Nadal Debuts on Grass vs Fish at ATP Queens

Posted on June 14, 2006

Struggling American and No. 9 seed Robby Ginepri raised his 2006 win-loss to 5-13 on Tuesday at the ATP grasscourt stop in Queen's, coming from a set down to defeat unseeded countryman Paul Goldstein 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to move into the second round.

Americans had their day in the sun Tuesday, with No. 5 James Blake advancing with a straight-set win over countryman Justin Gimelstob, and wildcard Mardy Fish crunching Brit wildcard Jaime Baker 6-1, 6-3 to set up a meeting with top seed Rafael Nadal.

"I definitely wouldn't want to play him on clay, but on grass for sure," Fish said of Nadal. "I like my chances. He's obviously an amazing player. It will be a little bit of a different match-up than slow hardcourts in Indian Wells. Grass favors me a lot more. Just coming off the French and playing a lot of matches there, I'm sure he's not really used to the grass yet. I definitely would like to get him, if I was to play him, early on, coming off of a lot of clay court tournaments like he's just done."

Other players completing matches before rain halted play for the day were No. 15 Dmitry Tursunov (d. (WC) Bogdanovic), No. 16 Paradorn Srichaphan (d. Norman), and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut (d. countryman Benneteau).

The former Top 10 Srichaphan was another player happy to see the claycourt season end, upping his 2006 win-loss record to 12-13 with his first-round victory.

Seeds in action Wednesday at Queen's on the rain-backed-up schedule are (3) Roddick vs. (Q) Dancevic, (1) Nadal vs. (WC) Fish, (8) Hewitt vs. Vicente, (11) Grosjean vs. Minar, (2) Ljubicic vs. Sabau, (16) Srichaphan vs. Lu, (6) Gonzalez vs. (Q) Dupuis, (10) T.Johansson vs. Mirnyi, (13) Monfils vs. Reynolds, Mahut vs. (7) Stepanek, Udomchoke vs. (15) Tursunov, then (4) Davydenko vs. Wang or Bjorkman, Bracciali vs. (10) T.Johansson or Mirnyi, (9) Ginepri vs. Murray or Tipsarevic, and (WC) Philippoussis or Moodie vs. (11) Grosjean or Minar.

"I'm not with the best freshness," Nadal said after getting some grasscourt practice. "But it's okay, no? I was practicing yesterday. I want to practice, I want to practice a little bit because I want to feel the grass. But I feel a little bit dizzy on court. The legs very tired. So, no, is not easy. I need to change a lot of things. Maybe now is not the best moment for speak about that because I just arrive yesterday. I need to change a lot of things of my head. I need change a lot of my game and my mentality, too."