Sports Outside the Beltway

Rafael Nadal wins 1st grass-court title

Rafa is a four-time French Open champ. From AP-

LONDON – Rafael Nadal claimed his first career grass-court title Sunday, defeating Novak Djokovic 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the Queen’s Club final to become the first Spaniard to win on grass in 36 years.

It was the French Open champion’s third win in the last three tournaments over the second-seeded Djokovic, following semifinal victories in Hamburg and at Roland Garros. Andres Gimeno was the last Spaniard to win on grass, at Eastbourne in 1972.

“This week was amazing for me,” Nadal said.

The win should give Nadal a confidence boost ahead of Wimbledon, particularly after his resounding straight-sets win over No. 1 Roger Federer in the French Open final.

That a top ranked tennis player(#2) had never won on a grass court comes as big surprise to me. Maybe that tells you how little I follow pro tennis. I did know many players, notably Americans, don’t like to play on clay courts like those used at The French Open. Remembering Michael Chang’s 1989 win at Roland Garros being the first such triumph by an American in a long-time. Thirty five years according to wikipedia. Seems logical that if there are some players who can’t win on clay, that there would others who have the same trouble with grass.

Note- I remembered Michael Chang’s win without looking it up. Took place when I was on my honeymoon. The Tianamen square protests were happening then too. You’d think a man new to matrimony would have other things on his mind…………

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