After watching the action in today’s Madrid Masters, I have drawn up 5 quick tips about how to play good clay court tennis.
1. You need confidence. How do you get confidence? You win matches. The lack of won matches was obvious in Flag-Pole Jerzy Janowicz lacked patience today againt Gulbis so despite that he played a good set and had Gulbis on the melt-down, he couldn’t keep his level up in the decider.
2. You need patience. Longer rallies. Far longer rallies. You can’t keep going for broke because the opponent will retrieve and retrieve and retrieve. And you can rarely really only on your serve either. Dolgopolov’s biggest enemy is sometimes his lack of patience because he wants to be flashy, but you need to make sure you’re not giving points away.
3. You need to slide. Sliding gives you proper balance. Not sliding can make the impression your Bambi on ice. Just look at how Nadal moves on a clay court.
4. You need spin and height over net. Playing with proper margins is important on clay, because you’re going to hit the ball over and over again. Nadal again, but most modern pros play with lots of spin.
5. You need to prepare for a long match. Eat well, drink well, bring extra socks, sports drink, whatever you need to make sure you last out there.
Enjoy your clay court tennis!