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I used to really hate clay, but I've been playing on it more lately (mostly Har-Tru) and am starting to enjoy it. I especially love how I can play all day without feeling banged up and sore, like I do from hard courts.

My game is getting better on clay. Although, I'm still trying to master the slide and handle the balls that kick up high. If given a choice, I'd always pick hard courts, but these days, I look forward to playing on clay too.

How does everyone else feel? Any tips you have for clay? My main mantra when playing on clay is to just not let the surface psych me out anymore and just enjoy it.

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Terence I m from Argentina and most of the courts are from clay and I can tell you : clay is very nice to play. And if the player are in the same level playing is a nice battle.
And also, the body say thks because the hard courts are hard for the body too.
Regards
Jorge
I totally agree. I could play all day on clay. but on hard courts, after two hours, I'm all banged up and sore.

I wish red clay was more available here in NYC. we mostly have green clay.
I've only played on clay about 8 times (the greeen stuff) and I'm still working on the proper movement - I haven't figured out the slide and when to do it yet. I did enjoy it though and thought it would be great if my club would convert a couple of our hard courts.... but no gonna happen.
M
I think i'm gonna make a trip up to Newport, RI this summer and check out the Hall of Fame and play on the grass courts.
I played on the red clay courts here in NYC twice this week. One thing I really realized is the workout you get playing on red clay. I was out of breath by our 2nd rally! :-) You really need good stamina and endurance to play well on clay.
I love playing on clay and now that I started playing on hard courts here in California I can tell the difference in your body. It seems like I can play on clay all day. Another difference is the amount of spin most clay court players put on their ball. Most of the players here likes to hit the ball a little flat and hey normally have trouble with my game since my spin will kick with a lot of pace. If they give me a hard flat ball on the hard surface I have a tendancy to react late since the pace of the ball skipping low catches me a little off guard. I am continuing to learn and eventually my game will catch on.
Yeah. I've also noticed my arm getting more sore on clay because I have to use a lot more strength controlling my shots to handle the extra spin and kick that the ball gets on clay. I have to use more brute force to make sure my shots go in and in the direction that I want them to.
I play about the same amount on both hard and red clay. Like a lot of the other posters said, clay's a lot easier on the body. I have no problem going 5 sets on clay, but after 3 sets on hard, my knees are screaming to stop.

Personally, I prefer the red clay because my timing's more adjusted to it. The ball's a little heavier because clay particles cling to it, so I find that when I go for my shots, the ball stays in just a little more often than on hard courts because it drops sooner. On clay, the ball also sits longer and bounces higher, which usually results in longer rallies (which I find more fun). The only thing that bothers me once in a while are those irregular bounces inherent to organic surfaces.. they really force you to watch the ball. And shots that hit the tape are pretty unpredictable too.
My all time perpetual favorite are grass courts (played 4 years on grass) but having played on clay for some tournaments. The best thing to do is to just play your game. I love how I can cover so much more ground but hate how all the speed is compromised. Spin gets botched. Sneakers gone is just one match. Fall on that surface and it wont be pretty. A clay person "should" have a lot more control on the ball rather than speed.

Speed rather than spin is what needs to be watched here. Oh, almost forgot, you can point out where the ball bounced which is pretty cool, right?

I'd take grass courts any day though, only if I could find some in the bay area.
baker city, oregon.... check it out.
Patience and practice are the best tools to overcome any anxiety. If you have a good hitting partner, practice situational shots as clay affords you the time to pick your angles. Practicing grip styles and strokescan be very rewarding. Baseline play is essential as well as strategy. I learned on this surface and find it the most forgiving physically. As a youth, I even helped maintain the public courts. If you have OCD, then court maintenance is a great outlet (rolling, dragging and even sweeping the lines). Making sure the courts are kept damp will resolve most of the odd bounces. I don't know of many public courts in the Bay Area, even if there are any. Enjoy the adventure!
i love playing on clay even though it's not my best surface. it's always so exciting and the ball never bounces the same way twice. at first i found myself very hesitant to run at full force because sliding was difficult for me but after playing for a couple of hours on the clay i got a little more comfortable and a little more adventurous with my movement. i still need to work on a lot of things when it comes to clay court tennis but i find it highly enjoyable anytime i get to play on clay.

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