Well, well, are any of us surprised? The grass court “season” is halfway over and the top contenders appear to be Roger, Rafa and Djokovic. (The top women don’t play the grass court tune ups, preferring to save it all for Wimbledon.)
Wouldn’t it be nice if Roger and Rafa could finish every weekend as dual champions?
Rafa continues to astound, this time on grass. Can you believe this is his first ever grass court title, and the first time in 36 years that a Spaniard has won one (Andres Gimeno won Eastbourne in 1972)? Rafa’s also the first player to win Roland Garros and Queen’s Club in the same year since Ilie Nastase in 1973. (Ilie did not make it to the Wimby final that year, so we’ll see if Rafa can manage that.)
Novak played Nadal close, as usual, but couldn’t overcome Rafa’s unrelenting assault of physics-defying forehands and uncanny defense.
Roger Federer (remember him?) won the Gerry Weber Open today, earning his fifth title in Halle and extending his grass court winning streak to 59 matches. He beat Philipp Kohlschreiber (who bested James Blake in the semis) in an easy 6-3, 6-4 straight set victory. Obviously, Roger was “supposed” to win this tournament, with a B-level draw that included Michael Berrer, qualifier Jan Vacek, an out-of-form Marcos Baghdatis and Nicolas Kiefer. As if to give himself a little more pressure, Roger won the entire tournament without losing his serve. This was just the confidence booster Fed needed after that Roland Garros thrashing, and I think it bodes well for his future success at Wimby.
A request: please check out Mark’s comments on yesterday’s “Volley” post. I think he’s explained the current and future state of the men’s game very well, and I’d love to hear what the rest of you think!