Because champions are groomed on clay court surfaces. It’s that simple. Of the 103 men who have reached the top 10 since rankings were kept, 91 of them grew up on clay (based on rankings from 1973–2008).
Har-Tru also leaves players more physically and emotionally satisfied than other surfaces. The physical satisfaction comes from playing long points and long matches without over-stressing the knees, back, and lower extremities. The emotional satisfaction comes from the thinking, creating, and tactical responding that goes into each point and each match.
Har-Tru courts are easy and inexpensive to build. They can be put in almost any location, including over existing asphalt and concrete courts. They will never crack and, when properly cared for, a Har-Tru court will last forever.
In the 1980s three countries hinged their tennis future to hard courts: Australia, the UK, and the United States. Once upon a time these three countries virtually dominated tennis. But the world has changed and it’s the clay-court countries that dominate the upper ranks of tennis now. Hard court surfaces have been slowed down to promote longer points. String technology has evolved to provide players with added spin and control. The result is that the power and speed game of the 1980s is less relevant today. It’s the well-rounded player who has the mental savvy and physical skills to develop points and deploy a full range of shots who will succeed. The best way to develop these skills is to train on clay court surfaces, particularly during the formative years.