May 1, 2007
Roger Federer is the king of grass, Rafael Nadal is the king of clay. On Wednesday,
either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal will be king of both.
The 2 are set to play on a customized half-clay, half-grass court on the Spanish
“It’ll be fun to find out what it’s like to play on a court with mixed surfaces,” Federer said
Tuesday. “And it ought to be interesting to see who chooses the better tactic.”
The organizers needed almost 3 weeks and over $1.63 million to create the court, which
divides the surfaces by halves for a unique match in which a player can receive on clay
and hit a winner on grass. This is the first time it has been done.
“The result is not the most important thing. It’s about having fun out there,” the top-
ranked Federer 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.”
A capacity crowd of nearly 7,000 is expected at the Palma Arena for the match, which is
financed by the Balearic Islands tourism bureau. This will be the largest crowd for a
tennis match on the island.
Nadal comes from Mallorca and has the homecourt advantage. “I like the fact that the
stadium is located in Mallorca, Rafa’s home,” Federer said. “He has been to Basel
(Switzerland) after all, and now I’ve got the opportunity to play at his place for once.”
|Photos from the match on May 2, 2007