But also, constitutionally, this is the perfect surface for Nadal. Clay makes demands of players, both physical and spiritual, no other surface does. There is a required persistence—within rallies; within matches; within the two-week event—that plays perfectly to the core strengths of Nadal, a player who is happy to withstand discomfort. Clay court tennis is quite simply (and quite literally) trench warfare. Nadal is happy to engage.