PDA

View Full Version : The 2009 Clay court season will be one of the most interesting seasons in a while


clayman2000
04-05-2009, 02:18 PM
As the title says, i think that this clay court season will be one of the most interesting clay seasons we have seen in years. All of the games top players have something to prove, and i believe it will lead to some great tennis.

Rafa Nadal has been the undisputed King of Clay since 2005, having lost only 2 matches on the surface since that time. However, for the first time, Nadal will also be coming into the season as the undisputed no 1 player in the world, as well as being King of the Grass, and possibly even the King of Hardcourt. we have seen Rafa adapt his game to all surfaces, and now he has to prove whether his game is still unbeatable on clay.

Roger Federer desires the French open more than anything else. Winning it would certainly move him higher on the GOAT list as it would give him a career slam, and a recod for all time slam wins. However, for the first time in the Nadal era, he enters the season as the no 2 player on paper, but in recent form more like a no 3, behind Murray. With guys like Murray, Roddick on thier weakest surface, and Djokovic not in top form, this may be his last chance to win the French.

Novak Djokovic has played the opposite of what he did in this time last year. Over the course of 2007 and 2008, he established himself as the no 3 , maybe even no 2 clay player in the world, but now, his current form has people wondering if he will be able to repeat his success. Many people on this board have given guys like Roddick, Verdasco, Tsonga and DP a chance to pass him in the world rankings by years end. With each of these guys's game not great on clay, this is Djokovic's chance to prove people why he belongs in the "Big 4"

Andy Murray has had an incredible last 9 months. He won 3 masters titles, made a GS Quarter and Final for the first time, and has beaten each of the big 4. However, Murray has yet to make a splash on clay, and will be looking to show the rest of the "Big 4" and the rest of the world, that he has the all round game to become the no 1 player in the world

Andy Roddick has had one of the best starts to a year in his career. With a couple of wins over Djokovic, and two good outings against Federer and Nadal, many say that Roddick could possibly scrap out another major title. Roddick's big problem is clay, where the farthest hes made at RG was the 3rd round in his first outing there. Last year, Roddick made the semis at Rome, having to retire against Wawrinka, and was looking like he could make a run at RG. This year with a new coach, slimer body, and better groundstrokes, Roddick will be looking to catapult over one of the Big 4, and show he was once the no 1 player in the world

Jo Wilfred Tsonga can be one of the most entertaining players to watch when he is on. The 2008 AO runner up, and Champ in Paris showed that he can beat the best. When he is on, his groundstrokes are among the fastest in the world, and unlike a James Blake, he can come to net, hit the drop shot, and move his opponent around the court before finishing them with an unretrunable winner. With almost no points to defend from now until the USO, Tsonga will have a lot of space to rise up in the ranks and join the elite. This guy wants to show that he has more than just the potential to be umong the worlds best.

As you can see, almost all the worlds top players have something to prove this year. Will we see mainly Federer - Nadal finals like we are used to. Will Djokovic gain back his top form and challenge Federer and Nadal? Will Murray break through on the clay and continue his marvelous season? Will guys like Tsonga Roddick Del Potro or Verdasco threaten Djokovic?

All that will be answered over the next 3 months

TennisLover17
04-05-2009, 02:19 PM
Forsure it'll be interesting. Interested to see if anyone can top Nadal this season.

batz
04-05-2009, 02:23 PM
As the title says, i think that this clay court season will be one of the most interesting clay seasons we have seen in years. All of the games top players have something to prove, and i believe it will lead to some great tennis.

Rafa Nadal has been the undisputed King of Clay since 2005, having lost only 2 matches on the surface since that time. However, for the first time, Nadal will also be coming into the season as the undisputed no 1 player in the world, as well as being King of the Grass, and possibly even the King of Hardcourt. we have seen Rafa adapt his game to all surfaces, and now he has to prove whether his game is still unbeatable on clay.

Roger Federer desires the French open more than anything else. Winning it would certainly move him higher on the GOAT list as it would give him a career slam, and a recod for all time slam wins. However, for the first time in the Nadal era, he enters the season as the no 2 player on paper, but in recent form more like a no 3, behind Murray. With guys like Murray, Roddick on thier weakest surface, and Djokovic not in top form, this may be his last chance to win the French.

Novak Djokovic has played the opposite of what he did in this time last year. Over the course of 2007 and 2008, he established himself as the no 3 , maybe even no 2 clay player in the world, but now, his current form has people wondering if he will be able to repeat his success. Many people on this board have given guys like Roddick, Verdasco, Tsonga and DP a chance to pass him in the world rankings by years end. With each of these guys's game not great on clay, this is Djokovic's chance to prove people why he belongs in the "Big 4"

Andy Murray has had an incredible last 9 months. He won 3 masters titles, made a GS Quarter and Final for the first time, and has beaten each of the big 4. However, Murray has yet to make a splash on clay, and will be looking to show the rest of the "Big 4" and the rest of the world, that he has the all round game to become the no 1 player in the world

Andy Roddick has had one of the best starts to a year in his career. With a couple of wins over Djokovic, and two good outings against Federer and Nadal, many say that Roddick could possibly scrap out another major title. Roddick's big problem is clay, where the farthest hes made at RG was the 3rd round in his first outing there. Last year, Roddick made the semis at Rome, having to retire against Wawrinka, and was looking like he could make a run at RG. This year with a new coach, slimer body, and better groundstrokes, Roddick will be looking to catapult over one of the Big 4, and show he was once the no 1 player in the world

Jo Wilfred Tsonga can be one of the most entertaining players to watch when he is on. The 2008 AO runner up, and Champ in Paris showed that he can beat the best. When he is on, his groundstrokes are among the fastest in the world, and unlike a James Blake, he can come to net, hit the drop shot, and move his opponent around the court before finishing them with an unretrunable winner. With almost no points to defend from now until the USO, Tsonga will have a lot of space to rise up in the ranks and join the elite. This guy wants to show that he has more than just the potential to be umong the worlds best.

As you can see, almost all the worlds top players have something to prove this year. Will we see mainly Federer - Nadal finals like we are used to. Will Djokovic gain back his top form and challenge Federer and Nadal? Will Murray break through on the clay and continue his marvelous season? Will guys like Tsonga Roddick Del Potro or Verdasco threaten Djokovic?

All that will be answered over the next 3 months


Great post dude.

I think Rafa could go the entire clay season unbeaten. Novak will get better the more of his game he rediscovers. Murray I think will be better than last season but I'm not saying by how much. Who knows what's going to happen with Roger. He's an enigma wrapped up in a puzzle tied together by a riddle at the moment.

SaintClaires
04-05-2009, 02:25 PM
The only thing I am afraid of is - Nadal may get injured soon......look what happened in Rotterdam.....


I REALLY want him to do well, but those knees are always taped......

shadows
04-05-2009, 02:44 PM
Good thread, I was considering one on Murray and the clay season but this opens things up for everyone :3

I'm really looking forward to it, should be intense, there's a lot of variables right now and aside from Rafa it's a bit unclear just who's going to bring their A game

IvanAndreevich
04-05-2009, 03:05 PM
I actually think it will be even more dominating by Nadal. If he gets a weak opponent, he could produce a triple bagel at the FO.

CyBorg
04-05-2009, 03:07 PM
Did you just mention Tsonga in a thread about clay?

Blinkism
04-05-2009, 03:10 PM
In trying to figure out who are the clay-court specialists at the moment (outside of the top 5), I've made this little list, in order of most accomplishments on clay this year to date
__________________________________________________ ___

1. Nicolas Almagro - Won the biggest clay tourney of the year, so far, in Acapulco and made QF's in Brasil

2. Tommy Robredo - Won the 2009 Brasil Open and in Buenos Aires, and made the SF's in Vina Del Mar and the QF's in Acapulco.

4. Fernando Gonzalez - Won the title in Vina Del Mar, Chile

5. Gael Monfils - Finalist in Acapulco

6. Jose Acasuso - Finalist in Chile and SF in Acapulco, Brasil and Buenos Aires.

7. Juan Monaco - Finalist in Buenos Aires and QF's in Chile + 1st Round Davis Cup on clay.

8. Thomaz Bellucci - Finalist in Brasil Open

9. David Nalbandian - SF's in Buenos Aires

10. Juan Carlos Ferrero - QF's in Brasil Open and Buenos Aires.

Notable Mention goes to: Martin Vassalo Arguello (SF's in Acapulco), Pablo Cuevas (SF's in Chile), Frederico Gil (SF's in Brasil), and Juan Ignacio Chela (QF's in Chile, and 1R DC).
__________________________________________________ ___

So these are the guys who, outside of the Top 5, are the most accomplished Clay-courters this season.

A lot of new names in this list, and alot of old names. I don't see anyone on that list, however, that poses a really serious threat to Nadal, Federer, or Djokovic (with the exception of Monfils) on clay.

GameSampras
04-05-2009, 03:12 PM
Im sorry. But bearing an unforseen injury to Nadal, the clay season will be not be interesting at all. Nadal will destroy anyone and anything put in his way. THe field is light years behind Nadal on clay.

mrmo1115
04-05-2009, 03:13 PM
Still think Nadal will absolutely dominate this year.

IvanAndreevich
04-05-2009, 03:15 PM
^ Thomaz Bellucci FTW! However, he still needs some time. Give the guy time to break into Top 25. He'll be doing some serious damage next year!

bluetrain4
04-05-2009, 03:19 PM
It could be interesting if Djokovic, Fed, Murray, Nalbandian, Tsonga, Simon, Monfils, and a few others all play extremely well at the same time.

But, since Nadal has not slowed down any, there is a chance of another dominant clay court season by Nadal.

But, Fed's "story" will be interesting no matter how he performs.

miyagi
04-05-2009, 03:23 PM
Can't see Nadal not dominating this year either unless he gets injured...

Even if he gets injured I think he will leave his leg on the dirt before he gives up his F.O crown.

Funny thing is I dont see anyone even improving on clay to challenge Rafa....as least we had Rafa improving on grass and eventually he won after coming damn close the previous year!

egn
04-05-2009, 03:44 PM
Huh...the season so far has been quite interesting. Let us start.


Australian Open- Murray Fed and Djokovic all fell to Nadal who many felt did not have the game for a hardcourt slam.

Indian Wells - Nadal dominated Murray after Murray had recently beaten him in a tight match at Rotterdam and Djokovic continued to fall to Roddick!

Miami - Djokovic and Murray made it to the finals we saw someone besides Verdasco who upset Murray take out a big four..Del Potro, Fed killed the Djokovic killer to get killed by him.

So far the first three tournaments have been extremely interesting I don't see how Nadal victory fest will provide that much interest it seems very predictable though things can change and I feel the winds of change blowing! (no wait that is my window open.)

Nadalfan89
04-05-2009, 07:01 PM
Israel bases their military doctrine off of Nadal's clay court game.

He will not lose a single set this clay court season.

SaintClaires
04-05-2009, 07:27 PM
Israel bases their military doctrine off of Nadal's clay court game.

He will not lose a single set this clay court season.


Sounds kind of far-fetched, don't you think?

Nadalfan89
04-06-2009, 09:57 AM
Sounds kind of far-fetched, don't you think?

It is deffinitely a bold statement, but I think if anyone could do it; it's Nadal.

tomas9848
04-06-2009, 10:35 AM
As the title says, i think that this clay court season will be one of the most interesting clay seasons we have seen in years. All of the games top players have something to prove, and i believe it will lead to some great tennis.

Rafa Nadal has been the undisputed King of Clay since 2005, having lost only 2 matches on the surface since that time. However, for the first time, Nadal will also be coming into the season as the undisputed no 1 player in the world, as well as being King of the Grass, and possibly even the King of Hardcourt. we have seen Rafa adapt his game to all surfaces, and now he has to prove whether his game is still unbeatable on clay.

Roger Federer desires the French open more than anything else. Winning it would certainly move him higher on the GOAT list as it would give him a career slam, and a recod for all time slam wins. However, for the first time in the Nadal era, he enters the season as the no 2 player on paper, but in recent form more like a no 3, behind Murray. With guys like Murray, Roddick on thier weakest surface, and Djokovic not in top form, this may be his last chance to win the French.

Novak Djokovic has played the opposite of what he did in this time last year. Over the course of 2007 and 2008, he established himself as the no 3 , maybe even no 2 clay player in the world, but now, his current form has people wondering if he will be able to repeat his success. Many people on this board have given guys like Roddick, Verdasco, Tsonga and DP a chance to pass him in the world rankings by years end. With each of these guys's game not great on clay, this is Djokovic's chance to prove people why he belongs in the "Big 4"

Andy Murray has had an incredible last 9 months. He won 3 masters titles, made a GS Quarter and Final for the first time, and has beaten each of the big 4. However, Murray has yet to make a splash on clay, and will be looking to show the rest of the "Big 4" and the rest of the world, that he has the all round game to become the no 1 player in the world

Andy Roddick has had one of the best starts to a year in his career. With a couple of wins over Djokovic, and two good outings against Federer and Nadal, many say that Roddick could possibly scrap out another major title. Roddick's big problem is clay, where the farthest hes made at RG was the 3rd round in his first outing there. Last year, Roddick made the semis at Rome, having to retire against Wawrinka, and was looking like he could make a run at RG. This year with a new coach, slimer body, and better groundstrokes, Roddick will be looking to catapult over one of the Big 4, and show he was once the no 1 player in the world

Jo Wilfred Tsonga can be one of the most entertaining players to watch when he is on. The 2008 AO runner up, and Champ in Paris showed that he can beat the best. When he is on, his groundstrokes are among the fastest in the world, and unlike a James Blake, he can come to net, hit the drop shot, and move his opponent around the court before finishing them with an unretrunable winner. With almost no points to defend from now until the USO, Tsonga will have a lot of space to rise up in the ranks and join the elite. This guy wants to show that he has more than just the potential to be umong the worlds best.

As you can see, almost all the worlds top players have something to prove this year. Will we see mainly Federer - Nadal finals like we are used to. Will Djokovic gain back his top form and challenge Federer and Nadal? Will Murray break through on the clay and continue his marvelous season? Will guys like Tsonga Roddick Del Potro or Verdasco threaten Djokovic?

All that will be answered over the next 3 months

Yeah I agree the french open will be interesting. I hope fed can bounce back.

cknobman
04-06-2009, 10:57 AM
Nadal will loose his FO title this year.

I dont know whos gonna do it but it will happen.

Pressure of #1 is starting to wear on him and it was clearly visible in the last 2 tournaments.

fps
04-06-2009, 11:48 AM
in terms of *who's going to win the tournies*, the only interest in the forthcoming clay season is that we haven't yet watched it, as nadal mops up each and every competition except the one where he's exhausted and a bit injured and maybe the one he skips after that to perfect his FO preparations.

P_Agony
04-06-2009, 11:52 AM
Very good post, but I think Nadal will once again won't have to work too hard for his wins on clay. The only question mark is Murray, will he be able to take his clay game to the next level and will he be able to challenge Nadal in the long rallies.

P_Agony
04-06-2009, 11:56 AM
Nadal will loose his FO title this year.

I dont know whos gonna do it but it will happen.

Pressure of #1 is starting to wear on him and it was clearly visible in the last 2 tournaments.

Don't get me wrong. I wish you're right, but Nadal has won IW, so how was it apparent the pressure is becoming visible? Nadal knows he's the top guy, and he won't let go that easily. It would take a superb performence for anyone to knock him off at the french, and the only real contender at the moment is Murray, who might win sets from Nadal, but not the match (if they even play). Federer is currently too messed up with his head to challenge Nadal, and Djokovic is playing really low level tennis at the moment.

Cesc Fabregas
04-06-2009, 12:00 PM
Very good post, but I think Nadal will once again won't have to work too hard for his wins on clay. The only question mark is Murray, will he be able to take his clay game to the next level and will he be able to challenge Nadal in the long rallies.

No chance his ground strokes are ineffective on clay and he doesn't move well on the red dirt. The only players that can test Nadal on clay are Federer, Djokovic, Ferrer or Davydenko by test I mean possibley win a set.

ezdude1970
04-06-2009, 12:10 PM
Clay court season will be intersting in terms to see who is going to be a second and third best player, Nadal is just too good, and there is no young or old clay courters who can challenge Nadal this year, Bellucci and Chardy are light years away, Almagro is not there mentally, Robredo showed some good form this year, but not enough to be a contender during grandslam.

Djokovic is a joke for any kind of consideration.

Federer should skip entire clay season all together and concentrate on Wimbledon. Because by trying to compete on clay will do more damage to his already fragile state of mind.

I agree with previous posters that Murray has the game to compete with Nadal, but I have to see him playing couple tournaments on clay.

Nadal is -300 to win French against the field, that is just how much of the chance all other players are given, about 0.5% per player.

shadows
04-06-2009, 12:20 PM
Federer should skip entire clay season all together and concentrate on Wimbledon. Because by trying to compete on clay will do more damage to his already fragile state of mind.

I disagree with that entirely, if there's one surface on which Federer isn't really expected to have a shot at winning a GS on right now it's clay, and in a way that lack of pressure may help his current mental state. There's also the added bonus that if he does have success on clay that it makes him feel better about the rest of the year.

Sure if he was to suffer some early round exists that might damage him some but if he has a solid showing I think it'll be re-assuring.

==

I'm not making any real judgements on Murray till after Monte Carlo, I don't like people second guessing him already without seeing how he comes out this year on non-HC surfaces, it's pretty clear he's not the same player he was at this time last year and I think he's earnt a bit of time before people cast judgement on his chances.

bladepdb
04-06-2009, 12:20 PM
The only thing I am afraid of is - Nadal may get injured soon......look what happened in Rotterdam.....


I REALLY want him to do well, but those knees are always taped......

Well he tapes those knees as a precaution.

Nadal will not get injured in the clay/grass season. He historically has avoided that fairly well, though grass is a little bit of a cliffhanger with him because he does have those moments like he did in 07 and 08. (Fortunately it doesn't hinder him terribly).

I think injury for Nadal will not be an issue. With a new-found aggressive style that he adapted for hard courts, he will apply that to his mastery of clay for potentially an even more dominating season that previous.

sureshs
04-06-2009, 12:20 PM
Look for the leaner, meaner and fitter Roddick to shake things up on the red dirt this year.

bladepdb
04-06-2009, 12:21 PM
I disagree with that entirely, if there's one surface on which Federer isn't really expected to have a shot at winning a GS on right now it's clay, and in a way that lack of pressure may help his current mental state. There's also the added bonus that if he does have success on clay that it makes him feel better about the rest of the year.

Sure if he was to suffer some early round exists that might damage him some but if he has a solid showing I think it'll be re-assuring.

But if he were to end up in the finals, that pressure would be on him in a flash, especially because of "OMG Career Slam while tying Pete's 14!!!" pressure.

bladepdb
04-06-2009, 12:22 PM
Look for the leaner, meaner and fitter Roddick to shake things up on the red dirt this year.

Won't shake things up too much. Maybe a few SF results in Rome or Madrid, perhaps his best run at RG but definitely not a SF/F result.

shadows
04-06-2009, 12:26 PM
But if he were to end up in the finals, that pressure would be on him in a flash, especially because of "OMG Career Slam while tying Pete's 14!!!" pressure.

oh sure if he made the finals it'd be right back, but if he makes the finals of the FO vs Rafa it'd be a success to get that far in terms of defending points, and who's really going to see him winning? I'm just thinking the season in general might be a blessing in disguise since there's a possibility that with less pressure he can enjoy his tennis a bit more and find a bit more consistancy which is what he really needs.

==

RE: Roddick, I'm seeing a decent showing but nothing earth-shattering