Explain to me Wimbledon vs. The French [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Explain to me Wimbledon vs. The French

bobrocks
02-14-2007, 08:58 PM
Can someone shed a light on something for me please.

Explain why Pete Samprass could dominate the grass of Wimbledon so much, and yet struggle at Roland Garros?
Yet Bjorn Borg dominated on both surfaces, but couldn't win a US Open, where Samprass won many.

It's always seemd to me that because grass is the fastest surface, that's why the true greats all won there (yet Lendl didn't?), whereas the slow clay is a surface that evens out the players a bit, and that's why lesser known talents have won there.

And why is everyone talking about Nadal's injury problems? Is Clay tougher on the body.

Just for the record, the French Open has always been my least favorite of the Grand slam tournaments to watch.

yakuzaninja
02-14-2007, 09:11 PM
Grass isn't the fastest surface- indoor carpet is arguably quicker. And you won't get a faster court than the ice rink from the Swiss last week.

Macbrother
02-14-2007, 09:22 PM
Can someone shed a light on something for me please.

Explain why Pete Samprass could dominate the grass of Wimbledon so much, and yet struggle at Roland Garros?
Yet Bjorn Borg dominated on both surfaces, but couldn't win a US Open, where Samprass won many.

It's always seemd to me that because grass is the fastest surface, that's why the true greats all won there (yet Lendl didn't?), whereas the slow clay is a surface that evens out the players a bit, and that's why lesser known talents have won there.

And why is everyone talking about Nadal's injury problems? Is Clay tougher on the body.

Just for the record, the French Open has always been my least favorite of the Grand slam tournaments to watch.

Sampras struggled at Roland Garros because the slower clay courts allowed others to catch up to his volleys and serves for a much easier time passing and returning. Borg was great at the French because he was arguably one of the fastest movers on the tour and could return almost anything -- he could translate that to Wimbledon because his volleys, while not "great," were competent and his outstanding moving/returning allowed him to retrieve shots spectacularly well on either surface. This is not to mention the fact that his mental will to win the match at any time, losing or winning, is perhaps the best in history. His troubles at the U.S. Open weren't really about surface, he had numerous hardcourt titles in his career, he was simply unfortunate and lost each time to other all-time greats of the era; two to Connors and two to McEnroe.

People talk about Nadal's injury problems because: he has injury problems. It's not the clay that's particulary bad on his body, it's his playing style. Federer played nearly as many matches as Nadal did last year and yet he is fine.

DrJules
02-14-2007, 10:39 PM
Sampras struggled at Roland Garros because the slower clay courts allowed others to catch up to his volleys and serves for a much easier time passing and returning. Borg was great at the French because he was arguably one of the fastest movers on the tour and could return almost anything -- he could translate that to Wimbledon because his volleys, while not "great," were competent and his outstanding moving/returning allowed him to retrieve shots spectacularly well on either surface. This is not to mention the fact that his mental will to win the match at any time, losing or winning, is perhaps the best in history. His troubles at the U.S. Open weren't really about surface, he had numerous hardcourt titles in his career, he was simply unfortunate and lost each time to other all-time greats of the era; two to Connors and two to McEnroe.

People talk about Nadal's injury problems because: he has injury problems. It's not the clay that's particulary bad on his body, it's his playing style. Federer played nearly as many matches as Nadal did last year and yet he is fine.

He lost in 1976 US Open final to Connors at the US Open on clay. Borg never really seemed to like playing in the US.

DrJules
02-14-2007, 10:44 PM
Can someone shed a light on something for me please.

Explain why Pete Samprass could dominate the grass of Wimbledon so much, and yet struggle at Roland Garros?
Yet Bjorn Borg dominated on both surfaces, but couldn't win a US Open, where Samprass won many.

It's always seemd to me that because grass is the fastest surface, that's why the true greats all won there (yet Lendl didn't?), whereas the slow clay is a surface that evens out the players a bit, and that's why lesser known talents have won there.

And why is everyone talking about Nadal's injury problems? Is Clay tougher on the body.

Just for the record, the French Open has always been my least favorite of the Grand slam tournaments to watch.

In terms of movement, bounce and speed hard courts, clay courts and grass courts are each totally different. Moving on cement, clay or grass will feel totally different and alter how well players move. Bounce will highest on hard courts (the hardest surface) and lowest on grass (the softest surface). Clay is slower than grass while hard courts can be any speed. Players can overcome the differences between 2 surfaces, but not 3 surfaces.

Macbrother
02-14-2007, 11:03 PM
He lost in 1976 US Open final to Connors at the US Open on clay. Borg never really seemed to like playing in the US.

Yeah that's why I said the problem wasn't surface.:p In an interview Borg said he simply was always out of luck in the last grand slam of the year since he used it all up at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. :)

sodman12
02-14-2007, 11:11 PM
Bounce will highest on hard courts (the hardest surface) and lowest on grass (the softest surface).


Not true bounce is higher on clay since the spin can grip the surface.

Shabazza
02-15-2007, 12:08 AM
People talk about Nadal's injury problems because: he has injury problems. It's not the clay that's particulary bad on his body, it's his playing style. Federer played nearly as many matches as Nadal did last year and yet he is fine.

Correction. He played way more matches:
Federer 92-5
Nadal 59-12

Clay is not the reason for his injuries. In fact, clay is one of the best surfaces (if not the best) for the body.

TennisGrandSlam
02-15-2007, 12:39 AM
Correction. He played way more matches:
Federer 92-5
Nadal 59-12

Clay is not the reason for his injuries. In fact, clay is one of the best surfaces (if not the best) for the body.


But players consume more energy on Claycourt than on Hardcourt. :wavey:

Merton
02-15-2007, 12:53 AM
The clay is the best surface on the body, but considering the total effect one needs to adjust for the fact that clay matches tend to last longer than matches on other surfaces. Therefore playing 40 matches on clay will mean a higher time on court than playing 40 matches on a hard court. I don't know which of the two effects dominates, the smoother surface or the higher time spent on court.

ChinoRios4Ever
02-15-2007, 12:59 AM
Clay and slow courts= Sampras' killa

kobulingam
02-15-2007, 01:24 AM
The clay is the best surface on the body, but considering the total effect one needs to adjust for the fact that clay matches tend to last longer than matches on other surfaces. Therefore playing 40 matches on clay will mean a higher time on court than playing 40 matches on a hard court. I don't know which of the two effects dominates, the smoother surface or the higher time spent on court.

Clay tennis is more tiring, but softer on the body (meaning, the day after a long clay match you're more likely to feel tired than to have sore knees, ankles, etc.).

kobulingam
02-15-2007, 01:25 AM
Correction. He played way more matches:
Federer 92-5
Nadal 59-12

Clay is not the reason for his injuries. In fact, clay is one of the best surfaces (if not the best) for the body.


The reason is the BUILT FOR CLAY style being used on harcourts. Nadal should limit his hardcourt tournaments and increase his clay tournaments. Simple solution.

guga2120
02-15-2007, 01:46 AM
With Pete Sampras it was simple, you slow his serve down, which the clay did, he was beatable. When on grass his serve was such a weapon, he had the best serve ever.

RickDaStick
02-15-2007, 01:50 AM
There really is no difference. Both are attended by people with terrible hygiene.

ASP0315
02-15-2007, 02:05 AM
With Pete Sampras it was simple, you slow his serve down, which the clay did, he was beatable. When on grass his serve was such a weapon, he had the best serve ever.

I agree with that.

bobrocks
02-15-2007, 02:18 AM
Sampras struggled at Roland Garros because the slower clay courts allowed others to catch up to his volleys and serves for a much easier time passing and returning. Borg was great at the French because he was arguably one of the fastest movers on the tour and could return almost anything -- he could translate that to Wimbledon because his volleys, while not "great," were competent and his outstanding moving/returning allowed him to retrieve shots spectacularly well on either surface.


So winning at Roland Garros is more about speed? And having a big serve can help at Wimbledon but not at the French? This sounds like Roddick's game could or should help him win Wimbledon? And I guess he almost did, losing twice to Federer in the final.

kinglear
02-15-2007, 03:06 AM
And correct me if I'm wrong, but it's true that you have to stay extra low with shots on grass because if not then the shots will go into the net. :confused:

Macbrother
02-15-2007, 03:10 AM
Correction. He played way more matches:
Federer 92-5
Nadal 59-12

Clay is not the reason for his injuries. In fact, clay is one of the best surfaces (if not the best) for the body.

I was referring to matches on clay, which in fact Nadal did have more of than Federer last year. But yeah as Merton pointed out you must also take into account the longer rallies effect on the body.

So winning at Roland Garros is more about speed? And having a big serve can help at Wimbledon but not at the French? This sounds like Roddick's game could or should help him win Wimbledon? And I guess he almost did, losing twice to Federer in the final.

Well a big serve helps everywhere but it's most potent on grass/fast courts because the low bounce offers the returner almost no time to hit it, whereas clay, with higher bounces allows a player more time to get a racquet on the ball. And yes, the most obvious case is Roddick who in three years went got SF, F, F, at Wimbledon, losing each time to the eventual champion Federer.

And yeah clay places less emphasis on actual shotmaking and more on stamina, footwork, speed, and consistency. As you can see when Nadal is in form those are his absolute strengths; as well as the ability to hit extreme amounts of topspin which is most effective on clay (makes the bounces even higher) and difficult for opponents to attack -- something Borg was also extremely effective at doing. The difference is Borg was also able to come into the net with competence and vary his strategy, something Nadal showed glimpses of last year at Wimbledon but hasn't been seen since.

kobulingam
02-15-2007, 03:37 AM
With Pete Sampras it was simple, you slow his serve down, which the clay did, he was beatable. When on grass his serve was such a weapon, he had the best serve ever.


Actually, that wasn't the main factor (it was probably the second, or third biggest factor).

The biggest factor was his movement on clay. He had poor balance on clay, and never timed the slide with the shot correctly.

There are 3 levels of sliding skill on clay.

1) Top Level. Slide into the shot, thus hitting the shot at the end of your slide (this gives you extra court coverage). Since you have stopped sliding when you hit the shot, you now have traction and can make a sudden move to another point to the court.

2) Mediocre (Agassi type). Limited use of sliding as an advantage extend court coverage, BUT at least make sure you aren't sliding after you hit the shot. Agassi did this on his way to the FO title (taking careful baby steps on the clay before he stopped before taking the shot). He wasn't taking full advantage of slides to improve his defense, BUT at least he made sure he wasn't sliding after he hit his shot, which allowed him to start going to a new positiong immediately. It also allowed him to have good balance when he was hitting his shots (he was hitting a hardcourt shot).

3) Poor (Sampras). Sliding while hitting the shot, and still sliding afterwards. The slide is started too late thus the player is hitting the shot while still sliding (hard to hit good shots like this), and after the shot is made the player can't start moving to a new position immediately.


Sampras was in category 3 (I've simplified this, there really aren't categories, it's a spectrum). This was his biggest problem at the FO.



And still I consider these problems on par with the slowing down of his serve on clay:

- many of his winners-on-hc-or-grass shots kept coming back (this is the second biggest reason: "the increased defensive capabilities of others on clay")
- high topspin balls to his backhand (ring a bell?)
- not enough topspin capabilities in his shots
- poor fitness at times
- lack of patience in rallies

and I'm missing a few others

His serve being slowed down wasn't the main reason. He was never known to have one of the fastest serves, his serve was amazing because he had a consistent ball toss, he hit the lines, and because his second serve was almost as good as the first serve).

kobulingam
02-15-2007, 03:40 AM
And correct me if I'm wrong, but it's true that you have to stay extra low with shots on grass because if not then the shots will go into the net. :confused:

I don't know what you mean. The ball bounce is lower, so you are forced to make contact with the ball at a lower point (which usually requires you to be in a lower stance when hitting it, but not necessarily).

I am not sure what you mean by the "net" comment? If the ball bounce is really low you can topspin on the ball to get it over the net (you don't have to go dig the ball from underneath).

SaltoKlose
02-15-2007, 05:58 AM
you cant compare borg and sampras...

sampras played in an era with great depth on the clay courts... there were a lot of clay court specialists who were better than him on clay eg. courier, bruguera, muster, medvedev...

therefore making it tougher for him to win the FO... and this adds to his already vulnerable game on clay...

kobulingam
02-15-2007, 06:02 PM
you cant compare borg and sampras...

sampras played in an era with great depth on the clay courts... there were a lot of clay court specialists who were better than him on clay eg. courier, bruguera, muster, medvedev...

therefore making it tougher for him to win the FO... and this adds to his already vulnerable game on clay...


I don't know what you mean. I don't see Sampras even dreaming of winning a FO during Borg's years.

Tennis-Engineer
02-15-2007, 06:23 PM
This is what Andre Agassi said in part of interview with Larry King last september in CNN channel :

Andre, I just want to know how you feel about when you were during the '80, during your wild and crazy rebel years, if you regret not playing Wimbledon more?

AGASSI: I do. I regret it. One of my bigger regrets. You know, I missed Wimbledon for the first few years. I played the first year and then didn't play for about three years. You know, it's one of the reasons why I went back this year. I knew my body wouldn't sort of hold up under the demands of the grass, but I took off the clay this year to get myself as right as possible, to go properly say goodbye to what is, you know, the Masters of our sport. It's the place. I do regret that very much.

KING: Why didn't you play it?

AGASSI: You know, to be honest, I didn't think I had a chance to win, and I wanted the time off. I did well in Paris those years. I was playing well on the clay, and it was so close back-to-back, that I said, you know, I'm going home. I've had a good year and I'm going to go home and I'll get ready for the Open.

KING: What essentially is the big difference between grass and clay?

AGASSI: It's the way the ball moves. I mean, on grass, the ball slides through and bounces almost quicker from ground to racket as it does from your racket to the ground, and clay is completely the opposite. It bounces very high and the ball slows up tremendously, and movement is a big issue. When you're running on clay and you run wide to go hit ball, what people don't realize is, you know, as you're hitting the ball, you actually have to get back this way, and so on clay you hit it and you continually slide out of court. So the better you get at sort of sliding into your shots, the movement is a big advantage. It's like you're playing on ice skates if you don't know what you're doing.

KING: Are most players better at one than the other?

AGASSI: Clay is a very specialized surface. There is no question about it. Hard court tends to allow for everybody to be physical with their movement, because you stop when you want to stop and you can play a long ways back because the courts are slow enough these days, the balls are slow enough, or you can come forward and get to net. But clay is a different animal. It's like you can't win that tournament without being -- without being specialized.

KING: How did you do on clay?

AGASSI: I did good enough. I managed to win on it, so that was great.

KING: And grass, of course, too?

AGASSI: Yes.

KING: So would you say, when you approach something, it really was six of one, half dozen of another?

AGASSI: There was years when, before, you know, I've been around for sort of a few generations. So when I first came onto the clay, I hit the ball bigger than everybody, and so I didn't have to do much defense. So movement wasn't as much of an issue for me on the clay, because I would sort of dictate the play. But then guys got bigger, guys got stronger, guys got better, and I had to start moving and I stopped liking it so much.

Boris Franz Ecker
02-15-2007, 07:30 PM
It's simple.
Wimbledon is THE tennis tournament, a great player has to win it multiple times.
That was Borg's and Sampras' mission.

Andre'sNo1Fan
02-15-2007, 07:42 PM
It's simple.
Wimbledon is THE tennis tournament, a great player has to win it multiple times.
That was Borg's and Sampras' mission.
:lol: Got nothing to do with that, Borg won the FO many times, too.

Its to do with the fact that grass makes players who have serve and little succeed, but on clay, you need real talent, and an ability to construct points. Its that simple.

bobrocks
02-15-2007, 07:47 PM
It's simple.
Wimbledon is THE tennis tournament.

Yes, it is definately the tournament to win. No other tournament has the atmosphere of Wimbledon. The US Open has amazing atmosphere too, just different.

I would suggest that because of the different surfaces, winning the Grand Slam in tennis would have to be considered one of the greatest challenges in all of sport.

kinglear
02-15-2007, 07:53 PM
I don't know what you mean. The ball bounce is lower, so you are forced to make contact with the ball at a lower point (which usually requires you to be in a lower stance when hitting it, but not necessarily).

I am not sure what you mean by the "net" comment? If the ball bounce is really low you can topspin on the ball to get it over the net (you don't have to go dig the ball from underneath).

Well, by "net" I mean that since the ball bounces so low, it's hard to get under the ball and players end up dumping the ball into the net. That's what I meant. ;)

t0x
02-15-2007, 08:36 PM
Grass is very much a reaction surface. Although the courts have been slowed down the past few years (or the balls, w.e) you need natural flair and instinct to play well on grass. It's about hitting winners, very attacking, entertaining tennis (I like it anyway lol).

Clay is a much more grueling physical test, it's about staying in really long rallies and picking your time to go for a winner. I see clay as the surface where the mentally strong and players with good endurance do well, whereas grass is where the more 'natural' tennis players do well.

Either way, it takes a brilliant player to win either, and I regard both slams just as highly :)

Macbrother
02-16-2007, 04:26 AM
you cant compare borg and sampras...

sampras played in an era with great depth on the clay courts... there were a lot of clay court specialists who were better than him on clay eg. courier, bruguera, muster, medvedev...

therefore making it tougher for him to win the FO... and this adds to his already vulnerable game on clay...

Yeah Borg had to deal with claycourt clowns like Ivan Lendl, Guillermo Vilas, and Manuel Orantes. Sampras had his chances, he simply never cared to, or simply couldn't adapt his game to clay. May not have been a huge deal when he was playing but I'm sure he thinks about it now.

It's simple.
Wimbledon is THE tennis tournament, a great player has to win it multiple times.
That was Borg's and Sampras' mission.
:worship: