To see the significance the clay court has on the ATP tour one has to look no further than the rankings list.
Players who learnt to play on clay seem to have a remarkable edge over players who learnt to play on other surfaces.
It’s hard to find top tennis players who did not hone their skills as juniors on the clay courts.
Andy Murray won his first clay court title in Munich in Germany last week and followed it up with a stupendous victory at the Madrid Masters.
He is one of the few players that did not start playing tennis on clay but the British No.1 later moved to Barcelona to develop his game on the surface.
Grand Slam drought
The grand slam drought experienced by players from both Australia and the United States can be linked directly to the lack of experience players have playing on red clay as juniors.
Many players and coaches will admit that red clay is the ultimate test of good tennis players.
The surface requires great movement and extraordinary levels of stamina due to the points being longer than on other surfaces.
Players who have been taught on clay seem to have better ground strokes as the clay slows the ball down making it easier to return a fast serve.
Some fans have questioned the world number one, Novak Djokovic’s motivation for withdrawing from the Madrid open but due to the taxing nature of the clay court season he may be giving himself more of a chance of finally adding the one grand slam missing from his trophy cabinet.
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