I like to think that clay, the surface on which I developed my game, is the field on which real champions can be seen. The player who is in the best conditions comes out triumphing.

Clay is the surface where the physical, mental, and tactical aspects prevail in equal measure:

  • Physical and mental aspects: The player who can stand three sets in more than three hours, with a majority of rallies well over 10 shots will prevail.
  • Tactical aspect: Tactics are also of a vital importance, as in the whole of a match (physical and mental), a player will keep, as a base, between one and three key plays. For instance, we know very well that by playing heavy balls (in terms of acceleration, height, and depth) to Roger Federer’s backhand, Rafael Nadal has outrageously dominated their head-to-head on clay.

What will we enjoy the most of this European clay swing?

(Photos: Rafael Nadal and the simplest tactical resources; Novak Djokovic and the determination to overcome any and all rivals; David Ferrer and a tennis that will never quit running
Original images: Getty; Montage: BATennis World