By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday June 6, 2021
Contesting his 80th career Grand Slam, Roger Federer shattered a major myth about Roland Garros.
If you subscribe to the theory that Roland Garros’ red clay is the slowest Grand Slam surface, you’re living in the past says Federer.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion asserts the fame French Open terre battue actually plays quicker than most hard courts on the pro circuit these days.
“I don’t know how to explain it to you, but sometimes people still think clay is slow. It’s not that slow,” Federer told the media in Paris. “It’s actually mostly faster than hard courts nowadays unless you go to Cincinnati and Shanghai potentially and a couple of indoor events.
But other than that I feel like if you’re playing on a day where it’s actually quite warm, clay can actually be somewhat on the faster side.”
Several players have said the red clay is playing faster and the balls seem to be lighter in Paris this year. Federer points to the homogenization of hard courts as another reason for speed disparity between red clay and hard courts.
“Now obviously what comes into play is bad bounces and sliding and you can go far back, especially on center court because there is so much room, so things can change there,” Federer said.
Photo credit: Roland Garros Facebook