It looks like the old Nadal may be back after a trademark 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 marathon win over teen sensation Zverev yesterday. I started watching in the first set after Zverev was a break up and what a match it turned out to be.
Zverev was the better player for most of the match but in the end, Nadal physically outlasted him. As we know Nadal never gets tired and his fitness was the only way he was going to win this match because Zverev was the aggressor.
The third set tiebreak was a key moment in the match and Zverev won it because he took the initiative. But from there on Nadal simply outlasted him physically. The turning point came at 2-2 and 40-40 in the fifth set where Zverev won a 37-shot rally.
— BreakPointBR (@BreakPointBR) January 21, 2017
After that, he was physically done and lost the next four games. He was still in a position to win that game with game point coming up but he was cramping badly and his tennis suffered as a result.
That was sad to see because like I said he was the aggressor the whole match but Nadal’s endless pushing and grinding just wore him out as it has done so many opponents before Zverev. How anyone can enjoy that kind of tennis is still beyond me after all these years.
- Nadal’s Negative Playing Style: Tennis or War of Attrition?
I mean I respect and can even admire Nadal’s resilience(unless of course there are drugs involved) but his endless retrieving does absolutely nothing for me. It doesn’t look good and it is strictly a war of attrition.
There is no artistry or variation involved. It is just endless pushing, grinding, and running until the opponent literally collapses. It is negative tennis. Pure and simple.
Anyway, I was impressed again with Zverev despite the fact that he came up short physically. He has a terrific temperament and maturity for a teenager. I mean this kid is going to be good. Much better than Thiem.
He’s got everything really but he can still improve his net game especially so that he can finish points faster against someone like Nadal. But he isn’t afraid to go for his shots or to win. He has the champions mentality.
Whatever the case may be, Nadal won and looked like his old self. We have said that a lot of late only for him to lose again but you can’t write him off for the title now. He plays Monfils next which you’d think he will win and then likely Raonic.
If he can beat Raonic he will probably make the final. And if he makes the final anything can happen.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
After upsetting Djokovic Istomin continued his winning ways by defeating Carreno Busta in five sets as well. It is nice to see someone who had such a big win not losing in the next match as so often happens.
Istomin now plays Dimitrov who straight-setted Gasquet and won Brisbane of course. That should be an interesting encounter and so will Goffin vs Thiem where Goffin leads the head-to-head 4-3 and won last year’s meeting in Melbourne in four sets.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 20, 2017
Thiem lost to Dimitrov and Evans in Brisbane and Sydney respectively but both of them are still in the draw so they are playing well. The Thiem vs Goffin match will be another very watchable fourth round.
As for tomorrow’s tennis, Federer vs Nishikori is obviously the big one. Probably Federer will continue his impressive form and win but Nishikori can’t be underestimated. At least it is highly likely that he will put up a better fight than Berdych!
Who will win?
- Federer in 4 (45%, 13 Votes)
- Federer in 5 (21%, 6 Votes)
- Nishikori in 4 (17%, 5 Votes)
- Nishikori in 5 (7%, 2 Votes)
- Federer in 3 (7%, 2 Votes)
- Nishikori in 3 (3%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 29