Clay season for tennis that is. After the hardcourts of Miami and Key Biscayne where Djokovic and Davydenko ruled on the men’s side and Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams on the women’s side, it is time to signal the start of the clay courts season. Faster surfaces of the hardcourts will yield the spotlight to the red clay, for slower movement of the ball and for slower yet intensified style of playing. Novak Djokovic is the defending champion after he defeated Richard Gasquet of France in the 2007 finals. The Estoril Open at Portugal is a great preparation for the forth coming Roland Garros Open. In fact, world number 1 Roger Federer is set to compete in Estoril with Paris in his mind. The goal is of course to condition his body and mind in preparation for the Roland Garros- which is the only Grand Slam that has eluded his hands for years.
Estoril is often home of clay courters and future champion of Roland Garros. Sergei Bruguera, Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya, Gaston Gaudio, Albert Costa and Juan Carlos Ferrero are just some of the names that played great at Estoril and saw their fortunes improved on the French Open improved as well. The Estoril Open that is set to open April 12 is a combined event of the ATP and the WTA, and another tennis event where Mercedes-Benz has a sponsorship.