Monday saw the first round of Wimbledon get off to a dazzling start with the favorites, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, cruising through their first matches. Steeped in tradition, Wimbledon is one of the most important Grand Slams for these tennis superstars. Although Fed is of course the undisputed grass court champion with 7 Wimbledon titles, 2 of Rafa’s 14 titles have been won on grass and he is always a threat to Fed - no matter the surface. They have one of the fiercest and longest-lasting rivalries in tennis history.
Rafa’s on-court aggression is juxtaposed against his polite off-court demeanor and he has seldom appeared in the media for anything other than his grand slam records or huge guns. However, in the buildup to Wimbledon he mentioned that he has found it “increasingly difficult” to play in the Queen’s Club Championship, the London-based grass court tournament that is somewhat of a curtain-raiser to Wimbledon. By “difficult” he means financially - specifically referring to the tax laws in the United Kingdom for non-resident individual professional athletes.