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Selected  comments about playing on clay

« McEnroe wants that  players learn how to serve and volley. Canada and Australia think their players have to learn tennis on clay. Good! There is still some hope! »
Richard EVANS  2011

« The most of tournaments take place on hard surfaces and most of Academies have hard courts. It is the reason why the players have problems with their feet and their back. And you can expect more injuries in the future! »

Martina NAVRATILOVA   2009

« Lack of clay courts is the main reason for the unsuccess of the developpement plan of Elite Tennis in Australia »
Paul Mc NAMEE   2008

« After one day on clay, I feel good. After a few hours on hard court I cannot wake up the day after. »
José HIGUERAS  2008

« A clay court can last 50 years if good maintained whereas a hard court has to be rebuilt about every 12 years. »
Fabien Boudet  1995  FFT
“Clay is the most complete and the most demanding surface”      

Ilie Nastase 1988


“When 14 years old, young players have to learn how to play from the baseline and there is nothing better than clay courts for that.”

Tim Gullikson  1990
 
“With an average of 2000 hits per hour the career of a professional lasts 30 % less on hard courts.”
Ion Tiriac 1986


“I have learned a lot by playing tournaments on clay ; this is a surface where you can learn how to build up a strategy and to be constant.”

Pete Sampras 2001
 
“If it were up to me, the entire professional circuit would be played on clay.”   

Bill Norris physiotherapist of ATP 1999


“This court (clay court) I built it by myself with my players. Pat Cash has been taught tennis on such a court. I am sure on hard court you cannot build up your tennis.”

Ian Barclay 1994
« We need to build clay courts in USA … and very soon. Not any clay, the european red clay ».
Arthur ASHE  1983

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Health, Tradition and Culture

Sometimes it is being said  that it is important in tennis to have champions on all surfaces. No! This is not true.  The champion does not need a specific surface to become a champion. Borg proved it by winning on both grass and clay. If professional tennis was played only on clay, Becker, Edberg and Sampras would also have been ranked number one. They were able to develop an allround game.

Courier, Muster and Kuerten were indeed champions because two thirds of their tournaments were played on hard surfaces.

It is important to respect the tradition and the culture of tennis. The Grand Slam tournaments are different to the past. New York and Melbourne changed surfaces from grass to hard courts without in any way losing their status.

There is no reason why they could not change again …for clay.

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