Rafa Nadal bounced back from his Roland Garros quarter-final loss to Novak Djokovic with a solid performance in Germany, where he managed to capture the 2015 Stuttgart grass court tournament title, beating Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in the final. The Spaniard hit 11 aces on the way to his straight sets 7-6(3) 6-3 victory. This is his third Stuttgart title in total (the previous two being on clay).
Rafa will be competing at the Queen’s Club Championships in London this week, where he will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the opening round.
Check out our Stuttgart final preview below:
Following a tough week with several rollercoaster contests on grass, Rafael Nadal is through to the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, where he will come compete for the third time, but the first time on grass. The Spaniard will come up against Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, whom he has faced on four previous occasions on the professional tour. He holds a 4-0 lead yet has not faced the Serb in five years.
For the first time since 2011, Nadal is through to the final of a grass court tournament, even though he was at risk of exiting the tournament from his opening match. In his semi-final contest, he defeated Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 19 minutes to secure his place in the Mercedes Cup final.
“It’s a great feeling to be back in a final, especially on grass,” said Nadal. “It’s been since 2011, I didn’t play a final on grass. So it’s very good to be back and I think I’m playing well. It was a tough match but I played well against a very difficult opponent.
“He’s a charismatic player and does different things on court… I just tried to be ready and wait for my moment. I was solid with myself.”
While some expected Marin Cilic to make it through to the final, it was Troicki who defeated the US Open champion in three sets to set up his final against Nadal.
This marks the fifth time that Nadal and Troicki will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Spaniard leading the head-to-head series 4-0. However, this marks their first meeting in five years, which could mean the contest may be far different. In this particular case, it would not be surprising to see Nadal end up in another three-set contest.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Three Sets