Tennis moves to the grass

Jun 9, 2011

We’re at that strange stage of the year where very important tournaments start to step on each other’s toes. No sooner has the biggest event of the clay court season culminated in two exciting, breathless finals, has the grass court season started in earnest with Queen’s. Play started on Monday, only 24 hours after Roger and Rafa battled for the title, so it’s understandable that a number of players are slightly lagging. Still, Queen’s is a great way to help round up the clay court season whilst simultaneously kicking off the grass season.

Rafael Nadal is proving his worth as a champion by progressing quickly and effectively through the tournament. After a minor wobble against Radek Stepanek, he made it into the quarter-finals only days after competing against Federer for his 10th Grand Slam title.  He won the match 6-3 5-7 6-1, and looks impressive as he heads towards the finals.

Andy Roddick has won at Queen’s 4 times, and is still on a positive course after beating Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4. He now faces Fernando Verdasco. The other Andy, Andy Murray, is also on a steady course, making the quarter finals after a confident win against Janko Tipsarevic 6-4 7-6 (7-3). The tendon in his right ankle is still giving him problems, but so far it appears to be possible to play well with it. He is much more comfortable and at home at Queen’s, so his fans are hoping he can start a good build up for Wimbledon here.

So in what ways are these opening rounds of Queens a good indicator of what we have just seen at the French Open and what we may see at Wimbledon? Well, for the French Open it indicates which players are going to be able to translate themselves onto grass. As we’ve just seen Nadal is powerful enough to beat an on-form Federer on his favoured clay surface, but does he have the form he had in 2008 to beat him if he were to meet Federer in another Wimbledon final?

For other players who have maybe been quiet during the clay court season, this is their chance to step up. Thomas Berdych is an interesting one to watch; he had a very disappointing French Open, but he may come back ten times stronger at Wimbledon and impress as he has done before.

As for showing what might happen in Wimbledon, that bit is simple. Queen’s helps us to be excited about Wimbledon. Many of us feel bereft after a Grand Slam has finished, but now we can start to build ourselves up to Wimbledon. What could be a better feeling?

-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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