So last week, I'm reading through the "tweets" I receive on Twitter and I notice one from Jon Werthiem, Sports Illustrated's tennis guru. He posted an item about something going on that I didn't even notice: No U.S. men were in the singles draw at the Monte Carlo event! That's amazing, but here's something that's pretty wild, too: There's none in the singles draw in Barcelona this week either!
And then, get this: Two out of three of the Challenger events this week are being played on clay. And guess what? Yep, that's right: No Americans are playing in the clay-court ones. Rather, the journeyman and up-and-comers are all in Tallahassee, Fla., playing on hard courts.
This leads me to wonder if it's worth any American guys even going to the French? Why not just skip the clay-court season entirely? I'm not sure of everyone's health status, but the way I figure it, only two guys should get a pass for missing the past two weeks of dirt ballin', and that's newlywed Andy Roddick and appendix-bursting-on-him Robby Ginepri. The rest should be out there, I feel.
And if they're worried about their games on clay and how to find success, here's a tip: Serve big, serve kickers, set yourself up to blast forehands. There you go: what should be Success on Clay 101 for U.S. Players taught by Professor Sias.
Or if the guys want tips from an actual pro, why not ask the Bryan brothers, who to their credit, made the finals in Monte Carlo last week and are playing in Barcelona now? Those guys have no fear and are serving and volleying on clay! Their other compadres should be out their playing. After all, it's just a little dirt.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.