At Palma de Mallorca, it will certainly not be just fun as Federer has talked about the mixed court experiment. It will also give the bragging right to the winner of the Grass-Clay surface in the run up to the French Open.
The customised half-clay, half-grass court will indeed provide a unique feel. But what all we can expect from this experiment?
Unforced errors: Too many unforced errors are likely from both the players. Adjusting to the varying speed at which ball comes to you after every changeover is certainly not going to be easy. Probably the factor of unpredictably should help Nadal more. If players do opt for different rackets for each surface, mistakes are bound to go up.
Minor discomfort: One hopes no big injury will happen. To adjust to different surfaces, the players will definitely need to change their shoes at every changeover. Getting the right feel of the court immediately after each changeover will make it all the more difficult. Probably, the injury factor will continue to be at the back of the mind of each player.
Nadal’s victory: Despite grass on the other end, the game might become slower as can happen when you play on two different surfaces. It will suit Nadal’s play. Home advantage should further spur him on.
Future tourneys: Highly unlikely if somebody gets seriously injured. But if players do enjoy the end result, it could lead to more such experiments in the near future.
But whatever be the end result, this unique meeting between four-time Wimbledon Champion Federer and Clay King Nadal is going to be a must watch for any tennis fan. After all, it has taken three weeks and nearly one and a half million dollars to create this one of its kind court. The labour the duo puts in on this court should match the effort. At least that is what the organizers will be hoping for.