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

Champions League

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Sarita's Suspension

Sarita's Suspension

India hope to get boxer Sarita Devi's suspension reversed.  Full Article 

Fate in Balance

Fate in Balance

Caterham F1 factory closed, team's fate in the balance.  Full Article 

Wozniacki Wins

Wozniacki Wins

Wozniacki powers past Radwanska at WTA Finals.  Full Article 

Swiss Indoors Basel

Swiss Indoors Basel

Federer opens Basel campaign in style, Nadal progresses.  Full Article 

Close To Collapse

Close To Collapse

Crisis deepens at Caterham Formula One team.  Full Article 

Olympic Recognition

Olympic Recognition

Kosovo granted provisional Olympic recognition by IOC.  Full Article 

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

World number one Williams walloped by Halep   Full Article 

West Indies Trouble

West Indies Trouble

ICC 'concerned' by India-West Indies dispute  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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