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The Battle of Surfaces

When I heard about “The Battle of Surfaces” tennis exhibition match I was thinking to myself this can’t this be possible? The organizers of this match however have pulled off this once in a lifetime match up pitting the world’s top two players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on tennis court featuring two different surfaces that each of them are undisputed in! The venue Mallorca Spain, the hometown of current world number 2 Rafael Nadal. One tennis court made half or clay and half of grass. Initially I thought this was just a gimmick, just like the time Federer and Agassi played on a synthetic court on the Dubai helipad. But after going to “The Battle of Surfaces” official website and watching the video of the half clay, half grass tennis court I was rather intrigued by the possibilities of who is better or at least who would be able to adapt more quickly to the change of surfaces. My best bet for this match would be Federer, as Nadal strikes me as a player who specializes on just clay courts but Federer is more of an all rounder. In my opinion, if there was no Nadal in his way, Federer will easily pick up his Roland Garros title that has eluded him since. Federer however this year hasn’t been exactly the pillar of confidence and strength that he has always been on court. Federer was beaten twice in weeks by Cañas who had just come back from a long layoff after a doping ban and had just conceded the Monte Carlo title to Nadal a few days ago. Nadal is already sending a very strong signal of his intensions of making a hat trick of 3 Rolland Garros titles in a row and his intension after the Monte Carlo match was very clear. On the European red clay, Federer will have his job cut out for him.

I personally feel that “The Battle of Surfaces” challenge, although an intriguing prospect would be better enjoyed and appreciated more as a game of exhibition tennis. I don’t think either Federer or Nadal would be taking this match seriously, as Federer himself remarked that he will be more laid back with this match. The risk of injury is very real, as these are two completely different contrasting surfaces to play on and on the wide end of the spectrum. If it were to be hard courts and clay courts instead, they at least would have shared some similar characteristics compared to that of grass which is easier to make the transition. Switching from one surface to the next might have drastic consequences; one can risk injuries due the extreme changes of the surface. Furthermore, they would have to play very extremely different games then they are used to playing and vary their games accordingly. As mentioned before, the player who will win this match is the player would is able to adapt to the situation more quickly. Even on their favored surface, they will be returning to a different surface and receiving on another. I will be tough in my opinion to get any groove or rhythm to the game. The constant changing of sides will not help the players as well. My biggest question is that would they have to change shoes as players wear different shoes for grass and clay tennis courts? (difference between clay court and hard court shoes here).

I think what would have been more interesting would be to have something like a year end tennis Masters Cup event, but each of the players will have to participate on all 4 different major surfaces. Hard court, Grass court, Clay court and Carpet/Synthetic. The most adaptable and consistent players will have to compete on all 4 different surfaces. The winners will advance to the next group advance to the next group. A half clay, half grass surface like the one on the Battle of surfaces event just does not make any sense and adds a gimmicky element to this challenge. We’ll just have to wait to see what eventually happens in the exhibition match to eventually comment on “The Battle of Surfaces”.

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  • I'm Nawin from regentville
  • Residing in Hougang Singapore
  • Racquets: X2 Prince EXO3 Graphite 100 (Main) X3 Wilson K Blade Tour 93 (Backup) Strings: Toalson Ultimate 115 Strung @ 48-50 pounds. Plays: Right Handed (Single Backhand). Shoes: mi Adidas Barricade V Apparel: Lacoste & Adidas Favourite Players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

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