have enough big money tournaments at home on the hardcourts for them to do well, and have a good ranking without worrying too much about the clay season.
Carito also said about same thing as you and this is right I think.
It depends on how much Andy really wants to win on clay and hope he is strongly willing to win. Because I just expect him to be all round player(I'm just an acquisitive nature) :)

Action Jackson
05-09-2004, 06:58 AM
Why does Brad hate clay? I am just curious.
As I wrote before, How about Andy has someone like advisor who knows how to play well on clay? Even if it seems to be difficult for Brad to manage Andy's mind, having claycourt specialist advisor might little help him I guess.

Well Gilbert was very ordinary on the clay when he was playing and with playing on clay, technical failings are brutally exposed on that surface. He was a hardcourt/indoor specialist, who never cared about playing on clay. His serve didn't have much spin, and neither did his groundstrokes, and Gilbert was never the fittest guy when he was playing, he won his matches with great determination, and knowing how to psyche his opponent out and get them off their game.

Carito also said about same thing as you and this is right I think.
It depends on how much Andy really wants to win on clay and hope he is strongly willing to win. Because I just expect him to be all round player(I'm just an acquisitive nature)

It's like I said before, there isn't the stigma or the pressure for American players to improve their games on slower surfaces. Also of course you would want Andy to improve his all-round game, as does every fan and that is totally logical.

If he wants to do it, he needs to be fitter, and the thing Gilbert should be able to help him with is tactics, though not much evidence of that in Rome, his backhand was working well.

There are many things that he has to work on, but he is never going to a great all round player, what he needs to is work on improving his weaknesses and get the most out of them in critical moments, when he needs a good volley or make a backhand under pressure.

Nishy
05-09-2004, 07:19 AM
Thank you for the coment about Brad. I thought Brad is technician player.

heya
05-09-2004, 08:00 AM
I've seen parts of Verizon 01 on green clay, & Houston 02 on red clay.
He did well because he was healthy, moved around fast & didn't gain the pizza weight.

Gilbert's more like an embarrassing, long lost acquaintance who insults guests at Andy's pizza party. He was invited by Carillo, a drunkard, 'cuz she thought Gilbert had courage & talent. :o
I couldn't care less if he writes a puke inducing poem in his diary after French Open.

Deboogle!.
05-09-2004, 01:15 PM
interesting comments from you all. I'm glad to hear Andy's backhand improvements were still evident on clay - that is very important. Almost every player just attacks his backhand mercilessly and I'm thrilled that this is not a huge liability anymore.

I think, Nishy, that if Andy were to want to REALLY do well at the French that yes, a clay-court specialist might be the way to go.

heya, you can't compare Andy's physical condition when he was 18 and 19 to now. Men still grow and depending on the way he grew (which obviously he has done over the past 2 years), there's only so much he can do. I mean we've discussed ad nauseum that yes Andy can be in better shape but he's not Taylor Dent out there running around either. When Andy has a long match, I don't get worried about him being ok to play again the next day like other people - that's a sign of good physical shape. IMO he's in good physical condition, really good even, he just needs to trim down a little.

Plus as star has said, he has to get serious on his own. Only he can stop eating pizza and going out for Italian. I like good food too, and it's harder to stop eating your favorites than most people think. It's really almost like an addiction. So maybe he's trying to cut down...maybe not. Who knows?

I still think you guys should write to Brad and tell him what you think LOL

star
05-09-2004, 01:25 PM
I think Navratilova and Agassi wrote the book on how to turn from McDonalds to fitness.

The short answer is that there is no trying; there is only doing. If Andy is trying to be fit, he isn't BEING fit.

As Nike says: JUST DO IT!

tangerine_dream
05-09-2004, 02:28 PM
Interesting, makes sense Q..... ok then, so what explains Andy having his best season the first full clay season he played?

Probably for the same reason Hewitt took over in 2001–2002: he was new on the tour, young, and full of bravado. he had no fear of his opponents and he had no fear of failure or success.

Different story now. :)

star
05-09-2004, 02:31 PM
Also he was new to everyone on the tour and they weren't all aware of how to exploit his weaknesses as they are now. :)