Today at the historic Queen’s Club, one of tennis’ premiere tournaments, that has been won by the esteemed Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, and Rafael Nadal, the talk of the day was Nadal’s long, close match with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.  In all leklihood, the match for Nadal was probably the closest that he’s played in two months, though on only one other occasion, Ernests Gulbis played him very well.  Nadal, who won 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4, took 3 hours and 53 minutes to get it done against the talented but under acheiving Uzbeki, has been plagued in his career by his inability to get off the court in three set matches, and that they go straight to his weakness, which are his knees. 

Nadal’s was just one of the many good matches at at Queen’s, where several big names lost, including Marin Cilic, Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic.  The crafty french one hander and excellent doubles player, one of the few players left who consistentlyattack, found a way against Cilic, the big man with a big game who could start winning majors at any time.  Cilic couldn’t get his serve going in the match that went 7-6 (2), 6-2. 

Roddick lost to Dudi Sela, and could not manage a break of seve.  Awful.  Hopefully it’s a wakeup call for Andy, whose best season for many years now, has beem the month of June.  Roddick had been very steady on grass last year, really dictating play after a big serve.  Roddick could be very dangerous at Wimbledon, where he has lost to Roger Federer three times in the final.  But you’d like to see him do well at Queen’s, where you expect him to have a good tournament like he has done so many times.

Djokovic?  This guy is completely weird.  I know that he has struggled with his serve due to a new twist that new adjunt coach Todd Martin added to his serve, but he is now struggling with this for months.  He’s another guy who has played well at Queen’s, and you’re hoping that he gets himself straightened out for Wimbledon because he is aa very talented player, who is exciting to watch, for a two hander.  But he retires in matches, so often, and at majors, and that has nothing to do with Todd Martin, a fearsome competitor. 

And from over at Halle, world # 6 Nikolay Davydenko lost to Benjamin Becker, who has had a good spring, and it has translated well to grass.  For Davydenko, this was the first tournament he has played in several months due to injury. 

–Crack (