Nadal Grass Court Hype Dismissed by Dolgopolov at Queen’s

After Nadal’s first grass court title in five years at the ATP 250 event in Stuttgart, there were a fair amount of people who thought we could soon witness another miraculous comeback from Nadal, myself included. Given the strange unpredictability of Nadal’s career trajectory you can never count that possibility out. But it looks like at least for the time being that possibility has come to an abrupt end after Nadal was defeated 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4 by Dolgopolov at Queen’s today.

You’d always give Dolgopolov a chance against Nadal given how talented he is, especially on a faster surface like grass. But I figured Nadal would be confident after his title in Stuttgart too. That was hardly the case at Queen’s though because he lost despite being a break up in the third set and having two break points again at 4-4 and 40-15 on the Dolgopolov serve. And still it seems to be the forehand that is letting him down. His form still very much reminds of Roger’s 2013 season.

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It’s the strings they make these days, no?

He keeps losing to players who he usually beats like clockwork. He’s had multiple losses to Fognini, Verdasco, and Dolgopolov recently, all players he used to always beat. It is now hard to believe he has any chances of miraculously winning Wimbledon. You know he will keep fighting and probably eventually turn things around, but to what extent? Roger has been able to do it, but even he hasn’t been able to win another slam. Nadal’s slam winning days may indeed be behind him.

But as usual with him nothing is certain.

Will Nadal win another slam(s)?

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  • Wawrinka Disses Kyrgios

Also at Queen’s today, the new French Open champion Stanimal Wawrinka made short work of a potentially very tricky first round opponent when he defeated Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4. I caught some of that match and Kyrgios didn’t impress me at all. Someone recently commented on my blog that he is too flashy and inconsistent and I disagreed, but I was wrong. His mental fortitude was pathetic today. He was playing very fast to the point that it looked like he was tanking.

He just looked disinterested. And that after making a tweet last night saying ‘I’m all in’. I just checked and he also deleted that tweet. That tells you about all you need to know. But if you are not convinced then it is all summed up in an article I found:

Kyrgios said afterwards that he had been “sick for the last week”, adding: “I just felt uncomfortable the whole time.

“He hit the ball massive, free swinging out there. I almost found it difficult to get myself engaged and didn’t want to be there.”

Wawrinka responded: “It doesn’t really surprise me. When I read his interviews, it’s always funny, a lot of things you can take.

“When I read before the match, he was ready, excited for the challenge, and now he is sick.

“So I’m just saying he’s saying a lot of things, and I think it’s always interesting as a player to read what he’s saying and how his mind is working.”

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/33150858

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Another title for lucky shorts incoming?

What Stan says is exactly the feeling I got after I saw his tweet which he then deleted after the match. He is ‘all in’ for the match but then when he loses he is sick all of a sudden? I’m glad Stan called him out on it. It’s hard to take someone like that serious. He’s had some very big wins already and he has loads of game but this incident kind of puts everything in doubt for the time being. It just makes it look like he is more hype than anything else. More like an arrogant thug than a professional tennis player.

Anyway it was a nice win for Stan and he now plays Anderson who should be a good test to see where his grass court game is at because Anderson is a big server and they are tied at 3-3 in the head-to-head.

  • Federer to Face Gulbis in Halle

Today in Halle Thiem lost his second consecutive grass court first round against Nishikori, but still gained a spot in the rankings and now sits at #29. Clearly grass doesn’t seem very suitable to his game. His best friend on tour Gulbis, on the other hand, won another match for a change against Stakhovsky and now plays Roger. The head-to-head is 2-2, but there is surely no way in hell Roger can lose this match. Even though Roger got lucky in his first match I think that match will put him in good stead for the rest of the tournament.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

Posted in ATP 500, Halle, London-Queen's.

13 Comments

  1. I don’t think Nadal is winning a slam this year but I don’t think he should be counted out completely next year as well. I mean he is surely gonna try everything possible in the off season (illegal also maybe) and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a great start to next year. We never know with him.

    Stan is definitely the man now and I hope he makes it to the finals here. Krygios on the other hand like I have said before is hot and cold. I think he needs to buckle up and stop with this teenage nonsense. Get ready for the serious business. I am sure he is not winning a slam for another 4-5 years but he should at least make sure he gets in the top 16 fast. Thiem is one more guy who looks really promising now but I think he needs to sure up his backhand before he can be ready for great things.

    Federer will do well to beat Gulbis and exorcise his loss against him. It also looks like he will meet Mayer (a German) and then Berdych so he would have played 3 good grass courters this week. I think winning this tournament will give him a lot of confidence. And I think unless Murray wins the tournament, Roger will be the second favorite in my book behind Djokovic.

    And Coric plays Berdych tomorrow which should be interesting to see where he is at. Nadal is still playing the doubles though and he won today. So if he goes deep there he will still come into Wimbledon as a contender even though only as a 11th seed. Cilic willl also do well to give Queens a good try. Raonic has also started playing so things are really looking interesting as Wimbledon is about to start.

    Also just heard the really sad news that Del Potro is having another surgery on his left wrist. This guy is crazily unlucky. I feel so bad for him. Him and Soderling have been the two of the most unluckiest sportsmen ever. I just hope Del Potro comes back at least by next year. Not sure Soderling will ever make it back though.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Ajay. That’s right, you can’t count dope out, even if you can count Nadal out. But he does seem really down in the dumps and the longer he stays there the harder it will be to come back. At the end of 2013 there were at least signs of a revival for Roger during his favorite indoor season. You would have expected that would be the case for Nadal during the clay court season too after struggling since the grass court season last year. But even during the clay court season he sucked. Ok Roger didn’t win a tourney during the 2013 indoor season either, but at least he was making finals in Basel and semis in Paris and London. I don’t feel like the clay court season was a kind of revival for Nadal. Now he has won an ATP 250 but as soon as he faced a talented shotmaker he was sent packing again. I don’t see him going really deep in Wimby and then it is the US hc seasons and the indoor season where it is hard to see him feature either. I read his goal is not to win titles slams now but to make the WTF. He has few points to defend until the end of the season but if he doesn’t qualify for that then he really looks finished. And even if he makes it he will probably get hit off the court by everyone in the RR again. It’s like I said, the longer he stays in the slump and the more he loses the harder it will be to come back because more and more players will believe they can beat him. And right now I can’t see where he will end the slump.

    As for Kyrgios it was you who said he’s flashy, right? Good call. I think if Kyrgios gets it together mentally he can win a slam at any time basically. I have no doubt he has big match temperament and the game to win a slam but what I saw today didn’t impress me at all. Thiem needs to sure up his backhand? I don’t know about that. It’s one of the best one-handed bhs on tour. If anything he needs to improve it’s his wasting of break points. Today he was 1/10 on bp conversions vs Kei again, and it’s always the same story.

    To beat Gulbis Federer only needs to hit the ball to his fh. Then he cannot possibly lose.

    Del Potro’s surgery is a shame, but I think he came back too early on several occasions. At least Soderling is taking his time…

    [Reply]

  2. What an appropriate title in your last post, “Roger almost slips…” People say the grass was new, it was evening so more damp. But Roger has played in Halle for how many years already! How come he never fell before?! His serve won him the match. FH was awol and volleys :-q But Roger did say the slips worried him and he couldn’t play freely. He should get better in next round. But that FH. It has to come back to some decent form. Otherwise no FH, no slam :-( Nadal’s loss was a bit of a shock but not really as Dog with his unorthodox style is the kind of player that can give Nadal problems and is capable of beating anybody when he is on. Kyrgios is disappointing. He started off as a fun loving respectful kid with a bit of youthful (forgivable) cockiness. I guess success has gotten into his head. Always making excuses. He shut off last year in Sept citing fatigue. Now he says he wants to shut off for a week or two! He is more and more like Tomic, the brat. Such a shame coz with his talent and big game mentality, he is slam winning material. Stan seems more settled and knows how to handle grand slam glory unlike last year where he won his first. He is growing in confidence and just swinging it freely. No one it seems can handle his heavy balls. The man to beat for the rest of the year maybe? Not just sad but tragic about Delpo and Soderling :-( The gentle giant seemed cursed. I think you are right Ru-an in saying that he came back too early after each surgery. And I’m not sure Soderling will ever get back. Even if he does, it would be hard; the field has moved on and he is already in his 30’s.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Veronica. I don’t have time to respond much sorry. Gotta start on my post.

    [Reply]

  3. Good post. I have to agree 100% with what you wrote about Kyrgios, that’s exactly what I was thinking too when I read his comments about being sick. I don’t know, maybe it’s the arrogance that you need to be a champion, you never admit you were honestly ‘beaten’? But for example you don’t see Djokovic making up an excuse like that. You should just say ‘well Stan was too good, period’. Good on Stan to call him out on it. Difference between a man and a child. I really like Stan, just hope Fed avoids him in the draw at Wimbledon (!)

    I saw just a bit of the Nadal match. He was lucky to win the second set tiebreak against Dolgopolov, but then his own FH disappeared on him when he should have won the 3rd set. Apparently there was a time violation incident again that threw him off, I didn’t see it .

    However I think this loss is not that important for him. After all he just played Stuttgart’s finals on Sunday and is probably somewhat tired. Dologpolov hit 40 winners to 28 UEs which is really good tennis.

    The best of all though is that like Ru-an says, the more you lose the more other players look and say ‘Well I”m better than Dolgopolov or Fognini, why the hell can’t I beat Nadal?’ We have seen this with Raonic already. It’s all mental, the differences are razor thin at this level, that’s one thing I appreciate more after reading this blog for a few years..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Bharata. We will see about Nadal. Always hard to tell.

    [Reply]

  4. Nadull lost? Sweet. Thought he gonna blitz through after winning title last week. He look really glazed during the post match interview.. hmmnn….

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Maybe just tired like Bharata said. He’s still playing doubles.

    [Reply]

  5. Sometimes I don’t know with you RUAN…I. Thot uah done with all these dope nonsense, honestly you are too mature of a writer for this. You don’t have to respond if any of ur writer is making a dope statement just to satisfy them…I meAn now Nadal is loosing left, right and center but if he starts playing well you all conclude that he’s doping like how some guys predicted that he will dope to dominate 2015 now you guys are already. Predicting that he will dope for 2016…all am saying is that you guys should stop this doping thing. For its not only childish it doesn’t look good on you at all…you should know that I respect you

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I didn’t say he doped. But doping is a reality in tennis so you can’t count it out. Not for Nadal. Not for anyone.

    [Reply]

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