The clay court kings and queens set to shine on the dirt
After a couple of months criss-crossing the globe on hard courts, it’s very much clay season now. So who can we expect to shine?
With some 13 tournaments on dirt in the coming weeks, concluding with the French Open, those who love the surface know this is their time to shine.
So, who can we expect to come to the fore? We’ve picked out three from the ATP and three from the WTA…
He may be 33 now, but the Argentine loves red stuff.
Winner of last year’s US Clay Court Championships, 19 of Monaco’s 21 ATP finals have come on the dirt.
Like Monaco, Spain’s Almagro simply thrives on clay, and the 32-year-old has returned from a two-month lay-off just in time for the dusty season.
Three of Almagro’s four Slam Quarter-final runs have come at the French, while all of his 23 ATP Final appearances have come on clay.
We didn’t we’d leave out the King of Clay, did you?
The statistics speak for themselves. Over half of Nadal’s 102 ATP final appearances have been in clay events.
And of those 57 appearances in dirt finals, the Spanish ace has won a staggering 49 of them – including a record-breaking nine French Open titles.
The Australian is a four-time French Open semi-finalist, and enjoyed a solid season on clay last year.
Runner-up in the Prague Open, the 33-year-old was arguably the most consistent WTA player on clay, reaching the last four in Madrid and Paris, as well as a quarter-final run in Strasbourg.
Returning from an anti-doping ban, Sharapova will be out to get back to winning ways.
The Russian has shown an increasing talent on the clay, and statistically the French Open is her most successful Slam.
Seven of her last 11 WTA Finals have come on the dirt.
The Romanian secured two tour wins on clay last year, and in total has reached 10 of her 22 WTA finals on the dust.
Plus, Halep’s sole Slam final came at the 2014 French Open, so sooner or later you fancy it to all come together on the red stuff.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing