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View Full Version : why do they like clay so much in spain?


wasta
11-27-2009, 03:41 AM
anyone have an answer? Doesnt grass grow? Do they not have money for cement?

ericsson
11-27-2009, 03:48 AM
anyone have an answer? Doesnt grass grow? Do they not have money for cement?

If you ever play on clay then you will understand why...

falcon12
11-27-2009, 03:51 AM
It's an incredible surface to play ,very soft and avoid knee problems and such.It is not about money,in fact clay courts are much more expensive to mantain than hardcourt.But here in spain there are a lot lot more hardcourts than claycourt,it's only that in high level tennis clubs they have claycourt,but it's no so common,here in seville there are about 3 hardcourts for each claycourt you can find.

kOaMaster
11-27-2009, 03:52 AM
because is much healthier to play on clay?
I think most european outdoor courts are clay, if they can afford it ("professional tennis"). clay court is more expensive...

and spain is a country with a lot of sun and many tennis courts :)

but I can even tell you here in switzerland, if you played outdoor it's 90% clay. federer grew up on clay too.

velkov
11-27-2009, 03:52 AM
anyone have an answer? Doesnt grass grow? Do they not have money for cement?

just try and you will understand :twisted:

falcon12
11-27-2009, 03:53 AM
Like ericson says,if you play in a good clay court you'll love it even if it doesn't suit your game.I'm better on a hard court by the way but love to play in a good clay court

big bang
11-27-2009, 04:53 AM
because its the greatest surface, thats why..

Gorecki
11-27-2009, 05:16 AM
anyone have an answer? Doesnt grass grow? Do they not have money for cement?

let me expose the stupidity of your prejudice filled question by explaining you that building and maintaining a clay court is much more expensive than a cement one...

plus it's an amazing surface to play( even if it's not my favourite..).

THESEXPISTOL
11-27-2009, 05:29 AM
Try to play 3 or 4 hours a day in clay during a month and the same time in cement..
By that time, you knees will speak for yourself.

I like HC more, but clay is good for practice.

Xenakis
11-27-2009, 05:45 AM
I like playing on clay/shale but was wondering how they put down the lines on good courts?. The only courts I have played on had a sort of plastic line with metal bolts holding them in place creating some pretty nasty bounces.

MarcRosset1992
11-27-2009, 07:49 AM
I like playing on clay/shale but was wondering how they put down the lines on good courts?. The only courts I have played on had a sort of plastic line with metal bolts holding them in place creating some pretty nasty bounces.

Plastic/rubber tap is the most common method to mark lines. If it is properly done and the courts are well mainitained, there should not be too many bounces. The upmarket alternative is to paint the lines (that is what they do at the FO) but that requires more maintenance.

AM95
11-27-2009, 08:02 AM
it teaches people to better develop their points, and become more patient..rather then trying to hit a huge forehand that would be a winner on a hard court

borg number one
11-27-2009, 08:03 AM
Playing on clay courts, as well as hard courts, truly adds different dimensions to your game, such as increased stamina, consistency, retrieving skills, point construction, and ability to "adjust quickly" as balls don't always bounce so true. In addition, you learn to hit balls that are very high in your strike zone, and learn to in effect to "jump up" a little to reach for hig bouncing balls on both the forehand/backhand side. It's great training for your tennis game and tests your game/mettle in many ways. If one thinks clay court tennis is somehow not REAL tennis shows a lack of understanding as to the overall Game.

Many of the same things are true as to grass court tennis. It's different and also very vital to the Game. We need all the surfaces: indoors, hard courts, clay courts, and grass courts. The variety of surfaces is just one of the things that makes Tennis a beautiful and complex Sport.

Just look at the success of Spanish players in the Game today and you have great evidence of the many benefits of playing and being tested on Clay Courts.

wasta
11-27-2009, 08:21 AM
Just look at the success of Spanish players in the Game today and you have great evidence of the many benefits of playing and being tested on Clay Courts.

yeah such as verdasco the fiasco not winning a game in the masters cup and nadal playing with grandmas knees losing every game

malakas
11-27-2009, 08:25 AM
because they can afford it.

borg number one
11-27-2009, 08:44 AM
Wasta, how much have you played on Clay? Plus, you might want to also look into (besides just the Spaniish players who are playing for the Davis Cup this year) guys like Federer, Del Potro, Murray, and Djokovic, all of whom have trained SIGNIFICANTLY growing up and today on Clay Courts. You can't be a truly well-rounded player without doing so. Show me a tennis player that has played very little on Clay if at all on Clay and I'll show you a player without a complete Tennis Game.

spacediver
11-27-2009, 08:47 AM
wow only one of you actually answered the question. The question wasn't "why is clay good?"

the question was "why do spaniards enjoy clay more so than other countries?"

borg number one
11-27-2009, 08:53 AM
I think it's because of two main reasons, spacediver and wasta:

1. Good training with less impact on the body and 2. creates a more complete Game for top players, especially for baseline tennis that dominates Tennis today.

There are also other less "utilitarian" benefits for tennis players, such as Clay Court tennis being just plain "fun" and the fact that playing on a variety of surfaces can keep the Game more interesting to you.

More countries should take their lead on this issue, but as other posters have already mentioned, Clay Courts are more expensive and are more difficult to maintain in great condition. Yet, they are a great idea for "top flight" tennis academies and private tennis clubs.

spacediver
11-27-2009, 09:10 AM
but do you think there's a reason that spain is "leading the pack" here? I mean it might just be due to some historical quirk, but it also might be for some tangible reason.

i.e. why is it that spain recognizes these benefits more than other countries?

Dilettante
11-27-2009, 09:11 AM
Doesnt grass grow?

Not really. Good grass grows only in part of Northern Spain. BTW grass not growing is obviously not an issue, as there are awful loads of golf courses all across the country, not to mention football fields (i.e. here in Valencia -where you can safely say it won't never rain more than five times a year- you won't find a freaking tennis grasscourt but you won't go far without getting to a golf course or a grass football field, or just a piece of grass for dogs and kids to run across everywhere... but not a single tennis grasscourt!!). It's just tennis academies prefer building clay courts and train on those.

borg number one
11-27-2009, 09:20 AM
Interesting information as to Clay Court Tennis in different countries:

http://www.clayfricktennis.org/ClayWorld.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_court

See wiki excerpt:

Red clay

"Almost all red "clay" courts are made not of natural clay but of crushed brick that is packed to make the court. The crushed brick is then covered with a topping of other crushed particles. This type of surface does not absorb water easily and is the most common in Europe and South America. True natural clay courts are rare because they take two to three days to dry."

I'm sure that in the countries that have more Clay Courts, there are historical reasons. Red Clay Courts require the kind of "ground up bricks" that are used to produce them. So, it's possible that such "material" was commonly available in countries like Spain, France, and Argentina decades ago and to this day. Plus, it's likely that France and Spain share a lot of "common tennis knowledge" due to their shared histories overall as two nations.


See an article on why "the cool kids" play on Clay:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203771904574177702269085642.html

jmnk
11-27-2009, 12:27 PM
I grew up in Europe where people indeed only played on clay courts. In my home town we have had like 4 clay courts, and next to those there were two hard (cement) courts. There was a fee to play on clay courts, the cement ones were free. Yet people would still be waiting to play on clay rather than play immediately, and for free, on cement courts. Later city built two additional cement courts in a different location. These quickly grew patches on grass here and there, I've never seen anyone playing on them.
While clay courts are indeed better for your knees I think the main reason is that it is considered 'not cool' to be playing on anything but clay courts. Maybe it has changed since (that was like maybe 20 years ago), maybe not.

JeMar
11-27-2009, 12:41 PM
Clay is the best surface for tennis.

The real question is why we don't play on more clay in the U.S.

THESEXPISTOL
11-27-2009, 01:40 PM
yeah such as verdasco the fiasco not winning a game in the masters cup and nadal playing with grandmas knees losing every game

If you knew a **** about spanish tennis you would know that Verdasco grew up in Madrid playing in HARDCOURTS!

wasta
11-27-2009, 01:42 PM
If you knew a **** about spanish tennis you would know that Verdasco grew up in Madrid playing in HARDCOURTS!

how come he sucks at it then

Xenakis
11-27-2009, 01:45 PM
Plastic/rubber tap is the most common method to mark lines. If it is properly done and the courts are well mainitained, there should not be too many bounces. The upmarket alternative is to paint the lines (that is what they do at the FO) but that requires more maintenance.

Thanks for the info Marc, figured the pro comps like FO might do something different. The clay courts I have played on were not well maintained so the plastic/rubber lines issue was probably worse than is should have been as you suggested.

THESEXPISTOL
11-27-2009, 01:50 PM
how come he sucks at it then

Well.. If 'to suck' in your opinion is to be in top8 of the world..
I wouldn't mind to suck at tennis for the rest of my life.

RelentlessAttack
11-27-2009, 02:00 PM
because its the greatest surface, thats why..

Dude, have you played on grass before? :)

TheMusicLover
11-27-2009, 02:03 PM
Clay is by far the dominant surface about everywhere in Europe, except perhaps in the far North where it's quite often too cold to play in the outside - hence the rather numerous good indoor HC players coming from over there.
Grass is, unfortunately, too expensive to maintain. Alas.

ClubHoUno
11-27-2009, 02:42 PM
anyone have an answer? Doesnt grass grow? Do they not have money for cement?

yeah such as verdasco the fiasco not winning a game in the masters cup and nadal playing with grandmas knees losing every game

You are either an immature young teen or an ignorant person.....or both :oops:

TennisLurker
11-27-2009, 02:53 PM
In Argentina (where I live) over 90% of the courts are clay courts.

Tennis is very popular, I think you don't have to walk more than 15 blocks to find a tennis court which will almost always be a clay court.

RelentlessAttack
11-27-2009, 02:54 PM
Grass is, unfortunately, too expensive to maintain. Alas.

I wish it was more sustainable, I love grass but can only play on it when i got to the UK...

TennisLurker
11-27-2009, 02:55 PM
In Argentina there are no grass courts at all, when the argentine team had to play davis cup against australia on grass, they used a badmington grass court to practice.

ClubHoUno
11-27-2009, 02:58 PM
Most tennis courts in Europe are red Euro clay because:

1. They are more comfortable to play on - you avoid a lot of injuries, you normally get from playing on hard courts

2. We have a lot of rain - especially in the Northern part of Europe, and Red Euro clay is still very much playable in rain, you can even play in heavy rain, just be careful not to slip on the lines.
Hard courts are actually dangerous to play on during rain.

3. It's better to learn tennis for a rookie on red clay, because he learns to master high bouncing balls, and the balls don't travel as fast, so it's easier to adjust to yout strokes, but when you get better, you also need to learn to adjust to weird bounces, from where the red clay is uneven and when balls hit the lines.

Ocean Drive
11-27-2009, 03:14 PM
I think it's because of two main reasons, spacediver and wasta:

1. Good training with less impact on the body and 2. creates a more complete Game for top players, especially for baseline tennis that dominates Tennis today.

There are also other less "utilitarian" benefits for tennis players, such as Clay Court tennis being just plain "fun" and the fact that playing on a variety of surfaces can keep the Game more interesting to you.

More countries should take their lead on this issue, but as other posters have already mentioned, Clay Courts are more expensive and are more difficult to maintain in great condition. Yet, they are a great idea for "top flight" tennis academies and private tennis clubs.

Standing at the baseline all day, hitting heavy top spin groundstrokes is not my idea of a "complete game".

Gorecki
11-27-2009, 03:16 PM
how come he sucks at it then

not as bad as you at logical reasoning!

now, about avoiding serious factual incoherences in your OP, you are a master...