Novak Djokovic was 0-3 in the French Open finals last year. It took him 12 year time to win his first Rolland Garros title. One wonders how it took so long for someone like Djoko to win this title. Is it to do with playing on the clay court? May be, Yes. While the French Open action has begun, let’s look at why clay court is more difficult to other countries apart from Spain to adjust.
Playing on the clay court has not been very easy for even the best in the game. Let us find some reasons why playing on the clay court is different, if not difficult than hard or grass court:
Difficult to move on Clay court: It is way too difficult to move smoothly on a clay court because of the fine covering on top of the surface. This is the reason sliding is preferred by the tennis players to move on the clay courts. And sliding is an art which requires great amount of practice. This is the reason why it takes 4 or 5 attempts for the best in the game to get going in French Open because this is the only championship which is played on the clay court.
Clay court surface changes constantly: The weird thing with the surface of the clay court is that it could play fast on a sunny day and turn slower during the overcast days. The bounce is another factor. Even if kept with proper maintenance, an odd bad bounce is inevitable on clay court
Spin effect: Skills change while playing on the clay court. The two courts, clay and hard, have different effects on spin of the ball when pitched. The spin bites more into the clay court because of the gritty surface. If topspin is put on the ball, the ball will bounce higher and sharper off the clay court than the same ball hit on a hard court.