"Wimbledon may attract world attention, the U.S. Open is tennis for the masses, but the French Open ushers in the main tennis season," Mic Huber explained. "It's Paris. It's red clay and drama." Mark Pino had said, "There's always extra drama when the tennis world convenes for a Grand Slam tournament. It's the nature of the beast." At the French Open, Alan Trengove pointed out, "Patience is a prerequisite for a triumph on clay. Rallies on the powdery Roland Garros clay often extend to 50 or 60 shots, and a single game can last 15 minutes." 

At the time, "Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert are 2 of the coolest and most equable (calm and even-tempered) personalities in the game. They are completely at peace with themselves and with their surroundings. The measure of their superiority is that they can beat players who themselves are champions of the clay court game." In 1983, Chris was spotted wearing "a blue and white headband around her blonde hair" while Yannick Noah's "hair dangles in braided twists." Chris later told the press, "I think I'm a little old now for ponytails. I think this suits me much better." 

In 1987, Boris Becker told fans, "When I think back to when I first started playing tennis tournaments, when I was 7 or 8 years old, I sometimes wonder if my mother was concerned that I might be developing a skin condition. Certainly my skin was always red – along with my shoes, my clothes, even my hair. But the reason was not any medical ailment, but simply because I was always playing tennis, and where I was born, in Leimen, the only place to play tennis was on a red clay court. 

"It was not until 1983, when I was 15 years old, that I had the chance to play on anything other than clay. That was the junior Wimbledon tournament, where I lost in the first round to Stefan Edberg of Sweden. Ironically, it would be Edberg who would play a part in my introduction to supreme court, the indoor surface. This was at the 1985 junior masters, in Birmingham, England, where I defeated Stefan in 5 sets to win the tournament. Nevertheless, you might say that clay was the staple of my tennis diet as a youngster. On clay courts, with the slower pace of the game, a player must think differently. He must construct his points. You can be aggressive, but you must be selective about when to attack. And of course, there are distinctions between the different types of clay surfaces we compete on. 

"Clay courts in Germany are made of a special material and are perhaps the slowest courts in the world. In France, clay courts are constructed differently, with a base of stone laid down first, covered with the dust of pulverized red brick. That is why, when you watch the tennis from Roland Garros on television, the color of the court is slightly different than those found in Germany – and they play a little faster, as well. For me, and probably for all tennis players, there are few sights as beautiful as the center court at Roland Garros, in Paris, at the beginning of the French Open. The American version of clay is made from yet a different material, and is the fastest of all. That is why a serve and volley player like John McEnroe has better success on clay in the United States than elsewhere." John maintained, "I think it's (red clay) the toughest surface to play. I don't think you necessarily have to be the most talented player to win. It's a question of who's in better shape or if the court's in shape." 

Boris observed, "On the pro circuit today (in 1987), the only major segment devoted to clay is in the (Northern Hemisphere) spring, from Monte Carlo, Hamburg and Rome, through the Tournament of Champions in New York, and finishing at Roland Garros. Even Indianapolis, long known as the U.S. clay court championships, is changing to cement courts. Soon the tournament at Forest Hills will be the only clay court event in America. Clay courters generally play from the baseline, and I often do that, even on grass. And a fast serve like mine can still be a weapon on clay, if used intelligently."

Since 1990, Gaston Cloup had been the groundskeeper at Roland Garros. He described the clay courts in 2006, "You have to have a real feel for the earth, the soil." It was reported, "The clay at Roland Garros is only a fine sprinkling of powder, made from finely milled bricks that are recovered from demolition sites around France. The powder covers a 3-inch layer of hard-packed limestone."

Nick Bollettieri had stated, "It takes unbelievable discipline to win here (in Paris). On a hard court, it takes 2 good ground strokes and one good volley to win a point. Here (in Paris) it takes 3 ground strokes and 2 volleys. That's 40% more shots if you play the ideal point. That's 40% more chance for an error. The clay court player sits back and waits for the error, because he knows it's bound to come."

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