Tt Ep3 4 Clay Rg 052323

The story goes like this: A promising young American was about to make his first trip to Europe. Naturally, he was excited about the chance to bring his wide range of weapons to red clay. At a practice session back home, he expressed his enthusiasm to a player who’d already been on the pro tour for five years. The veteran turned to the young hopeful and said, “Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to walk on to a clay court and play someone you’ve never heard of. And he’s going to do things to you and your game that you never imagined. Welcome to clay-court tennis.”

No question, given how many Americans initially learn and mostly play on hard courts, it’s not easy to learn how to play on clay—much less master it. So what are the keys for clay court success at any skill level? Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, winner of such prestigious clay court events as the Italian Open, offers pointers in three specific areas. (Watch video below.)