Subject: French Clay
From: Christopher W. Thomas (
Date: Mon June 7, 1999 at 9:26AM

French Clay

Yesterday, came a momentous joy
For a fellow who started as a mere boy
With long blonde tresses past his shoulders
All gone though, now he's just a little older ...

A friend of Brooke Shields for so many years ...
Who well may have shed just a few tears ...
Of joy, when Andre Agassi achieved a dream
Which only four before him had ever seen

For the American lad has now won the Grand Slam
A feat not achieved by any of the current players who can
As now, it means you need to be versatile on three ...
Surfaces ... grass, clay, asphalt ... which cannot quite be ...

For the surface which suits one style of play ...
Is anathema for another ... and creates a delay ...
For asphalt suits only the hard server ...
Whilst grass lends itself to the volleyer

But clay tends to favor those who play back behind the baseline
Since the tennis ball floats and bends quite a lot of the time
Which some players can get used to very quickly
But the transition to hardcourts then becomes tricky

And only England's Fred Perry and Australia's Rod Laver
And Roy Emerson, and American Don Budge have had favor
Each one of these four having won on all surfaces
Versatile players ... who've had what it takes to ...

But, before yesterday, only the one American had achieved ...
The wondrous joy of winning The Grand Slam with such peace
And now, Agassi has done it - with pace and panache
A quite fitting tribute to a past coach ... Arthur Ashe ...

- Tristram

Christopher W. Thomas
7:30am Monday, June 7th, 1999

Agassi's Grand Slam

Wimbledon (grass) 1992
U.S. Open (asphalt) 1994
Australian (composite) 1995
French Open (red clay) 1999