Nadal's grasscourt return ends prematurely

Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:19am IST

REUTERS - The switch from clay to grass did not go according to plan for Rafa Nadal on Thursday and the Spaniard was jettisoned from the Gerry Weber Open with a 6-4 6-1 second-round defeat by maverick German Dustin Brown.

A player who is almost unbeatable on clay, having won the French Open in nine of the past 10 years, proved to be more vulnerable on grass. He has now lost his last three matches on the slicker surface dating back to 2012.

Instead of chalking up his 700th tour win with victory over Brown, Nadal suffered a setback in his hopes of getting some much needed grasscourt practice before he heads to Wimbledon.

Roger Federer was not immune to grasscourt jitters either. The Swiss began his first match on the lush green surface this year with a 6-7(8) 6-4 6-2 win over Portugal's Joao Sousa.

The seven-times Wimbledon champion owns more grasscourt titles (13) than any other player since tennis turned professional in 1968 but that expertise could not prevent him from dropping the first set against an opponent who has no proven track record on the surface.

The second seed, chasing a seventh title in Halle, squandered five break points in the first set against the 47th-ranked Sousa.

But Federer, who was beaten in the fourth round of the French Open by Ernests Gulbis, ran out a comfortable victor after easily winning the next two sets.

"It was slightly frustrating at times clearly, but nevertheless I served well and kept on doing my thing," Federer told reporters.

"It was important to stay calm and actually I think it gives me more confidence winning this way. I had to stay calm, fight through the match and find a way and then the last set and a half were much better. So, I'm actually pretty happy now."

Federer will face Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan for a place in the semi-finals.

(Writing by Pritha Sarkar in London, editing by Clare Lovell)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tennis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Athletics Champ Dead

Athletics Champ Dead

Ex-world champion Mulaudzi killed in car crash.  Full Article 

Fired Over Statements

Fired Over Statements

PGA president fired for 'insensitive' remarks.  Full Article 

Showing Admiration

Showing Admiration

Mourinho is a very Special One, says Van Gaal.  Full Article 

Assault Probe

Assault Probe

ISL probes allegation of assault on Pires.  Full Article 

Controversial Balotelli

Controversial Balotelli

Why always me? Balotelli might have a point.  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

Caterham F1 team set to miss next two races.  Full Article 

La Liga Clasico

La Liga Clasico

Suarez to return in clasico, says Barca coach.  Full Article 

Premier League

Premier League

Best is yet to come from Aguero, says Pellegrini.  Full Article 

NBA Preview

NBA Preview

LeBron's Cavs help bring focus back to the hardwood.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage