You are here: Rediff Home » India » Sports » Photos
Search: The Web
  Email this Page  |   Write to us


On clay, serve and volley is no folly

May 26, 2008

Think about French Open and you envisage a battle of attrition, baseline duels, long drawn rallies, winding ground strokes that generate heavy topspin, clever use of drop shots and eventually a clay court specialist coming up trumps (and if he happens to be from Spain it is certainly not a coincidence).

French Open facts: Men's event | Women's event

From a broader perspective every subsequent edition of the year's second major at Roland Garros is akin to a Bollywood potbolier. High bounce, low speed, extended running time, physically strong players (no six-packs here) and a happy ending (read a specialist winning), it can't get more predictable than this.

However, just as Bollywood comes up with a refreshingly different (hatke) offering at times, there are instances in the French Open where, against all the odds, serve and volley specialists have performed beyond expectations and thereby proved that if your game is consistent, the nature of the surface is simply immaterial.

It can be argued that had been consistent over a longer period they could have had better results that they actually had. Having said that, the year (or years in some case) in which they transformed their expertise on the slow clay, the results were outstanding to say the least and made up for great viewing. takes a look at some of these serve and volleyers, who their results notwithstanding, have proved a point.

  • Email this Page
  • Photographs: Getty Images | Text: Bikash Mohapatra


    © 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer | Feedback