- Nadal Edges Karlovic In Thriller (via ATP World Tour)
“I think I played a good match,” continued the Manacor native. “The only negative thing was the first game of the match. The real thing is he played so well the first set, the first game, too. He played well.
“In terms of level of concentration and attitude and control of my emotions, it was a fantastic match. To win 7-6 in the third is a very important victory for me, especially because I believe in the last tie-break I did not lose a single point on my serve. That’s because I was in control again of my emotions. That’s the most important thing for me today.”
- Nadal wins thriller in Shanghai (via AFP/sport24.co.za)
Nadal’s excited reaction to the breathless 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4) win, when he leapt in the air and pumped his fists, and then stood with his arms aloft, left no doubt about how much the victory meant.
The Spaniard had earlier walloped three return winners in a row, from Karlovic’s giant serve, at 4-5 down in the first set to break the Croatian and ultimately take a one-set lead.
“That game was so important — probably one of the best games return in my career,” said Nadal. “Yeah, almost a miracle. Three winners from his first serve. That was really amazing.”
When Rafael Nadal finally won yet another bruising epic against 6-foot-11 ace-maker Ivo Karlovic at the China Open on Wednesday, he leaped to deliver one of his trademark uppercuts and bellow “Vamos!”
Nadal was clearly overjoyed with the 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4) win. So what if it was just a third-round match? Karlovic is one of the most dangerous players on the ATP Tour — and an ideal stumbling block for the struggling Nadal.
- Rafael Nadal will not fade away: Why he’ll win more major titles (via oregonlive.com)
Nadal is clearly fading. There’s no point trying to deny it. But, unlike for tennis champions of previous generations, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s done winning major tournaments. “I don’t know if I can win another Grand Slam,” Nadal said recently. “I believe yes.”
Believing is a good start. Now that he believes again, the competitive juices will start flowing at maximum velocity. Gen. MacArthur — whose greatest military success arguably was the landing at Inchon, when he was 70 — said something else that applies here.
Nadal and short balls. Nah, I don’t think it’s tactical; in most cases, he’s not trying to draw his opponents netward so he can unleash passing shots. To me, it starts with his court positioning, which is like an index for his confidence. The more it sags, the further back he plays. Similarly, during this slump, it’s not as though he’s committing scads of unforced errors. On the contrary, he’s playing too cautiously. His shots are landing well inside the court, delivered without full conviction, leaving himself vulnerable to players with finishing power.
- Nadal Hits Triple Shanghai Hot Shot
- 2015 Shanghai Rolex Masters – Wednesday Highlights feat. Djokovic & Nadal (via TennisTV)
- Shanghai R2: Rafael Nadal’s post-match interview – in Spanish (via stroppa777)
- 2015 ATP Beijing Final Highlights – Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal (via TennisTV)