Swiss Indoors Basel, Switzerland
[CR3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) got off to an abominable start against [CR124] Borna Coric (CRO) and he never recovered. It was an issue of confidence, a lack of in Nadal’s case and an abundance of for Coric. As with most players, their results reflect their level of confidence. Nadal’s recent results indicate that his level is low and playing with “appendicitis” further compounds the issue. So again, why continue to play if you are distracted by health concerns and not 100% focused on tennis? Why does he insist on playing only to incur these losses? Today, he looked ill, was flat-footed and played too tentatively.
Coric played with youthful enthusiasm and no fear. Nadal on the other hand was plagued by doubts the whole match and never found his rhythm. Yet, Coric was also more consistent and kept the ball in play, something Nadal was unable to do the entire match. It was a disaster.
Nadal’s loss was not a surprise, I have followed him long enough to know when he can/will turn things around and when he will lose. Coric’s speed around the court, his creative shot making, his sense of court geometry, and his youthful vigor all conspired to defeat an ailing Nadal, who played nowhere close to his physical or mental ability. When Nadal had opportunities to get back in the match, he appeared confused, collapsing in on his swing and pushing the ball out or into the net. Coric appeared the more seasoned player and he won 6-2, 7-6(4), handing Nadal another embarrassing loss.