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Nadal To Face Early Test In Halle

Halle, Germany

Nadal© Getty Images Rafael Nadal heads the list of seeds at the 2014 Gerry Weber Open.

High on confidence from winning his record ninth trophy at Roland Garros, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal faces a dangerous hurdle as he opens his grass-court campaign this week. The top seed will battle the flashy German Dustin Brown in the Gerry Weber Open second round.

“[Brown] is a player who plays with a lot of inspiration. He’s very dangerous. He can play so aggressively,” said Nadal of his opponent. “He’s not a player who’s going to give me rhythm on the baseline. It’s going to be a big challenge for me.

“I have the highest motivation possible to play here,” added the 28 year old. “It’s an honour for me and I would like to be competitive. Everybody knows how difficult the transition is [from clay to grass].”

The left-hander owns a 50-13 FedEx ATP Win/Loss Index on the surface, which includes titles from Wimbledon in 2008 (d. Federer) and 2010 (d. Berdych), as well as the 2008 Aegon Championships (d. Djokovic). In the more recent of two appearances in Halle, Nadal fell in the 2012 quarter-finals to Philipp Kohlschreiber.

“Grass is always a bit of a lottery," said Nadal. "On grass you need to be at 100 per cent because movement is important here, especially for a player like me. I’m not a player who’s going to serve 35 aces per match.”

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