Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Nadal wins on clay/grass

May 3, 2007


Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands - The King of Clay ruled in this oddest of matches between the two best players in tennis.

Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (10), in an exhibition Wednesday on a half-grass, half-clay court when the top-ranked Swiss failed to reach a forehand that took a funny bounce across the green side.

"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. Federer hasn't lost on grass in four years - a 48-match run that includes four straight Wimbledon titles.

"It was a long match, with many changes of pace and with little time to adapt," Nadal said. "My feet are suffering as a price of having to adapt to the grass."

Federer was leading, 4-1, in the tiebreaker before Nadal rallied. After the Spaniard double-faulted while ahead 6-5, the players traded match points. Nadal then hit three of the final four winners from the clay side before a sellout crowd of about 7,000.

Venus wins at J&S; Cup

Warsaw, Poland - Venus Williams beat Michaella Krajicek, 6-4, 6-3, Wednesday in a first-round match at the J&S; Cup, and Mara Santangelo defeated fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova, 6-3, 6-3, in a second-round match.

Baghdatis advances at BMW

Munich, Germany - Fourth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus struggled past rookie Matthias Bachinger of Germany, 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-4, Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the BMW Open.

Davydenko drops opener

Oeiras, Portugal - Unseeded Olivier Patience of France upset top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, 7-5, 6-1, Wednesday in a first-round match at the Estoril Open. Davydenko, the world No. 4, won at Estoril in 2003 and lost in last year's final.

Second-seeded Tommy Robredo eliminated Albert Montanes of Spain, 6-4, 6-3.


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