God of grass, king of clay will clash in Battle of Surfaces | sports | Hindustan Times
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God of grass, king of clay will clash in Battle of Surfaces

sports Updated: May 01, 2007 02:44 IST

Roger Federer is the god of grass. Rafael Nadal is the king of clay. What would happen if the tennis heroes were to clash on a surface that was a mix of the two? You’ll find out on Wednesday.

Federer, the world No. 1, and Nadal, his closest challenger, will meet in a first-of-its-kind ‘Battle of Surfaces’ in Palma de Mallorca on a tennis court whose one side is grass, the other clay.

Though it is an exhibition match, it has excited fans no end. It features the game’s most compelling figures in a novel plot. The 25-year-old Federer has not lost a match on grass in almost five years. He has won 48 consecutive matches on the surface, including the last four Wimbledons.

On the other hand, Nadal has mastered clay. The 20-year-old has won 72 successive matches on the dirt,

including the last two French Open titles.

The mixed court will provide equal opportunity to both players as they will switch courts after two games in the best-of-three sets match. The interesting thing is each player will have certain benefits and disadvantages in the same point. For example, Federer will enjoy hitting off grass, but his shots will land on clay, which will slow them down. Actually, if you think about it, Federer would prefer to be on the clay side, since his shots will land on grass.

So who will it be on Wednesday? A poll on the official website (www. battleofsurfaces.com) puts Federer ahead. As of Monday evening, Federer had 27,303 votes compared to 16,240 for Nadal.