Nadal - King of Clay
As Rafael Nadal aims to win his 10th Grand Slam in Paris at Roland Garros we take a look at why the Spaniard is so dominant on the clay court.
Firstly he grew up playing on clay, so for him its the most natural surface. He can slide effectively on both sides enabling him to get to shots which would be winners on a hard court. The surface is also kinder to his body than a hard court, which at 31 is a real help.
A clay court plays slower than a hard court. This gives Nadal more time on his shots and also the ability to run round the backhand to his stronger forehand. A clay court also helps when spin is put on the ball, something Nadal does very effectively. Spinning balls lower and higher makes it difficult for his opponents to get their rhythm and to return with pace.
His attitude on court is always good, but on clay it seems to go up a level, giving him more determination to win the point. He never gives up and a great fitness level means he can keep going longer than many opponents.So far it all looks good at Roland Garros for a 10th win but we'll have to see what Murray, Djokovic and others have to say about it as they battle on the clay.