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Rafa beats Roger in the Battle of Surfaces

02.05.2007 | Off Court

“Who is going to be the king of both surfaces?” was the question that circulated when both players announced to play an exhibition match on a customized half-clay, half-grass court in

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Majorca . In the end, it was the 20-year-old world number two who snatched a 5-7 6-4 6-7 (10) in an incredible tie-break thriller against our world number one.

In the run-up to the battle of surfaces, which wasn’t to be taken too seriously in terms of tennis statistics and rankings, Rafa invited Roger for a short trip around his home island. In a motor yacht they cruised around the Spanish island, together with invited guests and sponsors and did some sightseeing in

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Majorca. Both of the athletes were ratherexcited about the opportunity to meet on court under such special circumstances.

"The result is not the most important thing. It's about having fun out there," Roger said. "It's going to be exciting and a good atmosphere. It doesn't always need to be crazy serious out on the match courts."

Organizers needed 19 days and $1.63 million to create the court, which divided the surfaces by halves for a unique match in which both players could receive on clay and hit a winner on grass - or vice versa.

Already the advance sale let

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anticipate, that the event was going to be a big success: It took not more than three hours to sell all 7’000 tickets for to an enthusiastic crowd of tennis fans.

Roger first did some warming-up at a local tennis club and then switched to the indoor court, which is normally used as a velodrome.

The opening three games went with serve, Nadal kicking off proceedings by serving from the clay end, Roger responding in kind and Nadal holding at the grass end. Then, despite serving on grass, Roger lost his way to hand Nadal a 3-1 lead. The Spaniard consolidated the break and came close to a 5-1 lead but Roger recovered from 0-30 down to hold from the clay end.

It proved crucial as our tennis star recovered the break from the clay end before holding on grass to draw level at 4-4. Service games were traded again before Nadal held on grass and broke Roger from the opposite end to take the set. 

 

Our champion came out fighting in the second set, immediately breaking Nadal, who was serving on his favoured clay. That proved to be enough to eventually take the set 6-4 and level the match.

In the decider Nadal broke serve in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead, but Roger hit straight back and then held serve to level at 3-3. Neither of the players could force a decisive break and the match went into a tie-break.

Roger claimed the first mini-break to go 2-0 up, and led 4-2 at the changeover. But Nadal came back on his favoured surface to force another change of ends at 6-6. The pair could not be separated, changing ends again at 9-9, but Nadal's finally broke at 11-10 for victory.

At the end, both champions did their best to show the spectators a thrilling and tight exhibition match – which at least sounds very promising for us for future duels between the two tennis stars.

 
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05/03/2007 | 05:06 PM
NO PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


FRENCH OPEN..........
05/03/2007 | 04:40 PM
To the fans,

If you haven't seen the match then go onto this web site, YOU TUBE type into the search box roger v rafa, and it will bring up the battle of surfaces click on that it's the last set it's about a 38 minute long film and you see the award c
05/03/2007 | 03:49 PM
Even though you lost you are still the KING with the most beautiful game. I am sure you will be appalled at the description applied to Rafa by one of your fans and he/she should be ashamed. He/she does not deserve the privilege of being your true fan.
05/03/2007 | 03:11 PM
Fun to watch...thank you very much to both of you Roger and Rafa.

and hope to see you soon!!

God bless you
05/03/2007 | 02:57 PM
Rogelio,

tengo buenos presentimientos respecto Roland Garros, este es el año del Grand Slam!!!!!!
see you rog in rome and hamburg

Rgds, from Uruguay.

Richard
05/03/2007 | 02:10 PM
Dear Roger,

I know this is a bit of fun- but the grass in my garden was better than that!!! (and I haven't mowed the lawn for two weeks!!).

It was a bit daft- but I just wanted you to get the win.

I'm hoping to go to Wimbledon on the first day t
05/03/2007 | 02:10 PM
CONGRATULATIONS, DEAR! I'M VERY HAPPY BECAUSE AFTER A LONG TIME WE ALL COULD SEE YOU ON COURT CHASING A WIN AGAINST NADAL. WE VIBRATED WITH WITH YOU AND THIS IS WHAT WE DESIRE: YOU PLAYING YOUR WONDERFUL TENNIS WITH A GREAT PLEASURE. AND IF YOU ARE HAPPY
05/03/2007 | 01:55 PM
Again again again...

Sorry , I needed to say this, i´t been another disapointment..
Ange
05/03/2007 | 01:48 PM
Roger,
It wasn't your day. Just it. You played very well, but was unlucky. Curiously, this was very good, because you are keeping all the luck of the world to Roland Garros. :)
Keep on moving!!!
Big Hugh from Brazil,
Leo.
05/03/2007 | 01:21 PM
Dear Roger!

I decided to write you this Comment 'z I am a real fan of yours . It has been a few mothns since you last won Aussie Open and from that period until now , you have not caught any victory except for Dubai tour ...
I am not going to complai