Robert Lansdorp Talks about Roland Garros 2014
Maria Sharapova, the greatest clay court tennis player right now. In the women it has shown that you don’t have to grow up on the red clay to become a world Champion. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are the best clay court players and NEITHER of them grew up on the red clay. Serena grew up in Southern California not far from where I have been teaching on HARD COURTS, and Maria grew up with me for almost 9 years, being taught on HARD COURTS. I keep saying that it is the mentality that you have to have. Maria Sharapova won the French Open now twice, not because she is a great clay court player, but because she has the game to win the French.
The red clay actually helps Maria now, because it is slower and it gives her more time to get in position. Besides that she hits the daylights out of the ball, learned on the hard courts with me day in day out. Both Maria and Serena hit the ball fairly flat and don’t have a lot of topspin on the ball, because they were never told to hit an Academy ball. To hit the ball like Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams you have to be willing to hit the ball hard as a youngster. Ten years and older, if not younger. You have to have great discipline and be mentally very tough. Not many women players hit with a lot of topspin. Simona Halep does not, Genie Bouchard does not, Garbine Muguruza does not and she is from Spain. So be aware if your kids coach teaches your kid too much topspin, unless you want to become a college player. BUT THAT IS IT. So don’t send your girls to Spain or clay court camps. Teach them consistency, discipline and driving the balls hard. Hard and 2 to 3 feet over the net. Maria Sharapova is and always was some tough cookie. It takes about 8 to 10 years to develop a tennis Champion and it takes more than just hitting a ball. It also takes a LOVE for the game, but that is on any service. Next time I will talk about the boys, it is a little different but not that much. Still don’t send them to Spain.
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