Even Rafael Nadal admits that it takes time to adjust to sliding into your shots on clay. "The movement is the toughest thing," the world No 1 said here yesterday. "To play well on clay, you have to move well. If you don't slide, it's very difficult."
Nadal is one of the few players who can slide with either foot, leading with his right when playing a backhand and his left when playing a forehand. He defies most conventions: naturally left-footed and right-handed, he plays golf right-handed and tennis left-handed.
Andy Murray, like most players, slides into all his shots with his right leg. "I don't find it difficult sliding either way, it's just that I slide every time with my right leg," he said. "I'm trying to get used to the movement and the feeling of changing direction on clay because it takes a little bit more time than on the other courts."