Dear Clay Court Season,

I’m a fan! Honestly, Clay Court Season…a HUGE fan! So much so that this year, I forewent my usual Ode to Clay poetry and jumped straight into a Fan Letter!


You may be wondering, “Why the fanfare, Frazier?”

Well, I’ve always enjoyed the clay court season. You break up the monotony of hardcourts, which are played for the rest of the season, with the exception of the very short grass court season that leads up to Wimbledon. You give me something different to look at. The style is different. You see red (sometimes green) courts, long slides into shots, lots of topspin, and the surprise, “gotcha”, drop shots that fall just over the net, leaving the opponent running from deep behind the baseline, to get it.

Rafael Nadal sliding in the clay during the 2018 French Open.
Image: Christophe Archambault/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

You are the great equalizer, Clay Courts. It takes special skills to be successful on clay, and not everyone has them. It’s difficult to find a player whose games translates to all three surfaces well. We need look no further than to the King of Clay, himself, Rafa Nadal. Although he’s had success on other surfaces, no one will argue he is the greatest clay court player of all time.

Last year, the pandemic really did a number on the Clay Court Season. Most of the tournaments were cancelled or postponed, with the French Open being played AFTER the US Open, in Fall! That is literally unheard of! And yet, it was heard of! It really had me messed up!

So this year, I am going to celebrate you! Every topspin-fueled baseline rally, to every finessed drop shot. Every slide, every awkward bounce, every time the chair umpire has to get out of his perch from above to examine a ball mark. All of it!! Because I’ve missed you and I’m glad you’re back!

Dear Andy,

I’m a fan! Honestly, Andy Murray….a HUGE fan! And cannot wait for you to come back stronger and better in 2018. The tennis world has missed you.


If I’m being honest, and let’s face it, I always meow it like I see it, I haven’t always been a fan. And I can’t even pinpoint exactly why except that I can be strange and stubborn like that. But then you won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 and my cold kitty heart warmed up to you! Sorry it took me so long to board the Andy Express!

I enjoy about watching your strength when you play. You are like a big brick house just pounding away at your opponents. All the while, you look like the underdog…you look as if it is impossible to win…until you do! And then, sweet relief washes over your face.

There is so much to admire about you, but probably my number one thing is your willingness to speak up about gender equality in sports. Some may even call you a feminist. When 70’s tennis giant, John McEnroe, commented that Serena Williams would be ranked very low if she was on the men’s circuit, you spoke up. Because, well let’s be honest….that’s the craziest thing anyone has ever heard! Oh Johnny Mac…smh!

Let’s talk about your choices in coaches. Judy Murray, your mom! Judy is pretty amazing, don’t you think? Successfully coaching both you and your brother, Jamie, when it is certainly the oddity for a female to coach a male player. And then later, you hired Amelie Mauresmo, former women’s world #1, as your coach! Gosh Andy, you really know how to turns the tennis world on its side. It’s a strange phenomenon when a simple thing as a male player having a coach of another gender makes headlines, especially when men coaching women players is no big deal.

Time to drink some Truth Serum. I haven’t always been a fan of your wife, Kim Sears. When I looked at her, all I could see is her perfect hair…and I was jealous. I know that sounds silly. Why would a cat be jealous of a human? That’s just down right catty! It makes no sense, and when I finally realized that I am beautiful in my own tennis-cat like ways, I stopped being jealous and started admiring her for being strong, dedicated and beautiful, too. And, watching her facial expressions during matches has become one of my favorite past times.


I can’t wait to see how you do this season. I pray that you stay healthy the entire year because tennis is lonely without you. If you can stay healthy, I predict you will win at least one Grand Slam! Maybe Wimbledon…wouldn’t that be something!!

Come on Andy and welcome back!

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Dear Rafael,

I’m a fan! Honestly Rafael Nadal…HUGE fan! So much so, I gave you legit respect by using your full name….Rafael. I know that usually it’s Rafa, but for this fan letter, it is proper props for the “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal.

I will be honest, I was not always a fan. At the beginning of the Federer/Nadal era, I was on the Fed Express train all the way. I think it was your knee length knickers and sleeveless tops that turned me into a sad-cat. So unconventional, I just couldn’t reconcile myself to see past it. There is an ongoing debate in my house about this look. But for me, your current style is much better. Like really…so, so better! Meow!

When did I wake up from my nap and take notice of this “Rafa Nadal?” It was gradual, really. I was impressed with how you rehabbed through your injuries and your openness when talking about your progress. It’s as if you didn’t want to hide anything from anyone. Like you respected your fans enough to be honest with them. And you speak so softly, a complete juxtaposition of how you play. You seem like a really nice person to know.

Let’s talk about your power! There is  no one on the men’s circuit who is built like you…or plays like you. You’re like a boxer just throwing left hooks, then right hooks, then upper cuts until your opponents are down with a TKO. You are so fun to watch. I almost pity the fool who has to stand on the other side of the net from you. How do they mentally prepare themselves for this? I have no idea! If it was me, I would hide under the bed. And you never ever let up on your intensity. From the first point to the last, it is game on sucka!

I will refrain from talking too much about your Tommy Hilfiger commercial from 2015. Wink, wink. Not going to include the YouTube link here, but you know the one. Yep! That one.

Here’s a little piece I wrote about you during the 2017 Australian Open after you beat Zverev in a five-set match. I hope you enjoy it.

Vamos Rafa!

As we start the 2017 clay court season, you are chasing records! You have 9 wins each for three tournaments: Monte-Carlo, Madrid and the French Open! I think you can make it 10, 10 and 10!! A Rafael “perfect 10!” You have had a renaissance start of 2017, so let’s keep it going! Vamos Rafa!

Tennis love,



Dear Nick,

I’m a fan! Honestly, Nick Kyrgios…huge fan! There are so many things I love about your game.

Your style, creativity and flair! No, not the kind of flair we’re talking about in Office Space, but maybe the type of flair from the WWE star, Ric Flair. Again, it beckons a time of the glory days, but this time of Andre Agassi. You craft shots that are effective and fun to watch. And the great thing about it, is the other guy never sees it coming. Because when we watch you, you look so casual. Like you’re not thinking about anything…you just do. It’s a natural talent that I hope you hone and never let it fade.

Let’s talk about your serve. Yeah, your first serve is pretty awesome, but it’s the second serve that’s got everyone talking. Watching you brings me back to the Sampras days. Pistol Pete treated second serves just like the first with such fire power and guts! You’ve got that. I mean, look at you. You stuck it to Novak twice in a month. He had no answers. Incredible! Nothing better than watching tennis when the guys are leaving it all out on the court.

Your heart! When you are in a match, making incredible shots, pumping your fists, beating your chest, pointing to your box like “Yeah, I got this”…those are the best. That’s why we watch. All in!

Lastly, your mom. I don’t know anything about your mom, but she’s cute as a button sitting there in you box, cheering you on. There is nothing better than a mother’s support. I don’t know if you’ll ever get a coach. You should probably do that eventually, but there is something to be said for the lone wolf. You’re making it work…at least at this moment right now. I don’t know if that is sustainable, but you’ll figure that out.

Anyways….you’ve got Roger next. It’ll be a fun match to watch. Good luck to you!

Tennis love,