Views From the Baseline

I created this blog because I was posting entirely too much Tennis related comments on my Golf blog. I don't play Tennis either, but I do like to watch it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nadal Beats Federer in Half Clay/Half Grass Match

Canadian Press

Published: Wednesday, May 02, 2007

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Balearic Islands (AP) - In the end, Roger Federer's favourite surface cost him on Wednesday.

Two-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal beat Federer 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (10) in an exhibition match on a half-grass, half-clay court when Federer couldn't reach Nadal's forehand as it took an awkward bounce across the green side of the court. "The ball bounced badly and it cost both of us," Federer said.

The four-time Wimbledon champion was leading 4-1 in the tiebreak before Nadal rallied. After the Spaniard double-faulted while leading 6-5, the world's two best players traded match points before Nadal hit three of the final four winners from the clay side in front of a sellout crowd of about 7,000.

"We're used to playing long, hard games with a lot of tension involved," Federer said. "So it's fun to play on this half-grass, half-clay surface."

Nadal came into the match with a record 72 straight wins on clay, while Federer hasn't lost on grass in four years - a 48-match run that includes four straight Wimbledon titles.

The grass caused some awkward bounces, especially as the match progressed. But both players showed little difficulty in switching surfaces, as they changed shoes at changeovers.

Aside from holding the homecourt advantage, Nadal may have held a slight edge on the clay surface after the grounds crew was forced on Wednesday morning to rip up and re-lay the grass court, which required US$1.63 million and 19 days to prepare.

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