Roger Soderling did this many years ago at the French Open on a damp court hitting very hard & flat near the lines. Therefore I would still have Nadal as strong favourite for the French Open, especially over 5 sets.
Nadal is spectacularly ranked first in three of the four return metrics on clay. He is second to Andrei Chesnokov in Break Points Converted, narrowly trailing 48.81 per cent to 48.60 per cent
For every 10 return games he plays on clay, the server wins about six, while Nadal wins four. This is the one of the main reasons why Nadal wins so much on clay.
A doubles dilemma?
Is it okay to hit your opponent with the ball or aim it at them?
This is an issue which comes up regularly in both ladies and mixed doubles and I often hear of disgruntled folk complaining of their opponents targeting them. A few of the young girls at my club hit the ball pretty hard and have been accused of trying to hit their opponents when at the net. So do the "targets" in question have a valid grievance?
I would say no except perhaps when someone has a smash over the net and their opponent is turning away so maybe not necessary to hit them!? But other than the obvious easy ball when a player can win the point without causing bodily harm I have no problem with any player aiming at me in a Lendl like fashion. (Yes he was famous for hitting the ball straight at opponents but only if it was the best option!) If I'm not good enough to defend myself with the racquet then tough.
I am talking about the competitive arena and not social doubles or anything similar where common sense and decent social skills should prevail (though often don't!)
There is one guy who plays in our top league who gets very huffy if you ever hit him with the ball so that's what I try to do early on and the match is over. When I trained in Australia (many years ago) the idea in all doubles volley drills was exactly that i.e. to hit your opponents with the ball as often as possible! You soon learned how to defend yourself with the backhand volley or at least get out of the way!
And perhaps the main reason not to get upset at lower levels is that the person more than likely wasn't aiming at you at all - they were just trying to hit the ball very hard and you just got in the way!
Any comments? Who has been hit with the ball and complained? Be honest now!
We always do a doubles clinic on our special hosted weeks when we have a question & answer session at the end and these kind of issues tend to come up. Possibly too late for you to make it to Trapani in Sicily next week so why not join us in Florence or Lucca in our upcoming weeks over the summer where we can get to grips with any of your issues on (or off) the court!
Look forward to hearing from you and here is a photo of my most recent doubles opponents