Originally Posted by sureshs
If you just want to criticize someone for the sake of it, go ahead. But it is clear that only those who can construct points and grind it can win today, and for that clay training is very beneficial.
If someone like Sampras shows up again, that is good. Otherwise, today's game requires stamina, mental strength and patience. The Donald or Vania King are not going to be great players whether they serve and volley or not. That is not the issue.
Yup, athleticism, good movement and solid defense have become paramount in the development of modern tennis players. Add to that point construction, and training on clay has become an integral part of good player development programs. That's not to say that players should only train on clay of course. The better programs/national tennis centers/academies such as INSEP in France, the Sanchez Casals academy near Barcelona and now the national tennis center at Uniprix stadium in Montreal have both.
Just a bit of trivia: When Tennis Canada hired Louis Borfiga, former director of coaching (tennis) at INSEP in France, as the director of elite player development, the first thing he said when he got here is "where are the clay courts?". There are now indoor clay courts (cleverly built) on the roof of the main building at Uniprix stadium.
The other issue which others have pointed out is coaching. This relates to not only "good coaching/training methods" but also to standardization/uniformization of coaching. The French tennis federation for example, not only develops it's own coaches but also supports independent coaches who satisfy the criteria set by the national coaching standards. This insures high quality of coaching throughout a player's development.