trophy watch: roger retreats to routine while rafa rolls on with record

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The Queen’s Cup

Rafael Nadal continues to make his case for winning this year’s Wimbledon title with a 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic at The Artois Championships in London. Rafa, who took home $133,000, is the first Spaniard to win a grass court title in 35 years (bookending Andres Gimeno‘s 1972 Eastbourne feat).

Does Rafa already have a toothpaste endorsement deal? It could be very lucrative…

Meanwhile, Roger Federer scurried back to the teat of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, where he tried to erase last week’s French Open drubbing with his fifth title at this smaller grass event. He beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4. He didn’t drop a set in five matches, helping extend his record to 25-0 at this event (and to 59 straight wins on grass dating back to 2002).

Looking forward: Roger will seek his sixth straight Wimbledon title this coming week.

Top seed Nikolay Davydenko chips away some more of that (unfounded) match-fixing notoriety with another title, this time at the Orange Prokom Open in Warsaw. He has racked up three titles so far in 2008, tying Nole and trailing only Rafa’s five. Kolya beat second seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-3. Great track jacket from Airness!

Kateryna Bondarenko switched to a more even K-Swiss outfit for the DFS Classic final. Kateryna overcame Yanina Wickmayer 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (4).

In this week’s only clay contest, Maria Kirilenko made quick work of Maria Martinez Sanchez (6-0, 6-2) in the Barcelona Open. Maria turned this around with a first-round exit at Eastbourne this week.

(photos by Getty Images)

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3 Responses to “trophy watch: roger retreats to routine while rafa rolls on with record”

  1. Tennis Bets Says:

    59 consecutive wins on grass is an unbelievable record.

    Clearly Rafa is improving his all round game, on every surface, and i’m delighted for him that he won the Stella Artois, but i doubt this will have any bearing on the result at Wimbledon.

    Federer is as dominant on grass as Rafa is on clay, and i can’t see anyone challenging him at sw19.

    Sorry Rafa fans.

  2. Rowan Says:

    Hey Erwin. You’re right about the toothpaste deal for Rafa, somebody should look into it. Good to see Yanina Wickmayer making some noise, I remember liking her rainbow outfit in Auckland. And Auckland’s own Marina Erakovic has been having a really good season too, she might even make the top 50 in time for Wimbledon. Exciting.

  3. anonymous Says:

    Some stop Nadal from:
    1. Biting the trophy when he wins one.
    2. Spitting before the service.

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