Is Har-Tru Real Clay? The Answer is No
Lets get one thing straight, Har-Tru is not real clay. It is not even a suitable substitute for a clay court in the United States. Growing up clay, you felt special. After a match or practice, it feels like you just stepped off the battlefield.; the clay stuck on your socks, hitting your shoes to get the clay off them, and finding clay on your body to represent the battle scars from the court. Har-Tru looks like a dried up swamp mixed with dirt.
Yes, it is a fast drying surface. Yes, it may need less maintenance than your classic clay court. But it does not provide tradition. There are around 30 or more clay court tournaments each ATP calendar year. Some of the best players in the world grew up playing on clay and I feel that the United States is behind because they have not trained like the Europeans. Let us take a look at the country of Spain real quick. There are nine players in the top 100. And every year, more and more players are emerging from academies that we have never heard of but have somehow snuck their way into top level tournaments. United States players have never had great showings at clay court tournaments since the Agassi and Sampras era.
The United States is on the up and up. The installation of true red clay courts in the new USTA National Campus in Florida is a good start. I think this will help Americans have a better transition to the clay court season. Real red clay helps develop strength and more endurance within players games. And personally, it is just better to look at.
SHOUTOUTS OF THE DAY
- Happy 26th Birthday to Grigor Dimitrov
- David Ferrer for his 700th career win
- Nadal for starting his clay court season 15-0