Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur
Men’s Final: [CR8] Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. [CR28] Julien Benneteau (FRA)
The reason given by Benneteau for losing another final. If a final does not get him focused enough to maintain his intensity, what other incentive could he possibly need? This was an opportunity to win his first singles title and that should have been enough. He may not get another opportunity, time marches on and players are getting younger and stronger.
Benneteau has to be concerned. This was his tenth opportunity to win his first singles title and once again he came up short. He served for the first set, only to wilt under nerves and lose the set in a tiebreaker. Benneteau was mentally and physically worn down by the time the match was over. He was so close that he will probably need some time to process and recover from this loss.
It was a very competitive match and if Benneteau had won the first set, he may have finally gotten over that barrier; however, that is irrelevant, Nishikori won the match, 7-6(4), 6-4. Benneteau is a talented tennis player; however, it takes more than talent to be a champion. Your desire, your mental strength, your physical fitness, and your tennis skills must all be in synch to get to the level of a champion. Benneteau will have to figure out where he is deficient and work on improving that area.