|07-01-2013, 11:10 AM||#1|
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Dec 2005
My journal: stranded on a clay court island
Since the middle of last year I have been playing almost
exclusively on red clay. It's not a great court but it
is playable and the new management is improving it all
The initial transition from hard courts to clay was brutal.
I could not run hard because I felt like I could fall on any
given Sunday -- and I did! After several scraped knees
embedded with red clay, I decided to stop using my
worn out hardcover shoes and try my cushionless
Dunlop Volleys instead. Surprisingly, they have great
grip on clay. No support or cushioning but the red clay
absorbs so much shock that my joints don't feel a thing!
I shanked like crazy in the beginning but am slowly
starting to adapt. I only play about once a week so
adaptation and maintaining timing is difficult.
The following is what I have observed so far.
- I am beginning to have a higher shot tolerance and
more patience to construct a point. I'm realizing that
many shots that are winners on a hardcourt come back on
- I am learning to make better use of the area behind the
baseline. Moving all the way back at times.
- I am using more of my body to hit groundstrokes
because high humidity + clay means a lot more energy
is required to hit penetrating groundstrokes.
- my footwork is improving a little bit because I noticed
that if I start moving early enough I can get to A LOT
of shots -- but so can my opponents.
- My preparation is getting better because bad and unpredictable
bounces make you get ready sooner.
|07-02-2013, 07:14 AM||#3|
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: At Large
As for the hitting more penetrating groundies, you are on the right track. Use more of your body to hit more efficiently since you will be hitting more balls on clay in than you would otherwise on hard over the course of a match. That doesn't mean you have to hit every ball that much harder though. You also can hit a loopier rally stroke - higher net clearance, more topspin. It's just as effective in keeping your opponent pinned back and gives you a fraction of a second more time to move in between shots.