Quite the treat to see Rafa back out on grass again. He’s clearly already flipped the switch from clay. He took on Marcos Daniel in his first match at the Queen’s Club, winning easily 6-2, 6-2. He was aggressive, hitting the ball flat, and hit several return winners, some of which were backhands.
It’s a bit easy to forget why Rafa has found success on grass. He’s not a big server, and he’s not one to serve and volley. The magic is really in the forehand, especially when he’s taking it cross court. Not only is it bouncing low, but it’s bouncing and spinning away from you (to your backhand side, if you’re right handed). The backhand was looking incredibly flat, to boot. Good signs, considering this is first grass match in almost two years. He takes on Istomin next.