May 1, 2007, in Palma Arena, Mallorca, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer - the two best players in the world - will face off in a unique exhibition match: the Star Wars. [src]
This isn't just any exhibition match, though. It's going to have a very special court laid to complement the reigning King of Clay and the Grass Court Maestro. You see, on one side of the net the court will be clay; the other side, grass. Call it spring Christmas in red and green.
While both men dominate on their respective surfaces (Rafa has 70 consecutive clay court wins, and Federer has 48 consecutive grass court victories) both perform very impressively on the other surface. It was a Federer-Nadal final at both the French Open and Wimbledon in 2006, so this is sure to be a great battle.
It also promises to be a fun, exciting, color-blinding event. Roger, who hasn't lost a match on grass since 2002(!), sees the event as a way for both players and fans to remember why tennis is played in the first place.
We also enjoy playing tennis for fun for a change. It doesn’t always need to be crazy serious out on the match courts… The result is not the most important thing, it’s about having fun out there. And Mallorca, it’s a place I’ve never been to. It’s [Nadal’s] home city… It’s going to be exciting and a good atmosphere.
Corned beef hash marks offers a unique perspective on this event, putting it in the context of other newsworthy events in the tennis world.
Two-time reigning Roland Garros champion Nadal owns a 6-3 record against Federer, including a 4-0 mark on clay courts. The pair have split their four hard-court clashes.
Apparently, the exhibition will feature only two sets and the players will switch sides between sets. Seems a bit anti-climactic to me. Roger will win the set from the clay side and Nadal will win the set from the grass side, right?
“The duel is as hot as ever, and through “The Battle of Surfaces”, we’ll have the chance to see the best of Federer against the best of Nadal,” affirms José Luis Ballester, General Sport Director.
“I would love this to turn into a classic. When I see a city as inspiring as Palma de Mallorca, where tennis is so relevant through giants like Moya and Nadal and with a leading-edge stadium as is Palma Arena, I feel the situation is ideal for this idea to take place,” says Pablo Del Campo, creator of the idea and President of Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi.
(Getty Images: Click to enlarge)
Event Press Release
Update: Match is TODAY