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.
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.
- 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.”
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.
The is in your court.