Found May 09, 2012 on
Rafael Nadal switched to Wimbledon mode to deal with what he called "the strange" blue clay beneath his feet, and it worked. Roared on by his passionate supporters at the MutuaMadrid Open on Wednesday, Nadal crushed Russia's Nikolay Davydenko -- who had won their previous four meetings -- 6-2, 6-2.
Realizing, after days of extra practice here, that the low bounce and slippery surface would not reward someone chasing along the baseline, Nadal went for bigger first serves and first-shot winners, as he tries to do on Wimbledon's grass.
Despite being so worried about the surface that he asked to be allowed to play in grass court shoes -- ATP rules wouldn't allow it -- Nadal looked more in control of his movement than the small, compact and normally quick footed Russian.
"I try to answer the problem by moving a little bit inside the court," Nadal said. "You cannot give initiative to the opponent on the first shot."
He certainly didn't and...
BEST OF MAXIM
Serena Williams took a set to get her act together before beating Caroline Wozniacki 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the MutuaMadrid Open on Thursday, but there was no reprieve for Rafael Nadal.
To his fury and frustration, the Spaniard blew all kinds of chances against Fernando Verdasco before losing to his compatriot 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 for the first time in their 14 all-time meetings.
And, of course...
By Maud Watson
Fernando Verdasco celerates beating Rafael Nadal for the first time in 14 encounters (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/GettyImages)
For the first time in 14 attempts, Fernando Verdasco defeated his compatriot Rafael Nadal, handing Nadal one of his earliest defeats in a clay court tournament. Some credit has to be given to Verdasco. He played some good ball, especially...
Rafael Nadal was upset by Spanish countryman Fernando Verdasco for the first time, blowing a 4-1 lead in the third set in losing 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 Thursday at the Madrid Open.
After overcoming a first-set loss on the unorthodox blue-clay court, Nadal evened the score and appeared set to move on to the quarterfinals. But Verdasco took charge to get his first win over Nadal in 14 tries...
Although Rafael Nadal has voiced his displeasure about the blue clay courts in Madrid, he played as though it did not matter by thrashing Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-2 in his first match on the controversial surface on Wednesday at the Madrid Open.
Nadal said, ”I played much better than I expect…the (blue) court … doesn’t make you feel comfortable. It’s difficult, hard to...
By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid – Popstars draw people into their concerts, football teams have supporters cheering them on and Rafael Nadal draws in the crowd at La Caja Mágica – and there were few seats left in the giant Manolo Santana stadium whilst the ‘King of Clay’ was playing against Nikolay Davydenko. The Spanish world No.1 knocked out the Russian...
Thursday’s player quotes about the blue clay courts being used at this year’s Madrid Open:
The ATP and the tournament can do what they want. I tried my best since I arrived here on Thursday trying to prepare as best I can for the tournament. I wasn’t good enough to adapt my game to this court. The only thing I know is that if things continue like this, I’m very...
In a match that lasted over three hours, No. 15 seed Fernando Verdasco finally put up something in the win column against Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Open. After holding a two break lead in the final set, the World No. 2 Nadal lost the next five games giving Verdasco a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory to advance to the quarterfinals. It was Verdasco’s first win over...
Wednesday’s player quotes about the blue clay courts being used at this year’s Madrid Open:
I played much better than I expect…the (blue) court … doesn’t make you feel comfortable. It’s difficult, hard to attack and come back to defend. You just have to try and adapt.
I can’t play with grass shoes, we play with what we have to. We have to adapt.
Novak Djokovic echoed Rafael Nadal's criticism of the ATP for allowing Madrid Open organizers to change the color of the clay court from red to blue.
Djokovic, who starts defending his title Tuesday, believes the governing body of men's tennis didn't adequately consult with the top players before allowing the change.
''The only thing that is a little bit disappointing...
By Lisa-Marie Burrows
MADRID, Spain - Today was the day when Fernando Verdasco finally defeated compatriot Rafael Nadal after fourteen attempts in front of a packed and shocked Manolo Santana court. Nadal had two opportunities to serve out the match but failed to do so on two occasions allowing his opponent back into the match. Fernando Verdasco dropped to the floor in tears...