From Nadal to Edmund – clay court perspective

Rafael Nadal Madrid Open

To gain some sort of comprehension of the ins and outs of what it take to win on clay time and time again, one doesn’t really have to look any further than the example set by the so-called king of clay Rafael Nadal.

The living tennis legend has done it time and time again, winning on clay season in and season out to show the world that he has effectively made the surface his own.

Whether or not he will lose focus anytime soon, on his favoured deck, remains to be seen – but the man himself doesn’t think so.

Child’s (c)lay

“It’s not going to happen, and there is a proof that that’s never happened, that I won 11 times here, 11 Monte-Carlo, 11 Barcelona, eight Romes,” said Nadal.

“If you get complacent or too confident with yourself, for sure that’s not going to happen.

“I was able to achieve all these results because I respect the sport, I respect every opponent, and I respect the competition every day.

“That’s the reason I have success, because I go every day on court knowing that I can win, that I can lose, and that’s the sport. So, anything can happen.”

Nadal is the quintessential example of clay’s finest exponent, which this Insider blog has detailed in more ways than one.

School of hard courts

Kyle Edmund on clay

British star Kyle Edmund, meanwhile, would do quite well to take some advice from the veteran Roger Federer. Edmund lost to Federer at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this year and, in the build-up to Roland Garros, was training on hard rather than clay courts.

“Conditions are tough, with the glare and the jump of the ball it’s sometimes hard to find the rhythm and timing,” Federer stated after that win at the Indian Wells Masters.

“But being able to belt the ball like he does, he needs a good start or good conditions and I think he didn’t quit find that. I am sure I profited a little bit from it, but again, I was able to keep him uncomfortable throughout the match.”

“He didn’t have the best start. So that cost him the first set. Second set was definitely better, but I think he struggled throughout, a little bit.

“He never really got going. I think the last game was big for him. Not to break me, I think he could have turned things around. I was relieved I got through that one.”

“He’s got everything in the game, it’s just a matter of keeping improving. Keep plugging away and he will make big results again and he knows that.”

If Edmund manages to get on top of this sort of advice and ups the ante in France – it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to oblige some of the tennis betting markets.