Ben Shelton never played on clay before getting to Europe recently and the American shared his first impressions of the surface calling it more physically demanding.
Shelton spent the vast majority of his life playing on hard courts and it's the surface he prefers. It's fast and snappy just how he likes it however he got a chance to experience some red clay recently. He played in Estoril and since then took part in many events trying himself on a surface that he didn't really know.
His impressions ? A lot more physically demanding:
"It's really important to be patient, you have to be patient. It's a lot more physically demanding to play on a clay court. I think that it's important to stay locked in mentally, just because points can go longer and games can go longer, which make the matches a lot longer. So being able to focus for that extended period of time was really important."
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He did play on green clay in the US, but red clay is quite a bit different:
"I think there is a big difference. I've been able to play in a lot of great clubs in Europe so far. So the courts have been in amazing condition, great bounces and you know, everything is easier at these clubs that have big crews taking care of the courts. In the US mostly I've played on green clay. It varies from surface to surface, but it definitely isn't thought about the same in the US compared to here. But it's been only nice clubs that we've played at so far. So yeah, the courts have been great."