HEAD Pros Swing for Success at Wimbledon

July 8, 2008

KENNELBACH, AUSTRIA — HEAD players battled tough competition to reach the semifinal and final rounds of Wimbledon last weekend.

Former World No. 1 and HEAD player Marat Safin reached the semifinal round where he faced five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, who later lost to eventual Wimbledon Champion Rafael Nadal.

“It’s my first semi-final, so levels are a little bit different,” said Safin. “To beat Federer you need to be Nadal and run around like a rabbit and hit winners from all over the place.”

On his way to the semifinal round, Safin defeated World No. 3 Novak Djokovic in 3 straight sets with his MicroGEL Prestige Mid, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2. Safin could improve his ranking South African Airways ATP ranking from 75 to 40 due to his success at Wimbledon.

Fellow HEAD player Rainer Schuettler of Germany also reached the semifinals, where he lost against eventual winner Rafael Nadal. In the quarterfinals, Schuettler defeated HEAD player Arnaud Clement in five sets after a grueling 5 hour long match, with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-7(7), 8-6 win. Schuettler, who climbed 55 ranks to position 39 in singles, plays with the HEAD MicroGEL Prestige Mid.

“It could have gone either way. I don’t know how but I won it,” said Schuettler. “Tennis is brutal like that. I can’t remember ever playing for five hours, missing so many chances or taking so many chances. And if I’d have lost, I’d have said to Arnaud ‘Well played, good luck’. And that’s exactly what he said to me.”

Additionally, eight out of 16 HEAD pros reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and four out of eight HEAD pros reached the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, HEAD player Nenad Zimonjic and partner Daniel Nestor claimed the men’s doubles championship, despite Zimonjic’s broken wrist bone. Zimonjic, who plays with the HEAD MicroGEL Radical MP, and Nestor defeated Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett 7-6(12), 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3 to earn the doubles title.

“This is my first Grand Slam title and it’s special that it’s Wimbledon as well,” said Zimonjic. “It is my 21st title and the biggest one for sure.”