American Tennis: Time for Clay Anguish

by TennisOne | April 15th, 2008, 1:43 pm

Sayonara North America hardcourts. Hello, European clay. For the Americans, it’s a time of anguish, when even such simple matters as making a phone call or ordering dinner exacerbate the tensions of playing on a less than familiar surface. For Europeans and, to a great degree, South Americans, it’s a homecoming, an exit from the concrete cacophony of the U.S. and a fond return to multiple languages, the Euro and, best of all, rich red clay.
There once was a time when this switch was even more pronounced, as net-rushers such as Pete Sampras, Boris Becker or John McEnroe had to brace themselves for longer baseline struggles. But as we all know, contemporary tennis is mostly played from the baseline.

So what are the telling factors that make clay paradise for some and a living nightmare for others? As always in tennis, the big concept here is movement. But on clay, that’s something different than what we’re used to seeing on hardcourts. The true bounce of a hardcourt makes it easy for players like James Blake and Mardy Fish to more accurately gauge the bounce and location of the ball. Blake, for example, is a fantastic runner, able to track down just about any shot.

But the slipperiness of clay demands something else. “Balance and recovery are critical,” says Lynne Rolley, former head of coaching for the USTA and currently director of tennis at the Berkeley Tennis Club. “You’ve got to have the confidence that you can adjust — and do so constantly.”

This will explain, for example, why despite their seeming similarities, Sampras and Roger Federer are quite different on clay. Raised on Southern California hardcourts, Sampras’ game was predicated heavily on offense and his ability to take balls early, generate tons of his own power, and be rapidly in control of the point. But on clay, that’s less important than staying balanced and primed for the invariable next shot — a defense-offense yin-yang that’s the cornerstone of Federer’s game. Added to this is the fact that Federer takes good, long swings at the ball — the kind of swing that’s effective at generating pace rather than redirecting it in the manner of such counterpunchers as Federer’s fellow Swiss Martina Hingis and Australian Lleyton Hewitt.

In large part, Americans are taught a brand of tennis that’s exceptionally linear. Head to junior clinics, tournaments and college practices and you’ll see balls being struck hard, clean and deep, often with swings that borrow pace from the fast bounce of the hardcourt. While it’s certainly an effective brand of tennis, contemporary American hardcourt tennis is exceedingly narrow, limited in texture — that is, diverse applications of spins, pace, depth, height, and angles.

“You can make the court bigger on clay,” says Rolley. “And you have to have it in your mind that it’s good to hit more angles and loops.” Of course in America we often disparage such eclecticism as “junk,” a backhanded compliment that invariably leads to neglect.

So while Americans often come to clay hoping to shove a square peg in a round hole, reigning French Open three-peaters Justine Henin, Rafael Nadal and a host of others grasp the essential dirtiness and even sensuality that accompanies this raw, natural surface. There might be 4.5-5.0 with better form on their slice backhand than Nadal’s improvised one-hander, but the point is that he’s willing to spice up his matches with this shot and generally keep his opponents off balance.

“On clay it helps to be an annoying competitor,” says Rolley. Picture the way Henin throws in topspin forehands, slice backhands on her way to building a point and you’ll get the idea.

Of course there have been clean-hitting Americans who’ve done well on clay. Andre Agassi confessed that he never learned how to slide — and only late in his career did he become a particularly good mover — but the upside was that he struck the ball so hard and deep that he could force his opponents on their heels. Then again, Agassi has the greatest forehand-backhand combination in tennis history — and he’s also supremely confident. That ability to drive through the court, coupled with fine movement, is the key to Novak Djokovic’s claycourt hopes.

In contrast, another superb American ballstriker, Lindsay Davenport, has never quite competed with the self-belief that she’s got the goods on clay. Far more than Agassi, though, Davenport has been hindered by her lack of agility and ability to improvise. And while the Williams sisters possess superb court coverage skills, they too often take too many big steps and even bigger swings to feel as comfortable as they are on other surfaces. That said, Serena beat Venus in the finals six years ago by superbly mixing patience and attack.

The final factor is weather. No other surface is more impacted by sun, clouds and wind — elements that literally alter the way the clay plays. Andrei Medvedev took the first two sets of the ’99 Roland Garros final largely because his flat-hitting ground game was quite comfortable in thick, overcast conditions. Sampras’ one-off run to the ’96 French Open semis was aided by warm weather that made the court much faster than in previous years. Day to day, hour to hour, even minute to minute, competing on clay requires supreme emotional, physical and mental flexibility.

Joel Drucker is a writer for TennisOne, see more of his opinions at

You Might Like:
Keys Stuns, Bellis Bashed, Kerber Still Hunting Serena, Both Williams On Saturday at US Open
4 Thoughts On Maria Sharapova’s Appeal “Victory”
Roger Federer Undecided On Clay Season, French Open
Emotional Johnson Repeats as ATP Houston Champion
A Fish on Clay?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

33 Comments for American Tennis: Time for Clay Anguish

MariaP Says:

Tennis channel just showed a match from 1994 on red clay with Davenport beating Pierce. Lindsay could play on red clay, but you need some luck to win the FO.
I think Sharapova will be in many semis and a few finals at RG. She’ll need some luck to win 1 or 2.

I hate tennis sissies like Richard Gasquet Says:

who cares about clay?

Voicemale Says:

Drucker’s right about one thing: American’s today are basically taught nothing about thinking in a match, just hitting. Citing Blake and Fish to exemplify a hard court game is more than irony: neither of these two has ever been to even a Semi-Final, let alone a Final, of any major, including the ones on hard court surfaces. You can say that these two are examples of Brainless Tennis (which is only well-served on the fastest of hard courts): hit, and try not to think if you don’t have to. And you can see it most prevalently when they serve. No thought going on in their heads, no plan on what to do – just toss it up and hit as hard as you can – indeed, Blake rightly gets criticized for never having a Plan B when his attempt to keep hitting hard isn’t working. Roddick’s whole career is based on one simple game plan: serve big enough that he doesn’t have to actually play the game. It worked better for him earlier in his career. Nowadays more guys deal with returning his serve better, so he doesn’t go as deep as often as he used to.

It’s no mystery why all three of these guys (and all the other big hitting Americans too) fail miserably when anything requiring construction of a point comes into play. Agassi, Chang and Courier excelled at point construction and court awareness and thats why they did well on clay. Sampars played the same way anywhere he played: premium serve & proficient volley – but his impatience to end points fast is why he struggled on a thinking man’s surface.

American Tennis lacks an education in developing the Mental Aspect – how to think your way through a match. This is what Federer & Nadal do better than anyone else today: they are tremendous match players with an extraordinary court awareness. That quality, as I’m sure they’ll admit after they hang up their racquets, wins them more matches than we’ll ever know.

sensationalsafin Says:

Roddick doesn’t go as deep as he used too…? Maybe not in every tournament but I’d say he’s going as deep as ever. I don’t like how generalized American players are. Maybe if you look at the top then yeah they don’t have as much finesse as other countries but I’ve seen many many many many juniors who can move well and think well and the whole shibang.

Dr. Death Says:

The points made by Drucker and Voicemale do strike a chord.

With the money spent on and paid to tennis academies in the U.S., it is a mystery why an investment is not made in clay courts by these institutions. There have been numerous articles over the last few years concerning starting young players on clay first and then moving on to other surfaces.

Or I guess one can go to Newark N.J. where (hopefully they still have) one could find wonderful red clay public courts surrounded by the second largest collection of cherry blossoms in the U.S.

jane Says:

I am not sure Drucker said anything directly about Americans not “thinking” on clay courts, or if he did, I missed it; he seems to talk more about movement on hard vs. clay, and about the game style and shot selections American players are taught. He also touches on the ability to switch easily from defense-to-offense which may be where the mental aspect comes into play.

Anyway, I agree with sensationalsafin that “generalizing” too much about “Americans” (or any other group for that matter) doesn’t really work.

Von Says:

Americans DO think. Winning on hardcourt demands thinking. It looks easier, but there is point construction involved in winning a point. Considering the American coaches in the US academies think of clay court shots as ‘junk’, then what do you expect from the players. This ‘junk’ style of play from the clay courters is manifested in their style of play on hardcourts. They also lack the abitility to transition on different surfaces. Our academies are filled with foreign players who are also experiencing difficulty on clay. It all comes down to “balance and Recovery”, as stated by Lynne Rolley, coupled with mental toughness.

The Americans like to finish their points quickly, as compared to the clay courters, who relish in just working and grinding the point to the death and physical exhaustion. This style of play is very prominent in David Ferrer’s game style, and he transfers the same style to hardcourt, along with many of the clay courters. This is why hardcourt play is so difficult for the clay courters, as is evidenced by their inability to go deep on hardcourts. They literally wear themselves out.

I agree with sensationalsafin and jane, too much “generalizing” about the Americans, and if I might add, too much lack of in-depth analyzing coupled one-sided commentary. Considering the clay court season is so short, it’s probably a feeling of ‘why bother’ by the American. I don’t blame them.

Dr. Death Says:

I will let the Americans decide if there is too much generalization going on here. If tennis is going to continue to be played on different surfaces, then tennis players ought to learn how to cope with all of those. Those who teach tennis ought to have an obligation to turn out well rounded players. If the French Open ever disappears, then clay will not be important. Until then, it is a major part of the game.

Hard courts require adapting one’s stroke to that surface. Worse is going from one to the other. IF you have gone from playing hard courts to soft, you know what I mean.

Did not our Hero, whose name we dare not speak, win a clay court title in the U S a couple of years ago?

sensationalsafin Says:

Who is this hero you speak of? Roddick?

Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Did not our Hero, whose name we dare not speak, win a clay court title in the U S a couple of years ago?”

I remembered that after I posted, and yes he did win Houston 2 times. He also won in the Czech Rep in DC and Austria, in a tough 5 setter against Melzer. He could play, but I think it’s just the impatience factor that the Americans don’t want to adapt to on clay. Not to mention the grinding.


“Who is this hero you speak of? Roddick?”

Yes, Roddick. He can do it, but it should be ‘just do it’. He’s scheduled for Monte Carlo and I hope he can go deep to get some much needed ranking points to move back up in the ranking. Monte carlo has the correct temperature that he likes to play.

Dr. Death Says:

Roddick can’t Just Do It – any more; not on the Nike payroll. However, if he follows the script I have written, we will see some great tennis this year.

Voicemale1 Says:

In spite of references to the points I made, I stand by what I said. Blake and Fish are classically trained American ball bashers, plain and simple. Neither of them think much on the court – they just hit, and hope it works out for them. They play the same way every time on every point, whether the score is 1-all 15-all, or whether it’s break point or set point against them. They play Go For It tennis, which a hard court rewards most often. But their problem is when Go Fo It doesn’t “Go”, they have little to fall back on. No Plan B. So, just keep hitting.

Roddick accomplished more than Blake or Fish because his serve is bigger. And yeah – he doesn’t go as deep in the Majors as he used to. Because he serves Heat 24/7 he’s in deep water when that fails to work and a rally starts; he’s more vulnerable. Fish had a real chance to win Indian Wells this year. He ripped off the last 5 games in the second set to force a third. Then what does he do? In his first two service games in the third set he manages to get only 22% of his First Serves in play. All he wanted to do was pound the ball and hope it went in with a lot of heat (the New American Tennis, after all). Had he served smarter instead of harder, he’d have given Djokovic plenty to think about. As it happened, he gift-wrapped Djokovic the breaks since he had to hit a second serve 78% of the time. Dumb and Dumber.

And Von: yeah, small wonder why the American’s give the clay season a pass, but here’s a newsflash for you: they don’t pass because the seaosn is short – they pass because they couldn’t win anything significant on it if their lives depended on it. You can bet whatever you like that if any of the American’s today thought they had a real possibility to pick up the prize money, trophies and RANKING POINTS on clay, they’d buy a second home in Europe. Make book on that.

Von Says:

Dr. Death:

“Roddick can’t Just Do It – any more; not on the Nike payroll. However, if he follows the script I have written, we will see some great tennis this year.”

You’ve picked up on my Nike slogan. Who cares about Nike’s payroll. He’s got LaCoste, which turns out better looking clothing than Nike, if I might add, with the exception of Fed, Sharapova and Serena, who have their outfits custom made. The generic Nike, well, it’s just generic, not impressive.

He’ll follow the script and we’ll see a good year. When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. Another one to name.

Btw, I read an article that China/Bejing, is preparing and will be using an arsenal of rockets and aircraft to disperse the polluted clouds that they foresee will endanger the olympics around August 8, that being the rainy season. Do you know of this happening? I’m just wondering though, if they do this, to where will the pollution be syphoned off? Keep breathing and keep far from the polluted clouds when they are dispersed. Do you have a ticket to the Olympics?

Dr. Death Says:

Von – don’t know who wrote that song but was made famous, two or three different times, by Louis

I have not heard or read of anything as radical as airplanes and rockets. No, I have no desire to mingle among the germs that will be assembled for the Olympics.

China is a classic second world environment trying to become first class as far as greening in concerned. In Shanghai, there have been a lot of plantings to make things more green. It is just such an uphill fight. Beijing in the summer is hot and humid and most with any means (govt officials for example) flee to the country side.

Von Says:


“You can bet whatever you like that if any of the American’s today thought they had a real possibility to pick up the prize money, trophies and RANKING POINTS on clay, they’d buy a second home in Europe. Make book on that.”

I didn’t want to comment on this blog because I know that there are many anti-Americans just waiting to pounce, but now that I’ve done so, I suppose I can’t retreat. So here I am, and I guess I’m going to have to butt heads with you, because you’re not going to stand down. :)

So here goes: I’m going to disagree with you. Roddick’s game has changed so much, but I don’t think you’ve been watching. he wins even if his serve is not popping. Guess why, he’s staying in the rallies and grinding. His backhand is working very sweetly, and his forehand has come alive, and I must say, I’m impressed. His game is not one-dimensional, and his serve is just gravy — all the way. He did’nt beat the top 3 on serve alone, he beat them playing their game. Stop being a proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand and wake up to Roddick’s game. I won’t put Fish and Blake in Roddick’s category. But, Fish has a one of the best two-handed angled backhands and Blake’s forehand is nuclear, plus he has speed. Both Fish and Blake have very good serves. You speak of Roddick’s game just being a serve, but isn’t that what jump starts the game? What’s the good in having good groundies without popping a great serve? I bet some of the other top 10 players would love to have that serve, so they won’t have to grind out the points. Don’t knock Roddick’s serve, it’s one of the very best. Tennis is about serve foremost — if you don’t have it, you’re in trouble, big time. It’s like what good is a song if the words don’t belong, but — to each his own, and my own is Roddick. Go Baby. :)

As for the Americans going deep and winning the trophies with the big prize. I’d say do you really, and honestly think they care? For them it’s a break to rest and play, have fun. But, they are going to have to play on clay, if they wanrt to get their ranking up. They don’t have a choice.

A house in Europe/ I’d say not. Americans love their own country and are quite comfortable. You can say we’re closed minded, but then sho cares. Why leave the very best, but that’s jut my opinion, and I mean it in the nicest way. :)

Von Says:


Here’s a good one for our othe guy, Marat Safin:

“Wild card Marat Safin evened his career record at 6-6 against No. 4 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero by defeating the Spaniard 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes. The 28-year-old Russian converted all three break points while losing his serve twice.”

He’s strung two match wins together. Davis Cup and now this onE, beating Ferrero, which is a good win. OK, now GO SAFIN!!

Voicemale Says:


Here’s what I will say about Roddick today. He won in San Jose – but face no one in the Top 20. His confidence was helped by winning there so he went to Dubai, where the slick Carpet Surface helped his serving to be sure when he beat Nadal & Djokovic. His match against Federer in Miami had more to do with a sub-par Federer than a newly remodeled Roddick. It was the match to Davydenko that showed why Roddick will find it tougher and tougher to go deep in Majors anymore.

His serve level dropped in the 2nd Set, and Davydenko broke him 3 times. Thats the story on Roddick today. Once the serve goes awry or even away on walkabout for a game or two, he’s extremely vulnerable because the rest of his game won’t fend off everybody . His backhand is still more a liability than an asset, as is his movement. That’s why the majors will be tougher for him now. If his lone weapon serve has to hold up without losing it’s effectiveness in Best of 3, that assignment becomes infinitely more difficult in Best of 5. That’s why we’ve seen the results we have in Majors against Gasquet & Kohlschrieber. A friend described Lindsay Davenport in this way: she can beat anybody in the world in 2 Sets, and lose to anybody in the world in the 3rd Set. I concur regarding Roddick today: he can beat anybody in the world in a Best of Three (preferably in straights), but lose to anybody in the world in a Best of 5.

I agree the USA is THE best place to live, but you must have missed that I said SECOND home. No way would they leave here (or if they did then I’d lose even more respect for them). And if you say my criticism is simply classified as being “anti-American”, as though what I say has no merit because of that, then I can reply that defending US players based on a nationalistic pride is equally meritless. Their tennis prowess, or lack thereof, isn’t immune from commentary either way just because they are American.

jane Says:


I know you addressed your post to Von, but I wanted to respond to this bit nonetheless:

“Once the serve goes awry or even away on walkabout for a game or two, he’s extremely vulnerable because the rest of his game won’t fend off everybody”

A case that may refute this is that Roddick’s serve was not great in Miami, until he played Federer, that is. Many people have commented that Roger was not that much below par except in those moments of nervousness during the tiebreak & 3rd set. Andy reversed the pressure tactics and it was Roger who cracked this time. Roddick’s game IS more rounded now – he’s not an “all court” player and he has weaknesses but all the players do. Tennis commentators have noted changes to Andy’s game and confidence of late.

IMO, he lost to Davydenko for a few reasons: a) Davy was on fire at Miami b) Roddick was mentally overcome by finally beating his nemesis, Federer, the night before c) he was also physically spent; his previous match was scheduled much later and much more taxing that Davy’s afternoon swing with Tipsy.

I think you make valid points but I do think you’re being a little hard on Roddick, his game and his efforts.

If Roddick is the longest player to stay consistently in the top 10 since Federer got there, doesn’t that say something? Blake is also currently in the top ten. How can their games be mindless if this is the case? I does seem to be a bit contradictory.

jane Says:

Here are a couple of links on why / how Andy Roddick’s reputation has taken a hit but also why he should be admired:

Voicemale Says:


And this is my last word on the subject: Roddick, beyond his serve, is as susceptible to losing to anybody once his lone weapon goes awry. You can opine as to why he lost to Davydenko, but the fact is the percentage of his first serves dropped – that’s not a matter of opinion. The more 2nd Serves Roddick has to hit, the tougher it is to defend against it because he doesn’t have any weapons during a rally to help him over come a dipping First Serve percentage. Especially against someone as talented as Davydenko.

And my point is simple – as a result of his serve being his only real weapon, he cannot afford for the quality of it to dip if he hopes to stay around in a tournament. He succeeds to the extent that his serve, well, serves him. As long as he can crank that up on a fast hard court, he should be around. It will be tougher over 5 Sets than 3, and every time he strides into a Grand Slam, guys will be looking for that dip in percentage that will inevitably come, then pounce. once a rally starts, higher & higher ranked players will find places to exploit in his game.

Von Says:


Jane has put forth arguments and points concerning Roddick better than I have been able to articulate. Thanks jane – two minds are better than one.

There’s nothing I can say that will make you understand how Roddick’s game has changed and that Gasquet’s and Kohlschreiber’s successes against A-Rod have been one-offs. Roddick is noted for playing 5 setters and coming out the victor. Just look at this DC record and previous GS records.

You are entitled to your opinion and it is obvious from what you state that you have not been following the matamorphosis that has taken place in Roddick’s game. Some of what you have described about the percentage dip in his game has been happening to all of the other top 10 players, especially the top 3. Haven’t there been the holes in Federer’s game of which you speak? And Djokovic and Nadal’s also? Davydenko, got a one-off, he met a tired and emotionally spent Roddick, coupled with the easiest cupcake draw one can imagine. Let’s see what happens when next he faces Roddick.

People are speaking now about Federer’s decline happening just recently since he had the mono. Last evening I watched the ’07 Monte Carlo final and was surprised to note that Federer’s errant forehand was very evident in that match. He lost in 2 sets. The first set he made 19 UFEs, 13 of which were from his forehand. Second set 19 UFEs, 12 of which were from his forehand. So then one can argue that Nadal did not beat an in-form Fed also. But, because Nadal has been historically winning against Fed on clay, that point would be moot and also overlooked.

My point is Voicemale, that if we initially don’t like a player or feel that his game is worthy enough to spark our interest, we’ll always be stuck in that train of thought. Your’s is stuck in the era when Roddick was not using his weapons as he should have, and was also stagnant in going forward with a decent all-court game. I can assure you, that you’re missing out on some great tennis, and would be greatly surprised, if you would just put your prejudices aside and look at his game with an open mind and an objective instead of subjective viewpoint. Give it a try. :)

Von Says:


Thanks for those links. Nate Cunningham’s was very insightful and he wrote with gut feeling — the way a reporter should write.

deb Says:

Hi Von

Good to see you’re still here sticking up for Andy!!

Voicemale’s mind is obviously made up but it was good to see in the DC match against Llodra, with the ace count so similar between them, the telling shot ended up being Andy’s backhand pass. Crosscourt and down-the-line it was working to perfection on the big, pressure points.

Von Says:

Hi deb:

I was wondering what had happened to you, but I see that you’re still reading. And, isn’t this a rather long post coming from you? :)

I agree, Voicemale’s mind is made up, and I won’t or don’t want to change anyone’s opinion, but we also need to have an open mind.

You’re so right about that \Lllodra match, even though the Ace count was similar, it wasn’t the ace that won the match, it was that angled backhand pass. Beautifully executed. And, yes those down the line shots were so sweet, that even PMcEnroe, smiled at the acuuracy and beauty of that one shot in the 3rd gainst Paul Henri. Good to see A-Rod spicing up that backhand, and is moving more to a better all-court game. Keep reading and posting, am glad to hear from you. :)

MMT Says:

I think clay is a surface that above all exposes weaknesses, whereas weaknesses can be more easily hidden on grass courts and hard courts. If you have slow or poor footwork, you’ll be killed on clay. If you rely too much on your serve, it won’t have much of an impact on clay. If your volleys are technically unsound, you’ll be passed more often on clay. And you have no idea how to construct a point, you’ll make unforced errors trying to end points before their natural conclusion.

For all these reason the current crop of Americans have problems.

One or two victories at a time on clay mean little. To win a Masters Series or at Roland Garros you have to have quite a tactical and technical arsenal to beat a variety of opponents you’ll face. This is why certain players can win here or there on clay, but have had little success at the big tournaments.

One last note – the reason the non-clay court specialists remain in the top ten is because 75% of tournaments in the world are on fast surfaces that allow for technical and tactical weaknesses to be covered up. If half the tournaments were on clay, I think Roddick, Blake, Karlovic, Ancic would have a hard time staying in the top 50, but Fish might have a better time of it because he’s technically superior to 4.

We might (obviously) have a little more competition for #1 and #2, but I think the rest of the field would be about where they are.

Von Says:


Are you and Voicemale siblings? You seem to share the same views and writing styles. :)

Von Says:

Dr. Death:

My info on Roddick’s wins at Houston, TX, was erroneous. He made it to the finals five (5) times, and won the title three (3)times. The Tennis Channel has been re-broadcasting the old Houston finals. (It’s a shame you don’t have tennis coverage. I wish there was some medium through which I could impart these matches to you.) It was a joy to watch Roddick in his final with Grosjean in 2004, which Andy won. His footwork/speed, forehand, were all absolutely firing 100 per cent. Not to mention the fact that he hit the ball deep and hard. I find myself wondering what happened to make him change his aggressive style of play and the only answer I could find, is Gilbert. His philosophy was for Roddick to use ‘surf and turf’. Serve hard, use his forehand, and stand 10-15 feet behind the baseline. Nothing else. This is one of the reasons why Andy became so stagnated. What a shame. Anyway, for those who are also stagnated in their thinking about Roddick’s game, they should take a look at that final and they’ll be pleasantly surprised.

TD Says:

Didn’t Andy beat a former French Open champion or two at Roland Garros?

MMT Says:


Are you and Voicemale siblings? You seem to share the same views and writing styles.”

You know how they say everyone has a physical twin out there somewhere? Maybe that goes for a mental twin as well! If so, Voicemale: I know a couple of good therapists you should refer to. :-)

BTW – Von, I’m beginning to soften up on Roddick…that’s of course until he has another outburst :-)

Von Says:


“You know how they say everyone has a physical twin out there somewhere? Maybe that goes for a mental twin as well! If so, Voicemale: I know a couple of good therapists you should refer to.”

Yes, we all have a twin, walking out there somewhere. You’re both similar in the fact that when you’re committed to a point of view, well you’re both going to go down to the wire defending your view point. That’s fine with me, because I also don’t let up. However, at times, it makes me hesitant to get embroiled in a point to point defense, but when I do get going, well I see it to the end. I suppose the three (3) of us DO need a therapist. But, hey, that’s what gives these threads some umpf, isn’t it? :)

“BTW – Von, I’m beginning to soften up on Roddick…that’s of course until he has another outburst.”

You’re kidding. I’m checking my eyes on this one. But, you know as the saying goes, ‘if you can’t fight them, then join them’. :) Welcome to the world of Andy Roddick. :) I doubt whether we’re going to see too many more outbursts, if any, they’ll be toned down. The media certainly creamed him on those outbursts and he’s read and have been aware of them. That aside, he was certainly sparkling in Davis Cup, don’t you think? :) Ah, come on, fess up, he was goooood, so goood!! :)

MMT Says:

Roddick was excellent in Davis Cup, and I’m well pleased. As I mentioned previously, I’m American and I want us to win every Davis Cup from here to eternity.

But let’s not start sharing the peace pipe just yet! I admit I’m very hard on him, and he’s taken a bit of a beating recently for some of his antics, but I repeat my contention that it is deserved. He may be a nice guy in general, but when he isn’t, particularly on the court, I’ll call it like I see it.

And I DIDN’T mean that YOU need a therapist, only that I do. Of course a casualty of this momentary indulgence in self-deprecating humor is my mental twin Voicemale. Obviously I don’t know him and would never be so arrogant as to suggest that he too needs a therapist. Another silly joke gone awry…my apologies!

And if Roddick makes it to the quarter final in Roland Garros, I’ll write a post singing his praises on my blog just for you Von! :-)

Von Says:


“And if Roddick makes it to the quarter final in Roland Garros, I’ll write a post singing his praises on my blog just for you Von!”

Well, thank you MMT, but, I’d better warn you, I have an elephant memory, or so I was told, and I won’t let you fcrget it when it’s time to deliver on your promise. :)

Sven Says:

Americans can play on clay? Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams have won at Roland Garros. If you ever saw Jennifer’s clay matches, she can slide very well on clay and so can Serena.

Agassi won there, Courier twice and Chang. I don’t care how long ago it was, there are still many Americans who have won there.

Top story: Alcaraz Dominates Djokovic For 2nd Wimbledon Title, 4th Grand Slam