Nadal and Federer Win First Rounds in Basel

A Federer vs Nadal final is still possible in Basel, but it’s still a small possibility at this point. Nadal should really have lost already after being down 1-6, 4-5* 0-30 and 0-3 in the final set tiebreak but came back in his usual never-say-die way to win 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(4). Rosol came out pretty much in the zone just blasting winners left and right and really should have closed Nadal out. No doubt he helped Nadal’s cause with a good dose of choking.

But in the end you have to give Nadal a lot of credit for winning this. For all intents and purposes, it looked like Rosol would just blast him off the fast indoor courts in straight sets, but he miraculously found a way back. In the third set, he was leading by a break but then he became distracted and complained to the umpire that Rosol was doing something with his racquet on the return before every second serve.

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Nadal gave Rosol the proper sendoff

There was a good amount of mental warfare going on in this match. But mostly from Rosol. He was doing everything in his power to distract Nadal and succeeded in the third set when he broke back. Nadal is not a guy you want to piss off too much, though, and in the end Rosol paid dearly for provoking the beast. He ended up looking pretty amateurish after choking on two occasions when he had the match within his grasp.

He also came off as a jerk. I can’t say that I’m particularly crazy about Czech players myself. Rosol, Stepanek, and Berdych all have strange personalities. So I actually took a fair amount of satisfaction out of this result, but also because the Fedal final is still a possibility. Clearly Nadal did not feel very comfortable on the fast indoor conditions which makes this another telling win for him on the road back to his best.

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He now plays Dimitrov who is a very beatable opponent. Rosol was in the zone so beating him would have given Nadal confidence. Dimitrov can play well in these conditions, but he’s been absolute garbage this year so I expect Nadal to win. Then Thiem defeated Haase yesterday after getting bageled in the first set, 0-6, 7-6(5), 7-5. That was good to see on a surface that doesn’t suit him either because he’s been struggling lately.

  • Federer Routines Kukushkin

Today Federer looked much more comfortable than in Shanghai as expected as he defeated Kukushkin 6-1, 6-2. Federer is always going to fare well indoors, especially at home. Remember I said I still expect him to do well in Basel, Paris, and London. I’m sure he is now well rested and ready to make the best of these last three events, starting in Basel. That said, he was 4/13 on break points again.

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He now plays Kohlschreiber and then the winner of Mannarino and Goffin so he won’t have any problems until the semi-finals at least. It will be interesting to see if Nadal is still alive at the semi-final stage whether it affects Federer negatively. Tomorrow there are some good matches including Anderson vs Coric, Stan vs Karlovic, and Nadal vs Dimitrov. Who do you have winning those matches?

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 500, Basel.

7 Comments

  1. I am rooting for Federer and Nadal hoping to see them in the final. My prediction is Anderson, Stan and Nadal.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Same here George. I just want to see Nadal win. Anderson and Stan can lose for all I care.

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  2. Just seen the highlights. Crazy how well Rosol plays against Nadal. If he could play like this all the time, he would be more dangerous than Berdych and definitely top 10. I was literally gobsmacked how he kept smacking winners everywhere on the court like the 5th set at Wimbledon 2012, barely missing. It was incredible that he lost. Nadal was so lucky. His volleying was appalling. Absolutely dreadful. I bet you will have made some of those missed volleys with ease yourself Ru-an!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha not likely as I haven’t touched a racquet in ages Conal. Rosol’s level was very high which makes this victory from Nadal all the more extraordinary. He won through sheer mental willpower.

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    Charlie Reply:

    Haha, was just going to ask if you still played as a hobby, but yeah some of those volleys were appalling from Rafa. There was an absolute mega-choke though from Rosol, and Dimitrov should have finished Nadal off today. These comebacks don’t have the same feeling though as when Nadal was in his prime. Someone would be playing their best and Nadal would just suddenly raise his game, play amazing and be completely unstoppable. So although it keeps Nadal in the tournament, I still don’t think it looks good for his prospects in the tournament unless he plays much better in his next match.

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  3. It seems that Rasol deals very well with the spin while this surface is not perfect for Nadal game. Rasol looked very good since Nadal’s game allowed him to look very good. However, it is admirable how Nadal won despite having inferior game in this particular encounter.

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  4. Dimitrov choked harder than Rosol did, tbh. Started playing very well, bossing Nadal in the rallies. Drops 4 straight games from 4-2 to lose the first set 4-6. Then goes 4-0 up in set 2, almost blows the lead but manages to hold on for 6-4. Goes up 2-0 in final set, looking much better, then only wins 1 game after that – bit of a shame, he needed a good win to help rescue his otherwise dire 2015.

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