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article imageNadal Beats Federer on Mixed Surface

By Tea Lulic     May 4, 2007 in Sports
Rafael Nadal ruled the clay or the mixed surface after he beat Federer 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (10) on Wednesday on a half grass, half clay court. During the last point, the ball bounced oddly funny as Federer struggled to reach to hit a forehand.
Federer was leading 4-1 in the tiebreaker; however, Nadal, known for his long rallies, was able to reach Federer and take a lead 6-5. Then, he double faulted and players traded match points. But, Nadal came strong in the next three of the final four winners from the clay side.
"We're used to playing long, hard games with a lot of tension involved," Federer said. "So it's fun to play on this half-grass, half-clay surface."
"It was a long match, with many changes of pace and with little time to adapt," Nadal said. "My feet are suffering as a price of having to adapt to the grass."
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As the match progressed, the grass seemed to be the biggest problem. It caused some very tricky and odd bounces. However, Nadal and Federer did not have problems switching surfaces as they came fully prepared - both of them changed shoes when changing surfaces.
The players split the first two sets. Both of them came out strong in the third set, but after Federer's forehand landed long at 3-3, Nadal took a 4-3 lead. However, Federer came back but Nadal held, forcing the tiebreaker. During the third set, Nadal was dominating the baseline, while Federer was dominating the net.
Nadal was the first one to serve from the clay court and the first one to win a point of the match after a very long rally of groundstrokes. Federer ended up hitting a forehand into the net. The first game of the match went to Nadal, as Federer hit a backhand into the net.
Nadal soon took a 4-1 lead in the first set against Federer as he watched Federer hit a forehand into the net from the grass. However, Federer rallied to a 4-4 break before Nadal smoked a forehand to take a 5-4 lead. Then, he broke Federer again in the 12th game of the match.
But Federer was not going to lose. He bounced back in the second set and broke Nadal, winning the second set.
"It was a fun way to pass 2 1/2 hours," Nadal said.
Both players will be playing the same exhibition next year so watch out for it.
To see a part of the match, please watch the video enclosed.
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