I saw you all commenting on my last post and I felt like I had to make a post for my faithful readers. This is the clay court season and it is obviously not a very exciting period for Fedfans and many other tennis fans alike. We are almost half way through the clay season and we have got exactly what we expected. Nadal has won both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, dropping just one set in the process. And what is more is that he has not really hit his stride yet. His main opposition so far has been David Ferrer, a work horse with limited talent. I can only speak for myself, but I have found both finals between the two utterly boring to watch. And the only reason I watched it was because I had nothing else to do. It is all too painfully predictable. There is just no way Ferrer is going to cause Nadal any trouble whatsoever on clay.
In the Barcelona final Nadal was below par, yet he still trounced Ferrer 6-2, 6-4. Djokovic is beginning his clay court campaign this week in Serbia. He is the only one who looks to be even close to challenging Nadal on dirt. And yet, if Nadal plays just at 80% it is almost certain that he would beat Djokovic. Nadal is simply an animal on clay, but aside from that this is not exactly a strong clay court era. If Ferrer is his main challenger on clay so far then that must be the case. Ferrer is not even a true clay court specialist. Hard court may be his best surface, where he has beaten Nadal twice in grand slams, while only beating Nadal once out of 11 meetings on clay. There simply isn’t any clay court specialists around in this clay court era, aside from Nadal himself. Roger wasn’t a clay court specialist either, but he could challenge Nadal in his peak.
The only other guys that could probably challenge Nadal on clay in a recent era was the clay court specialists Coria and Gaudio. These two together with Roger at least made things a little more interesting. They didn’t beat Nadal much, but they had tough matches against him. What Ferrer did against Nadal in Monte Carlo and Barcelona doesn’t qualify as tough matches. Djokovic is not a clay court specialist either, but at least he gave Nadal a tough match in Madrid in 2009 where he almost beat him. Djokovic 2.0 is however better, and you would expect him to carry his amazing form into the clay season. This will at least give him a chance to beat Nadal. In a way the clay season only really starts in Madrid next week. There Djokovic will be able to challenge Nadal, and Roger will also be more adjusted to clay and looking to take advantage of the altitude.
This is pretty much what the clay season comes down to. Nadal has one challenger in Djokovic who has an outside chance of beating him, and then an aging Roger. Other than that there really isn’t much. The clay court season has become a one man show, to the point where many tennis fans are just waiting for it to be over. It has become so utterly predictable that we may as well give Nadal all the silverware and move onto the grass court season. The Nadal fans will be happy that Nadal got all the silverware, and the rest of the fans will just be happy that is all over. That way everyone wins. Very few people wants to watch Nadal grind down opponent after opponent on the slow, red dirt, aside from Nadal fans themselves. Personally I get no satisfaction from watching ‘The Wall’ making the opposition bite the dirt time after time.
I respect Nadal and I think he deserves these titles. That’s why I’d be more than happy if they gave Nadal all the silverware and started the grass court season early. I’m sorry if this sounds cynical, but to me this is truly how boring and predictable the clay court season has become. Hopefully the second half of the clay season will at least be a bit more exciting than the first half. But enough of what I think. The real reason I am making this post is to hear what you think of the current clay court season, but also to start a general discussion until things get under way in Madrid. This is a boring time for tennis, but we have to make the best of it. Do you think along the same lines as I do, or do you find the clay season exciting? Nadal once called for fewer hard court events so that things would be easier on his poor knees.
Should we call for fewer clay court events, to make things lets painful on our poor eyes? Also, how to you see the rest of the clay season transpiring? Is there anyone who can cause and upset and bring the clay court season alive like in 2009?
The floor is yours.