• Nadal off to winning start in London

    6/9/10 10:03 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Nadal off to winning start in London A shift from clay to grass proved to be little trouble for world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who won his opening-round match over Marcos Daniel in straight sets. The 2008 AEGON Championships title-winner is through to the round of 16.

    French Open champion Rafael Nadal continued his winning ways on Wednesday, making a successful return to grass at Queen’s Club. The world No. 1 held eight of eight service games on his way to a 6-2, 6-2 second-round dismissal of Brazilian veteran Marcos Daniel. The 24-year-old, who recently qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals, faced no break points during 53 minutes of competition.

    Nadal needed less than eight minutes to build a 3-0 lead in the opening set. The Spaniard relinquished few points on serve, holding Daniel to only four on the return. The 24-year-old secured two service breaks and won 13 of 15 first-service points.

    After rain halted play at 2-1 in the second, Nadal earned a key break of serve at 3-2. The No. 1 seed passed through the set easily, closing at 6-2 on a return winner. Nadal took 11 of 11 first-service points in the set.

    "I felt (I was) returning well," said Nadal. "That's the most difficult thing for me. I felt (I had) good returns. I was serving well in Roland Garros and I did the same here, I think."

    With the opening-round victory, Nadal improved his season record to 39-4.

    Nadal will square off against 16th seed Denis Istomin for a place in the quarterfinal. Istomin defeated Dustin Brown in the round of 16, 7-6(7), 6-4.

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i missed most of this match. my kettle decided it would be fun to break during the rain delay so i had to go out to get a new one and missed the end of it. however, i saw the first set. rafa played really well. he didn't even break a sweat. looking forward to watching him tomorrow (i assume he's playing tomorrow anyways)

Sib69 , 6/9/10 10:30 PM

rafa has the 2nd match on centre court, after roddik's

and thnx for the report, Kelli :)

vamosrafa , 6/10/10 12:00 AM

De nada, vr. Nice to see him transition comfortably. :)

Kelli , 6/10/10 12:46 AM

Pied Piper Nadal wants shorter hardcourt season /Pied-Piper-Nadal-wants-shorter-hardcourt-season/articleshow/6030168.c ms

"For me, the worst surface is hardcourt; not grass, not clay. Hardcourt is very difficult, is very, very aggressive for the ankles, for the knees, for the back, for everything," said the world number one, who was also forced to retire injured during his Australian Open quarter-final this year.

Unfortunately for Nadal, apart from the two-month clay court swing which culminates with the French Open and the four-week run of grass court tournaments, the rest of the tennis calendar is predominantly made up of hardcourt events.

Since maintaining hard surfaces is more cost-effective than clay and grass courts -- which is why both the Australian and U.S. Open ditched the green lawn from their venues -- it is unlikely Nadal's observation will carry any weight.

"Seems like tennis is always moving to play more and more in these kind of (hard) surfaces but my feeling is it's always a big mistake because the grass is soft, the clay is soft, and the movements are more natural," said Nadal, who in 2008 became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to complete the French Open-Wimbledon double.

"On hard you (play) all the time very aggressive. That's bad for the knees and for the ankles, for everything. I feel it worse when I play on hard and than the rest of the surfaces."

FEDistheGOAT , 6/10/10 3:06 AM

That's the nature of hardcourt. I think it's true for everyone and particularly so for Rafa of a few years ago because of his game. It'll be interesting to see how he adapts his game to hc during this USO run. He's been working alot on the serve and ending the points as early as possible. Soderling mentioned that Rafa is playing much more aggressive this year and while he seems to be motivated for USO let's see what happens on grass. By the way, when was this article written???

Maya , 6/10/10 5:10 AM

Here is a nice site to read the win. I like Marcos graciousness too. niel-aegon

Longchar , 6/10/10 8:13 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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