The Reuters global sports blog
The grass court season is finally underway. I love this time of year. We finally get to see some attacking tennis, but still not as much as during my era because the courts and balls are a lot slower.
The Queen’s Club Championships started with one of its best fields in the tournaments history with 15 of the top 20 in the world entered. The only big withdrawal was that of Novak Djokovic, sighting a knee problem, but I am sure he will be fine for Wimbledon. Nadal, the six time French open champion, arrived Monday evening after all his sponsor commitments at Disneyland Paris. He is such a professional; he had a 1 hour 45min intense practice session and entered the doubles event as well to get match practice before his first round match in singles on Wednesday.
Just to be at the event after his exertion at the French Open is a credit to Nadal. Federer on the other hand was so shattered he pulled out of the event in Halle to rest before Wimbledon. There needs to be a week off in between the French Open and the grass court season. Common sense needs to prevail one day.
The second seed for the event was Andy Murray who was full of confidence because of his run at the French Open. He played really well this past week and looked like the favorite for the tournament from day one. He was serving well, being more aggressive, and was more consistent with his body language. You can really see the influence of Darren Cahill in all these areas. Even the press are getting a better vibe and energy from Andy. The only two areas I would like to see improve on court are: hitting through the forehand up the line more because at times it is too predictable and crosscourt too often. Also, using the serve out wide on the deuce side more.
If you were being uncharitable you’d call it a typical scene from a British summer: a few hundred hardy fans braving the cold, the damp and the threat of travel chaos to stay on long after the TV cameras had packed up and watch Andy Murray partner Lleyton Hewitt in a meaningless doubles match at Queen’s.
“Come on Andy!” “Come on Muzzah!” they shouted from deep within their coats and under their blankets but the chants seemed more to encourage themselves on another gloomy evening than for the British number one.