The transition of playing surfaces from clay to grass has finally reached its finale. At Wimbledon, starting tomorrow, things will come to a head as they always do on these two playing surfaces. An altogether different eloquence and beauty brought about by the contrariness of the required game dynamics heighten the viewing experience of a match played on clay as well as grass.
Same contenders but a different saga to their area of contention. Some find it easy to play on one – it’s almost as if they are at home on the surface – while it’s not so rosy a picture for the others. Where a month back, it was a cruise for a few, who raised their rankings by considerable notches, now, a distinct lack of adaptability on grass can pull them down hard. The resultant domino effect leads to a loss in ranking and time, both of which may or may not be recovered in the coming months.
In spite of occupying only a quarter of the whole tennis season, both clay and grass are vital to a player’s competency. And they are perhaps more difficult for players to get accustomed to as compared to the hard courts. There are very few players – not just in the top cadre – who are successful on both surfaces. And even in the top echelon, there aren’t many who have been able to emulate their successful results on a consistent basis as they would want.
But even as easy as it is to comment on the difficulties of certain players to adapt to these two surfaces, it is not exactly a piece of cake trying to surmount the challenge. After years and years of rigorous training, a player finds himself in that comfort zone, a niche which allows him to play freely without any fear of losing whatsoever. But beyond this zone, the player finds himself in a quandary, a quandary which isn’t easy to break because of his initial professional training module. Which brings us back to the whole gamut of trying – the player doesn’t exactly give up but does what he can do best to achieve success on his lesser preferred surfaces.
Every person has desires. But what demarcates one individual from another is one’s ability to keep trying to fulfill these desires. In the realm of tennis, every player comes out to play with the desire to win a Slam. And where many fail in fulfilling this want, a few succeed. And even out of those few, there are those select few, who in spite of not winning on certain surfaces, still make a mark in the world – just for their attempts to try and capture that elusive laurel.