(#)article:: RAFA unable to shake off "clay court specialist" label~? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

(#)article:: RAFA unable to shake off "clay court specialist" label~?

CmonAussie
04-26-2008, 12:06 PM
:devil::angel::devil:
...interesting article about Nadal & his place in tennis~~ "clay court specialist...a backhand compliment":confused:
#some Rafa fans will no doubt take offense, but still it`s not meant as a dig at Rafa!!
So feel free to leave your comments as to whether the author is right or wrong:confused:
www.tennis.com

Nadal still considered a clay-court specialist

This is the business part of the season for Rafael Nadal. From Monte Carlo through Roland Garros, Rafa is not only expected to win, he has to win. There are simply too many ranking points for him to defend when he hits the dirt if he’s going to protect his No. 2 position from Novak Djokovic, let alone make a realistic play for Roger Federer’s top spot.

In the last few years, Nadal has been up to the challenge, as his jaw-dropping record on clay attests. Consider: In 2007, he was 31-1 (the loss, to Roger Federer in Hamburg, snapped an Open-era record 81-match win streak). Even more astonishing, since April of 2005, Nadal has a claycourt win-loss record of 93-1.



Rafael Nadal has won 18 singles titles, 13 on clay and five on hardcourts. His record in finals is jut the opposite - only one of his eight finals losses has come on clay, and the other seven all on hardcourts or grass (including two Wimbledon finals).

© Claude Paris/AP

These stats have come to define Nadal’s career up to this point. They paint a portrait of a legend in the making, a tenacious baseline warrior who grinds out his victories on the most physically grueling surface in tennis. But therein lies the rub. Although Nadal has a strong record on hard and grass courts, he is a clay-court specialist. The stats prove it. No other player comes close to equaling his record on the dirt. And as hard as he tries to do well on other surfaces, Rafa is the quintessential dirtballer.
It’s no knock on his accomplishments. Yet, you can’t help but think how the term “clay-court specialist” has become a sort of backhanded compliment in the sport.

Many fans and experts alike tend to view clay-court specialists in a strange light. Yes, they applaud the stained socks and souls and the five-set wars of attrition, but they also prefer to ghettoize these players by slapping them with a label. You don’t hear folks referring to James Blake and Andy Roddick as hard court specialists, even though they most certainly excel on hard courts more than any other surface, and are virtually helpless on clay. No one labeled Pete Sampras a “grass court specialist,” even though, were it not for Wimbledon, he wouldn’t be ranked among the all-time greats.

Sampras padded his resume with 7 titles at the All England Club, surely enough to earn him some derisive praise or at least an asterisk, no? But win a couple French Open titles, as Sergi Bruguera did in the 1990s, and you’re forever branded a dirt devil. Do people look at Gustavo Kuerten, who’s retiring after this year’s Roland Garros, as anything but a clay-court specialist? Not really. Is Thomas Muster remembered as being a versatile player who once captured Key Biscayne? No, he’s the guy who went to Umag, on clay, before the U.S. Open, to gobble up ranking points. Other players cast as clay-court specialists include Albert Costa, Alberto Berasategui, Andres Gomez, Guillermo Coria, and Gaston Gaudio.

The template for the clay-court specialist—the player who is glued to the baseline and wears down his opponents with heavy, safe topspin rather than trying to end points with penetrating drives or closing them out at net—was set by Guillermo Vilas in the 1970s. He reached the final of the French Open four times, winning the title once, and had the longest win streak on clay before Nadal hit the tour. While Vilas also won the Australian and US Open, he’s remembered for his exploits on clay. There were others at the time who excelled even more on clay, most notably Bjorn Borg. But Borg dominated on the grass at Wimbledon (hard courts were his bugaboo).

The high point (or low point, depending on your perspective) of the clay-court specialist was from the late 1980s through the late 1990s, when the likes of Bruguera, Muster, and later Kuerten, Coria, and Gaudio dominated on the dirt but struggled mightily on other surfaces. Indeed, many of the Spanish and South American dirtballers didn’t even bother to show up at Wimbledon and they didn’t exactly exude a desire to win in Flushing Meadows, either.

These days, the classic clay-court specialist appears to be a dying breed. Most guys on tour play a similar all-court game—it’s what TENNIS Magazine senior editor Peter Bodo has termed the “World Game.” Take a guy like Nikolay Davydenko. He’s a French Open semifinalist, but he’s also a threat at the U.S. Open and Australian Open. Same goes for many other ATP players. There is, however, one guy with bulging biceps keeping the tradition of the clay courter alive.

Nadal talks with passion about wanting to do well on all surfaces, and you must respect him for that. And his fans point out, rightfully so, that he’s won Master Series events on hard courts, plus reached the Wimbledon final. But try as Nadal might, he is, in mindset and style of play, a clay-court specialist of old. Topspin tedium and tenacity are his calling cards. Given the way he plays, he has far more in common with the Brugueras and Musters than the Djokovics and Federers. Of course, Nadal is a level or two above those guys in terms of pace and power, not to mention his speed and athleticism. He can also venture to net and rip an occasional shot for a spectacular winner, including off the backhand side despite the paucity of his technique. In short, Nadal hits with more bite and juice than, say, Coria could ever dream of doing.

Yet, Rafa is still most at home when he’s scrambling from corner to corner, counter-punching and digging out shots. Like the classic clay-court specialists, he mostly uses his serve to start a point, not hit an ace, and relies on his forehand, not his backhand. You won’t see Rafa smack big backhands down the line with the regularity or comfort level of a Djokovic or Federer. It’s a war of attrition for Nadal. That’s the plot—and he never deviates from it.

All this isn’t to criticize Nadal as a specialist, but to merely point out the type of player he is. Yes, Nadal reached the Wimbledon final last year and the year before, but don’t you get the sense that his performance was more a product of riding an incredible wave of momentum coming out of the French Open as opposed to exhibiting strong all-court skills. Traditionally, after Wimbledon, when virtually all events are played on outdoor hard or even faster indoor hard courts, Rafa’s record is less impressive.

Right now, if Nadal’s career ended, he’d go down as the game’s all-time best clay-court specialist. Unfortunately, history doesn’t always look kindly on players of his ilk (Bruguera, for one, got snubbed by the Hall of Fame this year) and are rarely considered among the pantheon of all-timers. If, like me, you’re a fan of Nadal’s game and the effort he puts into every single point, match, and tournament, you want to see him take a page out of Borg’s and Wilander’s playbook by winning a few Slams off the dirt. Otherwise, Nadal—as talented as he is, as passionate as he plays—runs the risk of being marginalized in the history books as a clay-court specialist. There are worse things to be called, of course, but Nadal and his fans desire a better fate.

James Martin is the editor-in-chief of TENNIS magazine

Action Jackson
04-26-2008, 12:11 PM
Old subject matter, which has been done to death. The synopsis is the same.

Wilander, Muster, Kuerten, Corretja, Moya, just off the top of my head won Slams (Wilander), TMS events and also the end of season championships (Guga and Corretja) on non clay surfaces. Guess what they are still called clay court specialists.

Borg had to win Wimbledon 5x not to be labelled one.

It's simple, most of the big events are on faster surfaces, therefore the players that do well on those, don't have to improve their games on clay. Fast court fools just doesn't have the same ring to it.

CmonAussie
04-26-2008, 12:13 PM
Old subject matter, which has been done to death. The synopsis is the same.

Wilander, Muster, Kuerten, Corretja, Moya, just off the top of my head won Slams (Wilander), TMS events and also the end of season championships (Guga and Corretja) on non clay surfaces. Guess what they are still called clay court specialists.

Borg had to win Wimbledon 5x not to be labelled one.


but is being labelled "clay court specialist" a "backhand compliment" these days, as the author suggests:confused:

also should players like James Blake be labelled "hard court specialist":confused:

Action Jackson
04-26-2008, 12:17 PM
but is being labelled "clay court specialist" a "backhand compliment" these days, as the author suggests:confused:

also should players like James Blake be labelled "hard court specialist":confused:

Of course it is. If you are saying someone is a specialist, it's not exactly highlighting what they can do away from their specific surface.

Claycourt specialist when used correctly would be:

Gaston Gaudio
Kent Carlsson
Alberto Berasategui
Pippo Volandri
Albert Montanes
Sergio Roitman

When not used correctly are the examples of the guys I gave in the first post.

The stigma is not the same for someone who excels on faster surfaces, because the majority of events are on hardcourts . All those guys don't need to improve or do well on clay like Blake, Roddick, Hewitt even, though when fit, he has done quite well to maintain a high ranking.

GlennMirnyi
04-26-2008, 12:20 PM
He'll be always called a clay specialist because... well, he IS one.

CmonAussie
04-26-2008, 12:20 PM
Of course it is. If you are saying someone is a specialist, it's not exactly highlighting what they can do away from their specific surface.

The stigma is not the same for someone who excels on faster surfaces, because the majority of events are on hardcourts . All those guys don't need to improve or do well on clay like Blake, Roddick, Hewitt even, though when fit, he has done quite well to maintain a high ranking.

good points:cool:
...
so do you think there should be more clay tourneys & less hardcourt ones:confused:

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 08:35 AM
good points:cool:
...
so do you think there should be more clay tourneys & less hardcourt ones:confused:

No comment on that. There are enough issues with the calendar at the moment, there are too many hardcourt events as it is, but that has been done to death as well elsewhere.

Back to this subject. I forgot Mariano Puerta could be classified as one as well, but what they do is like any stereotype. While there is a small amount of truth, for the most part it's a lazy label, that people don't actually bother to look further.

Example of a classic one. Nalbandian is a claycourt specialist. Why? Because he is an Argentine.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 08:36 AM
He'll be always called a clay specialist because... well, he IS one.

Hehe.

Allure
04-27-2008, 08:40 AM
He'll be always called a clay specialist because... well, he IS one.

:yeah:

GuiroNl
04-27-2008, 09:25 AM
Who cares what you call him. The results are the only thing that will be remembered.

These sort of 'philisophical discussions' only exist to feed the ego of clowns like James Martin (he is the author isn't he?). "Look at me and how much I know about tennis :rolleyes:."

Kolya
04-27-2008, 10:29 AM
It depends how you define a clay court specialist.

1. A player who beats players ranked higher than him on clay but loses on other surfaces. Does well only during the clay season eg. Mantilla, Berasategui.

or...

2. A player who is a specialist on clay but can play on other surfaces but is still seen as just a clay court specialist eg. Nadal.

Apemant
04-27-2008, 10:39 AM
Example of a classic one. Nalbandian is a claycourt specialist. Why? Because he is an Argentine.

Wow, can't believe anyone really considers Nalbandian a claycourt specialist? That'd be complete and utter ignorance...

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 10:44 AM
It depends how you define a clay court specialist.

1. A player who beats players ranked higher than him on clay but loses on other surfaces. Does well only during the clay season eg. Mantilla, Berasategui.

or...

2. A player who is a specialist on clay but can play on other surfaces but is still seen as just a clay court specialist eg. Nadal.


Mantilla did beat Sampras and Hewitt on hardcourts, when they were number 1 in the world. An out and out clay specialist wouldn't be able to do that.

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 10:55 AM
It's a more compact form of "a player who has enjoyed the vast majority of his success on clay", how long will we keep hearing all that BS about that phrase?

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 10:59 AM
It's a more compact form of "a player who has enjoyed the vast majority of his success on clay", how long will we keep hearing all that BS about that phrase?

When the stigma is the same for players being crap on clay, in other words, not happening.

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 11:01 AM
When the stigma is the same for players being crap on clay, in other words, not happening.What stigma?
Is Djokovic more appreciated than Nadal because he won his Slam on hard?

Are Hewitt and Safin more appreciated than Kuerten?

Everybody knows the Americans are crap on clay and they get a lot of stick for that both here and in the media.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 11:05 AM
What stigma?
Is Djokovic more appreciated than Nadal because he won his Slam on hard?

Are Hewitt and Safin more appreciated than Kuerten?

Everybody knows the Americans are crap on clay and they get a lot of stick for that both here and in the media.

Safin and Hewitt are, they aren't labelled hardcourt or fast court specialists are they? Guga is?

Becker and Edberg are remembered more fondly than what Wilander is, when they won the same amount and guess which ones didn't win the clay Slam?

Ok, so you are saying it's Ok to stereotype because people are lazy?

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 11:14 AM
Becker and Edberg are remembered more fondly than what Wilander is, when they won the same amount and guess which ones didn't win the clay Slam?

Ok, so you are saying it's Ok to stereotype because people are lazy?
Lendl is held to a higher regard than those 2 and he hasn't won Wimbledon.
And it is your choice to take it as an insult. The facts are most of those players labelled "claycourt specialists" have won 75% or more of their titles on clay, not to mention players like Muster who wouldn't skip a clay tourney for the life of his.

I don't find their achievements any less impressive than players like Roddick who normally only wins big at home on hardcourts, quite the opposite. It is your choice to retain that point of view.

DrJules
04-27-2008, 11:30 AM
Safin and Hewitt are, they aren't labelled hardcourt or fast court specialists are they? Guga is?

Becker and Edberg are remembered more fondly than what Wilander is, when they won the same amount and guess which ones didn't win the clay Slam?

Ok, so you are saying it's Ok to stereotype because people are lazy?

Hewitt won a grass court and hard court grand slam so can not be considered a hard court or grass court specialist. However, I see the reason Safin may be called a hard court specialist and Guga a clay court specialist.

Grass and hard courts are totally different surfaces yet you keep grouping them together.

DrJules
04-27-2008, 11:33 AM
Lendl is held to a higher regard than those 2 and he hasn't won Wimbledon.
And it is your choice to take it as an insult. The facts are most of those players labelled "claycourt specialists" have won 75% or more of their titles on clay, not to mention players like Muster who wouldn't skip a clay tourney for the life of his.

I don't find their achievements any less impressive than players like Roddick who normally only wins big at home on hardcourts, quite the opposite. It is your choice to retain that point of view.

Agree. The dependency on a single surface is vital factor.

Becker won 3 grand slams on grass and 3 on hard courts while Edberg won 4 on grass courts and 2 on hard courts which is more surface diverse than Guga with all 3 wins on clay.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 11:37 AM
Lendl is held to a higher regard than those 2 and he hasn't won Wimbledon.
And it is your choice to take it as an insult. The facts are most of those players labelled "claycourt specialists" have won 75% or more of their titles on clay, not to mention players like Muster who wouldn't skip a clay tourney for the life of his.

I don't find their achievements any less impressive than players like Roddick who normally only wins big at home on hardcourts, quite the opposite. It is your choice to retain that point of view.

Lendl has a huge amount of weeks at number 1 and could play everywhere, clear difference.

The facts are the term is used incorrectly by lazy individuals. Yes, they exist, not so much now, the game has changed.

The same Muster argument, it's simple when a player who is stronger on clay like Muster consistently makes semis of hardcourt Slams, won TMS events on hardcourt and carpet, then they cease to be a clay specialist. No, it wasn't a one-off either.

From Corretja

Wise man Corretja lectures on thriving Spanish game
2004-05-26 15:14:13 GMT (Reuters)
By Francois Thomazeau

PARIS, May 26 (Reuters) - Alex Corretja, one of the wise veterans of Spanish tennis, gave a lecture on the state of the game in his country after easing into the French Open third round at the expense of Paradorn Srichapan on Wednesday.

"There are still some people who don't know about (Spanish) tennis and say we're all clay-court specialists," Corretja said after his 6-4 7-5 6-3 victory over the 13th seeded Thai.

"Just look at the statistics and look at the results of our careers and you'll realise we are not just clay-court specialists.

"I think (journalists) are just bored and don't know what to write," added Corretja, a finalist at Roland Garros in 1998 and 2001.

The Spaniard, who has boycotted Wimbledon in the past in protest at the tournament's seeding system, warned that his compatriots were capable of shining on all surfaces.

"I think now we can say that, even on grass, we can play very good tennis," he said.

Kolya
04-27-2008, 11:39 AM
Mantilla did beat Sampras and Hewitt on hardcourts, when they were number 1 in the world. An out and out clay specialist wouldn't be able to do that.

Yes I know Mantilla can play on hardcourts but somewhat he is still a clay court specialist though.

Its pretty subjective who you classify as a clay court specialist.

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 11:40 AM
Grass and hard courts are totally different surfaces yet you keep grouping them together.
I used to group these two together too, but there's plenty of evidence it shouldn't be that way:

- Lendl was amazing on hard and just very good on grass.
- Wilander won USO and was never a force on grass.
- Agassi by far better on HC than on grass.
- Borg, one of the all time greats on grass, never won the USO
- Nadal has had way more success at Wimbly than both USO and AO
- Safin: 4 GS finals on HC (2 W), 1 QF at Wimbly.
- Connors: better on HC by a country mile.

Only Sampras, Federer, Jmac and maybe Edberg have been evenly good on both (okay, I'll add Roddick).

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 11:41 AM
Hewitt won a grass court and hard court grand slam so can not be considered a hard court or grass court specialist. However, I see the reason Safin may be called a hard court specialist and Guga a clay court specialist.

Grass and hard courts are totally different surfaces yet you keep grouping them together.

You still miss the point, doesn't matter how many times it's explained. It doesn't matter whether Hewitt or Safin won their Slams on hardcourt or grass. They aren't derided or sneered at for winning slams on these surfaces.

Keep being lazy in the use of claycourt specialist.

Kolya
04-27-2008, 11:43 AM
Can't you classify a player as a clay court specialist, someone who excels on clay but can play on hardcourts with success but less than on clay as still a clay court specialist because he is really good on the surface?

Or does a clay court specialist just excels on clay but can't play on anything else?

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 11:45 AM
Can't you classify a player as a clay court specialist, someone who excels on clay but can play on hardcourts with success but less than on clay as still a clay court specialist?

Or does a clay court specialist just excels on clay but can't play on anything else?

Look at the examples I gave of what claycourt specialists are. That is clear enough.

Gaston Gaudio
Kent Carlsson
Alberto Berasategui
Pippo Volandri
Albert Montanes
Sergio Roitman
Martin Jaite at a stretch

If they had some success on hardcourts, then how are they only 1 surface specialists?

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 11:48 AM
You still miss the point, doesn't matter how many times it's explained. It doesn't matter whether Hewitt or Safin won their Slams on hardcourt or grass. They aren't derided or sneered at for winning slams on these surfaces.

Keep being lazy in the use of claycourt specialist.Nadal is the perfect example.

He has clearly been the third best player on hardcourt and 2nd on grass over the last couple of years but once he arrives in Monte Carlo you really feel no one else has a chance, because clay is his speciality.

I'll give you that - the phrase is a remainder from an era when many players (from spain and latin-america usually) had clay tourneys constituting 80% of their schedule while most major tourneys have always been played off clay.

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 11:51 AM
If they had some success on hardcourts, then how are they only 1 surface specialists?Being a specialist in any field doesn't mean you are completely useless in anything but that. It only means you do that certain thing better than most people and better than most other things you do.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 11:53 AM
Nadal is the perfect example.

He has clearly been the third best player on hardcourt and 2nd on grass over the last couple of years but once he arrives in Monte Carlo you really feel no one else has a chance, because clay is his speciality.

I'll give you that - the phrase is a remainder from an era when many players (from spain and latin-america usually) had clay tourneys constituting 80% of their schedule while most major tourneys have always been played off clay.

Look at the game these days, it's very hard just to be a clay specialist, though there are always a few.

Calling him a clay specialist, like Corretja said is just lazy and journalistic boredom. When he does nothing off clay, then he is a clay specialist, but we know this is not the case.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 11:55 AM
Being a specialist in any field doesn't mean you are completely useless in anything but that. It only means you do that certain thing better than most people and better than most other things you do.

It's a term of limitation, disregarding the capabilties of the respective individual outside of that particular field of specialistation. When it's true, then it's useful, but the term has been misused for so long and very common in the English language media.

Like I said before the stigma is not the same for players who don't do well on clay, but that's the way it is.

DrJules
04-27-2008, 11:57 AM
Can't you classify a player as a clay court specialist, someone who excels on clay but can play on hardcourts with success but less than on clay as still a clay court specialist because he is really good on the surface?

Or does a clay court specialist just excels on clay but can't play on anything else?

That would be my understanding of a specialist.

Kolya
04-27-2008, 11:58 AM
Being a specialist in any field doesn't mean you are completely useless in anything but that. It only means you do that certain thing better than most people and better than most other things you do.

Exactly.

Being a specialist doesn't mean you're not good at other areas of your profession but you're "really good" in your field of specialisation.

It just depends when the term clay court specialist is used my journalists. If its used after let say Muster loses on hardcourt, then its wrong.

DrJules
04-27-2008, 12:04 PM
Being a specialist in any field doesn't mean you are completely useless in anything but that. It only means you do that certain thing better than most people and better than most other things you do.

Exactly.

Being a specialist doesn't mean you're not good at other areas of your profession but you're "really good" in your field of specialisation.

It just depends when the term clay court specialist is used my journalists. If its used after let say Muster loses on hardcourt, then its wrong.

Agreed.

In those terms Nadal is a clay court specialist.

leng jai
04-27-2008, 12:07 PM
I will use the saying I used the last time this came up:

A Chef usually has his own signature dish but that doesn't mean he is incapable of cooking anything else.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 12:10 PM
Exactly.

Being a specialist doesn't mean you're not good at other areas of your profession but you're "really good" in your field of specialisation.

It just depends when the term clay court specialist is used my journalists. If its used after let say Muster loses on hardcourt, then its wrong.

Honestly it's not that difficult. Nearly every player has a surface preference, but if they are specialist, they only do well on that surface.

A football example, there are guys who are known as free kick specialists, nothing to indicate whether they can defend, dribble, distribute the ball etc, etc, hence within a sporting context, it's a clear limiting term.

GuiroNl
04-27-2008, 12:11 PM
I used to group these two together too, but there's plenty of evidence it shouldn't be that way:

- Lendl was amazing on hard and just very good on grass.
- Wilander won USO and was never a force on grass.- Agassi by far better on HC than on grass.
- Borg, one of the all time greats on grass, never won the USO
- Nadal has had way more success at Wimbly than both USO and AO
- Safin: 4 GS finals on HC (2 W), 1 QF at Wimbly.
- Connors: better on HC by a country mile.

Only Sampras, Federer, Jmac and maybe Edberg have been evenly good on both (okay, I'll add Roddick).

Wilander won the Australian Open on grass twice and was a finalist there on grass. He won 3 GS on clay, 2 on grass and 2 on hard courts.

Kolya
04-27-2008, 12:18 PM
I reckon it just depends what context you use the term in.

Depends how you interpret the word specialist. Someone who is only good in that field or is just better in that field than others.

Rogiman
04-27-2008, 01:15 PM
Wilander won the Australian Open on grass twice and was a finalist there on grass. He won 3 GS on clay, 2 on grass and 2 on hard courts.Alright, I should have been specific about Wimbly then. Clearly the AO grass had some fishy results over the years.

Kolya
04-27-2008, 02:09 PM
Alright, I should have been specific about Wimbly then. Clearly the AO grass had some fishy results over the years.

Grass court at the AO is different to Wimbledon. At the AO the grass was drier and harder with the Australian summer heat. It suited Wilander more.

GuiroNl
04-27-2008, 02:18 PM
Whoops. Wrong thread.

stebs
04-27-2008, 02:25 PM
Depends how you interpret the word specialist. Someone who is only good in that field or is just better in that field than others.

The word has a set meaning. It means to specialise in something as we know and what does that mean? It means that you excel at that particular thing and GWH may attach some kind of stigma to it but the word itself has a simple meaning and it's NOT about disregarding abilities other than that in which you specialise but about highlighting those which you do specialise in.

Burrow
04-27-2008, 02:35 PM
Old subject matter, which has been done to death. The synopsis is the same.

Wilander, Muster, Kuerten, Corretja, Moya, just off the top of my head won Slams (Wilander), TMS events and also the end of season championships (Guga and Corretja) on non clay surfaces. Guess what they are still called clay court specialists.

Borg had to win Wimbledon 5x not to be labelled one.

It's simple, most of the big events are on faster surfaces, therefore the players that do well on those, don't have to improve their games on clay. Fast court fools just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Since when did Corretja win a slam?

Kolya
04-27-2008, 03:03 PM
The word has a set meaning. It means to specialise in something as we know and what does that mean? It means that you excel at that particular thing and GWH may attach some kind of stigma to it but the word itself has a simple meaning and it's NOT about disregarding abilities other than that in which you specialise but about highlighting those which you do specialise in.

But the term clay court specialist is subjective.

stebs
04-27-2008, 03:07 PM
But the term clay court specialist is subjective.

:shrug: If you think so.

For me the meaning is clear. Somebody who specialises on a clay court. I don't see why anyone should interpret it diefferently than the simple meaning.

Johnny Groove
04-27-2008, 03:23 PM
claycourt specialist means different things to different people.

Some say that it means a player such as Nadal is a specialist on clay, it being his best surface, but he can still play on other surfaces and do well on them. They think it means that his specialty is clay, but says nothing of his other court abilities

However, other people are convinced that clay court specialist has a negative connotation and it means that said player can ONLY play on clay and is a mug anywhere else

Kolya
04-27-2008, 03:24 PM
:shrug: If you think so.

For me the meaning is clear. Somebody who specialises on a clay court. I don't see why anyone should interpret it diefferently than the simple meaning.

I know what it means to me.

If its not subjective then there wouldn't be a thread about it.

stebs
04-27-2008, 03:28 PM
I know what it means to me.

If its not subjective then there wouldn't be a thread about it.

Fair enough. I am just saying that what the words mean has no negative connotations. It is up to the individual to add those if they wish.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 03:32 PM
Since when did Corretja win a slam?

How about you read closely. I bracketed the guy who won the Slams off the clay Wilander. Guga and Corretja won the TMC on carpet, probably the 5th biggest event after the Slams, which I related to in the original post, yet they are still called clay specialists.

Action Jackson
04-27-2008, 03:34 PM
Fair enough. I am just saying that what the words mean has no negative connotations. It is up to the individual to add those if they wish.

To you, it has no negative connotations. Kolya and Blaze have shown the other side, it's subjective in how it's used.

I posted an example of a player who was sick of the term being used in a lazy manner. If there wasn't that sort of negative connotation around, then it wouldn't be a problem.

CmonAussie
04-27-2008, 03:38 PM
...
~~~
well the way this Monte Carlo final is working out i`m sure RAFA`s glad he`s relatively more of a clay court specialist than FED is(:>
~~~
...Nadal really does seem unbeatable on clay when he`s in warrior mode like this!!

Johnny Groove
04-27-2008, 03:40 PM
...
~~~
well the way this Monte Carlo final is working out i`m sure RAFA`s glad he`s relatively more of a clay court specialist than FED is(:>
~~~
...Nadal really does seem unbeatable on clay when he`s in warrior mode like this!!

I see you still seem to be having seizures when you type.

Have you gotten that checked out?

CmonAussie
04-27-2008, 03:42 PM
I see you still seem to be having seizures when you type.

Have you gotten that checked out?

yes i`ve been prescribed a diet heavy in natto [fermented soy beans]:devil:

Johnny Groove
04-27-2008, 03:43 PM
yes i`ve been prescribed a diet heavy in natto [fermented soy beans]:devil:

good luck with that. It's not as bad now as it used to be, when it seems like you banged your head on the keyboard a few times in each post :lol:

CmonAussie
07-08-2008, 08:38 AM
...
...
CONGRATULATIONS RAFA***
~~now all those `clay court specialist` articles can be laid to rest!!!!
[though he may still be labelled a `natural[clay + grass] court specialist`???

Sebby
07-08-2008, 08:48 AM
...
...
CONGRATULATIONS RAFA***
~~now all those `clay court specialist` articles can be laid to rest!!!!
[though he may still be labelled a `natural[clay + grass] court specialist`???

Natural grass court specialist ? No way.

He certainly had to work very hard to adapt to the surface.

Mimi
07-08-2008, 08:53 AM
:smooch::yippee: thanks, i love this bumping ...
...
CONGRATULATIONS RAFA***
~~now all those `clay court specialist` articles can be laid to rest!!!!
[though he may still be labelled a `natural[clay + grass] court specialist`???

Kolya
07-08-2008, 09:19 AM
Its not grass anymore hasn't been for years...

leng jai
07-08-2008, 09:22 AM
There is actually no grass on the area of the court that Nadal spends 99% of his time on.

CmonAussie
07-08-2008, 01:48 PM
Its not grass anymore hasn't been for years...

...
it might be slower than 10 years ago but the main differences are racquet technology & to some extent the balls. Wimbledon grass is still markedly different from French clay>> otherwise the likes of Moya, Almagro & Robredo would also be doing well @ Wimby:p

Merton
07-08-2008, 10:18 PM
Nadal will be back to "clay court specialist" status for the media by the end of the year.

Black Adam
07-08-2008, 10:22 PM
I will use the saying I used the last time this came up:

A Chef usually has his own signature dish but that doesn't mean he is incapable of cooking anything else.
:worship::worship:The most sensible post in this thread.

Albatros99
07-08-2008, 10:29 PM
Nadal is still a clay court specialist in the (blind) eyes of some. The only improvement in his game is that now he has adapted better to the green coloured surface of "grass" which in fact behaves exactly like clay and doesn't cause him the aesthetic repulsion it did before. Paradoxically he wears green pretty often, perhaps because it is uniform green unlike Wimbledon's sandy surface.

The real proof is the serve. You only have to count the number of aces Federer got against Nadal in the final (2 or 3 I think it was)to realise that Wimbledon is now green clay.