Originally Posted by Eimear O'Mahony
What is it with French players and Roland Garros? They just seem to freeze. Its crazy. Well Gael is the exeption I think
Well actually I think the answer is quite simple : incredibly there is very few clay practice courts in France (in Spain, a good 75% are clay, but here, 80% are hard.) I've been playing tennis for the last 15 years (and 7 years intensively) and I only played a few times on clay (which is major fun by the way, so funny to slide around lol. But the ball is a bitch on it.) Plus all the big French juniors tournaments are hard or indoors. So the Frenchies basically grew up on hard (and indoors during the cold season) and trained on clay only when Roland was around the corner. Clay isn't natural for them, unlike the Spanish. And of course, there is that story of breaking down in front of a french crowd.
There is the exception of Jo who grew up on clay from his own words. But he was always injured when RG came and the only time he played it, he was still a teenager and drew Roddick in the first round. (I know, Roddick + clay =
but still !) I've never seen him play on clay. I can't wait
And of course, GaŽl is a natural slider so it suits him perfectly. Probably too soon to hope for a GaŽl/Jo final and I wouldn't want to jinx them, but