Thursday, May 26, 2011

Red Clay Sole

Not shot in Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver

Roland Garros is in full swing. At the time of my writing this, there are still a few North Americans left in the tournament. My fearless prediction - not to be confused with a lack of patriotism - is that no American will advance to the finals this year - men's or women's. I have history on my side. No American, in Men's Singles, has won since Agassi in 1999; and no American, in Women's Singles, has won since Serena Williams in 2002. You can't really blame us.  How many clay courts do you see in your typical North American city or suburb? Here in Cascadia, I can't think of many - besides the three at the Seattle Tennis Club - and they are not accessible to the average Joe or Josephina.

Seattle Tennis Club

You either have red clay in your soul or you don't.  We don't and here's why.  Clay courts are slower than hard courts, making it harder to hit "winners."  Americans like instant gratification; we like things fast. Clay courts require more maintenance than hard courts.  Americans are a "fix it and forget it" lot; maintenance is a fixed expense few cities or schools want. And most importantly, clay courts are "dirty" and will render our new white canvas Tretorns a rust-colored mess. And we just can't have that!

1 comment:

  1. I grew up playing on clay courts at a private club in New York. Now I play on hard, which is more practical, and have done for years. But you have a point. It reminds me of the international squash game vs. the old American 'hard ball' squash.