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View Full Version : Where are all the REAL clay courters?!


johnny ballgame
02-25-2007, 04:42 PM
Keeps getting easier to predict a Nadal-Federer final in Paris. I mean, congrats to the winners of the South American clay events, but none of them are a real threat to Nadal or Fed at Roland Garros.

Who can challenge Nadal or Fed? Big time clay courters of years past aren't cutting it. Coria and Guga way out of the picture. Ferrero, Gaudio, Moya not even close to peak form. Nalbandian? Robredo? Don't think so.

Almagro? Gimme a break, what a complete clown. Zero chance that guy can keep it together mentally for an entire slam.

Andres
02-25-2007, 04:53 PM
There aren't real claycourters left now, but players who play well on clay, and can give anyone's trouble: Nalbandian, Davydenko, Cañas, Gasquet, Acasuso, Ferrer.

Among those, I can see David taking down Federer or Nadal. Perhaps Niolay can take Nadal, with his on-the-rise-patient-aggressive game, specially since he takes everything early on the backhand, so Nadal can't pound his lefty forehand on him, but I don't see him outlasting Federer

Nalbandian would be my choice, but I don't see him winning FO anyway... but he certainly has a better shot than Robredo, Coria or Gaudio, IMO.

diegaa
02-25-2007, 04:58 PM
yes, i guess u r right.
argies are not in their best right now, gonzalez seems to be more comfortable at hard courts than in clay lately and the hot-shot spaniards wanna improve in other surfaces. Let´s be honest: if u wanna be, say top 15, u have to play well on faster courts.
It seems that clay season is loosing its importance vis a vis the hard courts.

ibemadskillzz
02-25-2007, 04:59 PM
Federer will win French this year. mark my words

jelle v
02-25-2007, 05:00 PM
I think it's too early to say. Imo we have wait and see what the claycourtseason will bring. Every year there are one or two players who have a really great clayseason. Those will be the ones dangerous to Federer and Nadal.

If I had to pick players beforehand, I would say maybe Nalbandian, maybe Davydenko, maybe Gonzalez.

On the other hand, I don't mind seeing another Roland Garros final between Federer and Nadal.

scineram
02-25-2007, 05:04 PM
Federer will win French this year. mark my words

WOW, crazy bet. No?

johnny ballgame
02-25-2007, 05:10 PM
Imo we have wait and see what the claycourtseason will bring. Every year there are one or two players who have a really great clayseason. Those will be the ones dangerous to Federer and Nadal.

If I had to pick players beforehand, I would say maybe Nalbandian, maybe Davydenko, maybe Gonzalez.


Perhaps someone will emerge in spring. The lesser known clay court season (down south) is almost over, no real contenders to show for it.

Zaragoza
02-25-2007, 05:45 PM
Real claycourters aren´t top players these days. Some top players play their best on clay (mostly Spaniards) but they are not just claycourters.
I would say the highest ranked player between pure claycourters is Almagro and he is no. 30. There used to be more pure claycourters in the past but these days you cannot be a top player if you´re not good on hardcourts so most of the players have focused in their improvement on hardcourts.
Adding we got one of the greatest players ever and one of the greatest players ever on clay playing right now, the gap on clay between these 2 and the rest is huge. But you can still expect an upset.

oscar_2424
02-25-2007, 05:50 PM
Lucho Horna will bein this year RG's final.

johnny ballgame
02-25-2007, 06:00 PM
Real claycourters aren´t top players these days... I would say the highest ranked player between pure claycourters is Almagro and he is no. 30. There used to be more pure claycourters in the past but these days you cannot be a top player if you´re not good on hardcourts so most of the players have focused in their improvement on hardcourts.


I disagree if you're saying you can't be a highly ranked player being a clay specialist. There are a TON of rankings points up for grabs with the south american clay season, the huge euro spring clay season, the little known euro summer clay season, and a couple of clay events in the fall.

The problem is that nobody is dominating the smaller clay events, and nobody can touch Nadal or Fed at the bigger ones.

jktennis59
02-25-2007, 06:19 PM
Nadal, Moya, Acasuso, Gaudio, González, Gasquet, Djokovic and Davydenko.

One of this players will face Federer in the final.

Winner?........I wish Nadal but could be Federer's year.

Zaragoza
02-25-2007, 07:05 PM
I disagree if you're saying you can't be a highly ranked player being a clay specialist. There are a TON of rankings points up for grabs with the south american clay season, the huge euro spring clay season, the little known euro summer clay season, and a couple of clay events in the fall.

The problem is that nobody is dominating the smaller clay events, and nobody can touch Nadal or Fed at the bigger ones.

I get your point but as you said most of those events are small events so top players (highest ranked players) don´t play them or play a few. Look at Nadal last year: he played the French Open, 2 Masters Series and Barcelona (relatively small event).
Generally, top players just play the biggest clay tournaments because hardcourt tournaments give much more points in the end so they´re focused in their improvement on hardcourts. Only players who don´t have a reasonable chance of getting ranking points on hardcourts play the whole clay season and those are not the top players.

aramis
02-25-2007, 07:40 PM
I have a feeling Ferrero will come back this year. And if he does I can see him beating Roger on the dirt. Nadal, I'm not so sure, but he would definitely push him hard. At his best, JCF has a very aggressive game, unlike Coria, and when he gets into a zone hitting that forehand, he'll never miss. He just got to the final at Brazil so he's definitely improving.

Moya and Gaudio have zero confidence at the moment, so I don't see them doing anything. Almagro is a headcase. Coria is just plain missing. Canas could do something, though. He absolutely demolished the guys in Brazil. But I'm still gonna back JC because of his history of dominating the clay court season; he could get inspired and get on a roll.

johnny ballgame
02-26-2007, 05:42 AM
I get your point but as you said most of those events are small events so top players (highest ranked players) don´t play them or play a few. Look at Nadal last year: he played the French Open, 2 Masters Series and Barcelona (relatively small event).
Generally, top players just play the biggest clay tournaments because hardcourt tournaments give much more points in the end so they´re focused in their improvement on hardcourts. Only players who don´t have a reasonable chance of getting ranking points on hardcourts play the whole clay season and those are not the top players.

I understand what you're saying... but my point is that someone could get a pretty high ranking if they were dominant at the smaller clay events and made the semis or quarters of the big clay events. You're right that players aren't doing that, many are signing up for hard court events instead. I wonder if some might be better off playing all the clay events instead...

javier sergio
02-26-2007, 08:09 AM
Keeps getting easier to predict a Nadal-Federer final in Paris. I mean, congrats to the winners of the South American clay events, but none of them are a real threat to Nadal or Fed at Roland Garros.

Who can challenge Nadal or Fed? Big time clay courters of years past aren't cutting it. Coria and Guga way out of the picture. Ferrero, Gaudio, Moya not even close to peak form. Nalbandian? Robredo? Don't think so.

Almagro? Gimme a break, what a complete clown. Zero chance that guy can keep it together mentally for an entire slam.


Here is one;
http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/4969/picogf9.th.jpg (http://img249.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picogf9.jpg)

javier sergio
02-26-2007, 08:11 AM
Here is one;
http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/4969/picogf9.th.jpg (http://img249.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picogf9.jpg)

another one;

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/8006/guillermocaasep2.th.jpg (http://img249.imageshack.us/my.php?image=guillermocaasep2.jpg)

superbooga
02-26-2007, 08:37 AM
I disagree if you're saying you can't be a highly ranked player being a clay specialist. There are a TON of rankings points up for grabs with the south american clay season, the huge euro spring clay season, the little known euro summer clay season, and a couple of clay events in the fall.

The problem is that nobody is dominating the smaller clay events, and nobody can touch Nadal or Fed at the bigger ones.

There aren't really that many ranking points up for grabs: Only 5 non-GS and Masters Series events count. Counting indoor, there are 2 GS and 5 MS on hardcourt, but only 1 GS and 3 MS on clay.

Thor
02-26-2007, 08:54 AM
Nadal, Moya, Acasuso, Gaudio, González, Gasquet, Djokovic and Davydenko.

One of this players will face Federer in the final.

Winner?........I wish Nadal but could be Federer's year.

how about:
Federer, Moya, Acasuso, Gaudio, González, Gasquet, Djokovic and Davydenko.

One of this players will face Nadal in the final.

Winner?........

fastdunn
02-26-2007, 10:38 AM
Keeps getting easier to predict a Nadal-Federer final in Paris. I mean, congrats to the winners of the South American clay events, but none of them are a real threat to Nadal or Fed at Roland Garros.

Who can challenge Nadal or Fed? Big time clay courters of years past aren't cutting it. Coria and Guga way out of the picture. Ferrero, Gaudio, Moya not even close to peak form. Nalbandian? Robredo? Don't think so.

Almagro? Gimme a break, what a complete clown. Zero chance that guy can keep it together mentally for an entire slam.

This is an interesting issue raised. Clay court tennis is now being less specialized compared to 90's.

In 90's, clay court tennis was completely different animal. Well, it is
still that way pretty much but not as much as 90's.
Clay courters in general do just fine on hard courts and even some on
grass court...

Thor
02-26-2007, 11:46 AM
This is an interesting issue raised. Clay court tennis is now being less specialized compared to 90's.

In 90's, clay court tennis was completely different animal. Well, it is
still that way pretty much but not as much as 90's.
Clay courters in general do just fine on hard courts and even some on
grass court...

Thats because Clay is getting much faster now,and grass slower

diegaa
02-26-2007, 12:10 PM
Thats because Clay is getting much faster now,and grass slower

for what i´ve seen Buenos Aires and Viña courts were damn slow this year. but yes, probably the courts on the european clay season have become a little faster.